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Vintage/Budget Tuner Upgrades

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  • Vintage/Budget Tuner Upgrades

    I have a number of guitars with cheap vintage-style tuners that I would like to upgrade to something with a better gear ratio for more precise tuning. It seems like everything with a decent gear ratio has a 10mm shaft. Are there any drop-in replacement or do the holes in the headstock need to be enlarged?

  • #2
    Are yours the StewMac replacements you linked to? Those seem to have fairly decent reviews that suggest they are better than typical "stock" tuners of the same design.

    I have always opted to enlarge the holes on cheaper guitars that used those types of tuners to enable the use of better quality tuners.

    If you're worried about extra holes showing, perhaps the plates that come with Hipshot tuners will help cover them up?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Masta' C View Post
      Are yours the StewMac replacements you linked to? Those seem to have fairly decent reviews that suggest they are better than typical "stock" tuners of the same design.

      I have always opted to enlarge the holes on cheaper guitars that used those types of tuners to enable the use of better quality tuners.

      If you're worried about extra holes showing, perhaps the plates that come with Hipshot tuners will help cover them up?
      Mine look similiar and I'm not sure what the gear ratio they are? I just did a basic test and it looks like 13 or 14. Years ago I tried to drill out some narrow holes and it broke the headstock so I was hoping to find a better alternative.
      Last edited by idsnowdog; 08-04-2020, 09:19 AM.

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      • #4
        If they're not valuable / collector's items and being stock isn't an issue, I would also just enlarge the holes. I've used GFS tuners on a number of guitars, their "higher" end tuners are very high quality. I haven't used the cheaper ones, but they're probably the same things everyone else sells.

        It's not difficult to make a good tuner, I'm guessing even the cheap StewMac tuners would be solid. Have you worked on the nuts of these guitars? If you're having tuning issues, that's the most likely culprit.

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