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Old 02-09-2019, 05:17 PM
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Brucebubs Brucebubs is online now
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Default The 'Ups And Downs' Of Grover Rotomatic Tuners

What's your Grover Rotomatic tuner experiences?

I've had about the widest variation of experiences I could imagine!

- 1996 Taylor 422 - entire string shaft fell out, replaced with a new gold set that felt perfect.




- 2014 Alvarez ABT60 - replaced the unbranded original tuners with new 18:1 Grovers - felt about the same!

- last year I bought a used 2012 Epiphone EJ-200 - the factory (Indonesia) fitted gold Grovers feel absolutely superb!

- last year I also looked at a Epiphone EJ-300 (the rosewood version of the EJ-200 - Made in Korea) - the gold Grovers on that were about the worst I've ever felt! Shocking... I returned that guitar the next day.

Now it's also worth noting I've had Grover mini-Rotomatics on 3 different 12-string guitars.
- 1999 Taylor 355
- 2008 Guild F-412
- 2011 Maton Country Jumbo

... and they've all been excellent.

When they're good they're good.
When they're bad they're terrible.
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:36 PM
takamineGD93 takamineGD93 is offline
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Someting has happened during the last years. I discussed this with others that has the same experience. They have becomed a lot worse. I'm positive they have outsourced some of there production to save money.
I'm no longer buying them and I used to be a happy customer. This is my experience with the big ones...don't know about the minis. Others complaints was about the bigger ones to.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UloXCL290kQ&t=2s

Last edited by takamineGD93; 02-09-2019 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by takamineGD93 View Post
Someting has happened during the last years. I discussed this with others that has the same experience. They have becomed a lot worse. I'm positive they have outsourced some of there production to save money.
I'm no longer buying them and I used to be a happy customer.
I have never recommended them but I can certainly understand people having both positive and negative experiences with them.
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1972 - Takamine D-70
1980 - Morris B-50
2002 - Guild F-412
2014 - Alvarez ABT60 Baritone
2015 - Kittis RBJ-195 Jumbo
2012 - Dan Dubowski#61
2012 - Epiphone EJ-200/N
2018 - Rickenbacker 4003 Fireglo
2020 - Gibson Custom Shop Historic 1957 SJ-200
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:57 PM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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From what I've heard, these days all the tuners except Schallers are made by Ping in China. Interestingly enough, I've had Grovers from multiple eras from 1974 to 2001 to 2005 to 2018 haven't had a single failure. It used to be de rigueur to change your tuners to Grovers or no-one thought you were "professional."

Bob
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Old 02-09-2019, 06:00 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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My experience with Grovers has been that even when they’re operating at their best, they’re kind of mediocre compared to Gotoh and Schaller tuners.

Part of my attitude undoubtedly stems from having catastrophic onstage failures with them. I had a Grover banjo tuner that came stock on one of my mountain dulcimers literally fly apart in the middle of a performance. I heard one of the metal pieces go “ping” as it hit the wall.

That’s probably the worst experience I’ve had with Grovers, but I just don’t like them and will generally swap them out with Gotohs whenever I get a guitar that’s got Grovers mounted on it.


Wade Hampton Miller
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Old 02-09-2019, 06:04 PM
krisls krisls is offline
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My only experience is with the ones that came on my Maton Nashville.

I didn't give them a chance really. They felt okay but I don't like the look and had a set of Gotohs with pearl buttons. Slimmer and classier and a direct swap. So....

Kris
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Old 02-09-2019, 06:16 PM
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fazool fazool is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Womack View Post
From what I've heard, these days all the tuners except Schallers are made by Ping in China. ...
When doing THIS project I researched these Taylor slothead tuners. I was told they were Pings.

Ping (really called Ping-Well) is a Taiwanese, not Chinese, company and they are very hard to track down. Incidentally, they told me they do not make Taylor's steel string slothead tuners.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Womack View Post
...It used to be de rigueur to change your tuners to Grovers or no-one thought you were "professional."...
I've never understood that, either. I mean Grovers are OK but I always thought of them as run-of-the-mill tuners. I was never impressed with them one way or another.
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Old 02-09-2019, 06:33 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Bob, your information is partially correct. Gotoh tuners are made by Gotoh in Japan, last I heard Sperzel tuners are made by Sperzel in the USA, and Waverly tuners are made by a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stewart-MacDonald in Montana, USA.

