Tuner Replacement


I am toying with the ideas of changing out the tuners on my 5129. I thought the 5120 and the 512x's were basically the same guitar with different pickups, but my 5120 tuners seem fine. However the 5129 has a different style tuner - I guess more the bean shape - and they feel much cheaper. As much for aesthetics, I would like to install an imperial style. I found these wilkinsons for a great price.: http://guitarheads.net/prod...

Or I could spring for these grovers: http://www.stewmac.com/shop...

I have never replaced tuners. Would I have to ream the holes to make these fit ( or do anything else)? I am a bit nervous about doing that. I don't mind if the screw holes don't match up.

Anyone have experience with these? I have heard decent things about the wilkinsons.


Never replaced them on a Gretsch but I would go with the Grover's. I've owned Wilkinson's and Grover's and there is a big difference in quality.

Keep us posted with your quest - thanks.



I've replaced tuners on 2 differents 5120 on the first one i've put sperzels lockers tuners and it's not easy you must drill the holes because they are biggers. i've made it not too good. On the second one i've put Gotoh tuners and give the guitar to a technicien to made it.


I bought some Grover Rotomatics recently and the plating was rubbish. The 'gold' lasted about 2 weeks. (and previously I loved Rotomatics and have them on lots of my guitars)

Now I think that they are made in China, and the gold plating is terrible... The chrome ones might be OK. I would say go with locking Sperzels if you can afford them. I have them on a strat plus, and they're great.


Thanks, guys. It seems that the gold plating on a lot of products wears off. I've heard people complaining of that on the bigsbys and other Gretsch trim. Hopefully the chrome is better. That is the color I am interested in.


Yes, you will need to ream the peg holes to use any kind of tuner with a thread-on bushing. As well, the old locator screw holes should be filled and touched up. Some models of tuners (Sperzels for example) have a locating pin on the housing instead of a tab for a locating screw, so you have to drill that too.

You may find it cheaper to have a competent tech do the installation, because the proper tools - violin and cello reamers - aren't all that cheap.

Star reamers don't do a very clean job and while it is technically possible to use a drill, it's best to securely clamp the headstock and if at all possible, use a drill press.

Take your time - mistakes can be very visually apparent.


the Imperials are a little to big for the headstock IMO


Belated thanks, Anne. I hadn't thought much about the size. I'll have to some measurements.


these tuners are great , but forget the name , got them from Stewmac

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