The strange and perverse fetish of open-back tuners

For guitars of the straight waisted variety (or reverse offset).
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marqueemoon
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Re: The strange and perverse fetish of open-back tuners

Post by marqueemoon » Mon Dec 28, 2020 4:09 pm

papa_hotel_delta wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 1:41 am
The Waverlys on my new Martin are shit. Seriously. Both the D and the G bind at some point in a rotation and frankly 16:1 does not impress. The Martin is very light and I can actually torque the body out of my lap turning the D tuner.

These things are like. . .what? $175 a set? This is the second instrument I've owned with Waverlys that are less than stellar.

Once upon a time the best guitars all had closed back tuners. What has changed since then that we now need faux period-fashion open back tuners that don't work as well?
Dang. I’ve been thinking about replacing the shitty closed back replacement tuners on my vintage 00-17 with Waverlys. Guess you’ve saved me some money.

I dunno. Tuners are just universally a pain in the ass because guitars are a pain in the ass.

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Re: The strange and perverse fetish of open-back tuners

Post by pacemaker » Mon Dec 28, 2020 4:13 pm

papa_hotel_delta wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 1:41 am
The Waverlys on my new Martin are shit. Seriously. Both the D and the G bind at some point in a rotation and frankly 16:1 does not impress.
This is exactly how I feel about the Waverly (or Waverly-style) tuners on my Duo Jet. They just... suck. I'm a fan of the guitar otherwise so I've been meaning to replace them, but I haven't gotten to it yet.

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Re: The strange and perverse fetish of open-back tuners

Post by papa_hotel_delta » Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:30 pm

PorkyPrimeCut wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 2:34 pm
Fugly, in my opinion.

They’ll also look way too modern on your average Fender, Gibson, Guild etc...
The entire point. . .

. . .because the most important thing is how it looks, right? (without even wading into what an "average Fender, Gibson, Guild" might be)

Of course I understand the demands of restoration on a vintage instrument, but even then, the best thing most people say about Waverlys is "their customer service is great (when they had to do a return). I've never needed to return a Sperzel, a Schaller, a Grover, a Gotoh, or even a Kluson. Stewmac has marketed the piss out of these things, they have quotes from everyone from Jorma Kaukonen to Tony Rice (RIP), but for $173.87 for a set (with snakewood knobs) I think they should not only work flawlessly out-of-the-box, but include fellatio (or cunninligus).

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Re: The strange and perverse fetish of open-back tuners

Post by tammyw » Mon Dec 28, 2020 6:06 pm

Well my Gretsch came with open-back Grovers, but they were the cheaper ones, not the good ones. Which is insane to put $25 tuners on a $3000 guitar. But I wouldn't hold that against all open-back tuners.

My open-back Sperzels work equally as well as the sealed Sperzels.

Those Kluson's made in Korea were okay but I wouldn't get them again. One of them had a little burr or excess plating or something, I had to take it apart and clean it up so it would run tight and smooth.

I'd be rather interested in open-back Gotoh's if it was easier to find the exact model I want.

How about those Graphtech Ratio open-back tuners? I'm not into high ratio tuners, but wow, those gears are really something.
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Re: The strange and perverse fetish of open-back tuners

Post by Larry Mal » Mon Dec 28, 2020 6:11 pm

I had a nice set of some Golden Age ones on one guitar and some Waverlys on another. I thought they were both pretty nice sets of tuners.

They don't come in locking versions, though, so they got sold on immediately. I ain't got time for that.
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Re: The strange and perverse fetish of open-back tuners

Post by PorkyPrimeCut » Tue Dec 29, 2020 12:35 am

papa_hotel_delta wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:30 pm
PorkyPrimeCut wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 2:34 pm
Fugly, in my opinion.

They’ll also look way too modern on your average Fender, Gibson, Guild etc...
The entire point. . .

. . .because the most important thing is how it looks, right? (without even wading into what an "average Fender, Gibson, Guild" might be)...
Well no, that's just taking what I said to an extreme.

But personally, an "upgrade" needs to look the part, as well as do a better job than the part it's replacing.

I'd happily replace poorly performing tuners with a better Fender, Kluson or Gotoh equivalent, all of which retain the right aesthetic. I'm just not feeling the "space dolphin chic" in those Gotohs. Gaaah!

Also, what's wrong with just cleaning your guitar & checking the set-up on a regular basis.
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Re: The strange and perverse fetish of open-back tuners

Post by Veitchy » Tue Dec 29, 2020 7:26 pm

I find it really interesting that PRS has leaned so heavily into open back tuners.

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Re: The strange and perverse fetish of open-back tuners

Post by HarlowTheFish » Tue Dec 29, 2020 7:33 pm

Veitchy wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 7:26 pm
I find it really interesting that PRS has leaned so heavily into open back tuners.
IIRC Paul went open-back on the Phase tuners because he wanted brass posts and a locking mechanism but didn't want to add too much weight to the headstock.

