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Old 02-18-2019, 05:43 PM
KarenB KarenB is offline
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Default Tuning gear ratios

Wondering if you can feel the difference between 14:1 and 18:1?
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Old 02-18-2019, 06:37 PM
Paddy1951 Paddy1951 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenB View Post
Wondering if you can feel the difference between 14:1 and 18:1?
Yes, you can. I had 14:1 tuners on my Martin. I replaced them with 18:1. I do think it depends on which tuners you start with and which tuners are the replacements.

Can you be a bit more specific as to which tuners you are talking about? You will get more accurate answers.

Last edited by Paddy1951; 02-18-2019 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 02-18-2019, 06:44 PM
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Wade Hampton once commented that tuner smoothness and accuracy is more important than ratio.
I think he's right.
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Old 02-18-2019, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenB View Post
Wondering if you can feel the difference between 14:1 and 18:1?
Hi KarenB

I sure can. All my main guitars are 18:1 ratio except one which is 21:1 ratio. My Voyage-Air is less sensitive, but it works just fine too.

That said, I can tune-n-tweak any guitar that's handed to me as long as it has decent quality tuners on it. When I upgraded from Grover to Schaller tuners, it was far easier to nail the tuning with my guitars with the same ratio.

When I upgraded from Schaller to Gotoh it was a complete game changer in the arena of tweaking pitches - especially with a decent tuner (Peterson, Korg Sledgehammer, TC Polytune etc.)

I do a lot of Dropped D tuning back and forth between standard on the fly, and the 21:1 takes two turns to land the full step change where the 18:1 is really at my limits but I can do it in a single motion. With a 14:1 or 15:1 the string moves further quicker, but with less fine-tuning capability. I used 15:1 ratio tuners for years, and learned to nail the drop/return and would drop below the D and back up to it in a quick simple motion.

I think with a decent quality digital-clip-on-tuner, any decent tuning machine will work. I get really nit-picky when tuning, so the 18:1 or 21:1 work nicely for me. It's certainly a personal thing.

The graph-tech RATIO tuners are designed so each string has a different tuning ratio to supposedly cause each string to respond the same as the rest when tuning (same amount of turn yields same amount of pitch change). That's not an issue with me, but I'd love to try it out sometime.


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Old 02-18-2019, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucebubs View Post
Wade Hampton once commented that tuner smoothness and accuracy is more important than ratio.
I think he's right.
Hi Bb

Thankfully in this day and age we don't have to choose. We can have both a highly sensitive ratio AND a great quality tuning machine.



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Old 02-18-2019, 08:01 PM
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I’ve used from 12:1 to 21:1 and I favor and stock Gotoh 18:1. Best compromise of smoothness, precision and ratio IMO.
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Old 02-18-2019, 08:52 PM
Paddy1951 Paddy1951 is online now
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Me again. I have Gotoh 510 tuners on 4 of 6 guitars. 1 has Gotoh SG 301 18:1. Finally, I have Schaller Fine Tune 18:1 on the last guitar. These are the only open geared tuners I have. The guitar was set up for this style tuner and I did not want to change it over.

Smoothness is paramount for really fine tweaking. I share Wade's fondness for the enclosed 510 tuners. For me, nothing beats their precision, including the esteemed Waverlys. It is just no contest.
I did try the 21:1 510s. I actually preferred the 18:1 version. YMMV.

I would agree... Smoothness trumps ratio.
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:06 PM
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I can. When you are installing new strings, it is very noticeable. Ratio 18:1 is my standard. Anything less than that I consider a compromise.
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Old 02-19-2019, 12:01 AM
tippy5 tippy5 is offline
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Low E gear barely moves unless it has a higher ratio than 14:1.
I love the 18 or 21:1.

Love the Graphtec Ratio tuners on two of my electrics. I haven't tried their acoustic sets.
Kind of high price and not as cute as the typical high end tuners we all like.
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Old 02-19-2019, 09:06 PM
KarenB KarenB is offline
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Thanks everybody. Very helpful info. The reason I asked is because I'm going to be checking out a Gibson parlor guitar that has mini grover rotomatic tuners which are 14:1 ratio. I play in a lot of tunings. I've played guitars where the tuners are so smooth it's a joy to tune. Then there are the ones that kinda feel like they're not using the clutch to change gears on a manual car. If I really like everything else about the guitar, and not the tuners, they can always be changed.
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Old 02-19-2019, 09:21 PM
Paddy1951 Paddy1951 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenB View Post
Thanks everybody. Very helpful info. The reason I asked is because I'm going to be checking out a Gibson parlor guitar that has mini grover rotomatic tuners which are 14:1 ratio. I play in a lot of tunings. I've played guitars where the tuners are so smooth it's a joy to tune. Then there are the ones that kinda feel like they're not using the clutch to change gears on a manual car. If I really like everything else about the guitar, and not the tuners, they can always be changed.
Karen B...

I have a Gibson J15 and it has the identical tuners. I don't like them as well as the 18:1 Gotoh 510s I have on my other guitars but I think they work well enough for now.
The mini tuners are available in an 18:1 version at approx. $60.00/set. I suspect they aren't much smoother, though.
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Old 02-19-2019, 09:44 PM
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My experience with Grover mini Rotomatics is quite opposite to Paddy1951.

I've had 12-string guitars made by Taylor, Guild and Maton all fitted with Grover mini roto's ... and they've all performed perfectly.

I can't say the same for full size Grover roto's ... They run from great to shocking!

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Old 02-19-2019, 10:25 PM
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Ratio is secondary to precision in the construction of the tuner. In this case, there is NO free lunch. Cheap tuners are cheap for a reason. Compare Grover Rotomatics to Gotoh 510's. They may have the same ratio, but the Gotohs will feel and act much more precise.
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Old 02-20-2019, 08:08 AM
jaymarsch jaymarsch is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim McKnight View Post
I’ve used from 12:1 to 21:1 and I favor and stock Gotoh 18:1. Best compromise of smoothness, precision and ratio IMO.
This is my experience as well. I prefer the Gotoh 18:1 for the reasons Tim has cited here.

Best,
Jayne
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Old 02-22-2019, 02:35 PM
Al_Plays_Poorly Al_Plays_Poorly is offline
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I came here to get some ideas for what tuners I might want on my Halcyon build but I couldn't help but notice, in the signature, that there's another Kanilea brother here. Jimmy Bookout - I have a K-1 ST that is (currently) the finest stringed instrument that I've ever owned.
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