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Les Paul Machinehead Upgrade


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Hi all, can anyone suggest what would be good upgrade for the machineheads in my CS Les Paul? It currently has gibson deluxe machineheads on it but they do not hold their tune.....! Damn thing..... I am not yet sure if I want to chage the look of it with lockers so any thoughts on vintage styles would be most appreciated. Thanks.

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Care to clarify Wes? Waverly's are open backed tuners, more normally used on acoustic steel strings. They'd do the job, but are fiendishly expensive, and not really a close cosmetic match. Good tuners for sure, but not really suited to this instance.

IMO, if you really want to upgrade your tuners you could look at Grover or Gotoh tuners - both make quality products, and both make a very close match tp the existing tuners.

However, it is vanishingly unlikely that your tuning problems are due to the tuners - tuners don't slip unless they are catastrophically worn, and then you know about it! The likely problem is your nut, which should be the first thing to check for anyone with a guitar which won't hold tune. Strings bind in their slots during tuing or bending, and then slip later, sending the guitar out of tune.

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dang it...i have been spraying varnish today and am not thinking clearly...

i was thinking of these

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tuners/Guitar,...r_Machines.html

when i read les paul i automatically thought of the vintage les pauls with the open back tuners...i bought these grovers a while back to use on a project(i was trying to make something out of one of those rondo pieces of trash)and i wanted the waverly'sbut went with the cheaper grover instead...which look almost identical.

i never used them...still have them

if they are closed back tuners any quality brand will do...i prefer schaller or gotoh myself...

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Care to clarify Wes? Waverly's are open backed tuners, more normally used on acoustic steel strings. They'd do the job, but are fiendishly expensive, and not really a close cosmetic match. Good tuners for sure, but not really suited to this instance.

IMO, if you really want to upgrade your tuners you could look at Grover or Gotoh tuners - both make quality products, and both make a very close match tp the existing tuners.

However, it is vanishingly unlikely that your tuning problems are due to the tuners - tuners don't slip unless they are catastrophically worn, and then you know about it! The likely problem is your nut, which should be the first thing to check for anyone with a guitar which won't hold tune. Strings bind in their slots during tuing or bending, and then slip later, sending the guitar out of tune.

I am pretty sure it is the tuners as it stays in tune when tuned to Eb (strung with 10s at the moment) but it won't hold in E! However, i think I will check the nut again (this was my first port of call) just to make sure......

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Really, really, really doubt it's the tuners. Worm gears can't run backwards, the only way a tuner can slip is if it actually jumps a tooth on the wheel - and that means going waaaaaaaay flat. Check the nut, check the ball end seating in the bridge, and try new strings.

If anything, staying in tune in e-flat, but not in standard makes me even more suspicious of the nut. More tension on the strings = more friction in the nut slots = more chance of binding.

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This ones were the choice for my single cut, but he runned out of chrome ones, but they are a look close to the classics, but locking at the same time!

http://www.specialtyguitars.com/tuners/soundlock.html

I bought two sets of nickel ones from him. He ain't got those now either.

You better find out what size holes are on that headstock, so you know if they have to be bored out bigger (which I'm pretty sure they will need to be, if you go with a threaded bushing tuner)

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I put Grover Rotomatics on my semi hollow body I built recently and was less than impressed as they seem to have a lot of backlash (play) when tuning up. Previously I have just used sealed unbranded cheapies and they have been fine.

Maybe I will use Gotoh next time.

Sorry to hear that. I put Rotomatics on my LP and they seem quite good.

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I like the Sperzels because the shaft and gear are machined out of one piece of steel.

Lets take a look at this Fender enclosed die-cast job which cracked apart (and then a repair attempt with JB Weld failed miserably)

http://files.photojerk.com/soapbarstrat/broken_tuner1.jpg

Oh boy, inside we got the same little bronze gear held onto the shaft with a little screw, just like all the cheap open back sets in my parts box. Only in this case, if the screw comes loose, you are totally SOL.

http://files.photojerk.com/soapbarstrat/broken_tuner2.jpg

Apparently not even loc-tite on the screw threads, and lubrication is close to non-existent.

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Stock tuners on a CS Les Paul should last for 30-40 years with no problems. I agree with Setch--take the guitar to a good tech and get the nut checked out. If it's older than an '05 model, you might look into getting the guitar plek'd and a nice bone nut made for it. Gibson started factory pleks with the '05 CS models and it's a worthy upgrade.

If you really do want to change the tuners out, check out the Les Paul Forum and see what people there have done. I know people have had good luck with Grovers, but a binding nut is still going to knock you outta tune no matter how many other parts you throw at the guitar.

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Stock tuners on a CS Les Paul should last for 30-40 years with no problems. I agree with Setch--take the guitar to a good tech and get the nut checked out. If it's older than an '05 model, you might look into getting the guitar plek'd and a nice bone nut made for it. Gibson started factory pleks with the '05 CS models and it's a worthy upgrade.

If you really do want to change the tuners out, check out the Les Paul Forum and see what people there have done. I know people have had good luck with Grovers, but a binding nut is still going to knock you outta tune no matter how many other parts you throw at the guitar.

Thanks for all the advice, I will re-investiagte the nut first and let you know the outcome!

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