I came to the conclusion a while back that I'd really like a 5-string bass. Budgets being what they are, of course, that's not in the cards for a while. I decided the other day, however, that I could satisfy part of that jones with the addition of a Hipshot tuner to my current 4-string. It's a simple concept: you replace the tuning peg of your low E string with a Hipshot Xtender peg, and that peg has a small lever which quickly drops your E string's pitch to the one you preset. Have a song in D? Flip the lever and now your bass is tuned DADG, rather than EADG. Trust me; it's a big deal.
The snag for me is that my bass is kinda obscure. It's a 1985/86 Fender Precision Lyte Deluxe. The thing is absolutely gorgeous, but it was never produced in very large numbers, and it's over 30 years old, so details on it are hard to come by. I spent days poring over different websites and forums looking for information even about the tuning pegs' OEM or string post size--to no avail.
Just when I was getting ready to pull the trigger on what I believed was my best educated guess, I found EXACTLY what I needed on reverb.com. About a year ago someone sold the same kind of bass I have. They had already replaced their E tuner with a Hipshot, so they decided to include the original tuning peg with the bass as part of the package. Here's the best part: they included a photo of that original tuner, which they placed inside the Hipshot retail package, and that package includes a clearly legible model number. WOO-HOO! That was precisely what I needed.
Yesterday I ordered a brand new Hipshot GB-7 Xtender tuning gear in gold. It's due to arrive in about a week. I'll keep you posted!