Plastic machine head buttons…

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Jakedog, Sep 12, 2021.

  1. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    So I’ve been going down a YouTube rabbit hole learning about the PRS Silver Sky. Because I’m super curious and have never taken the time to really look into one of the most controversial guitars ever made. Keep your negative opinions on the guitar and John Mayer to yourself, nobody cares.

    Anyhow, reading reviews and watching videos, many people mention how much they love the guitar, but how much the plastic tuner buttons make it look and feel cheap. That struck me as odd, as it’s made clear they’re there for weight relief, and they work for that. And not for nothing, but don’t the $7k Historic series Les Pauls come with plastic tuner buttons? Doesn’t every high end Gibson unless it has Grovers? Don’t loads of very desirable vintage acoustic and electric guitars have plastic tuner buttons? Don’t a lot of nice classicals?

    It just struck me as a really weird thing for so many people to be so hung up on.

    That’s all. Carry on.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2021
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  2. ndcaster

    ndcaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    These are controversial waters. If I'm plopping down 2,500 ducats on an electrical geetar, I don't want plastic on it anywhere or even within bar-barfing distance. Tuners should be made of abalone harvested from sustainable sea beds in the Maldives. Internal wires should be made of gold. This would be the Final Guitar that I play only on Sundays.
     
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  3. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    And any pickup mounting rings should be made of horn harvested from virgin Narwhals. Now that I think about it, I’m totally with ya!
     
  4. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Poster Extraordinaire

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    I quite like plastic button tuners, and will put them on guitars that had metal ones sometimes. But not everyone likes the same thing. I can't pull Grovers or any locking tuner off my guitars fast enough. On Gibsons, I install plastic tulip machines 90% of the time if they don't have them already.
     
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  5. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It's a Strat, you dont need $2500 to have a great Strat. Tuner buttons dont matter to me. But there may be something about mass at the headstock that is good, not 100% on that but lean toward it being true.
     
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  6. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I’m weird. I started playing in the 80’s, so I actually like Grovers on Les Pauls. But I know a lot of people who will only use tulips.
     
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  7. ndcaster

    ndcaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    Ok, but how do we feel about EMG plastic covers? On the plus side, you save .004 lbs of weight, creating an airier tone overall, but on the other hand they make people want to walk up to the stage and slap you.
     
  8. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I don’t need a controversial guitar to make people want to slap me. That’s why I only play on very tall stages.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2021
  9. ndcaster

    ndcaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    We were born too late. Back in the Summer of Love, we would've been killing it.
     
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  10. ndcaster

    ndcaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    I get hung up on the weight of volume and tone knobs. I just can't stand the ultralight ones, they feel fake.
     
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  11. kennl

    kennl Tele-Afflicted

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    the buttons on my Benedetto are ebony, as are the fingerest, tailpiece, knobs, fretboard and truss rod cover.
    Binding is plastic (ivoroid), though.
     
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  12. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Poster Extraordinaire

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    The only Grovers I have left on my current Gibsons are on a LP Classic Lite that just seems perfect out of the box, so I've left them on. But I guess I have and play more SGs so maybe it makes more sense to have tulips on those? Aw, who knows.
     
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  13. Mouth

    Mouth Tele-Afflicted

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    Round plastic buttons were on LP Juniors and on the cheap Japanese guitars of the 60s and 70s.

    I think that's where the association started.
     
  14. JL_LI

    JL_LI Poster Extraordinaire

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    Tuner buttons on any guitar should be durable enough to last the life of the instrument. If molded, any mold marks should be sanded down to 2000 grit. Form follows function. What the button is made from us immaterial to me.
     
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  15. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Two of my Paul Reed Smiths have plastic buttons-a 20th Anniversary Singlecut Artist and a McCarty 594. They're both traditional tulip style, but the ones on the 594 are an off white, and the ones on the Singlecut have almost an ivory color. These pictures aren't 100% accurate, but side by side in good light the ones on the McCarty just look a little more "plain", for lack of a better description.

    IMG_2714.jpeg IMG_2152.jpeg
     
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  16. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    The OP makes a good argument. As I do not purchase high end guitars, it has never been my frustration. I guess my experience has only been with the low end type of plastic that gets brittle and breaks, or is too soft & spins on the shaft, of which I have firsthand frustration.

    I grew up with a Greatest Generation dad who worked 50 years in skilled trades and would always gripe about "cheap plastic ____" (and engineers, another story...). Hearing it weekly for the 1st 18 years of life has ingrained a sense of cheap about plastic to this day at age 57. I guess that is why I insist on metal buttons. It has always worked for me, and I was always taught to go with what you know. On average, that has been a winning attitude, so far. There are ways to balance a guitar, and overall weight has never been an issue for me.

    Oh, and for the record, I like John Maher, especially what he is doing with DeadCo.
     
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  17. Mandocaster68

    Mandocaster68 Tele-Meister

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    An interesting aside; in the music world outside modern electric guitar and bass, metal tuning buttons are considered rather unsophisticated. Plain plastic, pearloids, ivoroid, fake tortoise, bone, or wood are certainly preferred over metals.

    I have an octave mandolin that came equipped with metal tuning buttons and for the life of me cannot imagine how that even happened. How gauche! :)
     
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  18. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I sort of the the point about the tuners. But hey - if you like the guitar enough, how hard is it to replace them?

    Some people just need to have something to complain about. This seems trivial in the big picture.
     
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  19. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Oh, just to poke at @Jakedog a bit.

    The 3+3 headstock on the Silver Sky looked odd at first - but only because the guitar was so Strat-like. It grows on you over time.
     
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  20. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah those small alloy buttons are soooo heavy.
     
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