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jasper1523

swapping tuners on a 335

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Hey guys, I have a question about swapping out the tuners on a 2011 335. The guitar came stock from the factory with the normal grover rotomatic tuners but I personally prefer the look of the keystone tulip pearloid style tuners that came stock on 335's from the 60's. How hard is it to switch to the keystone style from rotomatics? I know that the rotomatics have 1 screw hole and the keystone style has 2 but I have heard that it isn’t necessary mandatory that you drill a hole for the extra screw because 1 is strong enough to hold it. If possible I prefer not to drill into the headstock for the swap but if it is necessary I will do it for the extra screw hole. Also if anyone has done this what is the best brand to use to make this job as easy as possible? Are there any direct replacements? I have seen the keystone style tuners made by grover and also gibson for sale.

 

Thanks in advance for any information you can give me.

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As far as I can remember the Grover branded Keystone tuners will fit the same holes as the Rotomatics. Because you have the hex nut holding the post in place one screw should be adequate, although I'd be inclined to bite the bullet and fit them properly. The Kluson branded Keystones have a more vintage correct push-in bushing that will not fit the hole left by the Rotomatic. If you're not sure about the fit just take the guitar into the store with you - it's a two minute job to swap one of the tuners over to check the fit.

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As far as I can remember the Grover branded Keystone tuners will fit the same holes as the Rotomatics. Because you have the hex nut holding the post in place one screw should be adequate, although I'd be inclined to bite the bullet and fit them properly. The Kluson branded Keystones have a more vintage correct push-in bushing that will not fit the hole left by the Rotomatic. If you're not sure about the fit just take the guitar into the store with you - it's a two minute job to swap one of the tuners over to check the fit.

 

Further to this, you can also by adaptor bushings (stewmac.com?)that allow you to use the Kluson-branded keystones in a guitar headstock drilled out for Rotomatics. I believe the Rotomatic bushing is something like 10mm OD, and the standard modern Kluson one is about 8.8mm OD. The adaptor bushing is the same OD as the Grover bushing, but has a smaller ID to match the smaller string post diameter of the Klusons. The original (old) Kluson bushings are even smaller OD, as they had very thin walls (under 8mm OD).

 

Generally, several luthier parts suppliers sell repro (thin wall) bushings and adaptor (thick wall) bushings with the 6.5mm (or so) ID required for Kluson-branded tuners.

 

I wouldn't fret much about having to drill an additional mounting screw hole in any case.

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The Kluson branded Keystones have a more vintage correct push-in bushing that will not fit the hole left by the Rotomatic.

 

TonePros-Kluson also has a model called TPKB3 that fits larger holes typical of modern tuners like Grovers, and without the need for an additional bushing. Got them for my 339.

 

http://www.toneproskluson.com/models.html

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All tuning machine manufactures, and many retailers, list the engineering data and specifications somewhere on their websites, bushing size (ID & OD), shaft diameter & length, screw pattern, etc.

 

You need a micrometer or caliper to measure your existing tuners, bushings and screw holes, and then you can see what is available for a "drop-in" replacement.

 

I would not trust an advertisement or product description that only states it will "fit", without listing the proper engineering data.

 

The other thing that you must be REAL careful of is Metric vs English dimensions. MOST products are now manufactured overseas, and not all "Imperial" (English) dimensions have a Metric equivalent. Another reason to double check the engineering data.

 

NOTE: It MAY also be possible to just swap out the buttons on the existing tuners. Parts houses such as AllParts sell many replacement buttons.

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