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    Guitar tuning machines - advice / experience?

    I have a pair of cheap-ass Fender FA-100s - the custom ones you get from that store in Austin. Damned fine instrument for the money. But, the tuners are cheap Chinese plastic crap. I need replacements on one, and figured this is a good opportunity to turn a $100 guitar into a $200 guitar. I'm leaning towards Gotoh SGL510s. This is my first foray into tuning machines, and figured there's at least one bully here that will tell me what I'm doing wrong. So, have at it!
    Consider for a moment that there is no meme about brown-haired, brown-eyed step children.

    #2
    Originally posted by submessenger View Post
    I have a pair of cheap-ass Fender FA-100s - the custom ones you get from that store in Austin. Damned fine instrument for the money. But, the tuners are cheap Chinese plastic crap. I need replacements on one, and figured this is a good opportunity to turn a $100 guitar into a $200 guitar. I'm leaning towards Gotoh SGL510s. This is my first foray into tuning machines, and figured there's at least one bully here that will tell me what I'm doing wrong. So, have at it!
    My advice is to not put any money into a $100 guitar. I'm assuming you're a relative guitar noob if you're playing a $100 guitar. If you've learned anything at all and practiced with it for any amount of time, you've gotten your money's worth. It's time to upgrade. Don't make repairs.

    Comment


      #3
      I'm no pro, but don't knock it until you try it. I've had pros that are friends of mine compliment the instruments. Intonation is spot-on, and they are good-looking. Even the faux inlay stickers are pretty convincing. It's a nice bright sounding guitar, holds tune well, and cheap enough that I don't worry about the kiddos or the noobs dinging them up a bit. I'm not looking to get into real Brazilian wood, here, just to add a little reliability to an otherwise solid instrument.

      I have two - one for the office, one for the house. That was really the impetus for going with an inexpensive instrument. Tuners I can always move to a new guitar should I decide to really upgrade, someday. And, no guitar is without maintenance - strings, pegs, tuners among the most frequent, but buying a $5000 (or more) guitar, your maintenance costs increase exponentially... you have to get insurance, and find a good luthier, and then be without the thing while it's repaired. I'm fine with this current level of spend.
      Last edited by submessenger; 2/22/2016 4:27pm, . Reason: getting defensive
      Consider for a moment that there is no meme about brown-haired, brown-eyed step children.

      Comment


        #4
        Tuning machines are built on the same principle as an adjustable wrench. The can not slip, and therefore, never contribute to a tuning problem, unless they are essentially physically destroyed, i.e. the plate is coming off, the gears are worn smooth, etc. Just like you can't move the jaw on even a Fisher Price wrench without wrecking it, the crappiest tuners will hold. I upgraded a tiny, uke-sized guitar that came equipped with useless friction-fit pegs for a niece with a set of open gear tuners that cost about $15, they hold perfectly.

        If there's something wrong with them, or you want a different ratio, or you can't stand looking at them, check out guitarfetish.com for all your cheap guitar part needs. They can be hyperbolic in their ad copy, and I wouldn't take their claims of fitment as gospel, but they have decent stuff at good prices, and solid customer service.
        "Systema, which means, 'the system'..."

        Originally posted by strikistanian
        DROP SEIONAGI MOTHERFUCKER! Except I don't know Judo, so it doesn't work, and he takes my back.
        Originally posted by Devil
        Why is it so goddamn hard to find a video of it? I've seen videos I'm pretty sure are alien spacecraft. But still no good Krav.
        Originally posted by Plasma
        At the point, I must act! You see my rashguard saids "Jiu Jitsu vs The World" and "The World" was standing in front me teaching Anti-Grappling in a school I help run.
        Originally posted by SoulMechanic
        Thank you, not dying really rewarding in more ways than I can express.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by ermghoti View Post
          Tuning machines are built on the same principle as an adjustable wrench. The can not slip, and therefore, never contribute to a tuning problem, unless they are essentially physically destroyed, i.e. the plate is coming off, the gears are worn smooth, etc. Just like you can't move the jaw on even a Fisher Price wrench without wrecking it, the crappiest tuners will hold. I upgraded a tiny, uke-sized guitar that came equipped with useless friction-fit pegs for a niece with a set of open gear tuners that cost about $15, they hold perfectly.

