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panhandler

Tuners - 14:1 vs. 18:1

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I'm thinking abt changing out some tuners to 18:1's...

If everytime you bought a guitar you got your choice at no extra cost... which would you prefer?

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I've never paid much attention to tuner gear ratios...I think any quality made tuners are fine. I usually go with what I think looks best on a particular guitar.

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I've got Grovers on my GAD-25 and I like them much better than the Schaller ones on my Martin. I'm pretty sure the Grovers are 18s and the Schallers on the Martie are 14s.

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You forgot about the latest and greatest 21:1 ratio used on many high end guitars. I don't care about the gear ratio as long as the tuners are good quality. I worry about backlash. I don't mind turning a tuner an extra 1/8 th of a turn either way as long as the post holds true with no backlash.

 

I have open back tuners on my 000-15M. They are Martin brand tuners. They work perfect. I'm not sure what the gear ratio is because I never counted the teeth. My guess without looking is 14:1.

 

I am a big fan of the Grover Sta-Tites. I had them on a few different guitars (not sure if they were 14:1, 16:1 or 18:1). They are probably the best tuners you can get for the money.

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You forgot about the latest and greatest 21:1 ratio used on many high end guitars. I don't care about the gear ratio as long as the tuners are good quality. I worry about backlash. I don't mind turning a tuner an extra 1/8 th of a turn either way as long as the post holds true with no backlash.


I have open back tuners on my 000-15M. They are Martin brand tuners. They work perfect. I'm not sure what the gear ratio is because I never counted the teeth. My guess without looking is 14:1.


I am a big fan of the Grover Sta-Tites. I had them on a few different guitars (not sure if they were 14:1, 16:1 or 18:1). They are probably the best tuners you can get for the money.

 

If all I know about the difference is that one is 14:1 and the other is 18:1, I'd go with 18:1. The higher gear ratio means that you can make smaller turns/adjustments. In general, the higher the better, although smoothness is also a huge factor and this does not relate directly to gear ratio, but rather to manufacturing.

 

Hud, the machines on your 000-15M are made for Martin by Gotoh. They're excellent, IMHO. I've got them on two guitars now - one of them being a custom.

 

I just bought a set of Grover 18:1 open gears (Sta-Tites) for the kit I'm working on. At something like $37 a set (for the nickel finish), they're kind of impossible to beat. And I think they look awesome. I like pretty much everything made by Grover, including the big heavy 18:1 Rotomatics, which I like on larger gits. They've always worked great for me.

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I was going to say something flippant...like Id know the difference..? But Im now thinking hmmm those fancy things look nice. I mean I could, I dont want anything else.

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18:1 for me. As long as it's a decent brand. But I would always choose a good quality 14:1 over a medium/poor quality 18:1.

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I only change strings every couple of years at the most. 18:1 or more for me. Finesse over fast restringing.

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I would prefer three speed tuners. 21:1 for fine tuning, 14:1 for changing tunings, and 1:1 for changing strings.

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I would prefer three speed tuners. 21:1 for fine tuning, 14:1 for changing tunings, and 1:1 for changing strings.

It's gonna make the guitar a bit neck-heavy...

 

400px-Ford_Design_3-speed_OD_Transmissio

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Besides the obvious aestetics... Why do some of you prefer open gears to enclosed? Are there any benefits?

With Waverly tuners it's just because they're so amazing. Next time you're in a music store go to the top shelf and try an acoustic with them on an all will be revealed. :) I think it has less to do with the open back and all to do with quality materials, smart design, and tight manufacturing tolerances.

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With Waverly tuners it's just because they're so amazing. Next time you're in a music store go to the top shelf and try an acoustic with them on an all will be revealed.
:)
I think it has less to do with the open back and all to do with quality materials, smart design, and tight manufacturing tolerances.

 

I agree completely.

 

I really like Grover Sta-Tites because they offer a great combination of aesthetics, quality and price.

 

But if I could afford Waverly tuning machines, I'd go with them almost every time. I say "almost" because on some guitars I actually prefer heavier [enclosed gear] tuning machines - believing (correctly or not, I really don't know) that greater mass at the headstock yields enhanced sustain.

