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Advanced Member
Username: groovelines

Post Number: 237
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2005 - 10:21 am:   Edit Post

I recently needed to replace the pin inserts for the straplocks for my 20th Anniv. The bearings in both pins had begun to slip and allow the pins to "pop" out of the recessed coupling. No damage, always managed to catch the bass in mid drop.
I was wondering if any of you have ever removed the recessed half and then had it filled/modified in order to use a more contemporary strap pin/strap lock?
I did purchase new Dunlop strap locks, the pins work well with the original recessed half. But that's all I could use, the new sets are meant to be mounted flush to the wood's surface and are no longer recessed into the body. As far as I'm concerned, it's a waste and wouldn't mind using the whole set and forego the recessed look. It this a "do-it-yourselfer" project?

thanks in advance,
Senior Member
Username: bob

Post Number: 450
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2005 - 10:32 pm:   Edit Post

I've said this before (sorry to repeat myself), but I can't for the life of me understand why most people take the risk of using strap locks, especially on such fine instruments.

How many times do you want to catch it in mid-drop? I suppose that's quite a thrill, but not the sort of excitement I need in my life.

Many of us have instruments we paid $5-10K for, and we're saving money by sharing a $50 strap? Okay, if you have ten or more instruments you regularly need to strap on, maybe this adds up...

But otherwise I say dedicate a strap to the instrument and just screw it in with a nice fat washer on the outside. Besides, if you have multiple instruments, the ideal strap length might not be same on all of them anyway.

If you're considering pulling/filling the recessed portion, I suggest you think about nixing the straplocks altogether. If I were doing this myself, I could do a very strong threaded epoxy (with filler) job that would last a lifetime.
Username: alanbass1

Post Number: 76
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 12:35 am:   Edit Post

I have always used Schaller strap locks and my MK came with them fitted as standard. These have never let me down and I will continue to use them. I have not personally tried the Dunlop system, but just looking at how they are constructed leaves little to be inspired about.

I don't like 'fixing' the strap to a bass as I tend to keep mine in it's case when not in use. I have seen more than enough finish stains attributed to having a strap pressed against the body of a guitar not to want to take such a risk.
Advanced Member
Username: groovelines

Post Number: 238
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 5:26 am:   Edit Post

The strap locks were part of the 20th's original set up. It's my first experience with them and at first "easy on/easy off" was, well, an enjoyable novelty.

I don't share the strap. And although I've thought about it and haven't ruled it out, I didn't consider permanently affixing the strap an attractive solution.

I'm relieved that my kids weren't around the first time the pin popped, even swearing under my breath it was caustic enough to say the least.


(Message edited by groovelines on June 01, 2005)
Username: harald_rost

Post Number: 91
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 6:54 am:   Edit Post

I replaced my Schaller Security Locks at my Warwick just yesterday. But I think I had them for about 10 Years without any problems. So new locks are an inexpensive good investment.

Advanced Member
Username: dannobasso

Post Number: 260
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 1:42 pm:   Edit Post

Dunlops suk! I have schallers on all my instruments, guitar and bass besides 1 Stambaugh with recessed Dunlops. My exploiter came with them (used) and they failed. I now have a bitchin' dent on the back of the upper horn. I don't trust them as far as i can spit. Personally, I'd rather drill and install new Schallers. IMO.
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 1852
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 8:29 pm:   Edit Post

In my capacity as moderator, and after a great deal of thought on and agonizing over the issue (and taking time out to watch Ella Fitzgerald on PBS), and having reread this thread several times, I can only come to this conclusion:

The people who built these basses with straplocks, recessed and otherwise, must be complete bozos; and anybody that would buy an instrument built by such bozos must be a ...

I think I'll stop there.

We have, as Bob alluded to, discussed the subject of straplocks before; and a healthy rehashing of the subject is good from time to time so that new members can be aware of the pros and cons of the different methods. However, this particular thread is not about that issue; and I don't think it appropriate to hijack this thread without an attempt to address the real issue at hand. Mike's question is the following: is this a "do-it-yourselfer" project? Since I have never owned a bass with recessed strap locks, I don't have a clue as to Mike's question. But I'm guessing that perhaps some of you might be able to help out.

Now on the subject of thread hijacking; I've been a party to numerous thread hijackings in this forum, and given the number of posts I've made, I've probably hijacked more than most people. (I'm hijacking a thread at this very moment.) And given the overall context of the forum I don't think the posts to this thread are any more out of place than usual. But I have seen threads before where the original poster's request fell by the wayside when a thread got moving in a different direction; and this thread kinda looked like it might be heading in that direction as well.

