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  1. #1

    Correct tuners for 1987 Les Paul Standard

    IMG_2154.jpg
    I recently bought an '87 Les Paul Standard and the tuners, which I don't think are original (see pic) are shot. Does anyone know what the original tuners would be? Hopefully they are still available for purchase. Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: Correct tuners for 1987 Les Paul Standard

    How are they "shot"?
    The older I get, the better I was.

  3. #3

    Re: Correct tuners for 1987 Les Paul Standard

    The "stems" are wobbley and of course they won't stay in tune. Is there a way to repair them?

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: Correct tuners for 1987 Les Paul Standard

    Sometimes you can remove back cover and tighten post screw. Not a fun job. Are they press fit bushings or as I think, screw in post bushings? Some post wobble may be present without string installed as the post bushing has a slightly larger post hole diameter. There should be no wobble when string is properly installed and tuned to pitch. I've never had a machine head back off tune, or slip back. But strings streach and present slippage when improperly installed on post or catching in worn nut or saddle slots, releasing when bent etc..

    Most common tuning issue with machine heads involve imprecise ability to target pitch, due to gear ratio. The dreaded tune up and down, trying to hit that pitch dead center. aaaaaAAAAAARRRRRGGGHH!!!!

    I use a strobe tuner with tight pitch centers and very precise. Most non strobe tuners are not precise and the note may show in tune but may be slightly sharp or flat and the slightest slippage will be extremely noticeable. Multiply by 6 and you'll get enough potential for sour notes that lemons will pucker.

    So, proper string install, quality strobe tuner yadda yadda yadda, what tuning machine options do you have without modifying the guitar? Depends on bushing type. Screw in post bushings require a larger post hole than press in bushings. Any Kluson style machine head will directly replace those with the same type bushing. You can get adapter bushings that fit the larger screw in type post holes to allow for any press in, [vintage type], bushing Kluson type to be used as well.

    There are several makes and models available for that classic Kluson footprint and I'd get a high ratio, 18:1 at least, version, double ring butterfly button that appeals to you for a close to stock match.

    I don't know if any of this helps but others will soon offer some good counsel, lot's of smart, experienced bros here.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: Correct tuners for 1987 Les Paul Standard

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Gnstan View Post
    The "stems" are wobbley and of course they won't stay in tune. Is there a way to repair them?
    Just replace those keys with Grover Roto-Matics and
    Pauls to the walls!

    Hüter der Flammen!

    PLEASE SUPPORT www.burstserial.com !!
    Click here: www.burstserial.com

  6. #6

    Re: Correct tuners for 1987 Les Paul Standard

    Thank you Big Al for your considerable knowledge of tuners! You’ve given me a lot to think about. I will definitely research tuners that are a direct replacement as I don’t want to modify the original holes. Grovers have a lifetime guarantee! Thanks again.

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member Elmore's Avatar
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    Re: Correct tuners for 1987 Les Paul Standard

    My 87 had tuners that were single ring and said Gibson Deluxe. The housing fell off one of them and I replaced them with look alike Tone Pros that said something close to Gibson Deluxe but not exactly the same.
    "What's it SOUND like, baby?" - Ray Charles

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