A buddy of mine took me to this store that was a really early PRS dealer and they had a late 80s Cu24 hardtail that had open-gear vintage-style tuners, so I think it's an ongoing thing with them. Besides, the whole thing with the visible gears suits the PRS vibe really well.

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Re: The strange and perverse fetish of open-back tuners

Post by Veitchy » Tue Dec 29, 2020 7:37 pm

HarlowTheFish wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 7:33 pm
Veitchy wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 7:26 pm
I find it really interesting that PRS has leaned so heavily into open back tuners.
IIRC Paul went open-back on the Phase tuners because he wanted brass posts and a locking mechanism but didn't want to add too much weight to the headstock.

A buddy of mine took me to this store that was a really early PRS dealer and they had a late 80s Cu24 hardtail that had open-gear vintage-style tuners, so I think it's an ongoing thing with them. Besides, the whole thing with the visible gears suits the PRS vibe really well.
I've never been particularly drawn to locking tuners, but theirs are certainly the nicest ones I've seen. I appreciate the pursuit of less weight to the degree they've taken it - especially with the faux bone on the DGTs.

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Re: The strange and perverse fetish of open-back tuners

Post by HarlowTheFish » Wed Dec 30, 2020 12:35 am

Veitchy wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 7:37 pm
HarlowTheFish wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 7:33 pm
Veitchy wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 7:26 pm
I find it really interesting that PRS has leaned so heavily into open back tuners.
IIRC Paul went open-back on the Phase tuners because he wanted brass posts and a locking mechanism but didn't want to add too much weight to the headstock.

A buddy of mine took me to this store that was a really early PRS dealer and they had a late 80s Cu24 hardtail that had open-gear vintage-style tuners, so I think it's an ongoing thing with them. Besides, the whole thing with the visible gears suits the PRS vibe really well.
I've never been particularly drawn to locking tuners, but theirs are certainly the nicest ones I've seen. I appreciate the pursuit of less weight to the degree they've taken it - especially with the faux bone on the DGTs.
The PRS synthetic bone plastics and nuts (which are actually self-lubricating with tiny bits of brass and teflon IIRC) are legit my favorite color of plastics. Folks on here are fighting with sticks about cream vs. white vs. aged witch hats but big-brain Paul is just floating 6 feet from the ground playing 5D chess with his perfectly-matched everything.

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Re: The strange and perverse fetish of open-back tuners

Post by mgeek » Wed Dec 30, 2020 5:55 am

PorkyPrimeCut wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 12:35 am
papa_hotel_delta wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:30 pm
PorkyPrimeCut wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 2:34 pm
Fugly, in my opinion.

They’ll also look way too modern on your average Fender, Gibson, Guild etc...
The entire point. . .

. . .because the most important thing is how it looks, right? (without even wading into what an "average Fender, Gibson, Guild" might be)...
Well no, that's just taking what I said to an extreme.

But personally, an "upgrade" needs to look the part, as well as do a better job than the part it's replacing.

I genuinely do think looks are more important than anything else above a certain level. I'm allergic to any kind of guitar/hardware that doesn't look like it's from the 60s or earlier. What kind of music are people playing that they need all this fancy modern stuff? There are no wrong or right answers with this, it's all down to personal taste, but i just can't imagine what issues people are coming up against.

I've *never* had an undue problem with tuning or anything and I've done an entire tour playing lead on a 64 Hofner Verithin with original open backed tuners, wanging the Bigsby all over the place.
Last edited by mgeek on Wed Dec 30, 2020 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The strange and perverse fetish of open-back tuners

Post by tribi9 » Wed Dec 30, 2020 6:11 am

PRS guitars are kinda ugly...

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Re: The strange and perverse fetish of open-back tuners

Post by pacemaker » Thu Dec 31, 2020 9:28 am

pacemaker wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 4:13 pm
This is exactly how I feel about the Waverly (or Waverly-style) tuners on my Duo Jet. They just... suck. I'm a fan of the guitar otherwise so I've been meaning to replace them, but I haven't gotten to it yet.
tammyw wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 6:06 pm
Well my Gretsch came with open-back Grovers, but they were the cheaper ones, not the good ones. Which is insane to put $25 tuners on a $3000 guitar. But I wouldn't hold that against all open-back tuners.
You got me thinking on this, enough that I checked my Gretsch. It also has the cheaper open-back Grovers, not Waverlys as I initially thought. I agree it's crazy to put tuners of this quality on a 3K guitar. Spent a little time last night researching something else that might be better and seems the Gotoh SXB510 set gets a lot of love.

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Re: The strange and perverse fetish of open-back tuners

Post by sookwinder » Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:21 am

While these GOTOH tuners look great on my Chinese acoustic, I don't think from a stylistic perspective they would look good on a modern electric … but functionality wise they would still be perfect.
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Re: The strange and perverse fetish of open-back tuners

Post by fuzzjunkie » Fri Jan 01, 2021 9:45 am

Before this thread I didn’t know that getting mad about open back tuners was even a thing...

I have had guitars with both open and closed back tuners. As long as they work I don’t worry too much about what they look like.

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