replace Epiphone Kolb logo tuners with Grover rotomatics? sort of long, sorry

Discussion in 'Epiphone Guitars' started by bluesfordan, Feb 4, 2021.

  1. bluesfordan

    bluesfordan Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    37
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2016
    I have an Epiphone Joe Bonamassa '58 Black Beauty Les Paul Custom that I grabbed last year as soon as I heard they were out. Three pickups, ebony board, with a case? Oh, yeah, baby.

    My main gripe with the guitar are the Epiphone Kolb logo style tuners they came with. I know they were trying to be true to Joe's real '58 which has Epiphone tuners. It was known to happen back in the day, so it is said.

    As far as function, I think they work fine ... but the buttons do not fit in a peg winder due to their shape. Now, this may sound petty but if I want to be more vigilant about changing my strings (not one of my favorite activities) I need to be able to minimize the time and effort to do so. Furthermore, the shape of the buttons are painful to my fingers when I have to turn and turn and turn and turn, well, you get the picture. When I did a setup on the guitar and tried to intonate it, my fingers were about raw when I was done.

    I bought a set of Grover 102-GV on advice from my salesrep at Sweetwater, who said they'd be a direct drop in replacement. Due to the holidays and then my subsequent case of Covid-19 infection, it was almost 2 months before I could finally get to attempting to replace the tuners. The stock screw holes from the Epiphone kolb logo tuners did NOT line up with the hole on the 102-GV.

    As this guitar is probably going to be collectible someday, I do not want to do any irreversible mods to it. Patent drawings of Grovers show the center to center dimension of the tuner post and the screw hole to be 10.5mm. Try as I might, I can't find any patent drawing of these kolb logo Epiphone tuners to find out the center to center dimension.

    You can not swap buttons from the Grovers to the Epiphone tuners, the shafts are completely different. Does anybody know where I can find the specs on the Epiphone Kolb logo tuners? Or better yet, a Grover rotomatic style that can drop in replace them without having to fill and/or drill new holes for the screw? I really got to get rid of these buttons in order to use this guitar to the fullest.
     
  2. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,881
    Likes Received:
    2,981
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    Hipshot tuners with the universal mounting plate. No drilling, no filling.
     
    Biddlin and Raiyn like this.
  3. soulman969

    soulman969 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,687
    Likes Received:
    1,649
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2015
    To be honest with you bluesfordan I would simply find a peg winder that does fit them and save yourself some time and money. There are quite a few out there and they aren't all the same size because tuner buttons aren't all the same size.

    Those tuners are unique to that model and to preserve it's integrity I would not replace them myself and I'm a modding fool. So check around a bit. You may find what you need.

    https://www.guitarcenter.com/Peg-Winders.gc
     
    Biddlin likes this.
  4. Xtypeintn

    Xtypeintn New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    15
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2020
    Put GraphTech Ratio Locking machines on my LP ES Pro. Universal fit, and THE BEST tuners I’ve ever come across.

    Don’t get too wrapped up in a “Collectable” Epiphone. The guitar cork sniffers will never consider an Epi collectable. Just play and enjoy. I luv the BB, before Joe B it was Frampton!
     
  5. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,451
    Likes Received:
    5,481
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2017
    This all day. Bag those "vintage" tuners, set them aside for the next guy (collector bait).

    [​IMG]
    Sorry about the "shot on potato" picture. It's what was there.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Hipshot-Go...-A04-Keystone-Buttons-Brand-New/333848193033?

    [​IMG]
    If gold is your thing.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Hipshot-Go...for-3x3-Headstocks-with-UMP-NEW/111549611453?

    I realize I'm showing locking tuners, Hipshot also makes non locking. I'm just biased towards locking tuners because I like the quick string changes and not having to wind the key for a week after tying the string.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2021
    Davis Sharp likes this.
  6. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    936
    Likes Received:
    990
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2015
    I'm too cheap to change tuners that work, but good suggestions here. Grover Rotomatic lockers might be my choice, but the OEM shouldn't be that hard to find a winder for.
     