The parent company of Ping tuners is a Taiwanese firm, but most of their production these days is in mainland China. It is true that Grover tuners are made by the same company that makes Pings, and that’s been the case since around the mid-1980’s.

Schertler is a Swiss company, but their truly superb quality tuners are made for them under contract in South Korea.


Wade Hampton Miller
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Old 02-09-2019, 07:33 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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I have a 1967 Martin D-35 with Grover Rotomatics. A while ago I decided one was pretty tight, maybe it was worn out, so I replaced the tuners with a set of Gotoh tuners that fit. However, those tuners completely changed the tone of my old D-35 and robbed the guitar of all kinds of bass. Suddenly my old D-35 sounded like a Taylor. My wife immediately asked me, "What happened to your guitar??!!"

So I put the Grovers back on, the bass came back, both my wife and I breathed a sigh of relief, and I put the Gotohs on a drawer, never to be used again. The one Grover tuner that seemed to be tight before wasn't tight anymore after all the turning that had taken place. Those tuners are now 52 years old, and this old D-35 has been used a great deal. It's been refretted twice and partially refretted once. So that's a lot of tuning over the years. This was my only acoustic until 2006, acquired in 1969. So that's 37 years of heavy use.

At the time people on the AGF said that what I described made no sense, that tuners can't change the sound of a guitar. But they did.

- Glenn
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:09 PM
Taylor007 Taylor007 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Womack View Post
From what I've heard, these days all the tuners except Schallers are made by Ping in China. Interestingly enough, I've had Grovers from multiple eras from 1974 to 2001 to 2005 to 2018 haven't had a single failure. It used to be de rigueur to change your tuners to Grovers or no-one thought you were "professional."

Bob
I believe Waverly turners are proudly made in the US.
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:19 PM
Borderdon Borderdon is offline
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My ‘73 000-18 still has the original Rotomatics, and while a tad “clunky”,
they still work as intended.
I’ve been contemplating changing them out, but ——
Don
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:34 PM
Brent Hahn Brent Hahn is offline
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If you're used to Grovers on an acoustic of pretty much any sort, you're also used to neck dive. I know I am.
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
If you're used to Grovers on an acoustic of pretty much any sort, you're also used to neck dive. I know I am.
Like this?

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1972 - Takamine D-70
1980 - Morris B-50
2002 - Guild F-412
2014 - Alvarez ABT60 Baritone
2015 - Kittis RBJ-195 Jumbo
2012 - Dan Dubowski#61
2012 - Epiphone EJ-200/N
2018 - Rickenbacker 4003 Fireglo
2020 - Gibson Custom Shop Historic 1957 SJ-200
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:03 PM
5th Element 5th Element is offline
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I've had Rotomatic 102s in several electrics. They're heavy and have lots of backlash. I swapped every set out. I have 102 look-alikes in an inexpensive Takamine, and they're much better than Grover's version — no need to swap 'em out. Ironic, as I suppose they all were made by Ping.

I had one 102 set where the tuners varied in stiffness* and smoothness. Grover replaced these under their lifetime warranty. The replacement set was exactly the same.

*The tuning stiffness in Grovers can be adjusted with the button screw — if they turn smoothly and easy to begin with.
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:16 AM
BluesKing777 BluesKing777 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Womack View Post
From what I've heard, these days all the tuners except Schallers are made by Ping in China. Interestingly enough, I've had Grovers from multiple eras from 1974 to 2001 to 2005 to 2018 haven't had a single failure. It used to be de rigueur to change your tuners to Grovers or no-one thought you were "professional."

Bob

It is funny how things change - it wasn’t just acoustics, the Grovers went straight on electrics worldwide for a while there....you were looked on as some kind of fool if you kept the original tuners whatever they were! And I vaguely remember something about brass nuts about the same time and the pickups had to be.......humbuckers! Even if you had to drill.

Rotos I have been very lucky with, so far, except for some on a J45 a few years back where I tightened the little adjustment screw too much and it made all the tuners....tight, of course.

The absolute shockers I have are the Golden Age Tuners on my beater, Martin 000-17. Click, clack, klunk. Horrible.

BluesKing777.
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