Best tuning machines?

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

Post by choro » Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:42 pm

Hi Bacsidoan,
Oh yes...On my old Brück that was only around 1280 gr.
I think heavy tuners wouldn't be a good idea because while playing you have to hold the neck up to get the guitar in balance. The Fusteros on that guitar were lighter tuners.
That's a point if you are looking for replacing a tuning machine
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bacsidoan
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Re: Best tuning machines?

Post by bacsidoan » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:34 pm

Kent wrote:Average weight for machines is about 145 grams. The difference between 100 grams &145 grams is 1.587 Ounces.
This can have a major difference in player fatigue?
It depends on the guitar. For a Smallman or others with a heavy body, none; for a flamenco-type guitar weighing about 1000 - 1200 gm without a counter weight tailpiece, yes. Some of the tuners are quite heavier than 145 gm. For example, the new Sloane set with roller bearings weighs 188 gm on my scale.

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Les Backshall
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Re: Best tuning machines?

Post by Les Backshall » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:11 pm

bacsidoan wrote:Choro, I can tell you that on a very lightly built guitar, a heavy set of tuning machines can tip it out of balance (weight wise) as the headstock is pulled down by the additional weight. This can actually be tiresome on the left shoulder after a long playing session. On my cypress guitar, I had to replace a set of Rodgers with the Alessi F6 (weighing 100 gm). That made a huge difference on my arthritic left shoulder with biceps tendinitis.
I'm not sure I follow. Surely the left arm should play no part at all in supporting the guitar?

Les
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Alexandru Marian
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Re: Best tuning machines?

Post by Alexandru Marian » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:17 pm

If the neck is heavy, the left will feel the load. Myself I only experienced this with a 10 strings guitar; plus minus 40 grams doesn't sound like a lot even for a light guitar at all but I also don't have such health issues (yet).

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Les Backshall
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Re: Best tuning machines?

Post by Les Backshall » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:23 pm

Alexandru Marian wrote:If the neck is heavy, the left will feel the load. Myself I only experienced this with a 10 strings guitar; plus minus 40 grams doesn't sound like a lot even for a light guitar at all but I also don't have such health issues (yet).
As above, Alex. The left arm should play no part in supporting the instrument, so I can't really see how it could be a problem, unless other issues force you to hold it in a non-standard way. Not being awkward, but genuinely interested.

Les
Last edited by Les Backshall on Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Michael.N.
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Re: Best tuning machines?

Post by Michael.N. » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:24 pm

The left hand shouldn't feel anything or be impeded at all. It's the forearm of the right arm that is providing the counter balance. Surely?
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Alexandru Marian
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Re: Best tuning machines?

Post by Alexandru Marian » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:42 pm

You kind of need Popeye forearms with a 10 strings :)) Also the forearm is not constantly pressed against the guitar, sometimes it is moved, while by forcing it down too hard, the picking is influenced.

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Waddy Thomson
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Re: Best tuning machines?

Post by Waddy Thomson » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:20 pm

I'm with Les and Michael on this one. The left arm should play no part in supporting the guitar. As a matter of fact, one should be able to play without the thumb too. Not saying I can, but I've seen folks demonstrate. A useful exercise for learning to make good bar chords.
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Bill B
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Re: Best tuning machines?

Post by Bill B » Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:36 am

Waddy Thomson wrote:I'm with Les and Michael on this one. The left arm should play no part in supporting the guitar. As a matter of fact, one should be able to play without the thumb too. Not saying I can, but I've seen folks demonstrate. A useful exercise for learning to make good bar chords.
one of my teachers made me practice the segovia scales method without the thumb on the back of the neck. it seemed really hard for a while. you get used to it if you need to.
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Patrick delBosque

Re: Best tuning machines?

Post by Patrick delBosque » Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:09 pm

Nobody has mentioned Alhambra tuners (made by the Alhambra guitar company or some affiliate). I've found them to be by far the best tuner under $100. I'm not sure where you can buy them (other than Rosewood Guitar in Seattle, where I get mine). With tax and mailing costs my latest purchase was $82.
Cheaper of course to buy them at the store, but then there is the danger I will come home with sheet music I'll never have time to play, or drool on my shirt from admiring the guitars...
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Robert Goodwin

Re: Best tuning machines?

Post by Robert Goodwin » Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:12 pm

Just how significant is the difference between some cheap stock tuner and the high priced ones? By difference I am referring to the quality of the control over the string. For instance do they provide significantly smoother adjustment or more precise gearing?

I don't have any expensive tuners so I have nothing to judge by but the tuners I have seem to allow me to tune my guitar to a good fineness according to my meter. They don't appear to slip. There does seem to be a slop when I have tuned too high and need to back off. Then It seems like I have to release all the tension before the tone comes back down. I suspect the roller sticks until the gearing actually starts to pull it the other way.

Also, is there a difference in gear ratios?

Thanks and best regards,
Bob G.

Dave1947

Re: Best tuning machines?

