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Want to replace the tuner buttons (Grover Rotomatic Tuners) on a 2019 Gibson J45


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I'm interested in replacing the tuner buttons on the Grover Rotomatics that came stock on my 2019 J45, both for appearance and to lighten the weight at the headstock. I'm not up for doing a full replacement of the tuners themselves, just interested in replacing the buttons/knobs. I understand the weight savings will be minimal if I just replace the buttons.

Can anyone recommend a website that sells replacements, preferably in white/cream/ivoroid, or maybe tortoise colored that just requires unscrewing the stock metal ones and screwing on the replacements?  I don't mind spending a bit extra for better quality if there are in fact differences between what's available for purchase. Thanks

Edited by shekie777
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If you only go for new knobs they will have to feature a screw in the top. You probably figured that. I replaced one of mine with a gold version that way.                                                                                                                                                  It's okay, but if you aim for classic white ovals, better change the whole thing - it'll be and look best.

Had rather small golden oval-replacement knobs on my D-18 for a year or so, , , till finally bein' able to buy vintage oval Waverlys -                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               ooooh, what a difference - 1 to 10, , and I never looked back. . 

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Maybe next string change on my D-35 I will get around to taking off the original closed back Grover's and install the open back ones I have had sitting around since last Xmas. I know I will have to drill out about a 1/4 inch on the top of the headstock to make room for the smash in grommet thing.  And drill a little pilot hole for the second screw hole. Drills and guitars don't go together. 

I need to look and see if they sell conversion grommets and I won't have to drill. Someone must make that. Off to the Stew Mac site.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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Had the same paranoia about drills and guitars / fragile headstocks ! But after rehearsing a bit on a plain block of wood I found out it wasn't that dangerous.                                                                                                                                      Almost happened automatically. Just remember to use tape on the drill itself as a well-measured stop-point.                                                                                                                                                                                             Mark the 12 places, focus and pull the trigger - then press like a cat, , , not like dog or an asphalt-worker. .                              

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If you're talking about installing bushings in the large Grover holes to adapt "vintage" type tuners, that can be done with no drilling or reaming. Stew Mac makes a special tool for pressing them in. That's a bit too expensive for me, so when I installed bushings on my 2008 J-50, I just took a C-clamp and used a block of wood to protect the headstock. Then I slowly tightened the the clamp to press the bushing into place, very easy and it worked perfectly.. If you're going to re-drill the holes, be careful not to make them too large or the bushing will be loose. It's supposed to fit tightly into the hole.

https://www.stewmac.com/luthier-tools-and-supplies/tools-by-job/tools-for-tuner-installation/tuner-bushing-press.html

And I agree, use a little drill in a pin-vice or something similar to drill the screw holes. It would just be SO easy to go all the way through the headstock with an electric drill!

Edited by Boyd
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7 hours ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

Maybe next string change on my D-35 I will get around to taking off the original closed back Grover's and install the open back ones I have had sitting around since last Xmas. I know I will have to drill out about a 1/4 inch on the top of the headstock to make room for the smash in grommet thing.  And drill a little pilot hole for the second screw hole. Drills and guitars don't go together. 

I need to look and see if they sell conversion grommets and I won't have to drill. Someone must make that. Off to the Stew Mac site.

2 things.

On some guitars Martin 'step-drilled' the tuner holes in their headstocks, meaning the hole from the back might be larger than the hole from the front, you need to measure that and if that's the case then the push fit bushings with open gear tuners may fit without the need for 'conversion' bushings.

Secondly, sealed gear tuners like Grover Rotomatics typically require a 13/32" (10.0mm) hole in the headstock where open gear tuners like Grover Sta-Tites use a smaller 11/32" (8.75mm) hole - therefore, usually going from sealed gear tuners to open gear tuners the existing hole is too big (unless the holes were step-drilled as mentioned above) In this case you can use a set of conversion bushings from Stewmac.

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13 hours ago, Brucebubs said:

2 things.

On some guitars Martin 'step-drilled' the tuner holes in their headstocks, meaning the hole from the back might be larger than the hole from the front, you need to measure that and if that's the case then the push fit bushings with open gear tuners may fit without the need for 'conversion' bushings.

