Trade Secrets: Using Baker-style mechanics on a double bass


How to fit these brass pegs, gears and tuners, as used by English bass makers in times gone by

Discover more lutherie articles here

Read more premium content for subscribers here

By Stefan Krattenmacher

Double bass maker based in Ettenheim, Germany

Shortly after arriving in London, I started using copies of the old ‘Baker-style’ tuners for my basses. For me, it was inspiring to see how the English craftsmen of the 18th and 19th centuries were masters at working with brass.

Since my pegbox narrows quite a bit towards the scroll, the first three brackets with the worm gear are the same size, whereas the last one, for the A string, has a smaller worm gear. I start the fitting with the G-string tuner, because the G string has the smallest diameter of the four strings and it can run at a steeper angle from the upper saddle into the tuner’s string hole, more easily than the thicker E string…

Already subscribed? Please sign in

Subscribe to continue reading…

We’re delighted that you are enjoying our website. For a limited period, you can try an online subscription to The Strad completely free of charge.

  • Free 7-day trial

    Not sure about subscribing? Sign up now to read this article in full and you’ll also receive unlimited access to premium online content, including the digital edition and online archive for 7 days.

    No strings attached – we won’t ask for your card details

  • Subscribe 

    No more paywalls. To enjoy the best in-depth features and analysis from The Strad’s latest and past issues, upgrade to a subscription now. You’ll also enjoy regular issues and special supplements* and access to an online archive of issues back to 2010.


* Issues and supplements are available as both print and digital editions. Online subscribers will only receive access to the digital versions.