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Replacing tuner machine heads on Vintage guitar

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  • Replacing tuner machine heads on Vintage guitar

    I have a 1932 Gibson L-00 that needs tuner replacement. It seems easy enough, but not sure with a guitar this old. Should I use a professional, or take replace myself (something I've never done)?
    Brother Jefe

  • #2
    I have a 1932 Gibson L-00 that needs tuner replacement. It seems easy enough, but not sure with a guitar this old. Should I use a professional, or take replace myself (something I've never done)?


    Very easy to do yourself, provided the specs are a match. StewMac has a decent selection of vintage replacement tuners, and they provide good specs. If you're still not sure, their customer service is great.

    http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tuners/Guitar,_solid_peghead_tuners/Gotoh_Tuners/Gotoh_Vintage-style_Oval_Knob_Tuners.html?tab=Specs
    I guess I kinda lost control, because in the middle of the play I ran up and lit the evil puppet villain on fire. No, I didn't. Just kidding. I just said that to help illustrate one of the human emotions, which is freaking out. Another emotion is greed, as when you kill someone for money, or something like that. Another emotion is generosity, as when you pay someone double what he paid for his stupid puppet.I.K.F.C.E.S.C.Potato SocietySAWG

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    • #3
      What Knock said (twice). If possible use the StewMac dimensions to avoid drilling out the main holes or fitting new bushings (use the old ones if it has bushings and they are OK). I would go with some sort of nice open back with a vintage vib - I remember L-00's being paddle heads so look for something close to what it had on it. You may have to drill new holes for the little screws - this is normal.

      What ever you do, keep the old ones in case you sell the guitar

      (and just as a teaser, lets see some pictures and hear some clips)

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      • #4
        They seem to have 3-on-a-plate tuners:



        Stewmac golden age tuners??????????

        They aren't exactly the same but maybe the post spacings and screw locations match up..the fellow on this link says they match perfectly:

        http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=145311




        http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tuners/Guitar,_solid_peghead_tuners/Golden_Age_Restoration_Tuners_for_Solid_Peghead_Gu itar/Golden_Age_Restoration_Tuners_for_Solid_Peghead_Gu itar_with_Square-end_Baseplates.html
        "I don't want to be immortalized through my work. I want to be immortalized by not dying." Woody Allen

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        • #5
          I've used the slothead version of the StewMac golden age - they have a very vintage vib, work fine but aren't nearly as smooth (or expensive) as modern singles like Gotohs or Waverlies. If they fit without modifications they would be a good reasonably priced choice - keep the stock ones for when you sell it.

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          • #6
            On a vintage piece you should:

            a] Avoid making non-reversible modifications, such as drilling holes, etc.
            b] Save the original parts even if they are not working anymore - collectors like having original bits when the guitar moves from your hands.

            Good luck!
            -^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-

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            • #7
              I believe these are what you're looking for. http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tuners/Guitar,_solid_peghead_tuners/Golden_Age_Restoration_Tuners_for_Solid_Peghead_Gu itar/Golden_Age_Restoration_Tuners_for_Solid_Peghead_Gu itar_with_Scallop-end_Baseplates.html
              Just out of curiosity, why are you replacing them? If the buttons are deteriorating you can just replace those without having to replace the whole tuner(s). Those old buttons dry out and turn to dust eventually and it's not uncommon to replace them. They're easy to replace and cheap, too!
              All there really is, is virtue and vice.

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              • #8
                Thanks for the input. I got the StewMac tuning mechanisms (ended up costing me $75 because of they had some fancy scrolling, but they look good). Installed them myself last night. The new bushings were too wide for the holes so I kept the old ones, except for 2 which were too small for the new pegs to fit through. I had to nervously bore out those 2 holes and use the new bushings. This mismatch of the old bushings (along with several stray screw holes beneath the plate) led me to conclude that those may not have been the original tuners after all. Not sure. Being a 1932 with a lot of scars, this L-00 has much unwritten history to it.
                Brother Jefe

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                • #9
                  Not sure how or if I can post pics on this forum.
                  Brother Jefe

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                  • #10
                    Not sure how or if I can post pics on this forum.


                    You need to host them somewhere else - I use Photobucket but there are a lot of other sites. Then you use the little window looking icon (to the right of the envelope) to put the link in your message. That puts around your url and bingo, the picture appears.

                    Same thing for music, however there is a site available to HCAG members called the VOM (virtual open mic) - many of us use it for monthly open mic.

                    I would love to see some pictures of your old Gibbie - those are pretty special guitars

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