Secondly, sealed gear tuners like Grover Rotomatics typically require a 13/32" (10.0mm) hole in the headstock where open gear tuners like Grover Sta-Tites use a smaller 11/32" (8.75mm) hole - therefore, usually going from sealed gear tuners to open gear tuners the existing hole is too big (unless the holes were step-drilled as mentioned above) In this case you can use a set of conversion bushings from Stewmac.

I changed the closed back Grovers on my 000-28 to open back and had to drill, so I am assuming I will need to do the same on my D-35. The 000 is a 2013 and the 35 is a 2015. 

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On 6/12/2021 at 2:49 PM, shekie777 said:

I'm interested in replacing the tuner buttons on the Grover Rotomatics that came stock on my 2019 J45, both for appearance and to lighten the weight at the headstock. I'm not up for doing a full replacement of the tuners themselves, just interested in replacing the buttons/knobs. I understand the weight savings will be minimal if I just replace the buttons.

Can anyone recommend a website that sells replacements, preferably in white/cream/ivoroid, or maybe tortoise colored that just requires unscrewing the stock metal ones and screwing on the replacements?  I don't mind spending a bit extra for better quality if there are in fact differences between what's available for purchase. Thanks

You can find some good quality buttons here --

https://www.allparts.com/products/tk-7724-large-button-set-for-grover-tuners?_pos=7&_sid=59816fb20&_ss=r

Some people at another guitar forum claim that these were made in Germany. 

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I changed the Kluson tuners on my J-50 to some Grovers I had laying around, (the old Kluson's were binding up and made it hard for me to turn the guitar with my arthritis.

I had my luthier do it....it did require some reaming out of the mounting holes....but the guitar is a 1975 model, so it doesn't have a lot of value.

I'm very happy with the final results.

 

May be an image of guitar and indoor
 
 
 
May be an image of guitar
 
 
 
 
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I do this on all guitars with those ugly and heavy Grovers.

I would buy:

1) These: https://www.stewmac.com/waverly/waverly-guitar-tuners-with-ivoroid-knobs-for-solid-pegheads.html

2) Or these: https://www.stewmac.com/parts-and-hardware/tuning-machines/solid-peghead-guitar-tuning-machines/kluson-3-on-a-plate-deluxe-series-tuning-machines.html

Your J-45 headstock will have a smaller hole for each machine post. The Waverly set requires the hole to be enlarged to 8.73mm and the Klusons an 8.8mm hole. It is indeed quite easy (I do it and I am not a guitar tech by any stretch). Should you take it up yourself, you will need this: https://www.homedepot.com/p/General-Tools-1-8-in-to-1-2-in-3-175-mm-to-12-7-mm-T-Handle-Reamer-130/309489883

Lastly, try to avoid the over-priced Stew Mac, and CHEERS TO YOU for being afraid to get rid of those stupid-arse muchroom tuners!   🍻

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Replacing the tuner buttons and leaving the rest of the Rotomatic tuner on there really isn't going to give you much benefit. If you really want to do it for weight savings just ditch them altogether and install a set of 3 0n a plate Kluson Deluxes. It's not a tough job to swap them out, the original screw holes are completely covered and you wont ever know that the Rotomatics were ever on there. Next, pull out the stock LR Bags UST pickup and battery and with both of those changes you'll have shaved off a little over 1/2 pound. 

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On 6/12/2021 at 6:49 AM, shekie777 said:

I'm interested in replacing the tuner buttons on the Grover Rotomatics that came stock on my 2019 J45, both for appearance and to lighten the weight at the headstock. I'm not up for doing a full replacement of the tuners themselves, just interested in replacing the buttons/knobs. I understand the weight savings will be minimal if I just replace the buttons.

Can anyone recommend a website that sells replacements, preferably in white/cream/ivoroid, or maybe tortoise colored that just requires unscrewing the stock metal ones and screwing on the replacements?  I don't mind spending a bit extra for better quality if there are in fact differences between what's available for purchase. Thanks

How much you want for the old Rotomatics?  

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