Tuners? Kluson style, nut or bushing?

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by M.M., Feb 18, 2018.

  1. M.M.

    M.M. Member

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    Hey!

    The generic Kluson style tuners in my PRS Zach Myers SE are slowly dying, and I'm investigating an upgrade.

    I'd really like locking tuners, especially for the ease of use when changing strings (and I have these Schallers in mind https://www.schaller-electronic.com/hp528976/Original-G-Series-Deluxe-Keystone-DR-Toplocking.htm), but with these I'd have to enlarge the holes in the headstock, and from experience, this type of tuners, with a nut tightening them to the front of the headstock, affect the sound of the guitar a bit (small difference, but I notice it).

    On the more traditional side, with just the pressure bushing on the front like the ones I have, I don't really know whats good.

    What would this wonderful community suggest?
     
  2. SparkyJones

    SparkyJones Senior Member

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    It really depends on the size of the pre-existing hole on your guitar. If it’s a 10mm hex head nut, then I’d say find something that is a direct swap out for that.
     
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  3. M.M.

    M.M. Member

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    I have no problems enlarging the holes if thats the better way to go. But what are some good tuners that are a direct replacement?
     
  4. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    Both the bushing style and hex style are ok.
    The thing about the tone is that the structure/weight of the tuner changes - so your observation is not about the method of bushing attachment but in the mass of the tuner.
     
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  5. KP11520

    KP11520 Senior Member

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  6. Roxy13

    Roxy13 Senior Member

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    Gotoh also have some that look more traditional, that are also locking. They don't have the wheel on the bottom (and probably weigh less too). I ran into them on ebay. I wanted to return my Burny to the vintage Gotoh pegs and I will admit I looked really hard at those locking ones, as I do enjoy the convenience. In the end I went with the standard, non locking ones, but for another guitar I would sure consider the locking ones instead.
     
  7. JeffH66

    JeffH66 Pelham Blue Addict Premium Member

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    I just went through this very thing. What I discovered is that if you have the hex head screw you have the 10mm opening. Almost every locking style Kluson tuner had vintage 8.8mm bushings. My solution, and perhaps yours, is an adapter bushing. They are cheap and lots of places carry them. 9.9mm on the outside and 8.8mm on the inside. Push them in and install your vintage sized tuners. Works like a charm. I have them on my Gary Moore Les Paul Standard.

    ***Let me note that I DID NOT want the thumbwheel on the back of my tuners. I wanted a vintage correct look. The link above will fit guitars with vintage 8.8mm holes, but if you have the hex head bushing, I am 99.9% sure you have a 10mm hole..... at least that's what my research led me to understand. I may not have found every product out there, so YMMV.

    GOTOH "USED" to make a vintage sized locking Kluson with an internal locking cam, like the Grover 106 series, but they appear to have been discontinued....I used to have a set on an R7 that I sold in 07'.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
  8. jc2000

    jc2000 Senior Member

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    I have installed Tone Pro Klusons in my LP. They were nut and fit great. I also installed the bushing type in my Epiphone and they did not fit as well...
     
  9. moreles

    moreles Senior Member

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    Well, here's my 2 cents. Kluson products are, IMO, alevel below several other makes when it comes to function. They are whippy, slippy, and uneven. Of course they work OK; they're just not that good. Screw-down bushings are much preferable to the cheap press-fit bushings. They are firmer and hold tuning better, and IMO also transfer tone way better. I do not need and never use locking tuners (I keep things simple) but whether locking or not, I find that Grover, Gotoh, and Schaller are solid; Sperzel less so, and all of them better than Kluson. Honestly, the only way that I can understand why Klusons are ever used is that Gibson spec'd them forever, so they have the look, even if they lack the function.
     
  10. M.M.

    M.M. Member

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    Thanks for all the answers people!
     
  11. rtTX

    rtTX Member

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    While I agree that Kluson tuners often come up short in quality and tuning stability compared to Schaller and Grover, but don't completely write them off yet! Kluson's new Revolution series tuners represent a very significant upgrade to their other pedestrian tuners.

    These die cast tuners are simililar in construction to Rotomatics but fit perfectly within the Kluson "footprint" and utilize the two existing screw holes per tuner. Guitar Player mag named them NAMM's Best New Product a couple years ago.

    The part number you're looking for is KEDPNCL3-N if wanting nickel. Chrome, Gold & Black are available too - just change last letter. This model comes with press-in collars but you can simply leave your existing Gibson collars in place since they're identical.

    There is another model, KEDPL-3801N, that comes with the screw-in nut-type collars if you decide to go that route.

    I just installed a set 3 days ago on a recently acquired Memphis ES-LP and love them. The existing screw holes lined up perfectly, and the gear ratio is a very non-Kluson 19:1 and super smooth! I will definitely be upgrading several of my other Gibson's equipped with lesser Klusons.

    Kluson Revolution - 3X3 Locking.jpg

    Here's the eBay seller I got mine from (no relation):
    http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338014323&icep_item=112670722587

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018

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