Post by Dave1947 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 3:51 am

My own take on Robert's question is that a good quality luthier built guitar is really set off nicely with quality tuner's. They really do add to the perception of quality in a good guitar. The fact that they also work much smoother more accurate tuning and stay in tune longer are also a big reason to get some good tuners! One other thing is that you don't have to break the bank to get some really excellent tuner's. In the U.S. Gotoh premiums are around $250 and have cast end plates and bushings on the rollers and are slack adjustable as they get wear. In the EU they can get Allessi's for %50 less (?) than in the U.S. so that's a super option if true.

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Michael.N.
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Re: Best tuning machines?

Post by Michael.N. » Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:27 am

Robert Goodwin wrote:Just how significant is the difference between some cheap stock tuner and the high priced ones? By difference I am referring to the quality of the control over the string. For instance do they provide significantly smoother adjustment or more precise gearing?

I don't have any expensive tuners so I have nothing to judge by but the tuners I have seem to allow me to tune my guitar to a good fineness according to my meter. They don't appear to slip. There does seem to be a slop when I have tuned too high and need to back off. Then It seems like I have to release all the tension before the tone comes back down. I suspect the roller sticks until the gearing actually starts to pull it the other way.

Also, is there a difference in gear ratios?

Thanks and best regards,
Bob G.
By far the worst aspect of cheap tuners is what you refer to as slop. You turn the button, nothing happens. You turn the button again and it 'jumps'. It makes it difficult to have control over the tuning. Fortunately tuners that bad aren't that common unless they are seriously cheap but I do have a couple of old cheap sets that display those properties.
Then there are the tuners that seem a touch uneven and have a small amount of backlash. Schaller and the cheaper Rubners come into this category. It's easy to get accustomed to this amount of backlash, tuning shouldn't be a problem. They work OK but tend to look a little cheap.
Things start to get very good with the Gotoh premiums/Rubner with bearings and the Sloanes. The amount of backlash you experience with these tuners is virtually zero. Turning the button feels 'smooth' - which really should mean that there are no perceptible differences in feel as you turn the button i.e. it does not feel stiff, then loose, then stiff again.
With the high end tuners such as Rodgers, you are paying not only for the precise engineering but the quality of the design, the quality of the component parts and the engraving.
On your example I suspect that it isn't the Rollers that are sticking, although I guess that's possible if the holes have been badly drilled. Most of the poor performance on tuners is down to poor tolerances between the button shaft /post bearing surfaces and the mesh between the gearing.
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Robert Goodwin

Re: Best tuning machines?

Post by Robert Goodwin » Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:36 am

Michael.N. wrote:
Robert Goodwin wrote:Just how significant is the difference between some cheap stock tuner and the high priced ones? By difference I am referring to the quality of the control over the string. For instance do they provide significantly smoother adjustment or more precise gearing?

I don't have any expensive tuners so I have nothing to judge by but the tuners I have seem to allow me to tune my guitar to a good fineness according to my meter. They don't appear to slip. There does seem to be a slop when I have tuned too high and need to back off. Then It seems like I have to release all the tension before the tone comes back down. I suspect the roller sticks until the gearing actually starts to pull it the other way.

Also, is there a difference in gear ratios?

Thanks and best regards,
Bob G.
By far the worst aspect of cheap tuners is what you refer to as slop. You turn the button, nothing happens. You turn the button again and it 'jumps'. It makes it difficult to have control over the tuning. Fortunately tuners that bad aren't that common unless they are seriously cheap but I do have a couple of old cheap sets that display those properties.
Then there are the tuners that seem a touch uneven and have a small amount of backlash. Schaller and the cheaper Rubners come into this category. It's easy to get accustomed to this amount of backlash, tuning shouldn't be a problem. They work OK but tend to look a little cheap.
Things start to get very good with the Gotoh premiums/Rubner with bearings and the Sloanes. The amount of backlash you experience with these tuners is virtually zero. Turning the button feels 'smooth' - which really should mean that there are no perceptible differences in feel as you turn the button i.e. it does not feel stiff, then loose, then stiff again.
With the high end tuners such as Rodgers, you are paying not only for the precise engineering but the quality of the design, the quality of the component parts and the engraving.
On your example I suspect that it isn't the Rollers that are sticking, although I guess that's possible if the holes have been badly drilled. Most of the poor performance on tuners is down to poor tolerances between the button shaft /post bearing surfaces and the mesh between the gearing.
Thanks for a very informative post. The tuners were of interest to me because the guitar I bonded with is not a high end guitar and I have been thinking about possible upgrades.

Best regards,
Bob G.

choro
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Re: Best tuning machines?

Post by choro » Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:07 am

Hello ,

Another point is that the tuning machines
should be cleaned and adjusted after a few years in use.


I have the Reischl Maestro with black mother of Pearl Buttons
from a guitar build in 1996.
After 17 years they were a bit stiff. I took them off
and cleaned them with an contact spray from the
automobile service. Now they are like new and very precisely
and really in the league of Rodgers , Alessi or Scheller again.
They were often described as very stiff but you can adjust them with the screws
and then they run very very smooth .
Really good tuners with a bit antique look nowadays.
But hey... the machine is nearly 20 years old ..and fashions are changing all the time...
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