#1
I've been wanting to replace the tuning machines on my acoustic for a while now, to get a better tuning ratio and more precise tuning, but didn't know whether I can just use regular tuning machines (like Grover) or if there are replacement tuning machines made specifically for acoustics. Can anybody shed any light on this issue?

Thanks,
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#3
Quote by kosmic
I've been wanting to replace the tuning machines on my acoustic for a while now, to get a better tuning ratio and more precise tuning, but didn't know whether I can just use regular tuning machines (like Grover) or if there are replacement tuning machines made specifically for acoustics. Can anybody shed any light on this issue?

Thanks,
This is a great question. It doesn't come up often, though. An electric guitar is essentially a chassis. Although the body has a little bit to do with the sound, the most important thing is the neck and fretboard for playability and intonation accuracy. If those are free of warping, and the frets properly spaced, much can be done with tuners, bridge and nut, and pickups to make a good playing, good sounding, guitar.

On the other hand, an acoustic is highly dependent on the body for it's sound. A well crafted acoustic guitar is seldom sold with truly inferior hardware. And a poorly built acoustic will benefit little by an upgrade in tuners. They won't make up for the dullness of a dead body.

Enough editorializing, on to the heart of the question:

The diameter of the holes and the length of the bushings are important to consider if you want drop-in replacement, whether electric or acoustic. All the same considerations apply. You might need to enlarge the holes when replacing your stock tuners with Grovers or Schallers, just the same as on an electric. Also, it's unlikely the screws will be in the same place. Minor details.

If your guitar is worthy of the added cost of the tuners, consider also upgrading the nut, if necessary. Or at the very least lubricating the nut. If the nut has enough friction, it will hold some of the extra tension or the string between the tuner and nut immediately after tuning. Then equalize after playing a while, causing the string to go slightly sharp. The best tuners in the universe won't make up for that problem.

Yeah dude, if you wanna upgrade your tuners, go for it. Grovers on an acoustic would be sweet. The only "special" tuners on an acoustic are the ones for a classical. It's pretty obvious why those are different.
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#4
Typically electric guitars and acoustic guitars use the same tuners. It's the really the turn ratio that helps you get betting tuning as much as the smoothness of the tuners. Anything over a 14:1 ratio is good. Some companies use up to 40:1. Truth is none of this matters as much and I've used tuners (that cost me $260 a set) that only had a 4:1 ratio. The important thing is that the tunner is smooth when you turn it and there is no slop in the gears. Cheap tuners often times have extra space between the gears which not only causes the guitar to fall out of tune quickly, but it also make it hard to get the guitar in tune to begin with because sometime you will have to turn the tuner more than other times in order to get the string to tighten the same amount. It doesn't matter if the tuner had a 1:1 ratio or 40:1, this would be a problem on any tuner that was not well made. Some medium cost tuners like grovers use plastic washers the wear out. These tuners will run very smoothly for years but when the washer wears out the tuner with get a little slop and it's stick a little when you turn it.

So, just be sure you get nice tuners. I like schaller M6 and schaller open backs. The gold with ebony button M6 tuners are significantly smoother than the plain gold or nickel and the gold and nickel are better than the chrome. Gotoh also makes very nice tuners but I haven't tried any of them for a couple years. Grovers make some very nice tuners and they make some dogs. Stay away from the schaller style grover tuners. The grover stay-tite are nice but they will requier that you either buy bushings or fill and redrill your peghead because the posts on the staytight are much smaller. When the holes are bigger or smaller on your headstock than what you need for the tuners it's not a big deal. You can always ream a small hole to make it bigger and you can always fill a big hole some wood and then redrill it.

For the most part, acoustic guitars and electric guitars use the same tuners, but you do have to look out and make sure you get the 3/3 setup rather than 6 in a row.
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#5
Perhaps it would be wise to find out everything about the tuners you already have on your guitar. I mean, why do you want to replace your tuners? It it just for looks? Either way, you don't want to end up getting tuners that have too low (or high---trust me, I've heard it) of a gear ratio, compared to your current ones. What guitar are you putting them on? Is it worth Waverlys?

The more information, the more suggestions.

No matter what, always do your homework.
Sincerely, Chad.
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#6
^why keep the gear ratio the same? and they said why they wanted new tuners. It's for "more precise tuning" and a better gear ratio.
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#7
^ I don't think Chad48309 was necessarily saying keep the ratio the same. Just pointing out that one would want to know what to expect from the new tuners. A changing the gear ratio is probably desired, but something like a 40:1 that you mentioned in your previous (excellent) post would be a bit of a pain when restringing, even with a string winder. (unless it was motorized. It's important for one to consider all those things. Indeed, TS might want a 40:1 ratio, caring much more about the ability to accurately tune, than any other consideration. But some forethought is the best way to know what you're getting into.

btw, I have the Schaller M6s on a couple of my guitars. 12:1 ratio is sufficient with the large knobs. I also like squarish the shape of them. I suspect the smoothness issue might be QC related. A friend of mine got some, as well. A couple of his were less than smooth. There was no problem getting them replaced. (Nickel, btw)
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#8
Quote by SomeoneYouKnew
^ I don't think Chad48309 was necessarily saying keep the ratio the same. Just pointing out that one would want to know what to expect from the new tuners. A changing the gear ratio is probably desired, but something like a 40:1 that you mentioned in your previous (excellent) post would be a bit of a pain when restringing, even with a string winder. (unless it was motorized. It's important for one to consider all those things.

Thank you, that is exactly what I meant. Sorry about the confusion. I haven't slept in 48 hours.
Sincerely, Chad.
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#9
Wow. Thanks for the elaborate responses guys. Eariler this week, Tuesday, I successfully installed a GraphTech Trem-Nut (Graphite) onto my acoustic so to keep it in tune better and longer. I find that this change in nut made a considerable difference in tuning stability, but the cheap tuning machines on this acoustic always slip (literally) out of tune and some of the bushings are missing. I can easily replace the bushings, and have tried WD-40, a little oil, among other things to cure the problem with the tuners. That didn't work, so I've resorted to getting new tuners.

I have Grover Original Mini Locking Rotomatics+GraphTech Trem-Nut on my MIM Strat (with a blocked tremolo), and tune no more than once or twice a week. I am not wanting to get new tuners for cosmetic purposes. I am aware of all that you two have stated (not to sound snooty, just for reference for the later part of this post).

A more specific question would be; would regular electric guitar tuners function regularly on an acoustic guitar?

I myself, have not seen any tuners labeled as "Acoustic Guitar Tuners", so I figure I can use any tuners. Correct?

Thanks.
Daron. The Pit loves you.
daron aka kosmic is now a pit legend
Best post on the pit. Good for you.
thats pretty epic.
So you're like a slower paced Forrest Gump...
Yup...
#10
Yes.
Sincerely, Chad.
Quote by LP Addict
LP doesnt have to stand for les paul.. it can stand for.... lesbian porn.