Tuner Buttons Phase III Question

Monahan

New Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2023
Messages
180
Location
Olympia, WA
Greetings all!

After many hours online looking for answers, I've hit a wall. So now my fellow PRS peeps, here's my question:

- Where can I find gold tuner buttons (phase iii) for a newer Core DGT?

- Anyone know if the correct buttons (satin finish I believe) can be sourced from Schaller, or Gotoh?

This particular DGT has the hybrid hardware, but the tuners have the faux-bone buttons which is the only thing about this guitar I don't care for.

PRS Customer Service kindly replied to my inquiry, noting the factory does not offer its gold buttons as an accessory, though it does offer a full set of tuning keys in the desired finish. No luck with John Mann's website either...

Thanks!

What good is a new thread without at least one photo?
KfeaIEg.jpg
 
Gotoh makes the Phase 3 tuners. You want Gotoh buttons…specifically, LARGE ‘01’ model buttons (smalls are for 6-in-line). They aren’t hard to find…in pot metal. Phase 3s use aluminum buttons to reduce weight - it’s what makes Phase 3 tuners “low mass”. Gotoh lists these buttons as the ‘AB01’ model, so technically they exist, but you can’t buy them individually. They only come pre-installed on tuners. (More tuner below…)

The regular buttons are widely available (WD Music, AllParts), but are a poor substitute. They are cast zinc vs machined aluminum. They are much heavier and feel cruder than the original aluminum buttons. They are also brightly polished, whereas the stock buttons have a duller sheen.

Your easiest option is to scour Reverb for someone selling a set of PRS Phase 3 buttons. They pop up from time to time. I have bought quite a few there and sold numerous sets there (I despise gold hardware…so I pulled it from all my guitars a sold it on Reverb). The caution with used is that aluminum is rather soft, so easily dinged. The best way to ensure pristine buttons is to go new.

The second-easiest option is to buy the set you like. Remove the old ones. Install new. Sell old. Your net cost may run $50-75, depending on prices. Save time and heartache and leave the original bushings in place. They are all the same, so no need to swap. I’ve done this a few times.

An option to consider is tone wood buttons, specifically rosewood or ebony. I’ve used both and they look great with Phase 3s and are really attractive when matched to the fretboard. You can get very nice ones for under $50.

Look at SportHiTech…they sell ToneNinja-brand buttons for $25-50 for a set of six. The ToneNinja buttons are rebranded buttons purchased from CrazyParts in Germany. CrazyParts makes very nice wood buttons. Going the ToneNinja route will save you money. CrazyParts prices aren’t much higher, but the shipping will kill you…roughly $35-40 for DHL shipping of one set of buttons.

I’ve bought PRS-branded ebony buttons and didn’t like them. They felt cheap, especially for $50. I seriously thought they were plastic…I had contact the vendor to confirm they were, in fact wood.

I previously reached out to PRS, Gotoh HQ Japan, Gotoh’s parent company Hosco, Gotoh distributer JaParts in Canada, dug through endless Gotoh catalogues…my quest for new aluminum buttons failed. You are left buying used buttons, with cannibalizing from used sets, or buying new.

Consider:

1) Gotoh HQ they cannot sell any Phase 3 parts. The tuners are a proprietary design owned by PRS. Gotoh is contractually forbidden to sell those parts to the general public

2) PRS doesn’t sell spare Phase 3 parts. They only receive fully assembled tuners. No spare parts. They don’t “repair” or fiddle with the tuners. They toss it and replace it with a new tuner. It’s faster and easier, since they have crateloads of tuners.
 
Thanks for the help guys!

Hadn't considered the ToneNinja versions... I'll give them a look.

Makes sense that the supplying companies are contractually restricted, it was a long shot idea to begin with.

I'll keep y'all updated on the results ;)
 
Gotoh makes the Phase 3 tuners. You want Gotoh buttons…specifically, LARGE ‘01’ model buttons (smalls are for 6-in-line). They aren’t hard to find…in pot metal. Phase 3s use aluminum buttons to reduce weight - it’s what makes Phase 3 tuners “low mass”. Gotoh lists these buttons as the ‘AB01’ model, so technically they exist, but you can’t buy them individually. They only come pre-installed on tuners. (More tuner below…)

The regular buttons are widely available (WD Music, AllParts), but are a poor substitute. They are cast zinc vs machined aluminum. They are much heavier and feel cruder than the original aluminum buttons. They are also brightly polished, whereas the stock buttons have a duller sheen.

Your easiest option is to scour Reverb for someone selling a set of PRS Phase 3 buttons. They pop up from time to time. I have bought quite a few there and sold numerous sets there (I despise gold hardware…so I pulled it from all my guitars a sold it on Reverb). The caution with used is that aluminum is rather soft, so easily dinged. The best way to ensure pristine buttons is to go new.

