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Epiphone Tuners Upgrade

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I was wondering if anybody out there has had any problems when trying to upgradie their Epiphone Les Paul's tuners from the stock Grover tuners to the vintage style mint green tulip shaped tuners (Gibson, Kluson, etc.) regularly seen on Gibson guitars? I am interested in putting Gibson Modern Gold Machine Heads w/Metal Buttons on my Epiphone Black Beauty and I don't want to take anything for granted assuming that Gibson specs are one in the same with Epiphone.

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I replaced my epiphone tuners with Gibson tulip tuners. I had to have my luthier do it as the holes did not match up completely.

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I am about to go through the process myself. From all my research it appears that I am going to need to widen the holes on my Epi. Most seem to use a file "reamer" that widens the holes. The other option is let mr Sam (Luthier) take it. I have heard a couple talk about using drills and sharp bits. I am going to attempt it on my cheapo junior with a file. If I break it ....while sad.... I can handle it. If it is does not come out right then when Mr. Sam gets his hands on it anyway he can straighten me out.

Short answer yes you probably are going to have to modify it.

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1462911369[/url]' post='1768459']

I replaced my epiphone tuners with Gibson tulip tuners. I had to have my luthier do it as the holes did not match up completely.

 

Thanks for the reply. I have read more than a few product reviews where people have had to alter one set of holes or the other. I will likely take the same route as you when the time comes and let a pro handle it.

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1462913786[/url]' post='1768470']

I am about to go through the process myself. From all my research it appears that I am going to need to widen the holes on my Epi. Most seem to use a file "reamer" that widens the holes. The other option is let mr Sam (Luthier) take it. I have heard a couple talk about using drills and sharp bits. I am going to attempt it on my cheapo junior with a file. If I break it ....while sad.... I can handle it. If it is does not come out right then when Mr. Sam gets his hands on it anyway he can straighten me out.

Short answer yes you probably are going to have to modify it.

 

The last time I used an electric drill on a guitar... the result wasn't pretty. R.I.P. Washburn Lyon series Strat copy (my first guitar)

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I know the current state of your tuners or what year your guitar is but in my case, 2001 G400, the tuners were awful. They become very loose and could not hold a tuning to save its life after like 5 years of heavy use. The new tuners I put on are wonderful. Night and day.

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Did this a few years ago with a Samick SG (Samick made Epiphone for a good number of years) with very good results. Had some help from the late Greg Fitts, known here as Animalfarm. I used a hand reamer to increase the size of the peg holes in the headstock. The originals were 8mm and the Gibson Vintage Deluxe tuners require a 10mm hole. I just took it very slowly and had no problems at all. Also had a very pleasing result. Here's my exchange with Greg concerning it:

 

View Postjohntrem, on 22 October 2010 - 08:34 PM, said:

...and I swear the guitar is louder. Seems to be more clarity in the tone, also.

I knew that sometimes such things happen! [scared][scared][scared]

Anyone have any comment on what I perceive as an improvement in tone?

 

 

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!)

 

Animal, did some more experimental playing this morning with the Samick SG w/Gibson tuners. Geez, what a change. I A/B'd it with my '04 Epi Les Paul Standard with Grovers and I swear the SG is twice as loud as the Les Paul now.More clarity and sustain. Prior to the tuner switch, the SG was a little grittier sounding than the Les Paul. The Les Paul was more polite sounding, but now the difference is quite stark. The SG is a '96 Artist Series Edition. I had always given some thought to switching out the pickups, only because they are stock and everyone switches out the stock pups, but the SG seems much more "alive" now. I doubt if I'll do the switch.

 

Also this comment from amx05462:more mass = more ststain and more volume. all you had before was a tuner in a bushing. the newer ones most likely solidly contact the wood all the way through the headstock transfering more sound back through the wood.. same thing from the other end when i added a lyre vibrato to my sg.

 

If I can do this switchout without a problem I'm sure you can, also.

 

John

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just upgraded the tuners on my 339 P90 Pro. the new tuners (Wilkinson Locking tuners) were larger than the stock holes so I bought a hand held reamer from Stewart MacDonald (luther supplies) and it was a quick (1.5 hours)and easy install anyone can do and cheaper than taking it to a Pro to do ($10 per tuner + wait time). EM

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I just added wilkinson locking tuners to my Epi LP Jr.. I will not recommend the path I took. It was a cheap guitar, and I had very little time that Day. I was way impatient. That combo usually brings lessons learned and maybe some heartbreak. I used a sharp 3/8 drill bit and some clamps for pressure and a lot of prayer. I made it through, but would do a reamer and some patience if it was more than a 50 dollar guitar. If I tried it again I would prob get a pile of broken pieces.

