Another temporary COVID casualty is the production of Sloane bass tuning gears, considered the best available by many people. I am confident that production will eventually resume, but it was difficult to snag this set of Venetian-style tuners for a Jay Haide bass Ben set up in the shop. The gearing ratio is an ultra-fine 50:1 and the tension of the mechanism can be adjusted so that each tuner has the same feel, independent of string diameter or tension.
These gears are expensive, but you get the feeling that this is one of those products where the designer decided to make the best thing he could and then charge what was needed. Every bass player knows the frustration of a tuning gear that isn’t working, or squeaks, or rattles. These are absolutely solid and are a joy to use. Maybe they aren’t expensive after all?
Note on the photo: the gears are reflecting the pattern off of the acoustical panel on the wall – the finish is polished brass.