Tuners, stock vs Gotoh?

dmunson

Gretschie
Dec 19, 2015
490
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?
 

Ricochet

Senior Gretsch-Talker
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2009
22,739
Monkey Island
So my question is, is Gotoh a good upgrade to consider?

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.
 

hcsterg

Friend of Fred
Silver Member
Feb 13, 2012
6,859
France
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?

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+!
 

dmunson

Gretschie
Dec 19, 2015
490
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.
 

jarrodtaylor

Gretschie
Mar 14, 2019
394
Delray Beach, FL
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.

If they “bite” in a different spot on the new tuners they won’t stay in tune very well. It’s possible though.
 

tdtom

Synchromatic
Oct 26, 2018
514
new zealand
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?

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.
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
26,697
Tucson
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.
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.
 

dmunson

Gretschie
Dec 19, 2015
490
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?
 

dmunson

Gretschie
Dec 19, 2015
490
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.
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
26,697
Tucson
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.
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.
 

dswo

Gretschie
Apr 8, 2017
114
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.
 

kjmac

Gretschie
Mar 7, 2018
403
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. :)
 

hcsterg

Friend of Fred
Silver Member
Feb 13, 2012
6,859
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+!

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

A+!
 
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Jena

Synchromatic
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.
 

hcsterg

Friend of Fred
Silver Member
Feb 13, 2012
6,859
France
The Gotoh being a drop-in replacement sure makes it ALOT easier, eh ?

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 :

COTk.jpg


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

A+!
 
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