So I hope this little bit of moderating has been helpful, if a bit clumsy. Sometimes late at night I just seem to get a bit carried away.
Senior Member
Username: bob

Post Number: 453
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 9:51 pm:   Edit Post

So how was Ella?

(sorry, that would be yet another digression, and she's not one of my favorites anyway)

It's okay Dave, I tend to get more verbal late at night, and only sometimes am wise enough to save it for review in the morning (not to suggest you should have, by any means). I do think "hijacking" is a bit strong in this case, but I also share your concern that in a surprising number of cases, we somehow forget what the original question was. Good point.

Is this a do-it-yourself project? My conservative answer would be that if you have to ask the question, then the safe answer is "no". I've mounted moderate-load sailboat hardware into balsa cored fiberglass decks with the threaded/filled/epoxy approach I would use myself, but I wouldn't recommend someone try that on their own bass without a fair bit of similar experience.

Without knowing the dimensions and installation procedures for the old and (perhaps undecided) new fittings, I don't think one can say. Drilling out a larger hole would probably be easier than filling in to accomodate a smaller one, though neither would be particular difficult if you are somewhat handy. Assuming, of course, that there are no cosmetic/finish concerns, either because the new one is bigger or has a flange or something, or you don't mind because it will be under the strap anyway.

Having said all that, I just couldn't watch when James was drilling the screw hole for the end of my strap...

I'm not up on all the different brands, so I guess I'll just be quiet now.
Username: 4u2nv

Post Number: 62
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 10:17 pm:   Edit Post

Im my own experience i use either schaller and dunlop, and i prefer dunlop, the schallers didnt work well, and didnt last my abuse, but i think those are better options than the ones billy sheehan use, lol.
Username: mica

Post Number: 2477
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 2:28 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks, Bob and Dave. Sometimes we get side-tracked and ever-so-helpful and do forget to get back to the original query. So onward!

To replace a recessed straplock with a non-recesesd straplock, you'll need to glue a dowel or similar plug in the place the recessed straplock used to occupy. Maple would be a good choce for the filler (or Walnut if you've got one of those 20th Anniversary models).

When you remove the straplock, you may have to ream out the mounting hole. Critical to the success is the fit between the plug and the hole, so dry fit and keep the surfaces very clean.

Use good ol' tightbond glue to set it and wait at least 4 hours (better is overnight) before drilling the pilot hole for the new straplock anchor.

Important: you will want a screw that is longer than the included mounting screw to reach through the plug to the core wood. If your fit on the plug is excellent, this is less critical, but still a wise idea. Stainless steel deck screws may be your easiest hardware find. Check of course to make sure the screw length is not so excessive as to puncture out the edge of the horn.

Do-it-yourself? I suppose it depends on yourself. For instance, I can take a foxtail out of a cat's eye with no trouble, but I would probably ask James or Jonathon to help me with this one.
Advanced Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 209
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 2:57 pm:   Edit Post

Just my 2 cents (pretending to be american). I found the screw on my Schaller straplock loosened after the first gig I played. Dipping the screw in No More Nails (don't know if you have this in the USA) before putting it back in has sorted the problem. Might be worth doing something similar as a pre-emptive measure.


> No-more-nails is a unibond product that fits in a standard Mastic gun. Supposedly sticks anything but it doesn't like getting wet! I pushed the screw down the nozzle then wiped most of the mastic off before screwing the lock back on.
Advanced Member
Username: groovelines

Post Number: 239
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 5:13 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks, everyone. I was looking for comments based on actual experience. I'm fairly confident in my abilities to do anything correct with a bit of practical kowledge, even from others, to draw from.
It doesn't matter if I need to mix resins or cut dowels. My aim was to garner advice on how to effectively fill the holes and not worry about future failures.
I appreciate that others may have issues with the use of straplocks in general or even particular brands, but at this point, straplocks are not really the issue. Yes, it's what the bass came with and I didn't have time to venture into modifying the bass for another method. Replacement pins were the expedient cure. It's the original pins' failures that have lead to my request for ideas and approaches to fill the holes, regardless if I continue to use them or decide upon another method to secure my strap. I apologize if this was not imediately clear.

Mica, I've had a similar discussion with Phil at Larry Morgan when buying the replacement inserts; thanks for your response.

peace, love and bell bottoms,
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 419
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 10:38 pm:   Edit Post


It was an Ella Fitgerald bio on the PBS "American Masters" series. Just Fabulous! She was the best there EVER was, and it was a well done piece. She was, you know, married to Ray Brown, until the road just kept them apart too much and they divorced.

