Simon’s Sire V7 bass presented the exact same problem as other models – there are no direct replacement parts for its hardware.
At a glance, you would think the machine heads are just Schaller BM copies and therefore would be easy to replace. Nope! A quick measure-up reveals that the screw holes nearest to the tuning key are nowhere near the same. The front pair of screws however do just about line up.
Note that this bass is a left handed model. Schaller’s BM machine heads come in sets of 2+2 but are reversible depending on your requirements.
Replacing the Bridge
The bridges on these basses are always going to be an issue. As detailed in a previous blog post on the Marcus Miller M2, there doesn’t seem to be anything on the market with the same mounting configuration. Your only option is to select a bridge that has a large enough footprint to cover the old mounting holes and drill new ones. The wider 20mm string spacing is easy to accommodate as most bass bridges have adjustable saddles.
In this case, Simon went for the Hipshot KickAss which has the Fender 5-hole mounting configuration. This pattern is fairly easy to drill and the new holes do not overlap with the old ones. The KickAss has a fairly large base plate which is perfect for covering those old screw holes.
The saddles are adjustable in three dimensions; height, intonation and spacing. You can adjust the spacing from a narrow 17.5mm to a wide 20mm to match the original setup.
“Finally got round to fitting my left hand Sire V7 with the Hipshot bridge and Schaller tuners. Was fairly straight forward and the tone and tuning stability have been greatly improved” – Simon
Thanks for the photos Simon!