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I use those polo mint shaped bits of silicon/rubber to keep my straps on but the strap buttons on my latest bass are a bit too small and the silicon rings fall off too easily.  So I thought I would invest in some proper strap locks.  Ebay has the usual selection of no name Chinese stuff but the established shops seem to mainly stock Schaller and Dunlop strap locks.  

 

Does anyone have particular preferences for strap locks?  And why?  I don't really care about the price and I would rather spend a bit more to ensure my bass isn't going to drop to the floor all of a sudden, mid-song.

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All of my basses are fitted with Dunlop strap locks, I did try the rubber retainers but found them tricky to get on/off until they got so easy they just fell off. I also tried the the Schaller but found them a little more difficult than the Dunlops to use. 

You can buy just the strap button part of Dunlops (and probably Schallers) from suppliers like All Parts - otherwise you are paying for the full kit for every bass you own - pointless unless you have a different strap for each one.

 

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Everyone will be recommending their own favourites.

 

Don't bother with the knock-off get properly branded Dunlops or Schallers.

 

I've used both (and my preference is for the Schallers) and they each have their strengths and weaknesses.

 

The Schallers need to be fitted properly otherwise you will encounter problems. That means enlarging the hole in the strap to accommodate the the lock part of the mechanism, and that the button sits in the base of the cup when the bass is hanging from the strap and not the open end, and then that you tighten everything up securely.

 

The Dunlops are such more forgiving about their installation. However the pin/spring part of the mechanism needs regular maintenance/lubrication otherwise it will eventually fail (like mine did). If you buy the Dunlop locks as spare parts they may come with that information. However the bass I had them on came with them ready-fitted and no information regarding maintenance which is which I treated them like the Schallers (fit and forget) and they eventually broke.

 

Take your pick...

 

BTW unless all your basses are exactly the same design, you will need different strap lengths for each one; so you loose one of the advantages of having an easily removable strap system.

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I've used Schallers, knock-offs and the BC strap retainers (like Grolsch bottle seals). The rubber ones are great but a sod to use if you change straps - I found the easiest way is just to unscrew the strap button rather than wrestle with getting them on and off. Leave them in the sun first before trying to put them on though!

 

The Schaller knock-offs are frustrating as the sizes are just slightly different and don't fit actual Schaller buttons. I have a tub full of different parts, none of which fit each other and are completely useless. 

 

I bought some new Schallers recently, and they're way better than the old ones - they use a thick knurled lock nut rather than the thin nut of before, meaning you can torque it right up more easily, and there's a slot to add in a hex key to use as leverage when tightening. They also have locking grub screws which eliminates the occasional nut loosening of the old ones. 

 

Highly recommended. 

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TBH I found the new design of Schaller strap locks harder to fit mostly because I already have all the appropriate tools for fitting the old ones (a mole grip for holding the "cup" and a spanner of the correct size to tighten the nut). I didn't feel I was able to get the new design as tight because I worried that the allen key used to turn the retaining "nut" would snap before I had achieved the same tightness I could get under the old method (and which has never failed me), which pretty much renders the locking grub screw useless.

 

Also the strap button with the built-in screw makes the new design useless for fitting to instruments not made of wood.

 

I have raised both these points with Schaller technical support, but I they pretty much told me that's how things are from now on, I'm too much in the minority to be concerned with.

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1 hour ago, BigRedX said:

Everyone will be recommending their own favourites.

 

Don't bother with the knock-off get properly branded Dunlops or Schallers.

 

I've used both (and my preference is for the Schallers) and they each have their strengths and weaknesses.

 

The Schallers need to be fitted properly otherwise you will encounter problems. That means enlarging the hole in the strap to accommodate the the lock part of the mechanism, and that the button sits in the base of the cup when the bass is hanging from the strap and not the open end, and then that you tighten everything up securely

defo don't get knock offs, totally agree!

 

My choice is schaller too, never let me down, although I do regularly check that the screw in the body are still tight on my oldest sets before the hex key ones that seem solid as rock!

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Thanks for the tips everyone.  I have ordered a couple of sets of chrome Schallers from Strings Direct (they didn't have Dunlops in chrome, or I would have got one of each).

