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Acoustom 10-17-2020 09:27 PM

Question about Gotoh tuners
Iím getting a new Eastman AC822CE all Koa and it comes with Gotoh SG310ís. Does anyone know if they can be replaced with Gotoh 510ís without having to drill new holes? Thank you in advance.

Brucebubs 10-17-2020 09:50 PM

Firstly they are not Gotoh 310's - they are Gotoh 301's.

Looking at the spec drawings of the SG 301's and SGV510's the distance from the center of the string shaft to the center of the locating screw hole are identical (10.5mm) - same washer and nut size too - should be a simple straight swap.

I notice the locating screws are the same length but those supplied with the 510's is just slightly fatter near the top - 2.1mm vs 2.4mm - I'd re-use the ones that came out because you know they already fit.

Wade Hampton 10-18-2020 12:10 AM

Acoustom, Iím a huge fan of Gotoh tuners, and actually worked with them as a consultant when they were developing better quality mandolin and planetary banjo pegs - they didnít pay me any money for my help but they gave me about a dozen sets of tuners out of the deal, so I canít complain!

So Iím very familiar with all the tuners Gotoh makes, and have both sealed gear 510ís and 301ís on most of my instruments. (I own lots of instruments.)

Quite honestly, there really isnít any compelling reason to replace 301ís with 510ís - both are extremely accurate and exceedingly smooth functioning. If I thought I would get better performance out of 510ís on my instruments that currently have 301ís, Iíd swap them out in a heartbeat.

But it would gain me precisely nothing if I did that.


My suggestion is that if you want to dress up the guitar a little bit, get some nice aftermarket tuner buttons in either wood or high grade plastic. Among the wooden buttons I have on my instruments are ebony, snakewood and what I think is cherry, while the hand-machined plastic buttons I have are in ivoroid and tortoiseshell.

My personal favorite button shape is the rectangular Schaller-style buttons, but theyíre also available in the Grover kidney bean shape and the futuristic Jetsons-like button shape that comes stock on 510ís.

So, seriously, if you want to spend the money on 510ís, go ahead. But itís unnecessary because you wonít get much discernible improvement in performance. You can spend a LOT less money and get more visually enticing tuners out of the deal if you keep the 301ís and put some fancy aftermarket tuner buttons on them.

Itís your call, naturally, but my friends can attest to what a perfectionist I am when it comes to guitar tuners. I wonít tolerate mediocre tuners for an instant longer than I have to - itís a quirk of mine, I admit it.

It was that same perfectionism in this regard that convinced the folks at Gotoh to ask me to work with them in developing better mandolin tuners - I was working with the National Reso-Phonic Guitar Company to develop what became the National RM-1 resonator mandolin at the same time.

So Iím intimately acquainted with Gotoh tuners on a professional level, and I think you should save your money and just get nicer tuner buttons on the 301ís.

Believe me, I wouldnít be posting that if it wasnít true.

If you do get aftermarket buttons, just make certain that theyíre specifically for Gotohís; donít buy any cheapo sets off eBay that claim to fit all brands. All of the tuner brands use different shaft shapes from each other, and anything that will fit onto all of them will be necessarily oversized, and deliver lousy, sloppy tuner performance as a result.

Whereas the tuner brand-specific buttons fit exactly.

Hope this helps.

Wade Hampton Miller

nikpearson 10-18-2020 01:50 AM

Thatís been my experience as well...
I have guitars with 510s and 301s and there is no noticeable difference in quality. Both are very smooth operation and simply the best tuners out there regardless of price.

Acoustom 10-18-2020 05:49 AM

Thank you Bruce Wade and Nik for some very well thought out advice on the Gotoh tuners. And sorry about the gaff on the the model number. I knew what I meant but my fingers didnít lol. Iíve had the 510ís on several guitars and love the look and feel of them. I had never heard of the 301ís and was concerned they might be a bit lacking in quality compared to the 510ís. The other reason is that I really love the look of the 510ís. Theyíre very ergonomically appealing to me. However after the feedback from all of you I think that Iíll give the 301ís a fair try and just upgrade the tuner buttons as Wade suggested. Thank you all for your very thoughtful and technical replyís.


Pnewsom 10-18-2020 07:14 AM

I recently replaced a set of Ibanez (Grover style) tuners with Gotoh 301's in gold on an old Archtop. The tuners are excellent and fit perfectly. I got a good deal from a seller called guitarhey.

I'll be replacing the Grovers on my 335 with a another set of 301's soon.

JayBee1404 10-18-2020 10:19 AM

2 Attachment(s)
No experience with 301s, but I replaced the 381s on my Lowden with 510s (the 18:1 version) - a perfect drop-in fit and, despite what others say, I felt a noticeable improvement in performance. Those 510s are the best tuners Iíve had on any guitar - ever.

The Ďoldí 381s...

Attachment 45288

The Ďnewí 510s...

Attachment 45289

The usual disclaimers apply......IMHO, YMMV etc.

RoyBoy 10-18-2020 10:40 AM

One reason to justify stepping up to 510s: if you want a 1:21 ratio, it is available only on 510s. I love the high ratio, no twisting the knob 1/16th of a turn to get that harmonic dead on. They are also made in Japan (thus the higher price) and smooth as silk. Luthier's Merchantile has wooden knobs in the Schaller or Rotomatic shape (can't remember which) if you want a more traditional look.

I first looked into 510s after noticing that EVERY boutique $5,000+ I saw came stock with them. They are unmistakable. Since they are a drop in fit, you can always swap them back out if you decide to sell your guitar.

Acoustom 10-18-2020 06:38 PM

Thank you all for your input. No place like AGF to get the best info on acoustic guitars. You guys rock!! Or in the acoustic world, you guys fingerpick eloquently. Lol

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