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Charly J

Epiphone ET-275 DIY repairs

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I have an old ET-275 that has a couple of bad tuners/pegs that need to be replaced. I've browsed allparts.com for replacements, but haven't been able to find any that match the style for under ~$40. The other concern I have is that the screw holes are diagonal and I want to be 100% certain that whatever I purchase will fit the pre-existing holes. Any recommendations would be much appreciated. If I have to pay more for similarly styled parts that fit, so be it. Thanks.

 

I should also note that the purported sales guy at Guitar Center is the one who directed me to Allparts.

 

Backstory: this guitar was purchased by my high school in the early 70s for use by the high school band. I started school there in 1980 and don't recall it ever being played, though it was always an object of curiosity for students. It was purchased by my parents at a school auction in 2005. I honestly believe that when I plugged it in last weekend, it was the first time it had been played in 40 years. It didn't work at first - I had to bend the connection on the jack a little to get any sound out of it, which might be the reason it hadn't been played. As you can imagine, after 40+ years of handling by teenagers, it is pretty beat up and probably not worth much so I don't want to invest too much cash into it. It sounds and feels great though, so I may change my mind about this in the future.

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That 'style' of machine head is available in the UK for less than the equivalent of $17.00. They are 'budget' or 'economy' tuners. The problem is that the fixing holes are reversed, so new holes would need to be drilled anyway. Allparts in the UK is not that great (IMO) but I did look on their site and theirs also have the fixing holes reversed. I looked at the $40.00 ones on the Allparts USA site (I assume you're looking at the Gotoh tuners) and their fixings are the reverse of what you need as well.

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Thank you both for the suggestions. I did find this set of Proline, which are diagonal and reasonably similar in style. Any idea if they will fit without redrilling any holes?

As there's absolutely no information for those tuners, even if I had the guitar in my hands it would be hard to say whether the screw holes will match up or what size hole you'd need for the shaft of the tuner. The UK price is shown at £29.88 and there's no way I'd pay almost £30.00 for them anyway.

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Charly,

a good friend of mine has an Epiphone ET-275. It's his only electric guitar so I'm quite familiar with this model. I can understand your not wanting to go to the trouble of drilling new holes in the headstock. The type of tuners that were originally installed on your Epi are an economy type, prone to eventual malfunction. I've had many guitars with this type of tuner. After hearing my story you may reconsider. Some years ago I came across a couple of sets of Gibson Vintage Deluxe tuners (Kluson style) for a song. Had a Samick SG that I'd always had problems with tuner-wise.,i.e. wouldn't stay in tune, so I planned to switch them out. I was given a lot of help by the late Greg Fitts, known here as Animalfarm, in terms of installation. I didn't have to drill new holes for the tuner screws but did have to enlarge the holes in the headstock as the original tuner posts were 8mm, standard Asian measurement and the new tuners were 10mm, US measurement. I used a hand reamer (very slowly) and everything worked fine. After they were installed and the guitar restrung I was delighted to find a change had occurred. There seemed to be more volume, more sustain, more clarity of tone. I consulted Animalfarm and his response was:

 

Sounds like simple Mechanics/Physics to me:

 

1. Your ORIGINAL Tuners were held onto bottom of Headstock by screw(s),

then the shaft passed upwards thru a BUSHING in order to keep it Vertical.

The only purpose of the screw(s) was to keep Tuner Body from rotating, and

from falling out when string removed. The Bushing didn't "anchor" squat to the

Headstock, just made shaft vertical and "free-floating".

 

2. NEW TUNERS: Has two screws to keep Tuner body from rotating/falling out, BUT

NOW the Threaded Bushing on Top has allowed you to Mechanically tighten the Tuner

onto the Headstock, literally making it part of the Guitar. No more "Free-Floating",

that sucker is now ANCHORED DOWN.

 

Think of the OTHER end of the strings - The TAILPIECE. A good, solid, well "anchored"

Tailpiece improves Tonal Response. A poorly anchored/wobbly Tailpiece will result in

tonal charactistics resembling the doo-doo of the Dog. Yes?

 

You now have a GOOD "Anchor" on BOTH ends of the Strings! [thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

(BTW, bet your git is easier to Intonate now!)

 

I was really pleased with this result. The SG seemed like a new guitar. I've replaced tuners such as the ones on your Epi with similar new tuner sets, those with screw in threaded bushings as opposed to push in (the type currently on your guitar). Guitarfetish offers some sets of this type for $25.95-$27.95. The Gotoh or Grover type (part # E44 or part # E18). If you installed this type of tuner you would have to make modifications, i.e., possibly enlarging the tuner post hole in the headstock and drilling new holes in the back for screws (existing leftover holes can be plugged with rounded toothpicks shaved off level with a razor blade). I've done this five times and believe me, I'm no luthier. It's really not that difficult at all. But the improvement it makes in tone is well worth it. Every guitar I've done this to sounds much better than it did originally. I've even intended to switch out pickups on some guitars and after making this mod it isn't necessary. I've mentioned this mod to my friend with the ET-275 Epi. His tuners aren't currently giving him any problems and he doesn't play much nowadays so I haven't switched them out for him, though I've offered. You may want to look into this and give it some consideration. As I said, Guitarfetish's tuners aren't expensive and I can vouch for their quality. Hope this helps.

