Replacing Klusons on custom LP8R vos IT for locking ones, or should I?

Eric LP

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Hi all,

Browsing the forum I noticed all the beauties as presented by their proud owners. That provided me with the courage to write this thread.

My custom LP8R Vos IT (2013 fully original), that I am playing for about a year now, is also a beauty. However there is one aspect of it that I am not happy with. It goes out of tune, a lot. I have had a tech look at it. It is not due to my stringing (after 40 years I think I can do that), it is not the bridge, nor is it the nut, nor the strings themselves. So as a last resort I am considering replacing the Kluson tuners (I think they are SD90's) with locking ones. The added bonus is ease of string replacement. BUT in doing the prep work, I ran into a catch 22.

I am very reluctant to ream the peg holes or drill holes in the head stock. As this would mean, it could not be restored to its original state and therefore probably would lose some of its historic vintage character as well as its monetary value. What do you think?

Consequently the only locking tuners that I could find that would fit the standard 11/32'' peg holes are Gotoh SD90-MGT 3x3 Guitar Machine Heads. But I am not sure I like the look of those nor do they seem very robust. What do you think?

Alternatively, if modding would not detrimentally (looks/value) impact the guitar, I could ream the peg holes to 13/32'' allowing for some more modern tuners with better 1:19 instead of 1:15 ratio, like: Grover 3x3 502N locking Nickel or Kluson Revolution Locking Tuners Pearloid Keystone Buttons 3x3 Nickel. I would prefer the latter as, apart from the locking knob, it looks exactly the same. But then I have to mod the guitar.

I have been weighing pro's and con's, but I can not get my head around this. So please advise me, thanks in advance.
Eric
 

Eric LP

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moreles

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In my experience, Klusons are substandard hardware and too frequently are slippy. I have no way of knowing if that's the real problem with your guitar, however. I might try swap in in some machines that fit and testing to see if they, too, slip. If they don't, and assuming your nut is OK, then it's probably worth getting a new set. Personally, I find Gotoh to be far superior to both Kluson and Grover, though Grovers are way better than Klusons. I use Grovers where need a vintage look and performance, and Gotoh on my modern guitars. Locking tuners are not necessary on a non-term LP that is set up correctly with good hardware. Properly installed, stretched strings require no locking. BTW, I've used Tone Pros Klusons, which fit holes reamed for Grovers, to try to get a "correct" look on one of my LPs, but I went back to the Grovers because even the Tone Pros version of the Klusons was lame.
 

vetteman

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Have you checked out the Kluson locking tuners from WD Music? They replace your existing tuners exactly, no peghead mods at all. I have a set and have had no problems at all.
 

PierM

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A locking tuner is doing nothing to prevent “slipping”. It’s just clamping the string to make stringing faster and easier, but the shaft it’s still free to spin as any other tuner machine. It’s a locking nut which does prevent slipping, not the tuner. From that point of view, any tuner swap is potentially fine, as soon as the slipping theory is right.

Said that, if you rally want a locking tuner, both Gotoh and Kluson, have a drop in vintage tuner, with locking. No modifications required.
 

Roxy13

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I have both locking vintage Gotoh and the Kluson Revolution locking tuners and am very happy with both of them. I also have several sets of the Gotoh SD-90s as they tend to be original hardware on many MIJ guitars, which I collect, and no complaints whatsoever. And they only cost $32 shipped from an ebay seller that I buy all my Gotoh tuners from.

I'm not sure what is on my 2018 Gibson SG Special but they do not seem to be as good as the Gotohs so I'm probably going to change them out.
 

Banastre

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Strange, I have Tone Pro klusons on my LP and Klusons on one of my Teles and they never slip. I also use a Tusq nut on both, FWIW. That Tele is tuned to Open G, and funny thing is I can leave it sit and not played for 6- or more months and it'll still be DANG close to true (according to my Snark). Slinky 11's.
 

Eric LP

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Thanks all for your replies, much appreciated.

After some more internet browsing I found and ordered: Kluson Revolution Diecast Tuners - 3 Per Side - Pearloid Keystone Button, Locking, No Collar (Push-Fit Bushing) Nickel at WD music. Apparently the same that Vetteman suggested. Added bonus being the ratio of 1:18.

About a week ago installed them without any mods exactly as indicated by some responses. First impressions after playing it extensively (lots of bends as I am playing classic rock and blues): tuning stability seems to be greatly improved without affecting tone, sustain or playability and they look almost identical to original ones. Hopefully no more G string slippage :cool: (pun intended)
 
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I'm glad to see you have already solved your problem! For anyone else considering changing their tuners: I changed the tuners on my 2013 r8 from kluson to grover and chose to only ream out the back part of the hole. This way you can still change back to kluson later and the bushings will fit just fine. Just for future reference.
 

calieng

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Here is the tool you want for Grovers so you can still put Klusons back later. Preserves the original hole diameter on the top of the headstock....per advice above. I actually used it with a T handle instead of a power drill to be extra careful. Very easy and quick to use.

 

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