Best upgrade tuners for Alligator Resonator?

Discussion in 'Gretsch "Roots" Acoustic Forum' started by Runamok, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. Runamok

    Runamok Gretschie

    Aug 25, 2017
    USA midwest
    I've mentioned this in another thread in so-called "Roots" forum,
    but it may be lost in the mad shuffle... As I appended to another person's thread:

    I have Statite Box tuners (the std) on my 9241 resonator guitar. I am unimpressed with them.
    My next tack then is to replace them with a 1:1 fit tuner that is of better quality without boring & drilling new holes if I can help it. But I have no real criteria to go on for this choice.

    Can anyone knowledgeable recommend what this improvement would be?
    Had 2 plastic knobs on the tuners that hatched of their own free will. OK, they cracked.
    Since I need to pull them to melt on new knobs to do it right, I would like to try an upgrade in machineheads.
  2. Geezer1950

    Geezer1950 Electromatic

    Nov 20, 2018
    I put Hipshot locking tuners on all my guitars that did not come with them from the factory. You can use the Hipshot upgrade kit ( to mount the new tuners without drilling new holes in your headstock. For the Alligator you must buy the "vintage" type tuners. The part # of the ones on my Alligator is 6K2VELOB. The best place to buy then that I have found is at an online dealer called Sporthitech.

    When ordering from them you might want to send an e-mail telling them what you want first. The "vintage" kit for 3x3 headstocks was not listed by them last time I looked, but you can have them make up any set for you since they usually have a few hundred tuning machines in stock.

    Because of the way that the stock tuners fit in the Alligator headstock, you will need to ream about 1/8" or so into the post holes from the rear of the headstock, widening that 1/8" to a 10mm diameter. This will accommodate the larger shank of the Hipshots. That's still better than having to ream the entire hole since you don't want to take a chance on ruining the plastic face plate.I use a large bridge pin tapered reamer for this. You can also use a straight 10mm reamer. I like the taper better for a snug , centered fit. This is the least drilling or boring that you can do unless you buy the exact same tuners again or get very lucky with a replacement set that does not use the Hipshot upgrade mounting plate or some similar system.

    If you don't want to do it yourself a decent luthier can certainly mount them for you: it should not cost much since it takes about a half hour from the time you take off the strings until you have the new ones on and tuned up.

    Hope this helps
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  3. Runamok

    Runamok Gretschie

    Aug 25, 2017
    USA midwest
    Thanks for this, Geezer. Much appreciated.
    I usually do my own legwork, but this was harder to ascertain.

    The reaming was not where I wanted to go. Not hard, just don't want adventures I can't undo & my slapdash projects tend to become adventures.

    I might have to get them replaced vs doing myself.
  4. Runamok

    Runamok Gretschie

    Aug 25, 2017
    USA midwest
    Update: Be warned. Gretsch has a much shorter warranty on “accessories.”
    These guitars are manufactured overseas & replacement parts are rare.

    I just got jerked around by their consumer relations dept, as several of my tuner knobs are cracking, one completely split & they “helped” my by finding one place that has replacement tuners — for me to buy.

    These are cheap parts.
  5. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Interesting argument. Apart from the Custom shop offerings, every Gretsch is manufactured overseas...

    Tnx for the headsup. I have both a Jim Dandy and an Alligator. So far they work fine but I'll keep an eye on the tuner buttons.
  6. Runamok

    Runamok Gretschie

    Aug 25, 2017
    USA midwest
    Maybe they aren’t cheap parts, just undersized for medium strings?
    Or am I being too fair?

    I had 4 plastic buttons with at least a hairline crack or worse.
    It has been made right.
    Ricochet likes this.
  7. Runamok

    Runamok Gretschie

    Aug 25, 2017
    USA midwest
    Just checking in: Those plastic tuner knobs still holding up well for you?
    Are you using light or medium strings?

    I am wondering about whether my guitar was an anomaly or not.
    Mine were replaced with metal tuners with metal knobs & those are holding strong.
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