Page 1 of 1

LS320 Tuner Replacements - Advice Needed

Posted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:08 pm
by Rebar

I currently have an LS 320 (1999), which is a fantastic guitar. The only problem I’m having with it, and which seems to be a flaw with many LP type guitars, is that it has less tuning stability compared with, say a strat or a tele. I have particular difficulty with the G-string staying in tune and I have therefore decided to replace the tuners.

I have tried the usual methods of trying to improve things such as a sprinkle of graphite over the nut and tuning down rather than up, with no lasting improvement. I’m just getting a bit fed up, as I’m tending to play my tele more and more because its less likely to give me any problems. At this point, I just want to say that the LS 320 isn’t for sale – it took too long to find to do that :lol:

I would, however, like to ask if anyone has any advice on the best replacement tuners which will not necessitate excessive drilling, etc. I want to preserve the originality of the guitar as much as I can so that, if the day comes that I do wish to sell, I can put the original tuners back on. From what I can find out, Tokai used Gotoh tuners and I have found a locking version which I think may work. These are SD90 MG-T tuners: ... =sd90-mg-t

There are some options with regard to post heights with these too.

Can anyone advise me on whether these will fit the existing holes on my guitar and what the ideal post heights should be please? Failing that, I’m open to alternatives.

Any advice would be very welcome.


Posted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:21 pm
by luis
Hello Tony.

My 1996 use some slight different tuners than my 2003. The post is more like 1978-85 ones on the base. However recent Gotohs would fit OK.
Please upload pics of your tuner to see which one is in order to help you more accuratly.


PS: I understand you wouldn´t sell your 320, these series are fantastic, on a par with any of the G brand if not better. And if yoy do some aditional tricks then it would improve to a highest grade.

Posted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:51 pm
by dombat
Strats are the most sensitive to tuning problems!!!!

I have, let's say 30 guitars (T, F and G) they all have tuning problems with the G string

Posted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 3:04 pm
by Rebar
Hi Luis,

Thanks for your reply. I'd be very keen to know what other improvements you think I should make in addition to the tuners.

I had initially thought about trying to buy just one replacement tuner for the G string, so I posted a wanted ad in the classifieds section. I included a photo in the ad. No replies though.... :roll:

I will upload a photo in here asap.

Dombat - I suppose they all give trouble, but the LP just seems to be the worst when I'm plucking my G-string! :oops:



Posted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 11:14 am
by Rebar
Thanks to everyone who sent a PM. I have now tried a dab of nut sauce and it has worked a treat! Weird thing is, after saying I'd never sell her, now I'm not too sure :-?

Posted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 4:06 pm
by luis
Glad you got a solution for the trouble Rebar. Please told us about the trick used.

I did some tricks on my 1996 LS320 (one off):

1.- Pigtail steel bushings
2.- Pigtail steel studs
3.- ABR-1 brass posts (metric M4) deeper into the body to achieve some extra bass.

So, in summary Tokai Lover Rocks have the parts reversed than original 59 Les Pauls ( brass tailpiece studs bot steel ABR-1 posts) so I just put my 320 to 50s specs so the guitar have all 50s appointments. No more no less.
I will post some pics tomorrow.

Posted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 12:31 pm
by Diamond
Get a very good tech to file/tweak the nut and always use nut sauce in the slots.

Even the MIK tuners on the Traditional Series MIC models don't have tuning problems once the nut is correctly filed/tweaked.

I sold the Gotoh SD90 tuners on my LS160 because I didn't have spare tuners in stock and a customer needed a set, I replaced the SD90 Gotohs with a set of the MIK tuners from a LS48F, no tuning problems.

Posted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:07 pm
by guitar hiro
glad to hear you have this figured out Rebar
I have a LS-320 and it likely has the best tuning stability of any guitar I have owned