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Thread: Drop In Tuners For 1933 Gibson A

  1. #1
    Registered User Murphy Slaw's Avatar
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    Default Drop In Tuners For 1933 Gibson A

    Had a gig the other night, and my stiff d tuner would barely get to pitch. I'm afraid of breaking the plastic.

    Man, the Stew Mac sight is a tad confusing. Does anybody know which tuners would drop in without modifying "Scottys" mandolin? I hate to have to drill anything, surely something is a correct replacement and I can just save the old ones.

    When I get back to it, I guess I can take some measurements and figure it out, I just thought with all of the brain power congregating at this one site, somebody would know off hand.

    Thanks.
    1933 Gibson A-00 (was Scotty Stoneman's)
    2003 Gibson J-45RW (ebony)
    2017 Gibson J-15

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  3. #2
    Mando-Afflicted lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Drop In Tuners For 1933 Gibson A

    My Gibson Teens oval allowed a perfect drop-in of the "Golden Age" tuners. Everything lined up down to the last screw and the bushings. I am not sure if they would do the same with the 1933 version, but it would seem likely. Others in the Cafe advised me at the time, and I am sure they would offer some assistance in response to your post. Good luck!
    2015 Gibson F5G
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    Registered User John Rosett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Drop In Tuners For 1933 Gibson A

    Try cleaning and lubricating the original tuners before replacing them. The original tuners on my 1919 A2 were getting stiff. I followed these instructions, and now they work great. http://www.lutherie.net/tuner.maintenance.html
    "it's not in bad taste, if it's funny" - john waters

  5. #4
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Drop In Tuners For 1933 Gibson A

    If it is indeed a 1933 then you need the modern spaced tuners. Stewmac makes two different Golden Age tuner sets. One will fit the earlier worm under models from the teens and early 20's and the other set fits the later modern worm over tuners. If you mandolin is from the 30's it will be the modern spacing but you may have to redrill some screw holes to install them. The ones you want would be these. They come in different finishes and button colors. I do agree with John Rosett (post above) though, you should try Paul Hostetter's cleaning and lubricating before you just replace them.
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them"
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  7. #5
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Drop In Tuners For 1933 Gibson A

    Quote Originally Posted by lflngpicker View Post
    .... I am not sure if they would do the same with the 1933 version, but it would seem likely....
    Actually the tuners you used would not drop into his. The post spacing is different.
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
    --M. Stillion

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them"
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  9. #6
    Teacher, repair person
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    Default Re: Drop In Tuners For 1933 Gibson A

    To clarify--

    The Stew-mac Golden Age tuners, part numbers #2511 and #2512, have the correct post spacing for Gibson A models made after the mid 1920's. These tuners can be recognized by the "arrow end" on the base plates.

    The tuners that are called Golden Age "Restoration" tuners, part numbers #2505, 2506, and #2523, have a wider post spacing, and are designed to fit A models made in the 1910's. They can be recognized by the scalloped ends on the base plates.
    They will not fit Gibson mandolins made after the early to mid 1920's.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Because Gibson was not very orderly in their transition from the use of the earlier tuners to the later tuners, mandolins from 1922 or so through 1925 must be measured on an individual basis.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The #2511 and #2512 will work on Murphy's mandolin. The post spacing will be correct. However, the holes for the mounting screws may have to be re-done.

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  11. #7
    Registered User Murphy Slaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Drop In Tuners For 1933 Gibson A

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    If it is indeed a 1933 then you need the modern spaced tuners. Stewmac makes two different Golden Age tuner sets. One will fit the earlier worm under models from the teens and early 20's and the other set fits the later modern worm over tuners. If you mandolin is from the 30's it will be the modern spacing but you may have to redrill some screw holes to install them. The ones you want would be these. They come in different finishes and button colors. I do agree with John Rosett (post above) though, you should try Paul Hostetter's cleaning and lubricating before you just replace them.

    I bought it from George Gruhn, who actually owned this mandolin twice. He also had some stories about Scotty Stoneman owning and playing it. I'm going to tear into it and do some cleaning and lubing first. Thanks so much for the links everyone.
    1933 Gibson A-00 (was Scotty Stoneman's)
    2003 Gibson J-45RW (ebony)
    2017 Gibson J-15

    The Murph Channel
    http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkomGsMJXH9qn-xLKCv4WOg

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  13. #8
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Drop In Tuners For 1933 Gibson A

    Also, check the slot in the nut for the strings that aren't turning to make sure it's not binding there.
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
    --M. Stillion

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them"
    --J. Garber

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  15. #9
    Registered User bennyb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Drop In Tuners For 1933 Gibson A

    Last time I went to lutherie.net, it wasn't there. I had to go to archive.org(Wayback Machine) to re-read that page. It's not too hard to dig it up, if you have some experience with Wayback; it'll take a little longer if you're new to it.

