Headless Tuning Ease

General Technical Discussion

Moderators: Kevio, ElfDude, JesseM, soundchick, peb, ChrisH, Bundy, RockCrue

User avatar
Gold Carvinite
Gold Carvinite
Posts: 1983
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Omnipresence nearly achieved!

Headless Tuning Ease

Postby UnexplodedCow » Wed Jun 22, 2022 9:05 am

I thought to start this just as an FYI to people, should they encounter the troubles.

I've had and mostly played Kiesel headless guitars since 2015. In that time, they've been fantastic, with some minor issues. The growing one has been wear-in on the tuning screw friction surfaces. This is particularly true of my Z6X, as I've had to be very careful in how I adjust the tuners, as they were hard to turn. The Z5B bass was even more difficult to turn. A secondary issue are that my fingers are just darned big and I have to finger-tip grip the tuners. Initially it wasn't a problem, until things wore in, and even with teflon grease, I still had struggles tuning quickly.

I had a "doh" moment when remembering thrust bearings. Why didn't I remember them years go? I don't know. But I saw something that jogged a memory, and I went in search of bearings that would work.

Early headless guitars have square-cut thumb screws, and at some point it was changed to a rounded shoulder facing the bridge. The thrust bearings I tried work for both. No longer screws are needed - there is so much extra length on my guitars that I still have some left despite the new bearings. Only a #1 or 2 Philips screwdriver is needed to break the screws free.

For guitar, I used F3-8M bearings, which have 3mm center holes, 8mm outer diameter, and 3.5mm thickness total.

For bass, I went with F4-10M size - 4mm center hole, 10mm outer diameter, 4mm thickness. The tuner screws are shorter than on guitar, so about 1/4" longer ones are needed. I have not yet sourced these, but once I do, I plan to edit this with dimensions and thread type/pitch.

Here's how they look compared to the stock setup. They stick out slightly farther, easier for me to get a grip on them, and they turn easily now, even for bass. Below is how they look. I bought my bearings off Amazon, but didn't want to put in links, just in case. However, overall current cost is $8.50 for bass, and about $6 for guitar. Super cheap modification. I can provide links if people want to send me a PM.

We are entitled to our own, wrong, opinions.

Guitar theorem: G=X+1 where G= guitars one needs, and X = guitars one has.

Do or do not; there is no understand.

User avatar
Elite Carvinite
Elite Carvinite
Posts: 19527
Joined: Jan 2008
Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Headless Tuning Ease

Postby spudmunkey » Wed Jun 22, 2022 1:00 pm

Thatxs a really neat tip! Thanks for sharing!

Return to Tech Talk

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests