Gotoh Tuners Button Question

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
rikroberts
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Gotoh Tuners Button Question

Post by rikroberts » Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:33 am

I have some of these tuners, and I've noticed that all six buttons move slightly before turning the shaft and gears - in other words they have a little bit of 'give' on them, just very slightly, a few mm.

Is this normal? I dare not tighten them as I've read that also affects the tension of the tuners? (It's a new high end guitar)

I was thinking that the movement might allow for more accuracy in tuning?

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petermc61
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Re: Gotoh Tuners Button Question

Post by petermc61 » Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:08 am

I don’t know how the buttons turning before the gears can make them more accurate. Seems a little odd to me.

OldPotter
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Re: Gotoh Tuners Button Question

Post by OldPotter » Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:25 am

The "give" is a result of the slightly loose fit of the buttons on the shaft. Its a shame that this happens on an otherwise good quality tuner. I have been able to improve the fit by putting aluminium foil on the flat part of the button shaft, either singly or doubled up. Its fiddly to do but I am very reluctant to put anything like glue on the buttons. When I have overtightened the screw at the bottom of the button, it has made the button shaft difficult to turn. It doesn't change the "backlash" of the button.
Its either that or change the tuners for a different brand, they tell me that Rubners are good and Schaller Grandtune, there's such a wide choice now.
I think the loose fit is a manufacturing problem, if it was made too tight then some of the buttons would not fit on the shaft when you allow for moulding tolerances. It does mean that you can change buttons for a different style (of the same brand). It definitely does not help tuning.
"When I was younger, I could remember almost everything, whether it happened or not." Mark Twain

rikroberts
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Re: Gotoh Tuners Button Question

Post by rikroberts » Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:58 am

Thank you for your replies, that's really helpful - I won't worry about it then.

It might sound silly, but I wondered if they were like that to improve accuracy - as one tends to over-tune/turn the butrton too much when trying to get the string exactly in tune. But now I know that is not the case - just to try and explain my madness of thought.

Thanks again

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Michael.N.
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Re: Gotoh Tuners Button Question

Post by Michael.N. » Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:33 am

It's not just a Gotoh problem. I think it's a consequence of different rates of expansion/contraction between the metal shaft and the resin button. I've had the same problem on Sloanes and other tuners but just the odd button, never the whole set of 6. Dab of CA works on the Sloanes because the shaft does not have a sleeve.
No it can't possibly improve the accuracy although it might take very slightly longer to get it in tune.
Historicalguitars.

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HNLim
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Re: Gotoh Tuners Button Question

Post by HNLim » Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:26 pm

rikroberts wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:33 am
I have some of these tuners, and I've noticed that all six buttons move slightly before turning the shaft and gears - in other words they have a little bit of 'give' on them, just very slightly, a few mm.

Is this normal? I dare not tighten them as I've read that also affects the tension of the tuners? (It's a new high end guitar)

I was thinking that the movement might allow for more accuracy in tuning?
Is there a screw at the base of the button?

MessyTendon
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Re: Gotoh Tuners Button Question

Post by MessyTendon » Sat Dec 23, 2017 3:52 pm

Not sure but mine had a tiny bit of play, I just tightened up the screws and it worked. There are also tiny nylon washers in there...they do in fact move a touch.

Unless you have a bent tuning shaft I wouldn't worry about it. The screws on the end of the button should correct any problems...a tiny bit of play is not going to hurt anything.

rikroberts
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Re: Gotoh Tuners Button Question

Post by rikroberts » Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:39 pm

Thanks again for all your advice. I'm just going to forget about it for the time being, but if they become very loose, I'll tighten them up a little.

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bogdan
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Re: Gotoh Tuners Button Question

Post by bogdan » Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:10 am

Hi rikroberts,

A while ago I needed to replace the original tuners on an Orozco Model 10 guitar and Gotoh 40G200 where the only affordable ones that would fit.

Just so you know, I have the exact same problem as you have with these Gotoh tuners.
The do work, but it's quite a pain to tune the guitar...

