Best tuning machines?

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
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rojarosguitar
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Re: Best tuning machines?

Post by rojarosguitar » Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:52 pm

gabasa wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:41 am
rojarosguitar wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:54 pm
So my list would now be:
Rodges/Alessi/Sloan (almost same)
Gilbert (weird look but great function)
Reischl
Baljak
Rubner
Gotoh
Have you ever had the opportunity to try tuning machines made by Klaus Scheller? Those were the smoothest I've had the opportunity to try.
Hello Gord, nice to hear from you...
Yes, my friend Sebastian Stenzel uses them a lot these days, and they work indeed very smooth and have a level of finish very similar to Rodgers. I didn't mention them because I don't have them myself and so don't have a long term experience. But Stenzel considers them the tuners with the best price/quality ratio, I think.
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

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Vlad Kosulin
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Re: Best tuning machines?

Post by Vlad Kosulin » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:35 pm

gjo wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:24 am
petermc61 wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:53 am
Zen wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:01 am
I’ve found Rodgers quite superior to Sloane...
+1. I regard Klaus Scheller and Rodgers as the standouts.
+ 1

Recently I tried the Schaller GrandTune Classical tuners and I found them quite good for the money. I would prefer them over the Perona tuners.
Just keep in mind that Scheller and Schaller are different brands falling into very different price brackets.
Regards,
Vlad
(still testing various strings with 2006 Sebastian Stenzel and Olinda OC-300)

mqbernardo
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Re: Best tuning machines?

Post by mqbernardo » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:52 pm

i don´t think there´s a chance of confusing the price tags, even if the names are similar.. :)

es335
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Re: Best tuning machines?

Post by es335 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:55 am

mqbernardo wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:52 pm
i don´t think there´s a chance of confusing the price tags, even if the names are similar.. :)
... particularly as the Scheller workshop offers no price list for private customers.

Nevertheless I do second all the + votes for them. They are definitely the best tuners I came along and I’m particularly a fan of their puristic design! Unfortunately I have not sufficient experience with Rodgers why I’m not able to make a sensible judgment how they compare to Scheller.

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rinneby
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Re: Best tuning machines?

Post by rinneby » Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:15 am

mqbernardo wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:52 pm
i don´t think there´s a chance of confusing the price tags, even if the names are similar.. :)
I don't think Scheller's are THAT expensive. I bought my set (picture on page 7) for 600 Euro + taxes. But they have pricer ones too...

/Jon
1977 - Kuniharu Nobe No.15
1997 - Dragan Musulin
2004 - Alain Raifort Grand Concert
2006 - Casimiro Lozano XXV Aniversario

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

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Michael.N.
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Re: Best tuning machines?

Post by Michael.N. » Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:28 am

Although there is a huge difference between them and the Schaller grandtunes, which is about 720 euros vs. 150 euros? Just like a lot of things in life, the Schallers are perfectly fine but if you want that bit of luxury/aesthetics you have to pay for it. Some people can afford to pay that extra, some people can't. Just as with guitars there are price points at every level and of course sometimes you get better value if you select carefully.
Historicalguitars.

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Michael Lazar
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Re: Best tuning machines?

Post by Michael Lazar » Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:29 pm

The high end tuners I've tried are Rogers, Alessi and Graf. I'd probably give Graf the highest rating but haven't tried Rogers lately. Sounds like they've made some improvements.

MessyTendon
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Re: Best tuning machines?

Post by MessyTendon » Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:46 pm

High end tuning machines are a cosmetic improvement at best. The reaming of the headstock and roller clearance is just as much of a factor as the tuning gears themselves.

I think the diminishing curve sets in around the 150-400$ price bracket. You can get a higher tolerance machined tuner, but the price and performance really doesn't add up much.

If you have dress up a guitar with fancy looks, then there isn't much you can do but spend more.

The best tuner, is the one that works, most of them work pretty well and I hate to say it but the OEM chinese tuners these days work pretty darn good especially if they have nylon bushings in between the shafts.

SteveL123
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Re: Best tuning machines?

Post by SteveL123 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:58 am

How important is gear ratios in tuning machines. Does higher ratio = better? I've been looking at pics of tuning machines and counting the gear ratios (# teeth in the pinion gear).

Here's pic of a Rodgers 15:1
Image

Schaller Grandtune 18:1
Image

Scheller 16:1
Image

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petermc61
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Re: Best tuning machines?

Post by petermc61 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:38 am

No

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Best tuning machines?

Post by rojarosguitar » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:17 am

Personally I quite like 1:18 but the difference is not that big and I wopuldn't buy more expensive tuners just for that ration.

If you think of: traditional pegs were 1:1 :lol: and even modern geared pegs are 1:4 (Perfection Pegs) and 1:8 (Wittner). With Wittner you basically don't need a fine-tuner. So even 1:14 should be fairly enough to tune a guitar well.
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

amezcua
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Re: Best tuning machines?

Post by amezcua » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:05 pm

Is there an unequal contest where the much harder worm gear meshes with a much softer gear metal such as bronze or brass ? Or should this be on a mechanics forum ? A Ferrari gear box would not last five minutes with such a mismatch . That must disqualify some of the prettier designs . Are these "smoothies " with ball bearings best used with auto tuners ? How much extra would you pay if they sprayed some sparkle dust on them ?

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Best tuning machines?

Post by rojarosguitar » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:20 pm

amezcua wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:05 pm
Is there an unequal contest where the much harder worm gear meshes with a much softer gear metal such as bronze or brass ? Or should this be on a mechanics forum ? A Ferrari gear box would not last five minutes with such a mismatch . That must disqualify some of the prettier designs . Are these "smoothies " with ball bearings best used with auto tuners ? How much extra would you pay if they sprayed some sparkle dust on them ?
Well, if I take your question serious: I don't think it's a problem of grinding material away, because actually there is not so much turning. Apart from winding up new strings and winding down old strings there is only very little actual rotation worth mentioning. In terms of friction, there is less friction between different metals than between same metals; Polished steel on brass in the better tuners is actually a very durable and smooth working combination. With the small amounts of material used they could CNC parts of any material that would suit an engineers fancy without too much changing the costs.

As to the ball bearings they don't make so much difference in smoothness. They mainly prevent squeaking of the tuners in the wood while tuning, especially after a longer standstill.

And with the decoration it's to your hearts' fancy: if you pay for it, you can get diamond dust coating or big rubys inlayed into the knobs :D
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

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bacsidoan
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Re: Best tuning machines?

Post by bacsidoan » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:10 pm

Slow speed worm drive gear benefits more from a bronze gear (better lubrication property), and harder steel worm drive for long life.

SteveL123
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Re: Best tuning machines?

Post by SteveL123 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:12 pm

I recently acquired a guitar with Rodgers L111 tuners. It is so much smoother and requires less force to turn than the tuners on my 1984 J. Alvarez. The Rodgers is a pleasure to use but I can tune my Alvarez almost as easily and it stays in tune just as well. The Rodgers tuners are $700 a set in today's prices. That's a lot of dough!

Per Rodger's website, they do not use ball bearings but use bearing bushings and Delrin washers. The worm and screw that secures the pinion gear is steel (checked with a magnet). The pinion gear is a little darker than the plate which is brass, so the pinion gear is probably bronze.

I think with any tuning machines, the accuracy of the install is most important. You need the wood to be supporting both bearings equally (inner and outer). If the outer hole (@ center of the head) is to large or off centered, the inner bearing is going to wear prematurely and slop will ensue.

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