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RASHARU

another tuner question ...

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My guitar currently has the large Grover Rotomatics which seem to work perfectly & hold tune really well. I'd prefer to have the Gibson Deluxe/Kluson Keystone (waffleback) type but I've heard that they're terribly un-reliable. Is there any truth to that? Do they hold tune OK? Do the plastic buttons ever just "snap off"? I'd be using the newer threaded bushing type, not the vintage press-in style. #PMMH-010. Just seeking wisdom .. THANKS!

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My guitar currently has the large Grover Rotomatics which seem to work perfectly & hold tune really well. I'd prefer to have the Gibson Deluxe/Kluson Keystone (waffleback) type but I've heard that they're terribly un-reliable. Is there any truth to that? Do they hold tune OK? Do the plastic buttons ever just "snap off"? I'd be using the newer threaded bushing type, not the vintage press-in style. #PMMH-010. Just seeking wisdom .. THANKS!

 

Yes, the Gibson Deluxe/Klusons have a bed reputation. I had one on my J-200 puke its junks out on me. Gotoh makes nice Kluson replacements but they are not threaded and require the vintage press-in bushing. I am using the Gotoh's on my J-200 now and they work wonderfully.

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Not wanting to hi-jack this thread......but does it bother any of you guys that the holes don't match up with replacement tuners, and you may see some holes in the back of your headstock? Just an aesthetic thing for me......I have those Grovers on my J-30, and Guild F48MCE, and they work flawlessly. I have heard that they are heavy, and some guys like the lightest guitar possible, but my luthier friend says that extra mass on the headstock is NOT a bad thing, and that it may actually improve the tone.......just a thought...

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It does bother me but if it must be done to improve the playability of the guitar it must be done. A good luthier can fill the holes where they are difficult to see so its not that big of a deal. However, in my case the Gotoh Kluson replacements match the holes for the original Gibson Deluxe Klusons perfectly. I made the change with no drilling required, just a bushing change and some finish touchup where the old washers used to be.

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I made the change with no drilling required, just a bushing change and some finish touchup where the old washers used to be.

Was this particular Gotoh Kluson set not available with the newer style threaded bushings? I assume you had to switch to the much smaller diameter press-fit type. Yes, I understand that many of these after-market tuner sets are WAY better than the original equipment Gibson Deluxe .. but wouldn't it hurt the value/originality of your guitar? Just asking, that's all.

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Was this particular Gotoh Kluson set not available with the newer style threaded bushings? I assume you had to switch to the much smaller diameter press-fit type. Yes, I understand that many of these after-market tuner sets are WAY better than the original equipment Gibson Deluxe .. but wouldn't it hurt the value/originality of your guitar? Just asking, that's all.

 

As far as I know they aren't available in a threaded bushing. As far as value, on a modern guitar it won't matter much. On a vintage guitar, it hurts value a little but if a tuner breaks it must be replaced plain and simple. It hurts the value more if the guitar isn't playable. If you follow the vintage market, the difference between guitars of the same year and relative condition with original vs period correct replacement tuners is negligible at best. My 1990 J-200 is old but not a vintage guitar. My guitars get played and are not meant to be museum pieces. Thus, if the original tuners can't be trusted to work, they must be replaced. To be honest, in the case of Gibson Deluxe Klusons I would probably remove them right away anyway because they are total crap. My 1957 LG-1 still uses the original tuners but if they ever break I will replacement them with exact repros.

 

Quite frankly, if a potential buyer ever wanted to pay less for a guitar I owned made in the less 20 years because the tuners weren't original I would tell them to shove it up their ***. Its just an excuse to get a cheaper price. On vintage stuff, maybe but again tuners are necessary items for a guitar to work properly. The guitar is worth less if its unplayable with broken tuners. As long as you put period correct replacements on I don't think it matters that much. Plus, what are you going to do, stare at your guitar and think "I wish I could play it but the tuners are broken and I don't want to make it non-original." I am not a fan of changing tuners to a non-original style, like Grover Rotomatics on a pre-War Martin. In that case, I would pay less for a guitar and take off the Grovers for some period correct Waverlys. The idea that modern mass produced guitars will be "vintage" one day and worth as much as current guitars considered "vintage" is crazy because the production numbers of a J-200 today is at least 5 times greater than it was in 1950. Plus, the modern guitars will always to compared to the golden era models while being less rare and less desired. Simple supply and demand at work.

 

Bottom line for me: Don't jump run out and change tuners just because you feel like it but if they suck and/or break on you, then you have to do something.

 

Sorry if I have strong opinions about this but some people are just crazy about keeping their 3 year old J-45 all original. It really is insane. If it breaks, fix it

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You can get TonePros Kluson tuners that look exactly like the old Kluson Deluxe tuners, but have a bolt busing so they are almost a drop-in replacement for Grover Rotomatics. (You do have to drill a small pilot hole for the top mounting screw for the TonePros Kluson tuners, the bottom screw goes goes into the existing Grover screw socket.)

 

See them at http://www.toneproskluson.com, and the specific model to do the drop-in replacement for Rotomatics is the TPKB3.

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Sorry if I have strong opinions about this but some people are just crazy about keeping their 3 year old J-45 all original. It really is insane. If it breaks, fix it

No, quite the contrary Mr. Fender .. I appreciate your opinion. I just don't see my 3 year old J-45 as a normal "run of the mill" production model. To my understanding, Gibby only plans to make about (10) of these a year & they even stopped that a couple of years ago. (that's just what I've been told, no scientific facts to support it!) I believe that if kept well preserved it could be worth a little more $$$ someday. With my particular guitar it's kinda hard to say.

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No, quite the contrary Mr. Fender .. I appreciate your opinion. I just don't see my 3 year old J-45 as a normal "run of the mill" production model. To my understanding, Gibby only plans to make about (10) of these a year & they even stopped that a couple of years ago. (that's just what I've been told, no scientific facts to support it!) I believe that if kept well preserved it could be worth a little more $$$ someday. With my particular guitar it's kinda hard to say.

 

I am laughing a little because I used a "3 year old" J-45 as an arbitrary example. I didn't bother looking at your signature. There will definitely be some exceptions as to future value. Your J-45 could be one of those. However, Gibson makes so many limited production models with minor changes that I think it will ultimately hurt all there valued as a "custom" or "limited" model. I think small shop guitars from shops like Santa Cruz, Collings, etc and luthiers like Olson, Henderson, etc will be the guitars that 40 years from now will really be desired and valued.

 

Back to the topic at hand, I have no idea what tuners are on your J-45 but if one broke I am sure you would replace it. Its just part of a guitars history and travels through life. If the whole set became unreliable, you would probably pick a better set of tuners that were period correct and required the least amount of work to install them. In my case, that was my approach. My J-200 looks exactly the same as before, just better, more reliable tuners. The biggest change was the front of the peghead which it turns out was a major visual improvement for me. Since the new tuners use the smaller vintage style bushing I can no longer use the larger flat washers used with thread bushings. After doing it, I think the peghead looks so much better. Now, when I see those huge washers, I think it looks ugly.

 

Previous peghead with old tuners:

GibsonJ-2002.jpg

 

New tuners

DSCF1553.jpg

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