DeArmond Ashbory Tuners on a Guild Retrofit

Contributed by Bill Puig on June 2, 2004

Note: Since this was published, newer Ashbory tuners have been retrofitted onto a Guild. See "Modernizing a Guild Ashbory" for more details.

The question "I have a Guild Ashbory bass, can I replace the old uke tuners with the new Fender ones?" has apparently been the subject of much discussion here on Large Sound. I was lucky enough to obtain a reasonably-priced Guild Ashbory a few months ago, and before long - that is, after lots of twiddling with the uke tuners and a few re-tunings of the instrument - I found myself asking this question too. Well, Brock was kind enough to supply me with one of the Fender tuning machines for comparison purposes, and after taking some measurements and some time to think I have the answer. It's ...

"Yes, BUT ..."

More to the point, it's technically feasible to replace the Guild uke tuners with the new ones. However, the operation requires some basic carpentry skills, and is NOT for everyone.


If you choose to pursue an Ashbory tuner upgrade, you'll need to address two issues in particular:

  • Tuner Size: As illustrated in Figure 1 (at right), the post diameter of the new Fender Ashbory tuners is slightly (less than 1/32") larger that that of the old uke tuners. In order to fit the new tuners in a Guild Ashbory, you'll need to remove the uke tuners, and use a variable-speed drill to carefully widen the post-hole bushings in the bass's headstock.

Ashbory Tuners

Ashbory Headstock

  • Tuner Length: I found that the new tuners were about 1/32" longer than the headstock of my Guild Ashbory bass was wide (the difference is pointed out by the arrow in Figure 2, at left). A thin shim will need to be inserted between the rear of the headstock and the tuners' screw plates when mounting, in order to ensure that the new tuners fit snugly.


After completing this investigation and pursuing some careful deliberation, I've decided to leave the old uke tuners in my Guild Ashbory. Despite the presence of the new Fender Ashborys in the marketplace, I view my instrument as a collectible, and don't want to permanently alter (or possibly damage) it. Caveat Emptor.