 

Manufacturing tolerances really are the key. The difference between Waverly and Grover open backs is chiefly the qualitative and aesthetic difference between turned and die-cast parts. The Grovers give themselves away, aesthetically, only in the parting line on the keys and the slightly skinnier shafts.

 

I was tempted to go with Waverly machines for my kit, but recognizing that the guitar may turn out to be a piece of shit (and I really won't know until I've strung it up), I just could not justify the expense.

 

One other reason for going with open-gear tuning machines is that they are somewhat easier to maintain, for whatever that's worth. I put a drop of machine oil in my gears maybe once a year.

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Yeah - for the record I don't have an acoustic that could justify having them. Tough call on the kit guitar. If you can swing the cost you can always swap them out later if the guitar isn't all that.

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I jump back and forth between Sta-Tites and open back Gotohs - both work very smoothly and much better than Rotomatics. I have a hard time buying a set of tuners that cost as much as the materials that I put into a guitar, so in general Waverlies are out. I have used the Golden Era slothead reproductions and they are not nearly as smooth as either the Grovers or Gotohs - however they look "correct" on some guitars.

 

IMHO more important that the gear ratio is the installation and setup of the tuners themself - percisely drilled holes, reamed correctly for the bushings, bushings accurately installed. However, I am putting Grovers on one Weissenborn and Gotohs on the other, that will give a comparison.

 

Why do I prefer open back to enclosed? All of my guitars are classic styling - slot head, older Martins, etc. I just happen to think that open back look right on that style of guitar, where enclosed ones with funky wooden knobs look right on modern headstocks like a Breedlove or Taylor.

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I never really cared that much about tuners, and I don't really know what's on my Seagull. If they tune the guitar and keep it in tune, that's fine with me. Pepperoni, extra cheese, please.

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You know that feeling when you need to sharpen the string just a little bit... and just putting pressure on the tuning peg gets it there, then when you release the pressure, it's flat again... THAT Won't happen with the higher ratio tuners!!!! You'll actually be able to turn the peg, and have it just go up the littlest bit...  I have two guitars (that I play out with) and they have different ratios... I'm gonna go with 18:1 on both... the original tuners on my Martin HD-35 are like 12:1 (I have now idea the number, but they're not 18:1!)

 

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I definitely prefer higher-ratio tuners too... they feel more accurate to me. The downside is that they take a lot more winding of the pegs when you're changing strings, but I use a string winder, so that's not that big of a deal to me. 

Welcome to the forum Ben! :welcome:

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On 5/22/2011 at 5:01 PM, FretFiend. said:

I would prefer three speed tuners. 21:1 for fine tuning, 14:1 for changing tunings, and 1:1 for changing strings.

:lol: If only it was that easy! :D
 

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12 hours ago, panhandler said:

Thanks,   I'll get the 18:1 tuners.     ;) 

 

What brand of tuners are you considering, and what guitar do you want to put them on?

One thing to take into consideration that a lot of people don't think about is the shaft diameter. Not only do you want the holes to line up with the existing tuner mounting holes (if at all possible) you also need to think about whether or not the replacement tuners will fit through the existing holes. If they won't, you might need to take out your existing bushings, ream the holes out, and replace the bushings with the new ones that should (hopefully) come bundled with your new tuners - and that can be a bit of a PITB - especially as a DIY job... 

 

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6 hours ago, Phil O'Keefe said:

 

What brand of tuners are you considering, and what guitar do you want to put them on?

One thing to take into consideration that a lot of people don't think about is the shaft diameter. Not only do you want the holes to line up with the existing tuner mounting holes (if at all possible) you also need to thing about whether or not the replacement tuners will fit through the existing holes. If they won't, you might need to take out your existing bushings, ream the holes out, and replace the bushings with the new ones that should (hopefully) come bundled with your new tuners - and that can be a bit of a PITB - especially as a DIY job... 

 

Considering Gotoh direct fit on a Martin DM.   I'm not into making something simple complicated. :) 

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Schallers. I hear they also enhance sustain due to their extra 0.0000001 ounce weight increase (each!) over other makes. That's what I heard so...

I have Gotoh 510 minis. Couldn't tell you the ratio (18s or 15s), chrome with black buttons. Came stock on the guitar.

https://www.g-gotoh.com/dl/files/Catalog-2018-En.pdf

 

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