The second-easiest option is to buy the set you like. Remove the old ones. Install new. Sell old. Your net cost may run $50-75, depending on prices. Save time and heartache and leave the original bushings in place. They are all the same, so no need to swap. I’ve done this a few times.

An option to consider is tone wood buttons, specifically rosewood or ebony. I’ve used both and they look great with Phase 3s and are really attractive when matched to the fretboard. You can get very nice ones for under $50.

Look at SportHiTech…they sell ToneNinja-brand buttons for $25-50 for a set of six. The ToneNinja buttons are rebranded buttons purchased from CrazyParts in Germany. CrazyParts makes very nice wood buttons. Going the ToneNinja route will save you money. CrazyParts prices aren’t much higher, but the shipping will kill you…roughly $35-40 for DHL shipping of one set of buttons.

I’ve bought PRS-branded ebony buttons and didn’t like them. They felt cheap, especially for $50. I seriously thought they were plastic…I had contact the vendor to confirm they were, in fact wood.

I previously reached out to PRS, Gotoh HQ Japan, Gotoh’s parent company Hosco, Gotoh distributer JaParts in Canada, dug through endless Gotoh catalogues…my quest for new aluminum buttons failed. You are left buying used buttons, with cannibalizing from used sets, or buying new.

Consider:

1) Gotoh HQ they cannot sell any Phase 3 parts. The tuners are a proprietary design owned by PRS. Gotoh is contractually forbidden to sell those parts to the general public

2) PRS doesn’t sell spare Phase 3 parts. They only receive fully assembled tuners. No spare parts. They don’t “repair” or fiddle with the tuners. They toss it and replace it with a new tuner. It’s faster and easier, since they have crateloads of tuners.
Incredibly helpful post!
 
Gotoh makes the Phase 3 tuners. You want Gotoh buttons…specifically, LARGE ‘01’ model buttons (smalls are for 6-in-line). They aren’t hard to find…in pot metal. Phase 3s use aluminum buttons to reduce weight - it’s what makes Phase 3 tuners “low mass”. Gotoh lists these buttons as the ‘AB01’ model, so technically they exist, but you can’t buy them individually. They only come pre-installed on tuners. (More tuner below…)

The regular buttons are widely available (WD Music, AllParts), but are a poor substitute. They are cast zinc vs machined aluminum. They are much heavier and feel cruder than the original aluminum buttons. They are also brightly polished, whereas the stock buttons have a duller sheen.

Your easiest option is to scour Reverb for someone selling a set of PRS Phase 3 buttons. They pop up from time to time. I have bought quite a few there and sold numerous sets there (I despise gold hardware…so I pulled it from all my guitars a sold it on Reverb). The caution with used is that aluminum is rather soft, so easily dinged. The best way to ensure pristine buttons is to go new.

The second-easiest option is to buy the set you like. Remove the old ones. Install new. Sell old. Your net cost may run $50-75, depending on prices. Save time and heartache and leave the original bushings in place. They are all the same, so no need to swap. I’ve done this a few times.

An option to consider is tone wood buttons, specifically rosewood or ebony. I’ve used both and they look great with Phase 3s and are really attractive when matched to the fretboard. You can get very nice ones for under $50.

Look at SportHiTech…they sell ToneNinja-brand buttons for $25-50 for a set of six. The ToneNinja buttons are rebranded buttons purchased from CrazyParts in Germany. CrazyParts makes very nice wood buttons. Going the ToneNinja route will save you money. CrazyParts prices aren’t much higher, but the shipping will kill you…roughly $35-40 for DHL shipping of one set of buttons.

I’ve bought PRS-branded ebony buttons and didn’t like them. They felt cheap, especially for $50. I seriously thought they were plastic…I had contact the vendor to confirm they were, in fact wood.

I previously reached out to PRS, Gotoh HQ Japan, Gotoh’s parent company Hosco, Gotoh distributer JaParts in Canada, dug through endless Gotoh catalogues…my quest for new aluminum buttons failed. You are left buying used buttons, with cannibalizing from used sets, or buying new.

Consider:

1) Gotoh HQ they cannot sell any Phase 3 parts. The tuners are a proprietary design owned by PRS. Gotoh is contractually forbidden to sell those parts to the general public

2) PRS doesn’t sell spare Phase 3 parts. They only receive fully assembled tuners. No spare parts. They don’t “repair” or fiddle with the tuners. They toss it and replace it with a new tuner. It’s faster and easier, since they have crateloads of tuners.
Great Info!
 
