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First time doing work on my guitar, help!

Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 15
Topic starter  

I've restrung my guitar, cleaned it, all that. But now, I want to replace the tuners, the plastic, and the pickups. I don't want to break my guitar, so I came here first. There are some cheaper tuners at my local guitar shop for 25$, I know they'll be nothing great, but I like the look of them, and they'll do for my first time replacing them. I have an Epi Les Paul, with bone tuners. So, I have a few questions,

1. How do I replace the tuners?
2. Are 25$ tuners gonna be worse than my bone ones?
3. 120$ Gibson pickups would really break my budget, what are some good pickups that sound good for maybe under 80$? (Pairs would be nice)

Thanks everyone!

Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5899

You can replace the tuners, if you want to. What is important is that you get them to fit your guitar - different guitars have different sized holes (and sometimes fitted with an insert). Unless you want to give it to luthier to bore the correct sized holes, it is better to get the right size to start with. Try guitar fetish ( ), they have plenty to choose from, at very good prices. You can email them to make sure that what you want will fit an Epi.

Will cheap tuners be worse than those installed? Not necessarily, but likely. I would exclude Guitar Fetish, to a large degree, because they get prices by buying wisely.

Similarly, you could try GF for pickups ( ).

I've not tried GF stuff, myself, but there are several on GN that have. Maybe they can tell you more.

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Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3998

Some months ago I also wanted to do some work in my Epi Les Paul. I think you could find the thread, there was some very good advices there. One of them was about the tuners. The Epiphones use Grover. The advice was they are good tuners, change them only if you can improve them.

Edit. Here is the link:

Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5492

I've used the GFS pickups from Guitar Fetish now four times, and Seymour Duncan's once. One guitar came with Duncan Designed. Interestingly, my baby is my Epi LP custom and would never dream of replacing those pick-ups. I only did so on an SG because they were the same as my LP and I wanted more difference. (which ended up me spending about 90% of the cost of getting a Gibson faded SG. Oh well. Live and learn.)

Which LP do you have? Also, what kind of music do you play or intend on playing?

What do you mean by "the plastic" in your wish-list? It should only be the pick-guard and maybe the nut, right?

Is there something wrong with your tuners, or just not like the current look?

"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

Trusted Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 66

I would be very careful changing out your tuners just for looks. You could run into a situation where the new tuners have a lower gear ratio and/or are poorly made, causing your guitar to lose its tune much more easily. In short, the new tuners could cause a lot of frustration...$25 is low for most tuners. I would be really surprised if the tuners you currently have are of equal or lessor quality.

As far as the pickups go, I know that you can get some pretty nice Seymour Duncans for around $80...not as a pair though...

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Honorable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 737

What don't you like about the tuners and pups? The Grovers should work well and sometimes the pups sound good too.

I have an Epi LP. I'm getting ready to do a simple mod and that is to replace that crap pup switch that does not work half the time.