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Old 02-10-2018, 07:42 PM
KarenB KarenB is online now
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Default open gear tuners vs. closed

Seems like at one time all the "higher end" guitars had closed tuners. Now there are many at all price ranges with open gears. I'm wondering why the shift, and if one is "better" than the other. One thing I liked about closed gear is that there is a little screw for tightening if the tuner starts getting too loose. I don't know if open gear tuners have that. Thanks.
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Old 02-10-2018, 07:55 PM
ChalkLitIScream ChalkLitIScream is offline
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One advantage I know if is that the gears are protected from everyday gunk and the elements more in closed back tuners. Id reckon that they stay lubed longer too.

Ive always associated open gear with vintage style guitars and closed tuners with modern ones. I prefer closed back gotoh tuners.
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Old 02-10-2018, 07:57 PM
kcnbys kcnbys is offline
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I think the move to a wider use of open gear tuners correlates to a rise in popularity of more "vintage" styled and appointed guitars. I definitely dig the vintage vibe, and it's part of the reason I was attracted to the two acoustic models I currently own; both of which happen to have open gear tuners.
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Old 02-10-2018, 08:40 PM
jaybones jaybones is offline
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Seems to me there's a difference between closed and sealed back tuners. Closed are a stamped metal cover over the gear. Protects the gear from dust and dirt, but not as well as true sealed tuners which are sealed.

But, in the bass world, it seems that some top of the line models still have the gear exposed. Probably since putting a stamped cover on the back would be too large.
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Old 02-10-2018, 08:48 PM
Jeff Scott Jeff Scott is offline
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Does any company make close back/sealed tuning keys for upright bass?
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Old 02-10-2018, 08:50 PM
hearsedriver hearsedriver is offline
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Openbacks are lighter-weight too which, is a good thing. The less weight on the peghead, the more the neck can vibrate.
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Old 02-10-2018, 08:52 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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I like open-back tuners for the old-timey vibe.
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Old 02-10-2018, 09:03 PM
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Yeah, I'm partial to the open backs simply because imho they look way better.
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Old 02-10-2018, 09:05 PM
AZLiberty AZLiberty is offline
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Open tuners are obviously lighter.

They also collect gook and dust bunnies.
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Old 02-10-2018, 09:06 PM
merlin666 merlin666 is offline
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Some of my guitars have sealed Schaller type tuners and some have open Gotohs. The sealed ones are much smoother to operate.
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Old 02-10-2018, 09:07 PM
jmooney jmooney is offline
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Cant imagine a Taylor with open gears.
Cant imagine a Martin or Gibson with closed gears.
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Old 02-10-2018, 09:09 PM
jrs146 jrs146 is offline
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There’s just something about an open back tuner that just looks so beautiful. Vintage vibe aside they are very asthetislly pleasing.
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Old 02-10-2018, 09:10 PM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Folks that are worried about open back tuners accumulating massive amounts of dust and dirt should do fewer gigs in coal mines. But seriously, the worry over open gears getting jammed up with various kinds of debris is greatly over-exaggerated and that issue shouldn't be a deciding factor in choosing tuners unless your guitar is doing double-duty as a garden hoe.
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:17 PM
Big Band Guitar Big Band Guitar is offline
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Open? Closed? what really matters is the quality of the alloys and machining. Smooth operation is a must. Least of all is the visual appearance.

I clean and lube with clock oil each time I change strings. A little care will make any quality tuner last a lifetime.
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:19 PM
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I love open-backed tuners. They look really classy. And gunk? Unless your'e dipping them into something the worst I can think that'll get in there is some dust—I'm not overly worried.
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