          If there's something wrong with them, or you want a different ratio, or you can't stand looking at them, check out guitarfetish.com for all your cheap guitar part needs. They can be hyperbolic in their ad copy, and I wouldn't take their claims of fitment as gospel, but they have decent stuff at good prices, and solid customer service.
          In my case, the crappy plastic knob cracked, so it just spins on the shaft, now. The machine itself still works, with a fucking wrench or pliers. I want metal knobs. I'm not going to get that in a $15 set of tuners, I suspect.
          Consider for a moment that there is no meme about brown-haired, brown-eyed step children.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by submessenger View Post
            In my case, the crappy plastic knob cracked, so it just spins on the shaft, now. The machine itself still works, with a fucking wrench or pliers.
            Valid.

            Originally posted by submessenger View Post
            I want metal knobs. I'm not going to get that in a $15 set of tuners, I suspect.
            How about $10?

            They, unhelpfully, do not list the shaft diameter, but you can get bushings or ream the mounting holes to accommodate. If I had to get bushings though, I'd probably just buy different tuners that fit right. Glancing at the reviews, I'd get mounting screws from the hardware store. I've read any number of complaints that cheap tuners ship with screws made of peanut butter, and the head strips out or comes off before you get them tight.

            These are pretty cheap for bearing a brand name.

            Were your buttons screwed on, or molded? If they were screwed on, you can replace them.
            "Systema, which means, 'the system'..."

            Originally posted by strikistanian
            DROP SEIONAGI MOTHERFUCKER! Except I don't know Judo, so it doesn't work, and he takes my back.
            Originally posted by Devil
            Why is it so goddamn hard to find a video of it? I've seen videos I'm pretty sure are alien spacecraft. But still no good Krav.
            Originally posted by Plasma
            At the point, I must act! You see my rashguard saids "Jiu Jitsu vs The World" and "The World" was standing in front me teaching Anti-Grappling in a school I help run.
            Originally posted by SoulMechanic
            Thank you, not dying really rewarding in more ways than I can express.

            Comment


              #7
              LOL Save your money and upgrade the whole thing to a Gibson.

              Srs. As others have pointed out, it's not worth blowing your load for $100 guitar. It's never going to be worth more than what you paid for it unless you become an acoustic rock legend.
              Train hard, fight easy.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by ermghoti View Post
                Valid.



                How about $10?

                They, unhelpfully, do not list the shaft diameter, but you can get bushings or ream the mounting holes to accommodate. If I had to get bushings though, I'd probably just buy different tuners that fit right. Glancing at the reviews, I'd get mounting screws from the hardware store. I've read any number of complaints that cheap tuners ship with screws made of peanut butter, and the head strips out or comes off before you get them tight.

                These are pretty cheap for bearing a brand name.

                Were your buttons screwed on, or molded? If they were screwed on, you can replace them.
                Screwed on, diagonal offset one screw. These: http://www.fender.com/parts/tuning-m...0.html#start=1

                So the Gotohs look like drop-in replacements. Stewie Macs has dimensions, as does the Gotoh mfr site.

                On the other hand, Yugo was a name brand. Gotohs seem pretty good, which is why I'm asking for anyone's direct experience.
                Consider for a moment that there is no meme about brown-haired, brown-eyed step children.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Cake of Doom View Post
                  Blow an inordinate amount of your money on an overpriced "legend" and upgrade the whole thing to a Gibson.
                  FTFY.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by NeilG View Post
                    FTFY.
                    I take it your not a fan then?
                    Train hard, fight easy.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by submessenger View Post
                      I'm no pro, but don't knock it until you try it. I've had pros that are friends of mine compliment the instruments. Intonation is spot-on, and they are good-looking. Even the faux inlay stickers are pretty convincing. It's a nice bright sounding guitar, holds tune well, and cheap enough that I don't worry about the kiddos or the noobs dinging them up a bit. I'm not looking to get into real Brazilian wood, here, just to add a little reliability to an otherwise solid instrument.

