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Author Topic:  Kluson Stringmaster tuners
Jeff Mead


From:
London, England
Post  Posted 3 Jun 2017 11:40 pm    
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So, I am seeing and hearing about how these new Kluson tuners don't quite fit into a Stringmaster - for example this pic from Terry Ray Anderson showing how he had to go at his guitar with a Dremel!

The advertising copy says "These are exact reproductions and will retrofit your original Stringmaster tuner tray like it was made for it (it was!)."

I guess the tuners fit in the tray but that's not terribly helpful if the tray + tuners don't fit in the guitar.

I know someone here tested the prototypes - did they not spot this problem?

Or does the size of the tuner pan route on Stringmaster bodies vary over the years?

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Cartwright Thompson


Post  Posted 4 Jun 2017 3:52 am    
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I am always amazed when a company goes to great lengths to reproduce a part and then it doesn't fit properly. I just bought some "exact" retro tuners for an old Gibson arch top of mine. The photos looked perfect and I was excited because the gear ratio and quality was much better than the originals. Alas, the screw holes were about a 1/16" off. I was able to enlarge the holes to make them work but come on guys!
Now days, thanks to the part-em-out guys, just about any vintage Stringmaster part is readily available on eBay, I don't know why anyone would buy the repro stuff.
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Jeff Mead


From:
London, England
Post  Posted 4 Jun 2017 4:54 am    
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Id be very interested to hear the story from whoever it was on this forum who was working with Kluson on this.
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Tony Oresteen


From:
Georgia, USA
Post  Posted 4 Jun 2017 11:16 pm    
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Ditto. I have a pan & tuner set for a project & I assumed that they would fit a SM body. Looks like it might be Forstner bit time.
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 5 Jun 2017 2:56 am    
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Was the SM pictured in this post a MKI with lollipop tuners? 9/55 would seem to be too late for the MKI but the tuner pans for that earliest model would be different. I believe (?) it is a known issue that these reissues will not fit that earliest model. But again, I believe that the date indicates that it is not that model.
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Jeff Mead


From:
London, England
Post  Posted 5 Jun 2017 3:42 am    
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Jon Light wrote:
Was the SM pictured in this post a MKI with lollipop tuners?


No it's a MKII.

If it were a MKI it would have needed more surgery to fit the later tuning pan.
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 5 Jun 2017 3:53 am    
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Then this is extra disappointing. And it raises the question of exactly what was used to prototype this reissue and whether there are other variations in the pans beyond MKI and MKII.
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Bill Sinclair


From:
Hagerstown, Maryland, USA
Post  Posted 5 Jun 2017 7:29 am    
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I can't for the life of me find the original post about the reproduction tuner pans. I wonder if the problem isn't with the pan/tray but with the thickness of the reproduction tuners themselves?
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Jeff Mead


From:
London, England
Post  Posted 5 Jun 2017 8:41 am    
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Bill Sinclair wrote:
I can't for the life of me find the original post about the reproduction tuner pans. I wonder if the problem isn't with the pan/tray but with the thickness of the reproduction tuners themselves?


Yes, pretty sure it's the tuners - He's using original pans (you can see the Fender logo in the picture).
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Clyde Mattocks


From:
Kinston, North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 5 Jun 2017 9:55 am    
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Is the issue because the new tuners have covers over the gears and the originals did not?
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Mark Roeder


From:
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Post  Posted 5 Jun 2017 10:11 am    
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They have to be open tuners to fit...
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Jeff Mead


From:
London, England
Post  Posted 5 Jun 2017 10:16 am    
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Clyde Mattocks wrote:
Is the issue because the new tuners have covers over the gears and the originals did not?


No, the originals had covers.
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Mark Roeder


From:
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Post  Posted 5 Jun 2017 10:33 am    
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Hmmmmm
The one I owned had no covers, but now that I think about it, it was a lollipop style
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Jeff Mead


From:
London, England
Post  Posted 5 Jun 2017 10:44 am    
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Mark Roeder wrote:
Hmmmmm
The one I owned had no covers, but now that I think about it, it was a lollipop style


That's right, the lollipop style (MKI) tuners didn't have covers but this style definitely did.
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Russ Cudney


From:
Sonoma, California, USA
Post  Posted 5 Jun 2017 9:57 pm    
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Bill Sinclair wrote:
I can't for the life of me find the original post about the reproduction tuner pans. I wonder if the problem isn't with the pan/tray but with the thickness of the reproduction tuners themselves?


http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=299137&highlight=

The problem was with the tabs that hold the covers on the plate. I helped Kluson develop these and let them know that some didn't fit. They fit fine in my '56 T8 but not my '58 T8. That is where I left it with them. I had to move on to developing my single coil humbucking pickups.
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Jeff Mead


From:
London, England
Post  Posted 5 Jun 2017 11:05 pm    
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Ate you still in contact with them? They should at least drop the claim that these are exact replicas. I would be very annoyed if I bought a set and found I had to file bits off my guitar.

