DIY - Removing eTune from my SG

My Gibson SG is one of those that came with the eTune system which died some time ago, so today I’ve done what I’ve threatened to do for some time, remove the eTune system and replace it with standard tuners.

For those who don’t know, the eTune system was something that Gibson offered for a while whereby, in theory at least, you pushed a button, strummed the strings and the guitar tuned itself. In my opinion this isn’t a terrible idea, but the reality was that sometimes it worked and others not so much and so it wasn’t quick than tuning it yourself. Maybe they came to market too soon with it, a bit more refinement and maybe it would still be around today. Mine had stopped working altogether, so even though I could use the tuners manually, I wanted to put regular tuners on the guitar to make it look neater. It’s a job I put off for a while as I was nervous about doing it, but in the end it was pretty easy.
Some before pictures

Removing the unit was dead easy as it isn’t screwed or glued into the headstock so it came off very cleanly

Putting the new tuners on did involve screwing them into the headstock so this was the bit that was most worrying but it went fine

And there you have it, job done… mostly.
You’ll notice there’s no picture of the guitar re-strung and that’s because I snapped a string when I was doing it :roll_eyes: I think I was so relieved not to have ruined my headstock that I messed up a job that I’ve done several times before without issue. The final touch will be to swap out the eTune truss rod cover to banish it forever!
So if this a job that anyone is considering attempting, it’s dead easy.


Nice job - while I admire the innovation I’m a bit of a traditionalist and prefer it your way.

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Assume the next project will be to replace the E-Tune truss rod access cover ? :rofl:

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It makes me laugh the lengths Gibson will go too for tuning but won’t change their headstock…

Nice job!


Nice. I think the tuning machines look better than the old ones.


Definitely, just a case of finding a decent one that doesn’t involve an obscene amount of postage fees!

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Nice job, as regards the Trussrod cover Amazon are ok, plenty of choice!

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A few days later and the job is properly complete, strings and a plain truss rod cover


Nice. You made it a better guitar, in my opinion (not a fan of that ETune system).

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Yeah I have no regrets about doing it - in general I like things to be original but you could make a good case that there’s nothing original about ETune on an SG even if it left the factory that way.

I still think the idea of a self-tuning guitar is a cool one and it was kind of fun to see it do it once or twice but it was a novelty that soon grew thin, listening to it hunt around to try to tune a guitar that was already mostly in tune!

Wonderful job .I did the same with my 2014. To any one considering the same thing Hipshot tuners with the universal fitting are drop in. They cost in the region of 90£

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