(Edit)
As I mentioned in another thread, I have lubricated the roller holes using wax, which helped to partially resolve the issue.
But these Gotohs also have a larger mechanical gap than other tuners, and that is the other part of the problem I cannot fix.
I guess this is the 'give' that you were mentioning.
It is actually not between the buttons and the gears - there is no movement gap between that - but between the gear and the roller.

Bogdan

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bogdan
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Re: Gotoh Tuners Button Question

Post by bogdan » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:27 pm

OldPotter wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:25 am
The "give" is a result of the slightly loose fit of the buttons on the shaft. Its a shame that this happens on an otherwise good quality tuner. I have been able to improve the fit by putting aluminium foil on the flat part of the button shaft, either singly or doubled up. Its fiddly to do but I am very reluctant to put anything like glue on the buttons. When I have overtightened the screw at the bottom of the button, it has made the button shaft difficult to turn. It doesn't change the "backlash" of the button.
Its either that or change the tuners for a different brand, they tell me that Rubners are good and Schaller Grandtune, there's such a wide choice now.
I think the loose fit is a manufacturing problem, if it was made too tight then some of the buttons would not fit on the shaft when you allow for moulding tolerances. It does mean that you can change buttons for a different style (of the same brand). It definitely does not help tuning.
This summarizes it very well.

There should be some manufacturing tolerance for fitting the buttons on the shaft and that is the case with all such products.
I would expect Gotoh to have a better control of this tolerance.

Bogdan

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HNLim
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Re: Gotoh Tuners Button Question

Post by HNLim » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:44 pm

I have used several Gotoh tuning machines and have never had any such problem. Could it be that the buttons is not the original buttons. Unscrew the button, pull out the button from the shaft, and drop one tiny drop of super glue and spread it evenly over the shaft and reinstall the button and tighten the screw.

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bogdan
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Re: Gotoh Tuners Button Question

Post by bogdan » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:14 pm

HNLim wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:44 pm
I have used several Gotoh tuning machines and have never had any such problem. Could it be that the buttons is not the original buttons. Unscrew the button, pull out the button from the shaft, and drop one tiny drop of super glue and spread it evenly over the shaft and reinstall the button and tighten the screw.
I appreciate your advice, but like OldPotter was saying I would be reluctant to use glue on them.
As for the buttons not being original, I have bought the tuners brand new.

Bogdan

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Peter Frary
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Re: Gotoh Tuners Button Question

Post by Peter Frary » Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:16 am

My Rodgers tuners developed the same problem—6th string only—and slowly got looser until it now spins freely. Probably too much jumping from drop D to E rounded out the staff port of the button. I've been using them since 1994 so I can't blame the quality albeit my relatively inexpensive Gotoh tuners of the same vintage have zero play.
I play a Cordoba Mini so I look taller on stage!

OldPotter
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Re: Gotoh Tuners Button Question

Post by OldPotter » Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:38 am

My Rodgers tuners developed the same problem
I've thought of responding to this before, I can't remember if I ever did reply. I'm fairly sure that if you contacted Rodgers they would repair this problem, but, it might mean returning the set of tuners to them.
"When I was younger, I could remember almost everything, whether it happened or not." Mark Twain

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joachim33
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Re: Gotoh Tuners Button Question

Post by joachim33 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:10 am

rikroberts wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:33 am
I have some of these tuners, and I've noticed that all six buttons move slightly before turning the shaft and gears - in other words they have a little bit of 'give' on them, just very slightly, a few mm.

Is this normal? I dare not tighten them as I've read that also affects the tension of the tuners? (It's a new high end guitar)

I was thinking that the movement might allow for more accuracy in tuning?
I appreciate I am coming to a slightly old question, but am a bit pussled by the responses.

This should be a warranty matter. The luthier should have checked this and if it slipped him or the fault developed later he should make up for it. This should not be a matter of "fix yourself". I appreciate getting the instrument back to the luthier is not always easy (shipping, CITES you name it), but I would contact the seller in first place.

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