Looks like I might have to give the parting out guys some business after all Sad
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Jeff Mead


From:
London, England
Post  Posted 6 Jun 2017 7:48 am    
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Russ Cudney wrote:
They fit fine in my '56 T8 but not my '58 T8. That is where I left it with them.


Of course, this clarifies that there was some variation in Tolerances with Fender but would I be right in assuming that, although the Kluson tuners fitted into the 56 but not the 58, the tuners from the 56 would have fitted into the 58 and vice versa?

We aren't saying Fender produced different spec tuner pans (apart from the lollipop tuners that are completely different) in different years in the 50s are we?

I've never heard of anyone having trouble using vintage tuners from a different year in any Stringmaster (I believe that even the 8 string Pedal Steel tuners fit fine in 50's Stringmasters).
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Mark Roeder


From:
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Post  Posted 8 Jun 2017 12:20 pm    
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I was looking at an old fender pan opened up and noticed that the strip the cased tuners were attached was perfectly flat. Are the new ones flat as well or are they like the strips on the standard guitars that have a raised edge?
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Michael Maddex


From:
Northern New Mexico, USA
Post  Posted 8 Jun 2017 1:49 pm    
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All of these discrepancies could be explained by variations in the Pan Cavities. Perhaps the Fender Factory People used different cavity widths depending on the latest tuners that they had on hand.

One of you guys with lots of Old Fenders and nothing better to do [Laughing] could take some Pan Cavity Measurement for comparison. See if they are all the same, or vary according to Tuning Machine Style. I guess a measurement list could be started right here. I would be glad to get a measurement off of my Short-Scale Fender 400 if it would help. I need to work on that guitar anyway.

Interesting subject. Cool
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Jeff Mead


From:
London, England
Post  Posted 8 Jun 2017 2:38 pm    
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Michael Maddex wrote:
All of these discrepancies could be explained by variations in the Pan Cavities.


There are undoubtedly variations but it looks like these new Klusons are outside of that.

Bottom line is that I have never heard of anyone having trouble fitting vintage tuners from one guitar into another one from a different year.

Of course, I am talking only of the medium and short scale Stringmasters (and maybe the 400 and 1000 series pedal steels). The long scale Stringmasters are different and not relevant to this discussion.
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Jim Palenscar


From:
Oceanside, Calif, USA
Post  Posted 8 Jun 2017 10:11 pm    
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The older lollypop tuners were in a non-slotted pan and the reproductions wouldn't look right even if they fit. It is fairly common that the worm gear wears out in the older tuners and they then begin to skip and I played around with moving the worm gear closer to the ring gear by .040" but it was a labor of love and I quickly tired of that approach. I've developed a newer but still rather laborious technique to replace them that involves shortening the string shafts of the replacement tuners, drilling a slightly larger hole in the lollypops and the pan to accommodate the increase in the diameter of the replacement tuner worm gear shaft and re-soldering the lollypops back on the tuner. I suppose a very well trained eye could tell that they weren't original but they look great and work like they should again.
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George Geisser


From:
Branson, Missouri, USA
Post  Posted 2 Aug 2018 4:34 pm     WTB 6 String kluson or old Fender stamped tuner tray
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If anyone has replaced their old 6 String Fender stamped tuner pans or can forward me to a buyer it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks George by George
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Jim Dickinson


From:
Washington, USA
Post  Posted 2 Aug 2018 8:25 pm    
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I was in on the beginning of it too. At the time, they were only going to get the tuners made, I sent them one side of a pan set in about 2010.

Well, at least somebody did something to restore these wonderful beasts! I've got a new Kluson pan and tuner set going into a 22.5" inside neck of a D8, in a few days. The old blue re-paint wrecked the pocket date, but my guess is the late 1950's. I need to take a tad over 1/16 of an inch off the inside of the pocket for them to fit, an old set of mine, drops right in.

I've got a Gold Kluson 6 hole pan and tuner set, it will take the same clearance as the eight, on this particular neck.

Viva Kluson!
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Beginning Player, 1946 Fender Dual Pro- Boxcar, Late 1950's Fender Champ, 1954 Fender D8 MK1 Stringmaster Project, MK 2 Stringmaster 22.5 Single Neck Project, MK 2 Stringmaster T8 22.5" Project, Vintage D8 built with Stringmaster Parts. Lottsa parts.
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Jeff Mead


From:
London, England
Post  Posted 3 Aug 2018 4:54 am    
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...and still Kluson are claiming the machine heads are "exact reproductions".
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Jim VanBuskirk


From:
Nevada, USA
Post  Posted 4 Aug 2018 6:05 pm     kluson replica tuners
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ive got a '78 double neck Stringmaster and replaced both tuners with the Kluson replicas.
They both fit perfectly, look just like the originals and are smooth to use.
Maybe im just lucky ???
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