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urbanx

I keep destroying straplocks!

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Straplocks have become the bane of my life. I can’t find any that even come close to being tough enough for the job.

 

For most of my ‘career’ I’ve had plastic Sure-Locks fitted to my Jag, only reason being I started out on a flying V which had a stud on the back and I wanted something smooth that didn’t dig into me. These have failed me twice in around 200 gigs, but never the plastic components.

 

On the first occasion the stud screw sheared off in the guitar, and on the second occasion the screw going through the strap sheared itself clean apart. I’ve now replaced both of these with M6 roofing bolts… yes really.

 

Earlier this year I got myself a new lightweight(ish) short scale Mustang. Fitted with the new Schaller S Types. Within the first practice the studs started unscrewing from the guitar, so out came the threadlock. Second practice, same thing, out somes the superglue (I know I know). It had its 8th gig at the weekend and the ring that clamps onto the strap comes shooting off and the bass goes flying. I’ll probably keep these and just cake them in superglue, I’m at my wits end.

 

But I'll ask,... Does anyone know any absolute bulletproof solutions? (Not Grolsh related)

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5 minutes ago, urbanx said:

Earlier this year I got myself a new lightweight(ish) short scale Mustang. Fitted with the new Schaller S Types. Within the first practice the studs started unscrewing from the guitar, so out came the threadlock.

This has been the Schaller strap lock problem for the last 20 years.

I have used Dunlop and Allparts (rebadged Dunlops) for 30 years. I'm still using the original locks on my current bass.

Longevity might be due to the fact that I never take the strap off the bass, but Schaller has no excuse for this poor design issue still affecting users.

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It's now got a tiny grub screw which goes through the threaded ring. But it doesn't seem to 'bite'. i.e. I can still unscrew the ring even when the grub screw is at its tightest. 

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Have you tried the rubber washer type strap locks instead? Like the ones you get off the top of Grolsch bottles?

I've been using this type for years and have never had a failure. The last ones I bought as a job lot from Amazon, it was a pack of 20 for about £3 or £4 and they are reassuringly sturdy. 

Here's a link but it looks like they're sold out now - https://smile.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B06ZZ39C8B/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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For the last four or five years, I've been using the rubber grolsh type washers, at a cost of a few pence. So far, no problems and no signs of wear, after a few hundred gigs.

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Speaking with zero experience of them, and only opinion, but... If I'm chucking around my bass enough to shear screws, will a thin rubber grommet really stop my strap coming off?  

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21 minutes ago, urbanx said:

I'm chucking around my bass enough to shear screws

You sir, are an animal! smiley

But Osiris might have the answer, or if you prefer something a little more Gucci (ie. expensive):

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fender-Strap-Blocks-2-Pair/dp/B00B5LDMH6/ref=pd_sbs_267_2/260-2075797-6217662?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00B5LDMH6&pd_rd_r=a8f3afaf-7b16-11e9-befd-7173e4d2ac77&pd_rd_w=m4MyO&pd_rd_wg=Rkr7p&pf_rd_p=18edf98b-139a-41ee-bb40-d725dd59d1d3&pf_rd_r=X4VFSKRH0WWQ1CH1EFTK&psc=1&refRID=X4VFSKRH0WWQ1CH1EFTK

These are very rigid & should hold.

Edited by Teebs

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2 minutes ago, Teebs said:

Still cheaper than a Grolsh in a London boozer... 

I just don't know if I could trust them! 

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7 minutes ago, urbanx said:

I just don't know if I could trust them! 

Maybe M10 bolts then? :D

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I can totally vouch for the grolsch washers or Fender strapblock solution. They really do work, and won’t wear out like traditional strap locks do. Best thing is, you get to keep the original strap pins on the bass. I also use Comfort Strapps which have a kind of strap block system built in as part of the design. Zero issues and zero worries!

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52 minutes ago, urbanx said:

Speaking with zero experience of them, and only opinion, but... If I'm chucking around my bass enough to shear screws, will a thin rubber grommet really stop my strap coming off?  

Depends what you're doing with it. If you're pulling the strap away from the body parallel to (or at least fairly near to) the orientation of the screw, there is a chance that the rubber washer type solution can pop off the strap button.

I can't see myself ever doing that, so it's never been much of a concern for me.

As to shearing the screws, the problem I can see with mechanical straplocks like schaller ones is that they move the strap further away from the body, and so provide additional leverage to bend the screw head, which over time will weaken it. Also, the screws that come with the schallers tend to be slightly smaller in diameter than standard strap peg screws, so that the head fits in the recess in the peg - but slightly longer to compensate. So they're weaker from the get go... and then if they get put in a hole made for a larger diameter screw, only the very tip is biting into the wood effectively, and the end nearer the surface already has a tiny bit of wiggle room.... so that every time it gets any lateral force applied to it the screw bends a bit before hitting the edge of the hole... which ends up weakening it faster.

