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Frank Blank

Strap Locks, Thoughts?

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The best ones IMO are the recessed Dunlop type but they have to be installed by a pro. I like that when there's no strap attached there's no 'button' on the bass. Neat. Otherwise I use rubber washers on my other basses but those washers go over strap buttons that also accept the Dunlop strap if the need arises. So that's handy.

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I've had Dunlop Straploks on my basses since the 90's. I've put them on every bass, but they come as standard on Lakland's, Lull's, and Sadowsky's and many other US basses. They are also rebadged as Allparts Strap locks at half the price.

I've never used them, but Grolsch washers apparently work well.

Be aware if you are getting replacement strap locks for the first time. In the last 20 years I've seen people reporting problems with Schaller. Dunlops are fine, but the Schaller screws often don't fit into the existing holes very well and can work loose, causing the bass to hit the floor!

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20 minutes ago, Newfoundfreedom said:

 

Two free beers then. 😉

Per bass. 🍺🍺🍺🍺

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Been using Dunlop Straploks for about 20 years I guess.  Aside from the brief ownership of a Rickenbacker (and only because I couldn't get the stock strap buttons off), whenever I buy a bass, I'll fit Dunlops immediately.

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I've been using Schaller Straplocks since the mid 80s and have never had a problem with them. If anything because the score is more deeply recessed in the Schaller button it goes deeper into the wood and hold in place better than the original.

I've owned one bass with the Dunlop style locks. One of the failed within 3 months (the bass was brand new) so off they came to be replaced by Schallers.

I've never tried the rubber washer method, but if I wanted to have a strap permanently attached to a guitar or bass, I'd simply unscrew the existing strap button and re-attach it going through the ends of the strap at the same time.

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I use the Dunlop metal ones, having found that the Schaller ones had enough friction between the two parts that the strap button screw started loosening.

A word of caution if you use the rubber washers or the rotating plastic thingys - watch out if you have an instrument with a delicate finish.  I used these on a Tokai 335 copy, with a leather strap, and it pushed the strap quite hard against the guitar.  I now have a load of scratches where the strap has rotated around the button a bit.  Fortunately it's the neck strap button which is on the rear of the guitar so it doesn't show, but annoying nonetheless.

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3 hours ago, Skybone said:

Been using the Schaller strap locks for years with no problems. Tried the Dunlop locks many years ago, but found them to be a real faff to install (especially the circlips), and a similar faff to use.

Though saying that, I'm dubious of the new Schaller S Locks, mainly because of the fact that the strap button is now combined with the screw, instead of the old style separate strap button & screw. What if you need a longer screw? What if the existing strap button screw is bigger than the S Lock's? What if the S Lock screw is bigger than the existing screw & needs the hole to be enlarged?

Agree with all of the above!  Whenever possible I re-use the screw from the original button.  If I have to use the screw supplied with the Schallers (usually because the head of the original is too big) and the hole in the bass is oversize, I plug it with a large  (kebab-style) cocktail stick.  Just dip the sharp end into wood glue, push firmly into hole, trim overhang off when set, and re-drill smaller hole.

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4 hours ago, Skybone said:

What if you need a longer screw? What if the existing strap button screw is bigger than the S Lock's? What if the S Lock screw is bigger than the existing screw & needs the hole to be enlarged?

The Schaller website says the S Locks are compatible with older iterations of Schaller strap locks.

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Well as Alan built the bass with Schallers it seems daft not to continue so I’ve ordered Schaller S Locks, we Schaller see.

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1 hour ago, Frank Blank said:

The Schaller website says the S Locks are compatible with older iterations of Schaller strap locks.

Just seems like a bit of a daft move by them to go from a separate strap button / screw arrangement to a single piece strap button & screw.

The new knurled nut with the locking grub screw is a good idea though.

Thing is, the new S Locks are a fair bit more expensive than the old style ones.

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2 hours ago, Gottastopbuyinggear said:

I use the Dunlop metal ones, having found that the Schaller ones had enough friction between the two parts that the strap button screw started loosening.

