New tuners easy to replace?

Hello everyone.
I just bought an Epiphone Embassy and love the feel, playability, weight, and looks of it, but don’t like the tuners. They feel sloppy. I want to replace them with Gotoh Compact Bass Tuners. I read a review by another Embassy owner who said the Gotoh’s were “solid, beefy, and held tune”.
My question is: How easy (hard) is it to change out the stock tuners with the Gotohs?
Thank you in advance for your input.


Changing tuners is not really hard. That said, unless they’re drop-in tuners, i.e., they use the exact same screw holes as the ones you’re replacing, you could need to drill new screw holes.

I have some Gotohs on an acoustic guitar, but not on any basses. @howard knows about Gotohs for bass.

In the meantime, do a search for the tuners you’re thinking about and check out the screw hole patterns on their plates to see how similar/different they are to your current tuners.

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Screw holes are the most important for ease of drop in for sure.
Next is bushings, you can choose to leave the ones that are in the holes there (easy) or swap them out with the new ones that come with the new tuners if needed (color, sizing with tuning peg, etc). You will need something round that fits just in the hole that can be hammered on top pop the bushings out gently. And a rawhide/leather etc hammer to put the new ones back (again, or just leave the old ones there, I’ve don’t both).

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Screw holes would be the second most important criteria - first is shaft diameter (yes, size matters). There’s a couple standards and some oddballs.

(guitar article, same is true on bass).

Screw holes are #2 there (man this post is hard to avoid innuendo in) but yeah are a close second.

All reputable manufacturers should have specs easily available for the above. For example, with Gotoh’s page:

tap on “dimensions”.

Gotoh makes excellent hardware, MIJ quality. Hipshot makes great tuning machines as well, but only the USA domestic ones; their international ones are cast zinc, avoid.


Thank you! Great information!I’ll compare dimensions.
I found a set for $48.


Assuming you have the right size tuners to drop in it should be easy and can be done with a crescent wrench and a screwdriver. Just don’t overtighten anything. Everything needs to be just snug and the keys need to move smoothly and not feel too stiff. Most tuners have cheap plastic washers that can be broken if you overtighten the pegs to the tuner. The ferrule shouldn’t be over torqued either for fear of cracking the headstock around the hole or striping threads. Other than that have at it and enjoy the new tuners.

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@Johnny_Mac Did you ever do the replacement? And was it a direct swap (i.e., no drilling)? I’ve recently acquired an Embassy and although my tuners are working well enough, I plan on upgrading for better smoothness and reliability.
Looking at the specs, the Gotoh tuners (both the GB350 and GB707) have the same measurements as Hipshot Ultralite 3/8", which I know are the right size. So, it should be an easy in, easy out situation with Gotoh, right?

No, I did not replace the tuners.
When I looked at the Gotoh specs, the set screw measurement was a little different than the original tuners. One forum member said I’d need to fill the original set screw hole and then drill a new one to fit the Gotoh.
I’m not the best at using tools, even something as simple as what was described, and didn’t want to “ef up” the beautiful finish on the headstock.
So, I’m just leaving on the original tuners.
To be honest, my praise group of 15 years broke up due to Covid, our band leader passed away from brain cancer, and our lead guitarist moved to another state, so I barely touch my Embassy.
The original tuners do stay in tune although there is a bit of “sloppiness” which cause me to always tune “up” to the note………which I always do anyway even when playing a bass with higher quality tuners.
If you happen to follow through and find tuners in which you don’t have to fill and re-drill a new set screw hole, please send me a message. I think I’d definitely put in new tuners if that was the case.
Happy New Year!

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@Johnny_Mac : I went through the exercise of replacing the tuners myself. I had to make the shaft holes larger AND drill new holes for the screws to fit the new Gotoh GB707-like tuners.

I consider myself not very handy (I’m more a theoretical guy) and more than once I thought I would murder my bass. But now it’s done and the new tuners are much better (as in keep their tuning).

Also I have replaced the pickups (passive to active), the bridge and even the nut (making a custom nut from an ABM 6240) - without any prior knowhow and with quite some experimentation. Sometim es things go wrong. And I needed to understand and buy the right tools. Youtube helped immensely.

It was very exciting, often a nightmare and then a dream - and now the bass is truly mine.

Just do it :slight_smile:

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