Upgrading Tuners

Discussion in 'Epiphone Guitars' started by Marcus Bonavita, Mar 5, 2020.

  1. Marcus Bonavita

    Marcus Bonavita New Member

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    Hey, everyone. I've got a Limited edition 1966 G-400 Pro and I'm looking to upgrade the tuners to make it more stable. Right now it has Epiphone Deluxe tuners in it, and I don't want to drill holes in the headstock. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
     
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  2. Shadow Explorer

    Shadow Explorer Well-Known Member

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    Welcome, I normally would suggest sperzels, you will have to see if the openings for the screws are aligned, they are the best tuning machines I have used so far
    [​IMG]

    Else there are cluson locking tuners that will probably just drop right in.

    Last but not least Hipshot, which don't require a new hole, however you do get some metal adapters, which I find really ugly tbh. judging from other products they offer they are very good quality as well.
     
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  3. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Well-Known Member

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    I was going to suggest Hipshot tuners. I find the mechanism pretty clever. As far as the aesthetics go, it doesn't bother me.
     
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  4. BGood

    BGood Well-Known Member

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    The cheapest and most effective way to make your tuning stable is not by replacing your tuners. 99% of the time the nut is the culprit. Save yourself some money and extra holes in your headstock by letting a luthier or a good guitar tech either adjust the slots in the nut or repace it.

    Or ... if you feel adventurous, it's not that hard to fix.

    I guess it's the D and G strings that don't keep tune, maybe B. If you have bigger than 9-42's on your SG (which the nut was cut for) strings get caught in slots that are now too narrow and mess with your tuning as you're playing. Does a string sometimes make a ping sound as you tune it ? All classic symptoms.

    What I would first do is take a bigger size string and run it a few times back and forth in the slot. Be careful not to press down the bottom of the slot, you don't want to make it deeper, only wider so the string doesn't bite. You can also carefully do that with a folded piece of fine sandpaper. Then, sharpen a lead/graphite pencil and smear the slots with it, that will provide lubrication and help the strings to easily glide in those slots.

    Once you've tried that, if it still doesn't keep tune, it's maybe time for a new $12 Tusq XL nut from Graphtech https://graphtech.com/collections/tusq-xl-nuts-guitar. They are real easy to install. If you go that way, make sure to look up how to take the old one off the neck without doing any damage and to put the new one in (minimal gluing, adjusting height, etc).

    You will hate yourself if you buy those new shiny tuners, install them and then find out the problem is still there. The ones you have on there are good ones, I buy them to replace the heavier Grovers on my Epiphones. IF you still go ahead and replace them, I'd buy the Deluxe from you.

    Oh yeah ... welcome to the SG zoo Marcus ! Go to this link: http://www.epiphonetalk.com/forums/introductions.7/, and tell us a little bit about yourself and show us that SG of yours ... or any other music gear you have, we like pictures here.


    EDIT: Forgot another tip. Make sure you thread those strings properly by locking them on the tuner post.

     
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  5. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    +1
    No regrets about installing them on my G400 and Strat. I'd go so far as to say that they're an all but automatic upgrade for my axes, right up there with a GraphTech TUSQ nut which apparently is OEM on 2020 Epiphones.
     
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  6. SirMilo

    SirMilo Active Member

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    Lots of solid advice here, especially from BGood about the nut which is the most likely source of your instability. Since you are looking for tuners, I too will go ahead and recommend Hipshots as others have already recommended.
    I keep a couple of spare sets around to put on during the newly acquired guitar cleaning and restringing phase. If the guitar gets sold, the original tuners go back on.

    +1


    IMG_1426.jpg
     
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  7. Keefoman

    Keefoman Well-Known Member

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    This... Even on cheaper guitars, the tuners very rarely causes tuning instabilities. The first thing to try is to lube the nut slots. Graphite from a regular pencil is the cheapest way. Just sharpen a pencil and "draw" in the slots before putting on a fresh set of strings. Also stringing properly as Bgood her says, is essential. Also as mentioned, the next step would be reslotting or replacing the nut. Your tuners are more than likely, more than good enough.
     
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  8. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    I'm rather partial to the open gear locking models myself. :cheers:
    The Grovers I took off were downright sloppy feeling in comparison.
    I'd imagine; if a guy was into that sort of thing, selling that is, that the Universal Mounting Plates would make that a whole lot easier. ;)

    On a side note, I discovered a little while ago that they make drop fit two-pin Fender tuners as well. Not helpful for my O.G. Squier neck, but I'm considering snagging a set for a present.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2020
  9. AJ6stringsting

    AJ6stringsting Well-Known Member

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    I use both Sperzel locking tuners on a couple of Strats that I own, pricey tuning keys and worth it.

    I installed some locking tuners on a 2007 Epiphone LPC, that I bought from GFS and they work just as good as Sperzel.

    No matter what, some times you may have to loop the B and high E string twice , so you won't risk any string slipage.
     
  10. Keefoman

    Keefoman Well-Known Member

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    Come to think of it, I've only replaced tuners on two guitars in my entire life. One was my father's 1970 Ibanez LP Custom copy because the gears were destroyed (nylon gears...). Replaced them with affordable tuners from GFS, and they work great. The second was my father's Epiphone dot 335 because one tuner was missing when he bought it second hand. Instead of trying to find one tuner to match the rest, I bought a set of relatively cheap Wilkinson tuners. They also work great! :)
     
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  11. davidchagrin

    davidchagrin New Member

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    I put locking tuners from GFS on my LP. They're the Sperzel style. Cheap and effective. They help, somewhat, with tuning stability, but I like them for quick string changes.
     
  12. fattboyzz

    fattboyzz New Member

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    Lots of times people blame the guitar , but it's actually the player not stretching the strings good ;)

    I generally replace cheap tuners because they are sloppy ,cheap, gritty garbage .
     
  13. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    That hasn't been my experience with the Hipshots, even with 9's on the Strat. There was a set of Sperzel knockoffs that I was forced to install on a guitar that had that issue even with 10's but I chalked that up to inferior machining.
     
  14. Kostas Kritsilas

    Kostas Kritsilas Member

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    I have a set of the Hipshot open back locking tuners (staggered posts) on a Squier Standard Strat. The original tuners were rough, and were hard to accurately tune. I used the UMP plate to avoid drilling the headstock, and to allow me to install the tuners myself. The tuners are very, very smooth, and easy to tune accurately (18:1 ratio on the open back tuners, 16:1 on the sealed back tuners). Should I ever sell the Squier, I can put back the original tuners, and put the Hipshots on another guitar (as long as it is a 6 in-line headstock). Also, the Hipshot tuners do come with screws if you don't want to use the UMP plate, but you will probably need to drill the headstock in that case.

    I will be putting a set of 3X3 Hipshots on my Epiphone Les Paul soon. This is a used guitar, and the original tuners were removed by a previous owner, and don't work well at all. 5 of them are Kluson vintage looking, and have the stylized Epiphone E on them, but the remaining tuner also looks like a Kluson, but doesn't have the E. They also jump around when I try and tune the guitar up (and no, it isn't the nur, the guitar was setup by a very qualified luthier), and have more free play than I like.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2020
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  15. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the madhouse.
     
  16. Kostas Kritsilas

    Kostas Kritsilas Member

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    Thank you, nice to be here.

    Kostas
     

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