Gotoh acoustic guitar machine heads (tuners)

For guitars of the straight waisted variety (or reverse offset).
Post Reply
User avatar
sookwinder
Mods
Mods
Posts: 10385
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 6:47 pm
Location: Melbourne Australia

Gotoh acoustic guitar machine heads (tuners)

Post by sookwinder » Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:40 pm

Some of you may recall about 6 months back I took a chance and bought an acoustic guitar from China, via Aliexpress.
It was basically a Chinese made copy of a Martin OOO-42 12 fretter (maybe a OOO-45, I can never work out Martin's weird nomenclature).
Most important was that it was a 12 fretter, rosewood back and sides and cedar top.

The guitar arrived and I was totally blown away by it, especially given it cost a total of $345 including shipping.
Image

The one thing about this guitar that I was never really satisfied with was the quality of the machine-heads, the tuners.
This is one of the areas the Chinese manufacturers has reduced costs, the tuners were cheap Chinese tuners, as I discovered later cheap copies of Gotoh tuners. There was lots of slip in the gears and to be honest I did not like and do not like in general gold parts on guitars, especially when they are REALLY bad impersonations of gold.

As you can see the process for manufacturing the plate and attaching the gears is simple stamping and bending the metal base, not a good process for ensuring alignment of gears.
Image
Image
Image

I decided that the guitar was so good it needed a decent set of tuners.
The problem is that the variation in mounting holes, screw hole locations and designs is more varied in acoustic guitars than it is in electric models. I didn't want to show any unused screw holes or have extra length plates with fancy designs, I just wanted a high quality version of what was there, in some other colour than the gaudy gold.

I initially bought some more expensive Chinese tuners... the type that were on the guitar cost apparently $7, the type I bought to replace them were $15. It was worth the gamble. Well the gamble half worked and half didn't. The colour was certainly an improvement, but the quality was just the same. They had the same black plastic buttons. Acceptable for a cheap guitar, but when the cheap guitar turns out to be awesome and a keeper, not good enough. These were not stamped and bent, but rather cast. This is what the more expensive tuners looked like.
Image

So I went about looking into the world of expensive acoustic guitar tuners. Spent a long time at the StewMac site looking at specification drawings, looking at the various WAVERLY brand tuners as well as others and coming to the conclusion nothing seemed to line up with the tuners holes and screw holes on the guitar.

Then I looked at GOTOH in Japan and very quickly realised that the Chinese tuners were basically cheap copies of what GOTOH sold. I have never had any issues with GOTOH, in fact they are my go to brand when I have build guitars myself (and since they thread elsewhere I now know how to pronounce the name correctly). I found the type I wanted, selected that I wanted .. real ebony buttons and for steel strings and then looked to who sold them. No one in the world had these off the shelf (or even on the shelf), they had to be ordered from the factory. This is OK, tuners made specially for... I feel special.

I found a place in Tokyo that sells GOTOH product to the world, they describe themselves as "Our shop is the only one G-GOTOH authorized brand shop in the whole world", and ordered a set. These tuners basically cost the same as what the guitar itself cost, but the guitar is worth it. I ordered them on the 18th March and was told that the tuners would be shipped on the 9th April. They were and they arrived at my front door on the 11th April. Now that is impressive.

As it happens I have bought/ordered another one of these OOO 12 fretter guitar, but this one with a spruce top rather than cedar (rosewood back and sides) and so I needed to order another set of tuners. I fell over a site located in Canada that also sells these GOTOH tuners, they have a connection with the GOTOH factory. So I ordered another set exactly the same from this Canadian website. The cost was about $100 cheaper than the Tokyo store !! Today I have been informed that the second set has just been dispatched from the GOTOH factory directly to me.

Fitting the GOTOH tuners was very simple... some slight, ever so slight sanding of the opening was required to accommodate what looked like a securing washer, but that was literally 20 seconds per tuner hole. Fitted them, restrung the guitar and wow!, having tuners that are perfect does help a guitar. The ratio is 1:16 and the torque on the buttons can be adjusted. I have left them were they were set in the factory, a reasonable force is required but with no sticking or jumping. Perfect for what I wanted. And they look great.

