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Tuners on an Epi


 Ande
(@ande)
Honorable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 659
Topic starter  

Still looking for the next guitar! And one of the ones I'm looking at is an Epi LP. (Goldtop! Very Shiny!). Second hand; sounds good, nice set up and action. Couple of dings on the body, which is great with me, as it pushes the price down.

But it doesn't seem to want to stay in tune. I've read that this is true on a good number of Epi LPs. Should I keep looking, or is it fixable? (Really not acceptable the way it is- I've played it once. Tuned up, plugged in, ran through my "test pieces" for about 10 minutes, and it started to sound really out. Re-tuned, played for about another ten, and it was out again.)

So the question is- If I replace the tuners, is this problem going to go away? What tuners should I use?

And, maybe most importantly- is this hard to do? I do a lot of my own work, not because I'm good at this, but because there isn't a guitar shop I trust within 500 miles.

Thanks,
Ande


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(@hyperborea)
Prominent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 833
 

I've never owned an Epi so I don't know what kind of tuners they use or how well they stay in tune. Another possible source of tuning issues is the strings - did a new set just get put on before it was put out for sale?

If you want to / need to replace the tuners then the easiest way is to get tuners that match all of the measurements of the existing ones - same size peg hole, same size and location of screws on the back of the headstock or same blind peg holes (some tuners use blind peg holes instead of screws). If you're going to upgrade anyways then maybe you want to also consider locking tuners. They make changing the strings much easier and quicker and the tuning stability is much improved.

Since the Epi was made outside the US (one of the last countries in the world to officially still use the Imperial measurement system) the tuners are almost guaranteed to be metric. You're going to want a set of metric sized tuners. The Gotoh tuners work really well - very high quality - and they come in a lot of different shapes and sizes. They have their own line of modern tuners (510 series) and a lot of reproduction tuners. One of those will probably work. The catalog for their stuff is available on-line at - http://www.kms-shokai.com/modules/products1/rewrite/tc_3.html It's got part sizes and templates. Once you find a model you want it's easy enough to Google around for somebody selling that model.

You could also maybe consider Schaller tuners. Made in Germany so should also be metric. These are also high quality but they don't make as many styles so you might not be lucky enough to find a drop in replacement.

Changing the tuners is really easy if it's just a drop-in replacement. Take off the string - do it one at a time. Remove the screw on the back of the head and/or remove the nut over the tuner post. Pull the tuner out. Maybe press the bushing out. Press new bushing in. Drop new tuner in and put new screw and/or nut on - don't over-tighten. Put string back on.

If it's not a drop-in replacement you may need to enlarge the post hole (use something like a stepped drill bit or a reamer to avoid the hole wandering) and/or fill the old screw holes and drill new ones.

I've replaced the tuners on my original starter guitar a number of years ago (pretty poor tuners). I also upgraded the stock Gotoh tuners on my Edwards LP to Gotoh locking tuners of the exact same style (reproduction Kluson tulip knob tuners). I'm planning to upgrade my Edwards 335 clone to Gotoh locking tuners of the exact same style as are on there (reproduction Grover "broad-bean" knob tuners). Unfortunately, those repro-Grover lockers are not available so easily in the US. They are available pretty easily in Japan and fortunately a trip to Japan is coming soon.

Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. - Ian Anderson


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(@scrybe)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2246
 

my Epi stays in tune fine, but that may well just be my Epi. Second the post above, and I'll add that you could try using this tuning problem to get the store to drop the price further.

hth

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe


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 Ande
(@ande)
Honorable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 659
Topic starter  

Many thanks Guys!

I'm realizing that staying in tune seems to be a recurring problem with cheap guitars...maybe I should just get something new for a change.

THey guy who owns it has said that he'll split the cost of new tuners, as it's had this problem all the time he's had it...

Best,
Ande


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(@trguitar)
Famed Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 3711
 

My Epi SG stays in tune fine, it has the vintage style tuners. A lot of the new Epis have Grover tuning machines already on them. The problem might not be the tuners though, it could be the nut.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


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(@hiram)
Trusted Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 54
 

My money's on the nut, put some graphite in the nut slots and see if that helps. If it does the nut slots are too small ( you can use the graphite off of a No. 2 pencil).


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(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 7850
 

Tuners get blamed for a great many more tuning problems than they're actually responsible for.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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(@tinsmith)
Prominent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 830
 

My tuners seem pretty good.


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(@duffmaster)
Prominent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 855
 

My epi has grover tuners, and they stay in tune wonderfully.

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I mean really...
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or a cliche...
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(@trguitar)
Famed Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 3711
 

Yeah, usually it's a nut issue. Especially if you have a Johnson!

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


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(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 7850
 

Yeah, usually it's a nut issue. Especially if you have a Johnson!
Now and then you'll find nuts with Johnsons.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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(@bgdaddy316)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 189
 

Dare I say that Ric seems obsessed with his Johnson?


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(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 7850
 

Nuts about it!

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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(@tinsmith)
Prominent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 830
 

Well........ he has more than one Johnson to play with if he wants to.


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(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 7850
 

Strange, but true.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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