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7 hours ago, BillyBass said:

I use those polo mint shaped bits of silicon/rubber to keep my straps on but the strap buttons on my latest bass are a bit too small and the silicon rings fall off too easily. 

 

Do you need to take the strap off after every gig? If you leave the strap on maybe the rubber won't wear. You could replace the small strap buttons with the larger buttons. Maybe the rubber rings wouldn't fall off then.

 

I have Dunlops on all my basses. Been using them since the 90's with no issues.

 

Allparts strap locks are rebadged Dunlops at a better price. I also have a set of these.

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Depends on the strap and the case you put it it.

 

Straps with hard parts (especially metal) have a tendency to damage the instrument.

 

Ironically straps fitted with Schaller Straplocks will sometimes make the instrument too long to fit in a hard case necessitating their removal!

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I have a strap for each bass which only come off if the bass goes into a case—ie stays attached when in a gigbag or hanging on the wall. I use the rubber grolsch thingys but on some basses I have also replaced the strap buttons with oversized 'mushroom' strap buttons which help add a little more security. I used schallers briefly in the 80s but after my Fender precision hit the deck and suffered damage I've not tried them since.

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I use Schaller strap locks. Had an issue with one set of the S type as the hex head on the strap buttons seemed slightly oversize and one allen key (probably slightly undersize though I'd not had any problems with it before) turned in the head without moving it . Another allen key was able to tighten it, though it was still a somewhat sloppy fit.

 

Boston make Schaller clones which are the correct size. The advantage of genuine Schallers is that they have a ramp on the peg that engages in the button, so you just click them on. The Bostons don't have that ramp, so you need to pull the knob out to get the straplock fully engaged.

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At a gig our singer/guitarists strap button came out mid-song, someone rushed over with a replacement Les Paul for him but due to his strap locks he couldn’t use it so had to get his own backup from behind the stage. So I use the rubber washer type things, work ok and hopefully similar won’t happen to me.

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16 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

At a gig our singer/guitarists strap button came out mid-song. . . .

 

Our guitarist had the same thing happen (the strap lock came apart in the middle of a song) 3 gigs in a row. He was using Schallers!!

 

Use anything, even a mile of gaffer tape, just beware of Schaller strap locks.

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Been using the old style Schaller strap locks for years. Always found them to be trusty & dependable.

 

Tried Dunlop's a few times, and never really got on with them.

 

The rubber washers seem like a good idea, seen loads of people using them and depend on them.

 

 

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The Schallers arrived and I have put them ion a couple of basses.  I'll keep the rubber washer things on three of my basses as they are red and I have a red leather strap for them.  The three basses using the blue and black straps now have the Schallers fitted.  So half and half; I'll see how I get on.

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Dunlop for me. Tried Schallers and one fell apart on me once at a gig - the little ball loosens over time and needs regular checking, whereas the Dunlops are always perfect!

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I have Dunlop’s on one guitar and I really like them. I have knock offs on a couple of guitars (they were less than £8 for two pairs) and I have had hardly any problems with them. The only problem I have actually had with them, though, is how far they stick out and them being a bit pointy. 
 

I play sitting down but not with the guitar on my lap, it hangs down between my legs, sort of in a classical style. The Warlock has a strap button on the back of the upper horn and, due to the position I play in, the strap lock really digs into my ribs/belly and hurts.

 

So, I want to ask for some advice, but if it is a bit too cheeky to use someone else’s thread I’ll start a new thread (I don’t like starting a new thread if there is already one on the same subject. I don’t know why, but it feels like a waste of paper… And I often think my questions are just too dumb for their own thread.).

 

I really like the look of the Dunlop flush fitting strap locks, I feel that they would fix my problem. The trouble is that you have to drill a 1.25” deep hole for the screw. The bass is only 1.7” thick. I know that technically it fits, but it feels a little tight. I don’t want to move the position of the strap button.
Does anyone have any opinions on whether this is a bad idea or not? Or has anyone had any experience with the flush fitting one?

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On 27/06/2022 at 16:51, chris_b said:

 

Our guitarist had the same thing happen (the strap lock came apart in the middle of a song) 3 gigs in a row. He was using Schallers!!

 

Use anything, even a mile of gaffer tape, just beware of Schaller strap locks.

 

The oldest of mine have worked perfectly for 35 years.

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