A word of caution if you use the rubber washers or the rotating plastic thingys - watch out if you have an instrument with a delicate finish.  I used these on a Tokai 335 copy, with a leather strap, and it pushed the strap quite hard against the guitar.  I now have a load of scratches where the strap has rotated around the button a bit.  Fortunately it's the neck strap button which is on the rear of the guitar so it doesn't show, but annoying nonetheless.

Also, if the rubber washer is very tight it can conspire with the strap to wiggle the screw loose after multiple puttings- on and takings- off. Result: unhappiness.

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I use a number of solutions, depending on which bass I’m using:
 

Grolsch rubber washers (and Fender Strap Blocks, which are basically the same thing) work great if you want a cheap and very reliable solution, and if you don’t need to take the strap on and off your bass regularly. They require zero modification to your bass or your strap.

The Comfort Strapp basically has a strap locking effect due to its double fastening ends, however if you don’t like the feel of the strap itself then you’re out of luck. Personally I really like them.

I also have Dunlop Dual Design straplocks on both of my Dingwall’s (factory fitted as standard) which are excellent as they look like and function as normal strap pins, compatible with any ordinary strap, but if you want the extra strap locking functionality then you just add the appropriate pieces to your strap of choice. I’m currently using this on a theatre gig where taking the bass off over my head isn’t an option. Seems to be working fine thus far, and I’m about 30 performances in to a 92 show run. 

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Just received the Schallers, what difference, even on a brand new (so still quite rigid) strap. Lovely satisfying secure click as they go in place, difficult to explain really, it just feels really... secure, only word I can think of really.

@Reggaebass, I 100% recommend these.

Edited by Frank Blank
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Rubber washers for me on almost all my guitars and basses. I leave the strap attached to the instrument when I put it in a case.

The only guitar where this was a problem at all was my MIJ Gretsch Duo Jet, where the strap tended to make the knurled buttons work loose. I fitted a split ring washer and a normal washer to stand the buttons away from the guitar body and that allowed the strap to rotate freely without binding on the buttons - sorted.

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1 hour ago, Reggaebass said:

Just watched the video, they are great, 👍

+1!!  Seems that you can buy the one-piece pins separately as you could with the old design.  This means that, if you are swapping one strap between instruments - you only have to buy one complete set plus extra pins.  I use and like the original Schallers but this is definitely an improvement in several respects.

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I use all varieties of s'locks...have just fitted the new S ( to ACG Finn), all good great design easy on/off...thx guy's for raising awareness 

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2 hours ago, scrumpymike said:

+1!!  Seems that you can buy the one-piece pins separately as you could with the old design.  This means that, if you are swapping one strap between instruments - you only have to buy one complete set plus extra pins.  I use and like the original Schallers but this is definitely an improvement in several respects.

I like the look of these and the improvements seem perfect.  But all my bass straps are configured differently so that each bass sits the same therefore I'd need one set per bass/strap as all the basses/straps are different lengths.  If you swap between fretless/fretted or 5 string versions of the same then this is ideal.

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On 18/12/2019 at 21:37, Frank Blank said:

Little did I think Grolsch would be beating Dunlop and Schaller!

They are basically a brilliant solution and my fave. 
I like Dunlops too, they are simple to use and you can trust them staying together, they can sometimes be a bit of a pain to fit together but once they are on they are on. 
Schaller I've not enjoyed so much, while the the Dunlops are lightweight, wide and fairly flat, the Schaller's extend out more and are heavier, I've had them swing about and whack into the finish of the bass... my main problem has been the nut works it's way loose- and when that happens it's worse than a strap coming off as it's less expected and more sudden. The new design looks to have addressed that flaw though.
But Grolsch - or any other bottle with a swing top will work. Posh lemonade should work too.

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4 hours ago, Passinwind said:

I use a wide variety of solutions. Just recently bought a set of these D'Addario ones, which I like a lot so far: https://www.amazon.com/DAddario-Accessories-Guitar-Strap-PW-DLC-01/dp/B073WNCLLF

The Grolsch or hardware store fender washers are my least favorite, I've seen them pop off way too often.

That's a neat idea - like the simplicity.  Only negative I can think of is that, assuming they just clip over the button on the outside of the strap, they won't stop a heavy bass from stretching the hole in the strap.

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