  16. #10
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    Default Re: Drop In Tuners For 1933 Gibson A

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    To clarify--

    The Stew-mac Golden Age tuners, part numbers #2511 and #2512, have the correct post spacing for Gibson A models made after the mid 1920's. These tuners can be recognized by the "arrow end" on the base plates.

    The tuners that are called Golden Age "Restoration" tuners, part numbers #2505, 2506, and #2523, have a wider post spacing, and are designed to fit A models made in the 1910's. They can be recognized by the scalloped ends on the base plates.
    They will not fit Gibson mandolins made after the early to mid 1920's.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Because Gibson was not very orderly in their transition from the use of the earlier tuners to the later tuners, mandolins from 1922 or so through 1925 must be measured on an individual basis.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The #2511 and #2512 will work on Murphy's mandolin. The post spacing will be correct. However, the holes for the mounting screws may have to be re-done.
    The problem with measuring them is likely to be being precise enough - we’re talking millimetres here. The best way to find which you have is to look at the worm gears. The teens to twenties tuners have the worms on the nut side of the cog (worm under) whereas the early twenties onwards have the worms frurther from the nut than the cog (worm over). Assuming, of course, that somebody hasn’t already changed them for the wrong ones!

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  18. #11
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Drop In Tuners For 1933 Gibson A

    Quote Originally Posted by bennyb View Post
    Last time I went to lutherie.net, it wasn't there. I had to go to archive.org(Wayback Machine) to re-read that page. It's not too hard to dig it up, if you have some experience with Wayback; it'll take a little longer if you're new to it.
    It's still up. Paul Hostetter's family has kept it alive.

    http://www.lutherie.net/tuner.maintenance.html
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
    --M. Stillion

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them"
    --J. Garber

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  20. #12
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    Default Re: Drop In Tuners For 1933 Gibson A

    If you're skilled at measuring and have a good rule, it's easier to determine which spacing you have if you measure from the first post to the last, instead of from the first post to the second. Take your measurements at the bottom of the shaft rather than at the top.

    If you take a center to center measurement from the first tuner post to the last and get slightly under 2 3/4", it is the later [1930's to current] spacing.
    If you get slightly over 2 3/4", it is the earlier [1910's] spacing.

    3 x .906" [later spacing] = 2.72"
    3 x 15/16" [or .9375", teens spacing] = 2.81"

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  22. #13
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Drop In Tuners For 1933 Gibson A

    Another vote for the Golden Age tuners. Put them on after getting my A Jr. and haven't complained since. Plus, I think black tuner buttons look cool on a Junior.

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  24. #14
    Registered User Murphy Slaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Drop In Tuners For 1933 Gibson A

    In the link for "Tuning Machine Maintenance" mine are the ones he says "never work well".

    Looks just like them.
    1933 Gibson A-00 (was Scotty Stoneman's)
    2003 Gibson J-45RW (ebony)
    2017 Gibson J-15

    The Murph Channel
    http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkomGsMJXH9qn-xLKCv4WOg

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  26. #15
    Registered User Murphy Slaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Drop In Tuners For 1933 Gibson A

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Platt View Post
    Another vote for the Golden Age tuners. Put them on after getting my A Jr. and haven't complained since. Plus, I think black tuner buttons look cool on a Junior.
    I never thought about black until I just read your reply.

    It has an ebony bridge and fretboard.

    By golly, I'm gonna do it!

    Thanks, everyone. This is still the best forum on the planet.
    1933 Gibson A-00 (was Scotty Stoneman's)
    2003 Gibson J-45RW (ebony)
    2017 Gibson J-15

    The Murph Channel
    http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkomGsMJXH9qn-xLKCv4WOg

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  28. #16
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Drop In Tuners For 1933 Gibson A

    Thing the Stew Mac website does is offer a dimensioned drawing of post spacing,

    its up to the buyer to measure the post spacing the instrument needs, & compare.
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    is like dancing,
    about architecture

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