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  #1  
Old 02-11-2018, 11:28 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Default Changing tuners on a '34 Gibson???

Is this a sin?

The attached pic is my late 1934 L-4, and there is a close up of the tuners.

I bought it from Archtop.com, who had filed the frets down to nothing so I've already "meddled" with it by having it refretted...beautifully I might add.

The original tuners are verrrry worn and seem to have a pretty much 1:1 gearing.

I'm thinking of the Stewmac "Golden Age Restoration Guitar Tuners 3+3" although they only seem to come with plastic buttons.

Any thoughts?
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Last edited by Kerbie; 03-12-2018 at 08:29 AM. Reason: Assisted title
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  #2  
Old 02-11-2018, 11:33 AM
HHP HHP is offline
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I don't think changing them will hurt IF the replacements are similar enough and will fit the existing screw holes. Most people don't mind replacements if the originals are included.

The photos look like the existing tuners are not that bad, maybe just need a clean and adjust.

I really like the Nick Lucas-like inlays.
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Old 02-11-2018, 12:52 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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One of the current-production "butterbean" sets should fit...
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Old 02-11-2018, 01:44 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HHP View Post
I don't think changing them will hurt IF the replacements are similar enough and will fit the existing screw holes. Most people don't mind replacements if the originals are included.

The photos look like the existing tuners are not that bad, maybe just need a clean and adjust.

I really like the Nick Lucas-like inlays.
Thanks for that - trouble is the cogs (sprockets ?) are held on by rivets rather than screws so I can't see how to adjust them.

Any suggestions?
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Old 02-11-2018, 01:46 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa View Post
One of the current-production "butterbean" sets should fit...
I would prefer butter beans, but I think they might look too new.
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Old 02-11-2018, 03:10 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly Moustache View Post
I would prefer butter beans, but I think they might look too new.
There are several ways of "antiquing" them - the better techs/repair shops do it all the time (and nickel tarnishes quickly) - so don't let it hold you back...
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Old 02-12-2018, 09:57 AM
kayakman kayakman is offline
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Waverly makes antiqued nickel butterbean tuners, very nice..
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Old 02-12-2018, 02:28 PM
Big Band Guitar Big Band Guitar is offline
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If it were mine I would take them off give them a good ultrasonic cleaning.
Lube them up with a drop of clock oil.
Reinstall and only change them when they stop working.
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Old 02-19-2018, 11:22 PM
campusfive campusfive is offline
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Get a set of Waverlys or a the new production Grovers Sta-tites with Butterbean tuners. Either should be a drop in replacement (and come with new grommets just in case), and will work SOOOOO much better than the originals. The modern gear ratios are so much more functional than the original.

I've put on new Waverlys on both my 1937 ES-150 and 1932 L-5 and haven't had a second thought about it ever. Of course, I have the original tuners safely stashed in case I ever need to sell the guitar, but the original gear ratios seem positively barbaric once you make the switch.

Frankly, I just picked up my L-5 from getting the new tuners put in last week, and my god, what a difference. Any time you can get something that's basically a drop-in replacement with modern gear ratios, it's totally worth it.

My only further suggestions:
1 - the "aged" finish nickel waverlys were way more aged than any of the real part on my ES-150, so I probably would opt for the regular nickel and look at having my tech do any aging.
2 - the gold ones are not offered in an aged finish, and I forgot to mention it to my tech, so they are a tad bright looking at the moment. That said, something tells me that six months of finger oil and smudges will probably take the sheen down to a reasonable level. Plus, I can always have my tech take them off and age them later.
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Old 02-21-2018, 10:21 AM
gfirob gfirob is offline
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I have a round-hole L-4 from (I think) 1937. The original tuners functioned, but they are just old worn out tuners with a low tuning ratio. Any modern tuner will be a huge improvement and these guitars are not museum pieces anyway, they are meant to be played. I put butterbean tuners on mine and they look great. You will feel as if you have a new guitar when you put those new tuners on it.
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Old 02-21-2018, 10:27 AM
Looburst Looburst is offline
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As long as you hold on to the originals, you'll be fine. Once you start drilling holes that aren't original however, you begin to lose money on the vintage side, just a fact.
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Old 02-21-2018, 11:37 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Thanks all, my luthier /tech also makes antiqued/reliced electrics so if I got the new sparkly bright Waverlys he couold probably make them match the tailpiece.

Thanks for all the input - I'll go chat to him.

I know that whilst it is much the same as the L-5 of the same era but less collectible it is in remarkable condition so I wold't want he headstock drilled.

I now know my direction, thanks again.
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Old 03-10-2018, 02:55 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Default update - no new tuners.

I spent along time wit Dave (of Eternal guitars) checking dimensions band neither of the Stewmac offerings would "drop-in" so he recommended that I keep it as it is.
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  #14  
Old 03-12-2018, 08:27 AM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly Moustache View Post
Thanks for that - trouble is the cogs (sprockets ?) are held on by rivets rather than screws so I can't see how to adjust them.

Any suggestions?
They are actually adjusted with a light hammer tap to tighten the rivets. John Monteleone adjusted the Grovers on my 1930 Gibson L-5 in just that way.

I'd just find some Waverly replacements, or even the current inexpensive Grovers. If the screw holes are not quite in line, I'd get a small needle file and enlarge the screw hole towards where it needs to be.

I had the exact L-7 as yours, but it was redundant, though prettier, next to the L-5.

HE
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