Become a member
Become a member
Continuer avec Google

or
Log in
Log in
Se connecter avec Google

or
learning

Which Type of Tuning Machines Are Best for You?

How to Choose Tuners for Electric Guitar

Broken, worn-out or simply ugly-looking tuners are often the cause of complaints by guitarists. If changing them is unavoidable, here is some info that will help you understand the subject better.

Presumed innocent

Before anything else, be sure to verify that the problems you're facing are actually rooted in the tuners. A tuning defect or bad sustain isn't necessarily a sign of an headstock-related issue. Adjusting the neck and the bridge (which is something that entails some risks and may require the help of a professional) is a mandatory first step before deciding to change the tuning machines, because doing so often clears up a lot of problems.

Bring in the accused

The temptation upgrade a budget guitar with state-of-the-art tuners is strong. But it is useful to know that the instrument is often adapted to certain type of tuning machines and upgrade attempts like that frequently end up in failure. By using the same type of tuners — if not the same model — you can be sure that they are fully compatible with your instrument. What's more, while the diameter of the hole where the tuners go into the headstock is more or less standard (especially for entry-level guitars), make sure to verify that  your guitar doesn't have smaller holes, like is often the case in some "vintage" instruments (both on the authentic ones and the modern reissues, especially with Fender guitars).

Despite that, certain features might make you want to go up one level, to be able to use tuners more skillfully.   

Soak them in oil 

Usually, to get a real improvement you need to replace standard models with lubricated tuning machines. That doesn't mean that standard models are bad (some guitars from the '50s still have their original tuners in perfect condition), but rather that the "detented" feel due to dirt from multiple origins making their way into the gears won't exist with lubricated tuners. All major manufacturers, like GotohKlusonSchaller, and Grover offer this type of tuner, and the additional cost is often minimal.

Lock them up

Mécaniques guitare

Like locking nuts featured on guitars with a Floyd Rose-style floating tremolo, locking tuners allow you to avoid detuning by preventing the strings from slipping or stretching too much. Amateurs who like two-and-a-half-tone bends and fans of vintage vibrato are very enthusiastic about this Sperzel invention from the '80s. But installing them usually entails major adjustments to the tuner holes. As always, the wisest decision is to consult a professional who can tell you whether it's doable or not on your guitar. 

Tuning and detuning

Finally, those of you who like to change tunings frequently should check out Hipshot, whose tuners allow you to go, for example, from a standard E tuning to a Drop D in one single movement. Geeks of alternative tunings will be seduced by Tronical Tune's system (available as Min-ETune on certain Gibsons), which offers customizable and automatic tuning.

Mécaniques Guitare
Mécaniques Guitare

Would you like to comment this article?

Log in
Become a member
cookies

We are using cookies!

Yes, Audiofanzine is using cookies. Since the last thing that we want is disturbing your diet with too much fat or too much sugar, you'll be glad to learn that we made them ourselves with fresh, organic and fair ingredients, and with a perfect nutritional balance. What this means is that the data we store in them is used to enhance your use of our website as well as improve your user experience on our pages (learn more). To configure your cookie preferences, click here.

We did not wait for a law to make us respect our members and visitors' privacy. The cookies that we use are only meant to improve your experience on our website.

Our cookies

Cookies not subject to consent

These are cookies that guarantee the proper functioning of Audiofanzine and allow its optimization. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

Website preferences

We store your preferences so that you do not have to re-enter them every time your come back (forums options, dark or light theme, classifieds filter, standard or buzz news, newsletters popups...).

Log in

This one makes sure you don't have to re-enter your credentials every time you visit Audiofanzine.

Analytics

This data allows us to understand the use that our visitors make of our website in an attempt to improve it.

Advertising

This information allows us to show you personalized advertisements thanks to which Audiofanzine is financed. By unchecking this box you will still have advertisements but they may be less interesting :)

We did not wait for a law to make us respect our members and visitors' privacy. The cookies that we use are only meant to improve your experience on our website.

Our cookies

Cookies not subject to consent

These are cookies that guarantee the proper functioning of Audiofanzine and allow its optimization. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

Website preferences

We store your preferences so that you do not have to re-enter them every time your come back (forums options, dark or light theme, classifieds filter, standard or buzz news, newsletters popups...).

Log in

This one makes sure you don't have to re-enter your credentials every time you visit Audiofanzine.

Analytics

This data allows us to understand the use that our visitors make of our website in an attempt to improve it.

Advertising

This information allows us to show you personalized advertisements thanks to which Audiofanzine is financed. By unchecking this box you will still have advertisements but they may be less interesting :)


You can find more details on data protection in our privacy policy.