                      I have two - one for the office, one for the house. That was really the impetus for going with an inexpensive instrument. Tuners I can always move to a new guitar should I decide to really upgrade, someday. And, no guitar is without maintenance - strings, pegs, tuners among the most frequent, but buying a $5000 (or more) guitar, your maintenance costs increase exponentially... you have to get insurance, and find a good luthier, and then be without the thing while it's repaired. I'm fine with this current level of spend.
                      Who said anything about a $5k guitar? You're purposely throwing a high number out there to justify spending money to upgrade a piece of shit guitar.

                      You can get really nice guitars for way less than $1k. I'm a gun guy so I'll use guns as a comparison. What you want to do is the equivalent of spending money to customize a Hi-Point.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Devil View Post
                        Who said anything about a $5k guitar? You're purposely throwing a high number out there to justify spending money to upgrade a piece of shit guitar.

                        You can get really nice guitars for way less than $1k. I'm a gun guy so I'll use guns as a comparison. What you want to do is the equivalent of spending money to customize a Hi-Point.
                        I appreciate that. I bought these to be beaters. I don't play gigs. I sit around the fire or a table, and drink and pick or strum, for my own entertainment. The application doesn't require a nicer guitar, it requires a replacement tuner, and I figure a few extra bucks along that path will prevent it from becoming a regular maintenance item.
                        Consider for a moment that there is no meme about brown-haired, brown-eyed step children.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by submessenger View Post
                          Screwed on, diagonal offset one screw. These: http://www.fender.com/parts/tuning-m...0.html#start=1
                          No, I mean the button itself, the bit you broke off. In that photo, you can see the screw in the middle of the end of the button.

                          Originally posted by submessenger View Post
                          So the Gotohs look like drop-in replacements. Stewie Macs has dimensions, as does the Gotoh mfr site.
                          The above are your tuners? The buttons are plastic with fake chrome? Never seen that before.

                          Originally posted by submessenger View Post
                          On the other hand, Yugo was a name brand. Gotohs seem pretty good, which is why I'm asking for anyone's direct experience.
                          Gotohs are fine. The pricier ones are on par with anything else, made in Japan, the cheap ones are made overseas to a spec, they are less nice, but they'll work. Maybe a little rougher, or the gear cover might be plastic instead of metal or something.
                          "Systema, which means, 'the system'..."

                          Originally posted by strikistanian
                          DROP SEIONAGI MOTHERFUCKER! Except I don't know Judo, so it doesn't work, and he takes my back.
                          Originally posted by Devil
                          Why is it so goddamn hard to find a video of it? I've seen videos I'm pretty sure are alien spacecraft. But still no good Krav.
                          Originally posted by Plasma
                          At the point, I must act! You see my rashguard saids "Jiu Jitsu vs The World" and "The World" was standing in front me teaching Anti-Grappling in a school I help run.
                          Originally posted by SoulMechanic
                          Thank you, not dying really rewarding in more ways than I can express.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Yeah, the button is the plastic. Sorry, I should have specified. The rest seems like chromed cast aluminum with steel screws (something in there likes a magnet, but it's not the housing). It looks identical to the ones on the Fender page I posted, and when I called Fender, they said that is the correct replacement. FWIW, Gotohs have plastic button options on several of their tuner models.
                            Consider for a moment that there is no meme about brown-haired, brown-eyed step children.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Cake of Doom View Post
                              I take it your not a fan then?
                              No personal experience, but there's a lot of hate for Gibson right now. For example. I'm not shopping in that price range anyway, and I don't play electrics yet, but if I was I wouldn't be looking at Gibson. I have an irrational love for Rickenbacker based on nothing more than that they look cool so if I was shopping in the 2k+ range I would investigate there.

                              Speaking of cool-looking guitars, my wife got me a Gretch resonator for Christmas, so I am trying to find the time to learn how to play slide.

                              Comment

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