Since switching to the fender branded grolsch washers I've had no issues and I've no plans to switch to anything else...

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Have you tried just bolting the strap to the bass with a repair washer?

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I found screws that were about 30mm but with a head small enough to fit inside the schaller strap pins and I put superglue on the threads before I screw them in. I've never had one move yet

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On all the guitars and basses I've owned that didn't come with Schaller Straplocks already fitted, I've always used the screw that was holding the original stop button with the Straplock rather than the one supplied. Since the design of the button part of the Straplock means that the screw goes further into the wood the button ends up being better attached than before.

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Cheap Chinese straplocks come with bigger screws than Schaller.

Just drill the strap buttons out.

I also drilled out the buttons on my performer - oddly they are straplock compatible (making them iffy with a normal strap)  but the screw is too high so they don't lock. Deepening the hole in the button reduces the strain on the screw a bit too, but don't drill so the end of the button is only held on by a thin ring of metal...

I worry that Jim Dunlop ones are too overhung although the ones I have on my 5 seem to be OK.

Perhaps teh ideal solution is a 4" coach bolt and a penny washer permanently attaching the strap 🙂

 

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On 20/05/2019 at 17:42, stoo said:

Depends what you're doing with it. If you're pulling the strap away from the body parallel to (or at least fairly near to) the orientation of the screw, there is a chance that the rubber washer type solution can pop off the strap button.

I can't see myself ever doing that, so it's never been much of a concern for me.

As to shearing the screws, the problem I can see with mechanical straplocks like schaller ones is that they move the strap further away from the body, and so provide additional leverage to bend the screw head, which over time will weaken it. Also, the screws that come with the schallers tend to be slightly smaller in diameter than standard strap peg screws, so that the head fits in the recess in the peg - but slightly longer to compensate. So they're weaker from the get go... and then if they get put in a hole made for a larger diameter screw, only the very tip is biting into the wood effectively, and the end nearer the surface already has a tiny bit of wiggle room.... so that every time it gets any lateral force applied to it the screw bends a bit before hitting the edge of the hole... which ends up weakening it faster.

Since switching to the fender branded grolsch washers I've had no issues and I've no plans to switch to anything else...

I have found the Fender Grolsch solution better than straploks but one did pop off on me once. 

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At the risk of parroting what lots of others have said, I’ve used Grolsch grommets for the last 15 years with no problems ever. Although I don’t throw the bass around, I’m pretty mobile for an old fart, and never once have I had the strap come away. I bought 100 in a bag from eBay maybe 10 years ago - all my basses and guitars have a pair on as do the instruments of most of my band mates. You may raise an eyebrow about trusting the safety of your beloved (and expensive) bass to a bit of rubber that isn’t designed for that job, but in my experience, they’re perfect. I fitted strap locks to a bass of mine many years ago and they were nothing but trouble. That was my experience then- hopefully they’re better made now. 

Oh, a quick heads up- I had a couple of the Fender bottle top strap locks and after a couple of years, they started to get stiff and brittle. The Grolsch  versions just go on forever!

 

 

Edited by rushbo

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Use the original screws. Generally the head of that screw does not fit into the straplock button. But instead of weakening the button by drilling it out I grind down the screw head to size.

How? Dremel grinder, then to evenly grind the screw head I use my cordless drill. Insert screw, into drill, tighten so it is fixed and then grind down with dremel whilst screw is spinning in the cordless drill.

Works a treat, even grind and means the thread is not too large or small.

Hope I am making sense.

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11 hours ago, chris_b said:

How about just buying Dunlops?

It's all down to personal experience, but I have been using Schaller Straplocks for 35 years now and never had one fail on me. The only set of Dunlops I've ever had broke after less than 6 months use.

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I'm another satisfied Schaller straplock user, never had any issues with them in over 20 years.

I've used Dunlop's, but have always found them to be fiddly to install (the circlips), as well as fiddly to use.

Horses for courses of course. I do prefer the old style Schallers, which have the separate strap button & come with 2 different length screws. I was a bit sceptical about the new design, combining onto the button.

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Quick update: 

I bought two pairs of the Fender rubber washers (£8 inc. P&P) 

The first set pinged off during their first rehearsal. The second set pinged off during their first gig - Horn one popped off while setting up, and butt one during first song. 

Total waste. Back to the drawing board! 

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10 minutes ago, urbanx said:

Quick update: 

I bought two pairs of the Fender rubber washers (£8 inc. P&P) 

The first set pinged off during their first rehearsal. The second set pinged off during their first gig - Horn one popped off while setting up, and butt one during first song. 

Total waste. Back to the drawing board! 

My God man!

What are you doing to that bass!?!?!? :o

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