@jdj89, are you able to help with the above
Sorry I’m late here. I ended up finding the nickel ones from another member who had them lying around. I believe the gold ones are even harder to come by. I haven’t even put the nickel ones on as I’m probably looking to move the guitar they were intended for.
 
Sorry I’m late here. I ended up finding the nickel ones from another member who had them lying around. I believe the gold ones are even harder to come by. I haven’t even put the nickel ones on as I’m probably looking to move the guitar they were intended for.
Yeah, I wonder who was that member ;) shame you decided to sell the guitar
 
Gotoh makes the Phase 3 tuners. You want Gotoh buttons…specifically, LARGE ‘01’ model buttons (smalls are for 6-in-line). They aren’t hard to find…in pot metal. Phase 3s use aluminum buttons to reduce weight - it’s what makes Phase 3 tuners “low mass”. Gotoh lists these buttons as the ‘AB01’ model, so technically they exist, but you can’t buy them individually. They only come pre-installed on tuners. (More tuner below…)

The regular buttons are widely available (WD Music, AllParts), but are a poor substitute. They are cast zinc vs machined aluminum. They are much heavier and feel cruder than the original aluminum buttons. They are also brightly polished, whereas the stock buttons have a duller sheen.

Your easiest option is to scour Reverb for someone selling a set of PRS Phase 3 buttons. They pop up from time to time. I have bought quite a few there and sold numerous sets there (I despise gold hardware…so I pulled it from all my guitars a sold it on Reverb). The caution with used is that aluminum is rather soft, so easily dinged. The best way to ensure pristine buttons is to go new.

The second-easiest option is to buy the set you like. Remove the old ones. Install new. Sell old. Your net cost may run $50-75, depending on prices. Save time and heartache and leave the original bushings in place. They are all the same, so no need to swap. I’ve done this a few times.

An option to consider is tone wood buttons, specifically rosewood or ebony. I’ve used both and they look great with Phase 3s and are really attractive when matched to the fretboard. You can get very nice ones for under $50.

Look at SportHiTech…they sell ToneNinja-brand buttons for $25-50 for a set of six. The ToneNinja buttons are rebranded buttons purchased from CrazyParts in Germany. CrazyParts makes very nice wood buttons. Going the ToneNinja route will save you money. CrazyParts prices aren’t much higher, but the shipping will kill you…roughly $35-40 for DHL shipping of one set of buttons.

I’ve bought PRS-branded ebony buttons and didn’t like them. They felt cheap, especially for $50. I seriously thought they were plastic…I had contact the vendor to confirm they were, in fact wood.

I previously reached out to PRS, Gotoh HQ Japan, Gotoh’s parent company Hosco, Gotoh distributer JaParts in Canada, dug through endless Gotoh catalogues…my quest for new aluminum buttons failed. You are left buying used buttons, with cannibalizing from used sets, or buying new.

Consider:

1) Gotoh HQ they cannot sell any Phase 3 parts. The tuners are a proprietary design owned by PRS. Gotoh is contractually forbidden to sell those parts to the general public

2) PRS doesn’t sell spare Phase 3 parts. They only receive fully assembled tuners. No spare parts. They don’t “repair” or fiddle with the tuners. They toss it and replace it with a new tuner. It’s faster and easier, since they have crateloads of tuners.
So after weeks of searching, and a few failed attempts at buying full sets on Reverb & Ebay, I ended up buying a full set of the Hybrid tuners from PRS directly.

The funny thing is I had to buy them individually, as the "sets" in any of the three color combos are "sold out." Price was the same regardless. Also appears that I've purchased the last three "Treble Side; Hybrid" tuners PRS had in stock.

When they arrive, I'm planning on simply swapping each tuner (sans bushings) rather than just swapping the buttons.

Considering PRS is changing over to its new "wing" tuners, I suspect the prior version of the tuners are not going to be restocked. Soooo... if anyone else out there is considering a different set of these tuners, now's the time ;)

Photos to follow...
 
We gotta name these new tuners so when we sell (yeah right, for me) our PRS to identify them as "pre" something. "Pre Chiclet Tuner Era" or like that. Give it that extra zing.

Now I want winged chiclet tuners...
 
Been a long strange trip, but it's finally done!

Those little white plastic button things have been replaced with the proper PRS "hybrid" hardware:

Before & After:

76yGewA.jpg


And in the proper context:

mc9ZO7p.jpg


The new buttons look much better to me :)

Now something to do about that truss rod cover LOL! :D
 
Gold pickup covers now too?
Nope. She already has gold screws in the pickups, gold saddles, strap buttons, various other screws... all part of the "Hybrid Hardware" that came with the guitar. Only thing I had to do was install the correct tuner buttons and flip the truss rod cover (not shown above).

Nothing against Dave; just a few corrections required to make it mine :)
 
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