Hipshot® HB7 – Getting the most from your Mexican.
Hipshots® HB7s are one of those obscure little parts that turn up every so often.
Basically, they’re a direct replacement for most Mexican made Fender® bass guitars, but are a massive upgrade over the stock parts.
As you’d expect from Hipshot®, they’re built to the very highest quality, USA made from the best materials, but with that obscure mounting pattern, they really do seem like a one off when it comes to an upgrade part. These things will blow the socks of your stock Mexican tuners!
As with all of the “American Series” bass machine heads from Hipshot® you’re getting that rock solid 27:1 gear ratio (compared to the normal 20:1), and that extra slow gearing is where the stability is coming from. Not only do these things look the part, they’re going to hold tune like nothing else out there.
Another beautiful aspect here is the adjustments you can make to the stiffness. The actual head and worm gear are secured in a bushing where the tension can be adjusted. Want it a little looser for quick alterations? No problems! Just slacken off a little, want it tightened up to save from any knocks and bumps – lock it down tight!
Don’t confuse a loose head for loose gearing either! The capstone and cog are locked down tight regardless of the stiffness set on the head and worm gear, and the incredible accuracy used to but the teeth on the gears means that you’re not only getting an accurate machine head, but it’s also very responsive.
Hipshot have taken weight into consideration here too, keeping the HB7s relatively light compared to stock parts. A Single head only tips the scales at 80 grams. 15 grams lighter then the Fender® Mexican standards – a set of 4 will save you 60 grams. So you’re saving on weight and improving on stability, all without having to make any modifications what so ever to your bass. It really doesn’t get much better than that when it comes to upgrades.
The Hipshots HB7s run along a similar line to the rest of the American Series that are currently in production, built to the very highest quality, using the best possible parts and materials, they really have been designed for playability and style throughout.
The capstan (string post), worm hear and head are made from brass, whilst the base plate, pinion gear and screws are made from steel. This combination gives the maximum performance, whilst saving a fair amount on the actual weight of each tuner.
Something Hipshot have really focused on in recent years. Compared to the standard Fender Mexican Bass machine heads, the HB7s are not only more stable, thanks to that higher gear ratio, they’re also 20 grams lighter!
Ultimately, just like with the more modern Hipshot Ultralites, this is going to save you stress on your fretting hand, and make it easier to play your bass.
The main point of note with the entire series is the higher ratio that you’re getting compared to most stock models. In short, the higher the gearing ratio, the more stable a machine head will be in the long run, and the more accurate your tuning will be as you approach the note.
All in all, they’re more reliable, more stable, lighter, and allow more customisation then any stock machine head on the market. Hipshot really have nailed it with this line in our opinion, and we’re hard pressed to think of a better machine head for your Mexican Fender®
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