Tuners, stock vs Gotoh?

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by dmunson, May 14, 2019.

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  1. dmunson

    dmunson Gretschie

    109
    Dec 19, 2015
    Charlotte, NC
    I recently bought the G5230T, and I'm crazy about it except for the tuners, which feel a litte loose to me.
    I've seen that several here have switched to Gotoh, specifically their SG381-05 set. I'm also hearing that that set is a direct drop in replacement.
    So my question is, is Gotoh a good upgrade to consider?
     
    savofenno and Jena like this.
  2. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Friend of Fred

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    You can tighten loose tuners with the little screw in the button.
     
    savofenno likes this.
  3. dmunson

    dmunson Gretschie

    109
    Dec 19, 2015
    Charlotte, NC
    Thanks Uncle Daddy, but those are as tight as I can get them, and it didn't seem to make much difference.
     
    savofenno likes this.
  4. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Big fan. Gotoh is one the best if you’re looking for traditional replacement tuners. In the 3 decades I’ve used them the quality has never wavered. Not so with other well thought of brands...
    If you’re looking for the locking variant there’s several good choices to pick from besides Gotoh.
     
    Charlie westside likes this.
  5. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Yes, dmunson. That's exactly what I did on my G5220 : Gotoh SG381 3x3, oval steel button. Simply perfect, direct drop-in on the G5220.

    A+!
     
    jfassett likes this.
  6. dmunson

    dmunson Gretschie

    109
    Dec 19, 2015
    Charlotte, NC
    OK, I'm sold on the Gotoh.
    Now I'm going to add the question:
    How many of you have changed tuners without changing strings?
    I just put a set of NYXL's on the 5230 and I would like to think I can replace the stock tuners and keep that set for a while longer. I know I'm being cheap, but rather than wait for the NYXL's to die (which could take months considering I'm rotating a dozen guitars), I'd like to get the new tuners installed when they arrive.
     
  7. jarrodtaylor

    jarrodtaylor Electromatic

    30
    Mar 14, 2019
    Delray Beach, FL
    If they “bite” in a different spot on the new tuners they won’t stay in tune very well. It’s possible though.
     
    thunder58 likes this.
  8. tdtom

    tdtom Gretschie

    314
    Oct 26, 2018
    new zealand
    I've heard that the Gotoh lockers are a direct replacement for Grover Rotomatics. would love to try them in my 2655, but a set here in little old New Zealand, retails for $110.00... unless there is a forum member who would procure them and send them here for a lot less, I'll deal with the stock tuning machines. Good Luck with your quest.
     
  9. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    IMO; it probably won’t work. I’ve, on occasion, sacrificed a $25 set of Thomastiks when I decided to modify a guitar. It’s no fun, but sometimes unavoidable.

    Whenever I get a new guitar, I usually anticipate some modifications, or at least tinkering, so I start off with a set of less expensive strings, until I have everything sorted to my liking, at which time a apply a set of Thomastiks.
     
  10. dmunson

    dmunson Gretschie

    109
    Dec 19, 2015
    Charlotte, NC
    Thanks for the responses guys, and I agree about the "bite" problem as well as the possibility of messing up the winding of the wound strings. And since I'm not a big vibrato user, I'm not really concerned about locking tuners at this time. They would be convenient, but they are costly even in the US.
    I'm usually a very patient person about such matters, but here's what I'm thinking. If I get the tuners before the weekend, I could switch them out Friday afternoon and have Saturday to confirm any tuning stability issues. I do have other guitars that I can use on Sunday (praise team) and that will be my option if the Gretsch shows any sign of instability.
    What do you think?
     
  11. dmunson

    dmunson Gretschie

    109
    Dec 19, 2015
    Charlotte, NC
    Synchro, you are probably right about my chances of a successful tuner switch. Unfortunately, I did not realize the degree of slack in the stock tuners until I cleaned and lubed the nut as I installed the new set of strings. I really had no plan to replace the tuners originally since I've been so lucky with stock tuners until this happened.
     
  12. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    It’s worth a try, but I’d be mentally prepared to replace the strings. As I mentioned, I usually start my new “children” off with inexpensive strings, because I usually end up changing something, early on. I have figured out a way to swap a Filtertron and only sacrifice the top three strings.
     
  13. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    I do that all the time, when I still want to make changes in setup.
     
  14. dswo

    dswo Electromatic

    57
    Apr 8, 2017
    East Carolina
    Any recommendations for locking tuners to upgrade a G5420T? I'm clumsy, so I need a drop-in replacement for the stock hardware.
     
    Jena likes this.
  15. kjmac

    kjmac Gretschie

    270
    Mar 7, 2018
    Omaha, NE
    I just use Ernie Ball Slinkys on everything so I buy them when they are on sale at 12 sets for $39.99 from Musicians Friend. I do enough messing around that I change strings frequently and so long lasting strings for me make very little difference. Maybe I have a bit of a tin ear too. :)
     
  16. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Note : the SG381 Gotoh 3x3 I use are NOT locking tuners, but standard ones - I never use locking tuners, by the way :oops:.

    A+!
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
    Floo and Jena like this.
  17. The Gotoh being a drop-in replacement sure makes it ALOT easier, eh ?

    Some beefier aftermarket tuners require the boring out of the headstock holes -
    now that is really major surgery that could go very bad very easily, imho.

    And my 2¢ . . . get new even cheap strings for the new tuners.
     
  18. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Sorry I took no pictures of the replacement job, but yes, the Gotoh SG381 (# TK-0962-001) are truly direct drop-in on the G5220. Here they are :

    [​IMG]

    Since the headstock is the same, it's probably OK on the G532X series...

    A+!
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  19. Marktheblues

    Marktheblues Electromatic

    28
    Feb 4, 2019
    Northwest England
    Gotohs are a superb upgrade to the cheap and nasty ones that where fitted to my 5220.
     
    jfassett likes this.
  20. jfassett

    jfassett Gretschie

    365
    Dec 9, 2017
    Tucson
    I dropped a set in my 5220 as well, worth every penny!
     
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