Hmn...Tuner Brands? (Kahler, Gotoh, ect..)

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Brendan, Dec 16, 2000.

  1. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Whenever I see a bass, it's list of features usually mentions the tuners. My question is, do you feel these effect anything? I mean, I can't tell the diff between just regular house brand tuners and the name brands like Gotoh, Grover, and waht have you. What's you take on this?
  2. spoolie


    Nov 30, 2000
    There is no sonic difference, since the string is stopped at the nut the tuners do not significantly affect the tone or sustain. What good tuners do is make tuning smoother with no jerky changes in pitch while turning the key. Sometimes people put on lighter premium tuners to make the bass less neck heavy and eliminate a "neck dive" while wearing the instrument.
  3. Spoolie is right about no sonic difference and the use of lighter ones to help with balance. Smaller tuners are used for smaller headstocks and these can help with scales, bridge, and headstock arrangements that can use more string than usual.

    I have two sets from different manufacturers awaiting installation as I write this. One set is an inexpensive, imported, no name open gear style and the other is a fairly expensive, open gear set of Gotoh's (NOS about 13 years old) The similiarity is one that I've begun to look for in this type of gear and that is the ability to adjust the lash in the gear set. Lash is the spacing (and tension) between the gear teeth while under load. Sometimes poorly fitting gears give a sort of "blank" spot when tuning - you know, when the gear sort of jumps until it takes up tension again. A lot of sets will do this after many years of wear. These two sets can have that adjusted out of them with a small hex screw on the bottom of the worm gear. By tightening it, the gears are pushed together and keep tighter. It's a nice touch, though not one that is a real necessity.

    The only other difference in most sets of tuners is the gear ratio. This is the difference between the number of turns at the tuning key and one turn of the string post. Most tuning sets are in the 20:1 range with some being a little bit higher. It doesn't affect the way the tuner works so much as it takes just a couple of more turns to get a string up to tension.