I can highly recommend the GOTOH acoustic guitar tuners/machine heads.
Image
Image
Image
relaxing alternative to doing actual work ...

User avatar
shadowplay
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 25498
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2007 4:30 am
Location: Glasgow. Scotland
Contact:

Re: Gotoh acoustic guitar machine heads (tuners)

Post by shadowplay » Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:14 am

Machine heads (thumbs up!)

Do you feel that guitar needs a scratchplate? :w00t:

Handy info and the new machine heads look great.

D
I like that old time rock 'n' roll, don't try to take me to a disco.

User avatar
sookwinder
Mods
Mods
Posts: 10385
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 6:47 pm
Location: Melbourne Australia

Re: Gotoh acoustic guitar machine heads (tuners)

Post by sookwinder » Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:47 am

All my other acoustics have scratch plates but for some reason this one doesn't feel like it needs one. May be because it's a 12 fretter? Maybe because they way I play it is different... don't know why...
relaxing alternative to doing actual work ...

User avatar
shadowplay
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 25498
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2007 4:30 am
Location: Glasgow. Scotland
Contact:

Re: Gotoh acoustic guitar machine heads (tuners)

Post by shadowplay » Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:49 am

sookwinder wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:47 am
All my other acoustics have scratch plates but for some reason this one doesn't feel like it needs one. May be because it's a 12 fretter? Maybe because they way I play it is different... don't know why...
it looks fine as it is I just said scratchplate because you don't see machine heads written much on here.

D
I like that old time rock 'n' roll, don't try to take me to a disco.

User avatar
PorkyPrimeCut
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 22051
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 7:46 am
Location: Leipzig
Contact:

Re: Gotoh acoustic guitar machine heads (tuners)

Post by PorkyPrimeCut » Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:16 am

Those Gotohs look great. Very decent quality by the looks of things.
You think you can't, you wish you could, I know you can, I wish you would. Slip inside this house as you pass by.

User avatar
StevenO
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 17419
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2006 7:06 pm

Re: Gotoh acoustic guitar machine heads (tuners)

Post by StevenO » Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:43 am

I've enjoyed everything Gotoh has ever made. Quality hardware at a decent price! I put their tuners on three or so guitars of mine and I bought an extra set JUST IN CASE.

Also, great guitar! :)

User avatar
MechaBulletBill
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 2135
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:16 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Gotoh acoustic guitar machine heads (tuners)

Post by MechaBulletBill » Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:30 pm

Who's the dealer? I could do with some tuners (and other stuff) for a couple of guits and i love the gotohs

User avatar
marqueemoon
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 2981
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 9:37 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Gotoh acoustic guitar machine heads (tuners)

Post by marqueemoon » Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:17 pm

Very cool. The stock tuners on my Takamine F-312 are working well enough, but it’s good to know Gotoh has some options in that style.

User avatar
sookwinder
Mods
Mods
Posts: 10385
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 6:47 pm
Location: Melbourne Australia

Re: Gotoh acoustic guitar machine heads (tuners)

Post by sookwinder » Sat Apr 13, 2019 6:59 pm

This is the GOTOH international website:
https://g-gotoh.com/international/

this is the Japanese store in Tokyo that is an exclusive GOTOH retailer:
https://www.g-jax.com/global/

This is the Canadian website where the cost of the tuners/shipping was about $100 cheaper than the Tokyo store (the product is still shipped out directly from the GOTOH factory in Japan to the purchaser)
http://www.japarts.ca/Default.asp
relaxing alternative to doing actual work ...

User avatar
sookwinder
Mods
Mods
Posts: 10385
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 6:47 pm
Location: Melbourne Australia

Re: Gotoh acoustic guitar machine heads (tuners)

Post by sookwinder » Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:48 pm

I received the second set of these tuners today (this set from the people in Cananda - the set was sent directly from the factory in Japan)

Here is a photo of the locking washer on the inside of the mounting plate. This is what required the ever so small sanding of each of the shaft holes in the headstock (bevelling) to allow flat fitment of the tuners.

Image
relaxing alternative to doing actual work ...

Post Reply