Thoughts about cheap tuners

nickmsmith

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The biggest difference besides looks, is how cheaper ones may feel when turning, versus expensive ones.
Not much out there is just awful.

Most of the absolute bottom of the barrel will still hold tune. I’d say if you spent 25+ dollars, you’ll likely get a set of tuners that function well.

I wouldn’t expect a problem, unless you have very high standards for tuners. If it holds tune, it’s fine for me. And I’ve never had a non-broken tuner that wouldn’t hold tune.

I’d rather spend bigger money elsewhere (neck or body) than shell out good funds for tuners, when basic ones do the trick.
 

Kiwi_Neil

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I didn't go for the vintage style, but these are mine:

guyker.jpg
 

jimmywrangles

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I've ordered some really crappy tuners from China before so beware. I use Gotoh now as there's just no point buying cheap tuners, cheap tuners turn a good guitar into a bad guitar.
Gotoh are high quality,made in Japan and I've never bought a bad one.
 

schmee

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The biggest difference besides looks, is how cheaper ones may feel when turning, versus expensive ones.
Not much out there is just awful.

Most of the absolute bottom of the barrel will still hold tune. I’d say if you spent 25+ dollars, you’ll likely get a set of tuners that function well.

I wouldn’t expect a problem, unless you have very high standards for tuners. If it holds tune, it’s fine for me. And I’ve never had a non-broken tuner that wouldn’t hold tune.

I’d rather spend bigger money elsewhere (neck or body) than shell out good funds for tuners, when basic ones do the trick.
Pretty true I think.
What drives me what tuner to buy is that they fit the existing holes! I wont put new holes in a neck unless the new tuners cover the old holes.
For Fender style guitars the Tone Pros Kluson were the best thing out there. Too bad they quit making them. A more consistent quality Kluson style. Slightly bigger housings but not enough to notice easily.
 

radiocaster

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Cheap tuners may or may not be OK, but they’re not going to be better than your stock epiphone ones.
The bottom of the line Epi tuners are the pits. The cheap ones with the metal cover you can remove. They're easy enough to service, you can adjust the screw and tighten or loosen the gear, but it can wear out and doesn't hold tune all that well.

Cheap Chinese closed-back tuners are o.k. I have some fake Grovers that came on a guitar, they work o.k., although they don't feel as solid as the real thing.

If I were to put tuners on a guitar, I would only use Schaller or real Grover.

I tried some old Gotohs on a guitar and regretted it. They are not as good as Grovers, and the part that holds the screw broke on two of the tuners.
 

wraub

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Generally I prefer higher quality tuners, and use Gotoh or Grover pretty much on everything. I have one import LP copy that has generic Grover copies, those will get replaced with the Gotoh Magnum Lock tuners I have in the parts bin. Standard Gotohs are on my hardtail Strat also, but my 70s Strat copy has ancient reversible Grovers on it- these stay in tune better than any other tuners I've tried. I also have a new set of Fender (Schaller, I think) tuners waiting, and just installed a set of Fender Road Worn tuners on another Strat.

Inexpensive is always good, but life's too short for cheap tuners, imo.
 

bgmacaw

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The bottom of the line Epi tuners are the pits. The cheap ones with the metal cover you can remove. They're easy enough to service, you can adjust the screw and tighten or loosen the gear, but it can wear out and doesn't hold tune all that well.

My 1998 Epiphone LP Jr has these tuners and it has held up quite well through 24 years of use. It holds tune also very well. If there's one thing it's missing is the precision of a better tuner. I had bought a couple of sets of Gotoh tuners for it years ago. One set ended up on another project guitar a while ago and the other set is going on the build I'm working on now.

My 2015 Epiphone SG Special has them as well and they aren't as good. I'll probably replace them at some point. They work well enough for now but don't feel as smooth or as solid as those on the much older Epiphone. I was going to use the second set of Gotoh's on it but I didn't get around to it and now another project came along. That's the problem with buying parts and not using them soon.
 

Ted Keane

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As far as I can tell, many of the "cheap" tuners are identical to the brand name but less $ now days. Both made in China and the maker is selling them without the label. There may be some that aren't though that are not Asian made.

But I replaced some "cheap" tuners on my Imported arch top Tele with identical Gotoh's. These are the same exact tuners. Not that fond of the Gotohs or the original unlabeled ones personally, but they work fine.

It's rare that a tuner actually has a problem. But once in a while you do get a loose one that just doesn't feel right. Too much gear lash, however, it still holds.

Those original Epi 335 Tulip Tuners are fairly nice. Surprised you are getting rid of them, more surprised you like black!
If I could just change the buttons on the tuners,I'd leave them.But they don't have a screw attachment.I want a black accent on the headstock.
 

Blind Owl

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I put a set of Musiclily $15 tuners on my Epi Les Paul SL. They look like the old Klusons, but the knobs are REALLY green. They work fine, I've had no issues with them. But that was a guitar that cost $99 brand new. In your case, there's no reason to buy anything cheaper than Gotoh or similar. Just $20 more than the Musiclily ones and no crapshoot involved.
I've installed 2 sets of musiclilly tuners so fa (on inexpensive guitars). They work fine, and are similar to the ones that come on Affinity guitars.
 

Ricky D.

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If that was my project I’d pay up for known quality. You’re not saving that much trying to slide by cheap.

Cry once and live happily ever after.
 

Wound_Up

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Cheap locking tuners aren't worth the hassle. As soon as you try to lock down the string, they strip and the thumb wheel just spins and doesn't tighten after that.

I'll never buy cheap locking tuners. I'd rather buy $40 Fender locking tuners that I know work over wasting time on some cheap POS's like I did last time. Those were the standard Musiclily "Pro" tuners. Pro my a**.
 

Wound_Up

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FYI they sell those on Amazon. So, you could've gotten them almost overnight vs 3 weeks. If you live in the US anyway.

4 bucks price difference is worth that to me.

Guyker Locking Guitar Machine Heads (3R + 3L) – 1:15 Ratio Lock String Vintage Deluxe

https://a.co/d/jfk1MJj
 

Kiwi_Neil

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FYI they sell those on Amazon. So, you could've gotten them almost overnight vs 3 weeks. If you live in the US anyway.

4 bucks price difference is worth that to me.

Guyker Locking Guitar Machine Heads (3R + 3L) – 1:15 Ratio Lock String Vintage Deluxe

https://a.co/d/jfk1MJj

I think you'll find that neither jdiego nor myself reside in the USA, so Amazon is not the best option.
 

swarfrat

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Wilkinson is plenty cheap already - and I think their EZ-Lok is superior to the high dollar lockers - I don't trust threads that tiny or the itty bitty locking pin. EZ-Lok has no moving parts to the locking mechanism.
 

NHFlyCaster

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I have used 4 sets of Fender vintage style tuners and 2 were fine, the last 2 each had a bad tuner. They're crimped shut and impossible to fix. Darren Riley's sent a replacement for each one - I like his shop.
 




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