  7. bluesfordan

    bluesfordan Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    37
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2016
    Hipshot's website was nicely documented with drawings of their products specs. However, if the 10.5mm center post to screw hole of the Grovers was too small to reach the existing hole of the Kolb logo Epiphone tuner's screw hole, then neither of the Hipshot designs would work. The offset screw hole would also require drilling a screw hole that would be exposed if the original tuners were put back on.

    No biggie, appreciate the information. :)
     
  8. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,881
    Likes Received:
    2,981
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    With the universal mounting plate, you don't need screws. See the photo - no screws in the screw holes. That's my guitar. The plates have bumps/ridges/whatever to keep the tuners from moving around. And the plates are not held in place by screws. Two plates per side interlock and the nuts on the posts keep them in place. Trust me and @Raiyn on this.

    If you sell the guitar, just remove the tuners and plates and reinstall the original hardware.

    [​IMG]
     
    Raiyn likes this.
  9. Kostas Kritsilas

    Kostas Kritsilas Member

    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    51
    Joined:
    May 7, 2020
    The Hipshot tuners can be used with screws, in which case they probably don't match up with the existing screw holes. They can also be used with the UMP platesk which do NOT use any screws at all on the back of the headstock. The tuners are held in place with the screw type bushings from the front, and the tabs on the UMP plates prevent the tuner bodies from rotating and eventually coming loose.When the time comes to put the original tuners back in, just unscrew the bushings, the tuners and the UMP plates just come off, and re-install the original tuners and the original screws in the original screw holes.

    Only thing is that the holes in the headstock that the Hipshot tuners pass through must be 10mm. If they are not (i.e. some vintage tuners use smaller diameter holes) then there is not enough room for the screw in bushings to go through. Then you need to make a decision to either enlarge the tuning post holes to 10mm, or forgo the Hipshot tuners.
     
    Biddlin likes this.
  10. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,451
    Likes Received:
    5,481
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2017
    Umm, no. Hipshot makes "Vintage" size tuners too.
    Comes right up on the eBay searcher:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Hipshot-Vi...Griplock-Tuner-Kit-with-UMP-kit/113970560081?

    I didn't see that set with the A04 buttons, but anything compatible with a Grover works if I recall correctly.

    Yup. They're a "day one" mod for me. I even have a set here for my preorder - which probably hasn't even been made yet. :laugh2:
     
  11. bluesfordan

    bluesfordan Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    37
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2016
    I just found out last night that Hipshot makes their buttons interchangeable and available for sale separately. For 15 dollars, just for grins and giggles I could put black buttons on.
     
  12. Kostas Kritsilas

    Kostas Kritsilas Member

    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    51
    Joined:
    May 7, 2020
    Hipshot has about 14-15 button options, and in various colours, usually (generally, chrome, gold, black, for the metal ones) and they have plastic buttons as well (white, and some odd version of amber that appears more greenish than anything else). The Hipshots that I used on my Korean LP came with HIpshot's own T style buttons, but I changed them over to the keystone/tulip style (in chrome). Changeover is easy. just one Philips head screw.
     
  13. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,451
    Likes Received:
    5,481
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2017
    Right, but in addition to working on Hipshot, their buttons are touted as working on Grovers as well.
    https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=hipshot+buttons&_sacat=0

    Given that, one would infer that the inverse is also true.
     
  14. Old Woody

    Old Woody Active Member

    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    145
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2020
    Have you priced any of the old (as in 90's and earlier) Epiphones lately someone's collecting them! (Oh and I prefer the term Headstock sniffers).
     
  15. Old Woody

    Old Woody Active Member

    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    145
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2020
    Sounds like you found a solution just throwing this out there I replaced the G-sync tuners on my Gibson with Schaller Locking tuners no hole drilling universal fit for a whopping $50.00 and they work just fine. My old tuners have taken up residence in my guitar case.
     

Share This Page