So, I started playing bass recently, plan on joining a band in all eventuality. I heard about hipshot string xtenders, and it looks like it would be handy because, as a metal player, it seems like I'd be doing some stuff in standard tuning and some in drop d. So, I have a couple questions.

-Is hipshot the only company that makes these? If there are other companies, how do theirs compare to hipshots?

-I was looking at hipshot's product list, and noticed that only a few of the models had specific bass models listed that it would fit. How can I tell which model will fit my bass?

-I saw that ebay had them for a good deal less than the manufacturer (like 60-70 ans compared to 80-90). Are there any retailers that have comparable prices?

-Final question. Are they worth it? Especially considering that I'm using a fairly cheap bass, but then again don't really know when I'm going to be upgrading.
I'm going to let somebody who is more knowledgeable answer your first three questions, but I can tell you that they're definitely worth it if you like drop D. Whenever I'm jamming, I'm finding myself in drop D more often, whether it's for cover songs or whatever. It's really helpful, way easier than just detuning and trying to retune really fast.
Unless you'll be changing tuning mid song like Manring in the vid, then just buy a tuner. It doesn't take too long to tune your bass during a gig or when you're just practicing, especially if it's just drop D. All you're doing is dropping the E to a D.
I'm not a fan of facts. You see, the facts can change, but my opinion will never change, no matter what the facts are. - Stephen Colbert

Quote by Zar938
I don't think it would be necessary, if you have some sort of tuner throughout your setup, it should take you all of about 20 seconds to tune to a drop D.

unless you plan on doing something like this: http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=aY4Ra2KOyas

That was surreal.
I <3 bangoodcharlotte

Quote by humperdunk
one time i let my cat has cheezburger. i thought it was pretty funny.
To those who say it takes 20 seconds to downtune normally. Well it might but this still disrupts the flow of the set.

It's 20 seconds of nothing happening on stage. The audience gets bored real fast and you've got to keep it moving, song after song after song.

Long pauses seperate the better bands from the weaker bands. And if you do pause make sure theres some background music ie, the intro to the next song while the frontman introduces you.

A drop d tuner means you can slip straight in in a fraction of a second, start off the next song instantaniously. If the guitarists need to drop tune normally then you are there with the backing music while the frontman entertains the crowd.

EDIT - to that Manring vid - wow.

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^Jon's right. If you're playing any kind of remotely popular music, your fans have an attention span of about 6 seconds, so those 20 or 30 seconds you take to down tune will lose them completely. You can probably find many uses for the HipShot.If I could warrant the buy I would love to give 'em a spin.
I agree that you need to keep the audience entertained, but your singer could just talk to the crowd for a few seconds while you downtune. Personally, if I were to put one on a Squier, I would save the old tuner so that if I got another instrument, I could put the detuner on it.
Thank you all for your input. I think I'm going to hold off on it for now, but I'll probably pick one up if/when I start actually playing concerts and do need to switch tunings.