I also use the Schallers with no problems. The recessed straplocks are just too cool until you forget your strap . . . then you can trot out those stories and pout, " well, ANTHONY JACKSON ALWAYS plays sitting down! . . ."

J o e y
Senior Member
Username: bob

Post Number: 455
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 11:29 pm:   Edit Post

(Dave, cut us a little slack here, okay? This is just a brief digression, not a true hijacking - mine, but you started it :-)

Yes, she had a great voice, and certainly a lot of fabulous recordings, and deserves a lot of credit in her own right - being married to Ray Brown was no doubt quite special, but perhaps incidental. She was quite a remarkable musician, especially given the time.

I've listened to a number of related interviews - I'm pretty sure I've heard one with her, and definitely Ray. But one quote that sticks in my mind was from Orin Keepnews (long time producer for Blue Note, Prestige, and others), where he said that she just couldn't "express" or something - she could sing the words, hit the notes, but not tell the story with feeling. No gut level emotion.

That's probably a little harsh. But as much as I enjoy some of her recordings, many don't seem to move me in the way that I think music really should. They seem to come from the chest or lungs, rather than the heart or soul. Though plenty of them swing, and a lot are just plain fun, I'm not willing to grant her 'best ever' status.

Like all these "best" discussions, it all depends on how you define that. Ella was certainly great, and perhaps even best in several ways, but not in the way that matters most to me. Just my personal opinion - I assume we can comfortably disagree.

Now I'm in enough trouble already, so I'm not saying anything further about straplocks.
Advanced Member
Username: groovelines

Post Number: 240
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 5:46 am:   Edit Post

The previous week's bio featured Ray Charles, utterly fantastic.

So, as the orginator of this thread and by commenting "off topic", absolution for all (as if you need it).

"Phili mi boni bili. Selli all his dominoes"

Senior Member
Username: flaxattack

Post Number: 505
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 10:07 am:   Edit Post

pick up this cd dave
duke and ella live at montreux

go to www.deepdiscountcd.com if you cant find it
awesome discs
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 1866
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 10:22 am:   Edit Post

Thanks Jeff; back in the late '70's I had a housemate who had a record of a Joe Pass and Ella Fitzgerald duet. Awesome as well.
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 420
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 10:13 pm:   Edit Post


I too feel the studied distance in Ella, but I would add that a lot of jazz in the time and style of her peers had a certain coolness that implied that the delivery/performance mined a protocol more like classical music: You kept your performance within the music as expected.
You could embellish to a point . . . but that's it. Of course I've learned it's the hardest thing to sound simple and detached. I'm convinced that's where her mighty scat-singing came from, it was the place where she COULD let it rip. Plus it was always so amazing to me that her voice at any age always sounded so girlish, just delightful.

And now we return to original program, already in progress . . .

Don't replace that straplock yourself unless you're VERY good in the woodshop department. This has got OH @#$^^))(^**$#(!!!! writ large over it!

J o e y
Username: jetbass79

Post Number: 44
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Monday, June 06, 2005 - 10:53 am:   Edit Post

I've been using Dunlop strap locks for about 7 years since my first fretless bass came with them and there was one problem -- they were probably ten years old and were starting to strip inside the button itself causing the bass to fall every once in a while.
That said, I have had very good luck with them. The only flaw I can see in the Schaller design is the nut that secures the top of the lock to the strap -- particularly if you have a thicker strap than the norm because it takes some effort to squish the strap leather down so the nut will thread. That's not really a flaw but it makes sense to tighten the nuts on the strap before a gig just to make sure it doesn't get unthreaded causing your fine instrument (though I call mine the War Hammer of Smite) to dive and breaks its head off. Just my two cents or euros or yen or yuan or whatever currency floats your boat...
Username: jack

Post Number: 8
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Friday, November 04, 2005 - 10:53 am:   Edit Post

I dinged my Epic once pretty bad and had caught it a few times (including on stage- not too 'cool' looking playing in a squat for half a song). Bought some Dunlops and didn't like them- didn't really trust them either. I'd tried Bob's big washer idea, and that was cool but has some drawbacks with removability.

What I have is a little nylon string through the strap loop that I configured with such a knot that I put the strap on, loop the string around the post, pull tight and presto, like a noose or a lark's head knot.

Anyway just a thought. Please don't yell at me if you try it and it fails. I jump around crazy on stage like the punk-rocker that I am and I haven't lost the bass again yet.


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