#1
I got this used Epiphone G400 for $200, had it set up by a luthier, and the problem he could not fix is open string fret buzz on about half the strings. I'm not very knowledgeable with doing work on a guitar, but I did do some online research into this fret buzz problem and it seemed the main suspect for open string fret buzz would be the nut. However, in this case, the buzzing clearly is coming from the tuning peg -- if I touch the tuning peg while the string is buzzing, it stops buzzing.

Well, maybe the nut is a secondary issue? I mean, maybe a more precise nut somehow would prevent the loose tuning peg from being able to create a vibrational feedback that leads to a noticeable buzz? (i.e., the tuning peg would still be loose, but if there were less "play" in the nut, that might either stop the peg from vibrating or keep those vibrations isolated to the headstock? I just don't know enough about the mechanics of guitar vibration/buzz to separate cause from effect.

Anyway, the luthier says the fix is upgrading the tuning machines. I'm really not sure at this point if it is more cost effective to keep this and do the upgrade, either myself or pay for it, or if at this price point, I may as well sell the guitar (I can probably get what I paid for it) and just save up for a higher quality guitar that will come with better tuning machines from the get-go.

I'm guessing I may have to pay $50-$100 to a luthier to do this, maybe more, so at that point, I'm thinking I should sell the guitar and save up.

But the thing that stops me is that I like learning new stuff, and though I have not worked on a guitar before, maybe this is an opportunity to learn. Can I buy the tools I need and some good quality tuning machines and do this myself, and make this a first step into generally doing my own guitar upgrades? That would be nice. But I've read that changing out the tuning machines can require boring out a different size hole for them, and at that point, that kind of headstock modification then I need to think about how I'm going to brace the guitar while I work on it, and it I can see myself having to spend a lot on tools I don't own, so I think this may get to be something beyond me. On the other hand, if it's a matter of unscrewing stuff, taking these machines out, and putting in better ones that fit the same size opening, that seems more in line with my skills.

So just what kind of rabbit's hole am I going down, to upgrade the tuning machines on my guitar? Any advice / suggestions appreciated.

Ken
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#2
Here is a handy site http://guitarpartsresource.com/guitar_index.htm along with Stewmac , I would suggest searching and really shopping around before any purchase. Just read on whatever task you choosing to tackle. I would get a couple really cheap guitars to practice on as well.
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#3
Go here www.guitarfetish.com they have very good Schaller style locking tuners for $36. That way your not spending more on them. They are really easy to replace, you can do it yourself in 10-15 min with a 10mm wrench and a Phillips screwdriver
2002 PRS CE22
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#4
I didn't see Schaller style, but I saw Sperzel style from GuitarFetish here:

http://www.guitarfetish.com/Sperzel-Style-Locking-Tuners-3x3-Chrome_p_1172.html

They say they are 10mm and fit Gibson-style headstock, which I believe is what would fit the Epiphone G400. I like the look, too, chrome over that greenish cream "vintage" color, which I do not care for. I'm not concerned with having locking tuners, but that could be icing on the cake.

Three questions about these:

1. Can anyone comment on whether these should fit without reaming / drilling into headstock of my G400?

2. Can anyone comment on quality of these tuners?

3. Can anyone comment on weight issues? The G400 has that issue with neck-dive, and if I'm replacing the tuners, I'd rather not go heavier. Actually something lighter would be ideal.

Ken
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#5
Yes they fit with out modifications

The quality is absolutely fine I have used these on several guitars.

It will not noticeably affect neck dive

Yeah I was talking about the Sperzel style my mistake
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#6
All you need is a screwdriver and wrench/pliers, easier thing ever. In fact have you tried tightening your current machine heads?

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#7
^ that's what I was going to suggest but the luthier would've picked up on that surely.

I've got Schaller lockers in my Epi G400 and they went in without a hitch. Great tuners never go out unless they're old strings
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#8
Thanks, I think I'll try them. As said above, I think my luthier would have tried tightening the heads if that could have solved the problem. I also showed it to a guitar teacher who immediately suggested changing the tuners, and he probably would have suggested tightening them if that was a possible fix.

I noticed the machine heads on there do NOT say "grover" on the back, like some I've seen, even though they have that greenish-cream vintage look. I read something about Epiphone changing the tuners they used in the G400 a few years back to Grovers from something cheaper, and maybe mine guitar pre-dates that switch?

Funny, when I google G400 tuners, I find a lot of argument over the quality, some saying they are cheap and substandard and some saying they are good quality grovers, and I wonder if this is really a debate over the earlier versus later G400s.

Too bad the new ones are not lighter, I'd like to get rid of that neck dive problem. I've read it's worse on Epiphone G400 than original Gibson SG models, something to do with thicker neck or heavier wood for neck/headstock, or even heavier tuners, not really sure. I also read this can be avoided by moving the strap lock to a different position. So if I keep it and change the tuners, I'll probably also move the strap lock. I think that's something I can handle even though it involves some drilling.

Ken
Bernie Sanders for President!
#9
For the neck dive issue on the SG, I've seen small weights that attach to the bridge strap button to add more weight to rebalance the guitar. Maybe try that before you drill holes. . . .
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#10
Quote by krm27
Thanks, I think I'll try them. As said above, I think my luthier would have tried tightening the heads if that could have solved the problem. I also showed it to a guitar teacher who immediately suggested changing the tuners, and he probably would have suggested tightening them if that was a possible fix.

I noticed the machine heads on there do NOT say "grover" on the back, like some I've seen, even though they have that greenish-cream vintage look. I read something about Epiphone changing the tuners they used in the G400 a few years back to Grovers from something cheaper, and maybe mine guitar pre-dates that switch?

Funny, when I google G400 tuners, I find a lot of argument over the quality, some saying they are cheap and substandard and some saying they are good quality grovers, and I wonder if this is really a debate over the earlier versus later G400s.

Too bad the new ones are not lighter, I'd like to get rid of that neck dive problem. I've read it's worse on Epiphone G400 than original Gibson SG models, something to do with thicker neck or heavier wood for neck/headstock, or even heavier tuners, not really sure. I also read this can be avoided by moving the strap lock to a different position. So if I keep it and change the tuners, I'll probably also move the strap lock. I think that's something I can handle even though it involves some drilling.

Ken

Yeah they changed the tuners several years ago. Mine is a 2009 and it has Grover Romantics stock.

You can relocate the strap button to the upper horn and it helps a lot with neck-dive.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#11
So the Sperzel style tuners from Guitar Fetish came in the mail. Now I have to find time to change out the tuners, then add a strap button somewhere on top horn (I've read pros/cons for doing tip of horn versus back of guitar on horn, not sure what I'll do yet).

I'm feeling like once all that is done, I may be looking for another mod/upgrade... I'm thinking pick ups. The neck pick up is kind of loose, and it can fall forward into the strings. Twice over the past year I have found the guitar strings making a terrible buzz, like if you left a pick in them, and found the pick up had fallen forward and was touching the strings, so I pushed it back in place. It does it very rarely, but it's still annoying to me. I've never taken out or replaced a pick up, so I'm not at all sure just how these things are held in place. I would have assumed a screw on the top of the pick up screwed into something in the body, but I don't see a loose screw so I don't know what's up. I may have to just take some time and learn the art / technical aspects of pick up removal and installation. But, while I'm at it, maybe a new pick up is in order, too. We'll see. First things, first.

Ken
Bernie Sanders for President!