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The Stewart-Mac reamer produced a perfectly centered hole in a short time -- it's not cheap ($58) and it wasn't quite large enough so look at the tuner shaft size when buying one you might need the large size ---- me I've worked as a carpenter for many years in the past and the finish reaming was no issue and I plan on 1 or 3 other Epiphone tuner upgrades so I've saved a bunch of $$$ buying this tool -- PS the tuner mounting holes to keep the tuners straight - buy the smallest drill bit you can find and pre-drill the screw holes and don't drill all the way through the guitar head

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I wouldn't put a tulip in my window, I sure won't put one on my guitar.

 

Seriously though, what's wrong with Grovers? I find if you properly stretch your strings and make sure nothing's loose at the bridge, they're great. IMHO.

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I wouldn't put a tulip in my window, I sure won't put one on my guitar.

 

Seriously though, what's wrong with Grovers? I find if you properly stretch your strings and make sure nothing's loose at the bridge, they're great. IMHO.

 

Nothing wrong with the stock Grovers, never have had any problems with any of the Grover tuners I have had. My desire for the vintage "tulip" style tuning keys is purely for aesthetic reasons. Yesterday, I was happy to learn that Grover offers said style while I was drooling over some 2016 Gibson Les Paul '50s Tribute Gold Tops online.

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I have one Epi Studio with the stock Grover tuners. They work, and look great. I just got an Epi Junior. I changed the "Epi" tuners to the Wilkinson. I was happy that my first had stock Grovers. They have performed well so far.

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James: gotcha.

 

The 50s Tributes... Played one? I'm sure some people like that baseball bat neck. Cured my GAS in three seconds flat ;)

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James: gotcha.

 

The 50s Tributes... Played one? I'm sure some people like that baseball bat neck. Cured my GAS in three seconds flat ;)

 

Yes, I finally had the opportunity to test drive a 50s Tribute this past weekend. Though a fine piece of Gibson craftsmanship, I have to admit I was a bit disappointed with the overall finish and the feel of the neck. The company may have been able to cut costs by applying less coats of nitrocellulose but it leaves the guitar with a matte finish rather that a high gloss finish which I prefer. Likewise, the neck felt very different due to less coats of lacquer being used. The profile was okay but I did not like feeling numerous partially exposed grooves in the wood all along the neck. I compared the 50s Tribute to an Epiphone Les Paul Standard since I used to own one (now own a custom) and found that the Epiphone neck felt bigger even though it was labeled as having a 60 s profile slim taper.

 

I tried out a number of Gibson Les Pauls from a Special to a Standard with a couple of Studios in between for good measure while cross referencing them in comparison to an Epiphone Les Paul Standard. When it was all said and done I found that I still prefer the Epiphone Les Paul (Custom) Black Beauty 3 that I currently own over any of the Gibson Les Pauls I tried out that day as far as appearance, performance, playability, and overall feel. Don't get me wrong, I still want a Gibson Les Paul, either a drop dead gorgeous Studio or a Standard Gold Top (or equivalent). I'm just trying to narrow down the features and specifications that I like and don't like in preparation of that special day when it comes.

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OK; I've got a follow-up question (and I do apologise if I've managed to gloss over it completely where it's mentioned in this post).

 

If you've got an Epi with vintage / Kluson / Gibson deluxe tuners, basically ones that look like this:

kluson_noshaft_1_wm.jpg

 

 

When they are of this particular styling; are the measurements the same brand to brand?

 

So if I have an Epi with this style and I want to put the Gotoh equivalent; will there be any alignment issues? Noob question, I know.

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Trying to change out tuners on Epiphone Les Paul. How do you remove existing metal ports stuck into holes after tuning machine is removed? Thanks for your help. 

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12 hours ago, anotherspec said:

Trying to change out tuners on Epiphone Les Paul. How do you remove existing metal ports stuck into holes after tuning machine is removed? Thanks for your help. 

Try inserting a standard sized crosstip screwdriver into the bushing, wobbling and rotating slowly, continuing as you see it start to move and it will come out easily.

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