 

John

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Charly,

a good friend of mine has an Epiphone ET-275. It's his only electric guitar so I'm quite familiar with this model. I can understand your not wanting to go to the trouble of drilling new holes in the headstock. The type of tuners that were originally installed on your Epi are an economy type, prone to eventual malfunction. I've had many guitars with this type of tuner. After hearing my story you may reconsider. Some years ago I came across a couple of sets of Gibson Vintage Deluxe tuners (Kluson style) for a song. Had a Samick SG that I'd always had problems with tuner-wise.,i.e. wouldn't stay in tune, so I planned to switch them out. I was given a lot of help by the late Greg Fitts, known here as Animalfarm, in terms of installation. I didn't have to drill new holes for the tuner screws but did have to enlarge the holes in the headstock as the original tuner posts were 8mm, standard Asian measurement and the new tuners were 10mm, US measurement. I used a hand reamer (very slowly) and everything worked fine. After they were installed and the guitar restrung I was delighted to find a change had occurred. There seemed to be more volume, more sustain, more clarity of tone. I consulted Animalfarm and his response was:

 

Sounds like simple Mechanics/Physics to me:

 

1. Your ORIGINAL Tuners were held onto bottom of Headstock by screw(s),

then the shaft passed upwards thru a BUSHING in order to keep it Vertical.

The only purpose of the screw(s) was to keep Tuner Body from rotating, and

from falling out when string removed. The Bushing didn't "anchor" squat to the

Headstock, just made shaft vertical and "free-floating".

 

2. NEW TUNERS: Has two screws to keep Tuner body from rotating/falling out, BUT

NOW the Threaded Bushing on Top has allowed you to Mechanically tighten the Tuner

onto the Headstock, literally making it part of the Guitar. No more "Free-Floating",

that sucker is now ANCHORED DOWN.

 

Think of the OTHER end of the strings - The TAILPIECE. A good, solid, well "anchored"

Tailpiece improves Tonal Response. A poorly anchored/wobbly Tailpiece will result in

tonal charactistics resembling the doo-doo of the Dog. Yes?

 

You now have a GOOD "Anchor" on BOTH ends of the Strings! [thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

(BTW, bet your git is easier to Intonate now!)

 

I was really pleased with this result. The SG seemed like a new guitar. I've replaced tuners such as the ones on your Epi with similar new tuner sets, those with screw in threaded bushings as opposed to push in (the type currently on your guitar). Guitarfetish offers some sets of this type for $25.95-$27.95. The Gotoh or Grover type (part # E44 or part # E18). If you installed this type of tuner you would have to make modifications, i.e., possibly enlarging the tuner post hole in the headstock and drilling new holes in the back for screws (existing leftover holes can be plugged with rounded toothpicks shaved off level with a razor blade). I've done this five times and believe me, I'm no luthier. It's really not that difficult at all. But the improvement it makes in tone is well worth it. Every guitar I've done this to sounds much better than it did originally. I've even intended to switch out pickups on some guitars and after making this mod it isn't necessary. I've mentioned this mod to my friend with the ET-275 Epi. His tuners aren't currently giving him any problems and he doesn't play much nowadays so I haven't switched them out for him, though I've offered. You may want to look into this and give it some consideration. As I said, Guitarfetish's tuners aren't expensive and I can vouch for their quality. Hope this helps.

 

John

Good post, this will undoubtedly help folks out when changing tuners. Well put!

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I've replaced tuners such as the ones on your Epi with similar new tuner sets, those with screw in threaded bushings as opposed to push in (the type currently on your guitar). Guitarfetish offers some sets of this type for $25.95-$27.95. The Gotoh or Grover type (part # E44 or part # E18). If you installed this type of tuner you would have to make modifications, i.e., possibly enlarging the tuner post hole in the headstock and drilling new holes in the back for screws (existing leftover holes can be plugged with rounded toothpicks shaved off level with a razor blade). I've done this five times and believe me, I'm no luthier. It's really not that difficult at all. But the improvement it makes in tone is well worth it. Every guitar I've done this to sounds much better than it did originally. I've even intended to switch out pickups on some guitars and after making this mod it isn't necessary. I've mentioned this mod to my friend with the ET-275 Epi. His tuners aren't currently giving him any problems and he doesn't play much nowadays so I haven't switched them out for him, though I've offered. You may want to look into this and give it some consideration. As I said, Guitarfetish's tuners aren't expensive and I can vouch for their quality. Hope this helps.

 

John

 

 

Awesome, thank you John! This is precisely the kind of information I was hoping for.

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