Fitting super lightweight Gotoh Stealth tuners

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Worblehat, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. Worblehat

    Worblehat Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    86
    I was looking for lightweight tuners for my Epiphone Iommi SG in order to cure its neck heaviness. The stock tuners are quite heavy (228g/0.5lb overall):

    [​IMG]

    I've read about the Gotoh Stealth tuners which are possibly the most lightweight tuners out there. I found only a single store in Germany with just one pack of them left in stock. They are pretty expensive here but I thought it might be worth it and ordered them.

    They have arrived today:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Very tiny and a huge reduction of weight! The different screw hole positions don't bother me as my SG is a keeper and I don't mind to customize it. Unfortunately I did not know there were different peg holes sizes..

    The Gotoh Stealth press fit bushings have a diameter of 8mm the holes on my head stock are about 10mm. As I found out, the former are common with vintage tuners while modern ones usually have the latter (is this correct?).

    So now I have to options:
    1. Order some bushing converters (e.g. here). What do you think? Has anyone used them?
    2. Get other tuners with 10mm bushing. Any suggestions for really lightweight ones? They need to have chrome or nickel buttons... vintage knob colors would not suit the look of the guitar.

    My only concern with option 1 is: as you see on the photos, the screw holes on the Gotoh tuners are very close together...maybe too close for a 10mm? And of course its expensive (Gotoh Stealth + buching converters)...
     

    Attached Files:

    • 1.jpg
      1.jpg
      File size:
      182.1 KB
      Views:
      61
    • 2.jpg
      2.jpg
      File size:
      121.3 KB
      Views:
      62
    • 3.jpg
      3.jpg
      File size:
      97.7 KB
      Views:
      60
  2. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2015
    Messages:
    5,310
    Likes Received:
    4,470
    Location:
    Sutton Québec
    There's a gear in there ? Wow !

    Converters are about $10 for 6, not that bad, but it's added weight, when you paid dearly to save some.

    If it was mine to do, I'd look around for some kind of 1mm thick tubing to filll the gap, or even make some with sheet metal (copper, brass, etc). But that's the tinkering me talking.
     
  3. Daniel.S

    Daniel.S Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2018
    Messages:
    329
    Likes Received:
    202
    Cut up a soft drink can and use the metal from that to fill the gap....
     
    DrBGood likes this.
  4. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,313
    Likes Received:
    828
    Just buy the conversion bushings, you already bought the tuners. And any extra weight they add would be insignificant, maybe 1 gram total compared to press-in bushings.
     
  5. Worblehat

    Worblehat Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    86
    Thanks for your suggestions. I don't want to tinker to much (although the soft drink can is a neat idea), so I just ordered conversion bushings now.
    I hesitated because I thought that they are rare and I have to order them from stewmac and pay 10$ shipping. But just found out how they are called in german and looked for another store :smile:

    Not 100% sure if the new bushing's inner diameter perfectly fits the tuner pegs...but I'll see...
     
  6. Worblehat

    Worblehat Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    86
    Yeah, astonishing, isn't it? I don't know what kind of magic they put in there. So far no other manufacturer came up with anything that small. Also I guess they are not too popular because people like more classic looking tuners.

    There is another limitation with them: String tension must not be more than 20kg/44lb. According to D'Addario string tension with a 10 string set does not even exceed 20lb (see here). So 44lb seems quite a lot. Maybe you have to consider added tension due to bends. But still enough buffer. What do you think?
     
  7. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2015
    Messages:
    5,310
    Likes Received:
    4,470
    Location:
    Sutton Québec
    Good to go for string pull load I'd say.
     
  8. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2015
    Messages:
    5,310
    Likes Received:
    4,470
    Location:
    Sutton Québec
    Beer can at least, come on. Think of the next owner, for X reason takes them out, finds the shims and unrolls them. He'll have a ball telling the story for days.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
    Worblehat likes this.
  9. Daniel.S

    Daniel.S Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2018
    Messages:
    329
    Likes Received:
    202
    Sorry don’t drink beer.... or soft drink for that matter.
    Hah! First thing that came to mind after seeing someone do it on YouTube.
     
    DrBGood likes this.
  10. bwotw

    bwotw Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2012
    Messages:
    912
    Likes Received:
    969
    Conversion bushings work great, I've used them to fit vintage style TonePros Klusons on modern Gibsons without an issue (I like the look of the smaller, push-in type).

    Those tuners of yours look interesting! Recently I replaced the tuners on my vintage Melody Maker. My goal was to go as light weight as possible and, had I been aware of these stealth tuners, I might have ordered them. In the end I went with open back Hipshot tuners. I replaced the regular buttons with pearloroid ones and they're very lightweight now

    [​IMG]
     
    Worblehat likes this.
  11. Worblehat

    Worblehat Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    86
    Those are pretty cool tuners! They don't look light, but I believe they are. Perloid buttons also make a big difference.
     
    bwotw likes this.
  12. Worblehat

    Worblehat Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    86
    I finally mounted my Gotoh tuners. I used the conversion bushings which fitted the 10mm holes perfectly. The inner diameter 6,5mm was a little bit to wide though. I rolled a strip of paper around the tuner pegs (about two turns) and now the pegs sit very tight in the bushings. Unfortunately Gotoh forgot four of the twelve screws so I had to get to the hardware store and get replacements.

    The Iommi SG is not extremely neck heavy compared to other SGs I think. But it was enough to really bother me. I'm pretty picky about it and want my guitar balanced. I even used some weight in the cavity before.

    Now I am absolutely happy with those tuners. Relieving weight from the head stock helped a lot. Although not inexpensive it was worth every penny. Now this guitar is just perfect!
    Here are some photos. They are really tiny but I love the look!

    1.jpg
    2.jpg
    3.jpg
     
    bwotw and SG standard like this.
  13. jtees4

    jtees4 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2014
    Messages:
    281
    Likes Received:
    169
    Wow...cool little tuners. Never heard of them.
     
    Worblehat likes this.
  14. Worblehat

    Worblehat Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    86
    Yes, I like them very much. No complains so far. Seem to be of excellent quality!
     

Share This Page


Recommended Links: PAF Pickups, Luthier Forum