Most of the Gibson acoustics I've been exposed to have had Klusons, but with plastic buttons. Many of the tuners on the guitars from the '50s like J-50s, J-45s and LG1s have had to have the buttons replaced since they deteriorated and just crumbled. I would think in this case, the owner could remove the two E string tuners and look at the screw holes in order to tell which (if any) tuners are original. The unenclosed tuners look like cheap replacements to me.
I think you've hit the nail on the head. Cheap replacements.
Dave - I hope someone who is more knowldegable than I can help but I would suspect none of these tuners are original. I definitely could be wrong. Per Gruhn, all Gibsons during this time period used the standard Gibson tuners which were nickel or chrome plated. So far, so good. But I have a picture of someone playing a B-25 that clearly shows the tuner buttons were more of a narrow oval (assuming the ones on the guitar in the picture, taken in 1972, were original). I have a lot of other pictures of other Gibson guitars from this time period which show the same oval shape or the so-called butter-bean shape. The ones in the picture you posted appear to be the type Martin uses on their vintage series and many other companies use them as well in that their silhouette is more "stepped-down" as opposed to strictly oval.
Finally, is it just me or can anyone else see very small screw holes just above the top tuners? Especially on the left side and possibly also on the upper right and below the bottom left tuner? If these are holes, they are most likely from the original tuners.
The B-25 was the successor to the LG-2 and was manufactured between 1962 and 1977. I found a picture of Dianna Ross playing one (doesn't show the tuners). It's also supposed to be very similar to my TG-O (circa 1964). However, my TG-O (a tenor) uses the old white plastic tuners that have one-piece connector plates in the rear.
All of this is probably moot anyway since, even if the other 5 tuners are original, there is still a replacement on the lower E string. These are really nice guitars and if you are in the market for one, you just need to decide if the price is right, there is no major damage or abuse, and you like to play it. Later on, if you want, you can change out the tuners with vintage copies sold by someone such as Stewart/MacDonald.
And remember: Vintage instruments don't rise enough in value during your lifetime to make you rich... maybe your grandkids, but not you. So you'd better like playing it.
Just my thoughts.
Take care - m
Thanks, M. I've owned a couple of these and thus was puzzled at the seller's comments regarding these machines. I loved the guitar but traded to get my first d'naught Martin. I miss it though, for the small bod moods.
Good find, Jim. Thanks. I knew I had seen that config.
I suspect, like the others, that these are not original...if it's a great guitar otherwise, don'rt worry about the tuners being original...there are lots of people out there selling tuners from just about every make and model year that you could get to replace them and be the same year it was built! That's my two cents! Edward
Right on Ed. Those 3 on a plate Klusons are still very findable.
The 3 on a plate Klusons are what I have on my LG1, the ancestor of the B25, so they would probably be appropriate for that guitar.
I agree with Jim, these are not original, a friend of mine had one of these back in the sixties (he had a rich dad!) and as I recall they were fitted with Kluson tuners on a strip with white oval buttons. You can get a replacement set to match the originals. I had an SG rebuilt in the Gibson custom shop a couple of years ago and it had been fitted with Grovers at some time. Gibson had no qualms with refitting new Klusons to match the originals. The tech who rebuilt it said the originals were not very good quality and usually had to be replaced if they got used a lot, today's versions look the same but are better made. If it's a player you are after then I would have no reservations in replacing them with new original spec tuners. Guitars wear out with use, it's normal to have to fix them and replace parts. If you Google Gibson B25 images you will find examples of the Kluson on a strip style tuners.