Modern Gretsch Guitars

Replacements for Grover Imperials?

1

Does anyone offer tuners with enough offset to replace the Imperials on my 6122? The knobs on regular tuners hit the headstock because they have a shorter offset. Yes, I know most of you won't understand the question...and I also know I asked this before, but then I ran out of time and had to leave on tour without resolving the issue. And before you ask...because I HATE the Imperials!

3

Imperials don't come apart like regular Grovers. They're pressed together with cast-in rivets. I like regular Grovers, but the buttons will hit the headstock because the guitar is drilled for Imperials. Moving the holes over would increase the string angle at the nut too.

4

I noticed that Billy. Checked one of mine and figured out that the success rate of getting them back together and holding together was pretty low.

It would be just luck if one could peen that cast rivet again, and have it do its job.

Im sure that something could be figured out, but very time consuming and would need a few shop tools to get it done right.

Needless to say, I didn't open one up.

5

ANother approach would be to use regular Grovers, with a longer screw and a spacer/sleeve to move the knob further from the headstaock. That would require a really long, skinny, metric screw though.

6

Last resort maybe scallop the headstock edge and go with rotomatics? Just kidding...kinda.

Hopefully Joe C. will come to your rescue. Have you reached out to Mike Lewis yet?

7

ANother approach would be to use regular Grovers, with a longer screw and a spacer/sleeve to move the knob further from the headstaock. That would require a really long, skinny, metric screw though.

– Billy Zoom

If anyone has the thinking cap to pull this off it’s you. What don’t you like about the Imperials?

8

Do they still make the very early type of Imperials?

I'm just looking for two. One left side and one right side. Gold, preferably.

9

Could you make a spacer that goes between the back of the tuner and the back of the headstock? You would lose some height on the string shaft, but that might buy you enough space to keep the prefered tuner key slightly behind the headstock where it won't bump into the back of the headstock. My '57 Clipper has a tapered headstock, and the string shaft heights vary.

10

Is this the imperial that is the issue?

And the primary issue is the garish stepped tuner button, correct? Nothing else? You are ok with the ratio and everything?

11

And this is the first image I found of what I consider to be a "regular" Grover

So yeah, 5mm in total height and a different button shape that would add to the disparity

Does anyone have a spare Imperial rattling around that I could experiment on? I am a machinist and know I could "fix" this.

12

BZ hates everything about the Imperials.

13

Have you looked at the Schaller GrandTune open back tuning machines? They look like they might have just enough clearance to work. 18:1 gear ratio and smaller 6mm string post as well. Other than that, the regular Grovers with the spacer and longer screw is probably the way to go.

14

Is this the imperial that is the issue?

And the primary issue is the garish stepped tuner button, correct? Nothing else? You are ok with the ratio and everything?

– fistpicker

Fistpicker, here's a couple pics of an Imperial off my Phoenix. My -58 Gent has the same.

The tuner mounting pads are different than those that are sold "aftermarket" everywhere. Both are by Grover, but the Gretsch units are very hard to find new.

Not sure, but Gretsch and Grover may have some sort of an OEM agreement.

You'll see on one pic, the studs that have been peened to hold the top and bottom together. IMO, I doubt after disassembling, that the studs could be peened again, and hold well.

Don't have an extra, or I would send one your way. I bent a tuner head shaft, and Grover replaced it at no charge. All I had to do was send them the unit that I messed up.

17

BZ can confirm if his Gent's tuners are the same if he wants to.

Originally BZ was wanting to have the string posts turned to a smaller diameter.

It'll help the ratio too.

18

Well, I'm willing to give it a shot if anyone finds a stray. That or machining a button spacer for whatever else Billy wants to replace them with.

19

See how far the knob sticks out from the tuner? That's why you can't replace them with a regular Tuner...the knobs will hit the headstock. See how the shaft the string wraps around is fatter than normal? Thats why they suck as tuners. I want a normal tuner, with a knob that sticks out far enough to clear my headstock.....and no, you can't just put imperial knobs on regular grovers. I've tried for months to contact Grover customer service. They won't answer my emails or return my calls.

20

Did you check GFS ( Guitar Fetish), they have lots of tuners? Maybe they may have something that will work.

21

Hello, why don’t you use imperial with kidney buttons ?

23

Like these ones

– petit professeur

I think it’s the thicker shaft that the string wraps around that ruffles his knickers.

24

My 6122-59 already has the kidney bean buttons. This is about being able to tune the guitar...not making it prettier.

25

BTW, Gotoh answered my email:

"Dear Billy, Thanks for your inquiry. Unfortunately, none of our products can be replaced at Grover Imperial. Please understand."

Still nothing from Grover.


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