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Tuner ratio - important to you?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by edpal, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    I did something kinda of wacked - I took brand new Hipshot Ultr-light tuners off my brand new Ibby ATK805E and replaced them with Hipshot HB1s, which are a traditional 27:1 Musicman/G&L style tuner with 4 screws on back. The bass still balances just fine and I really like the finer tuning ratio. Am I the only one who isn't totally enthralled with the "Ultra-light with lower ratio" trend? I understand the value for fighting neck dive.
  2. themarshall


    Jun 26, 2008
    cochrane wi
    Yes. I insist on a 1:1 string to tuner ratio.;)
  3. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    As long as I can tune with it, I don't care what the ratio is. It's certainly a lower priority than balance of the instrument.
  4. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    ...yup .. one tuning machine per string .. no more, no less :)

    ... seriously, I am anal about a lot of things, but I have absolutely no idea what the ratio even is on ANY of my basses ... but I doubt if you are the only one that pays attention to it ...
  5. abemo


    Feb 27, 2012
    Arvada, co
    I don't know that I've ever noticed any difference in ratio when switching tuners, but comfort is comfort. If it feels better keep it, and if neck dive becomes an issue, there are other ways to combat it.
  6. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    I notice a big difference between my 27:1 tuners and whatever the stock ratio is. I have a set of HipShot HB-2 clovers. I prefer the finer ratio. They're more precise and they feel very smooth. The drawback is it takes more turns of the key to wind the string. They take some sgetting used to, when you've been using the standard gears for a while.
  7. Willicious

    Willicious Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2008
    Bend, Oregon
    I think ratio counts, if you're talking about going from coarse to fine gear sets.

    Years ago, I installed a set of original (NOS) Kluson reverse-wind tuners on my first P Bass. Really coarse gears. They looked cool, and held just fine, but were a PITA during actual tuning.

    My current P has GBR640s—Gotoh's modern take on the above tuner. The ratio is a much finer 28:1. I find it much easier to bring the string up to pitch without overshooting.

    IMO, today's tuners are definitely much better than the old stuff.
  8. tabdog


    Feb 9, 2011
    It makes no difference to me as long
    I can tune and it stays in tune.

    I changed the tuners on my Peavey
    Fury for black ones. The new tuners
    had a "lower ratio". At first, I was
    disappointed. But later found that I
    was perfectly happy with them.

  9. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    The reduction in force to turn that high ratio Hipshots offer throws me off when I tune the one bass I have them on. I have to remind myself to lighten up. Low ratio are not as smooth and I pretty much overshoot if I don't back them off first. Somewhere in the middle is my preference. Old Open frame Schaller seem to be my sweet spot. About the mid point between Asian cheaps and Hipshot.
  10. Winfred


    Oct 21, 2011
    I like light tuners, but I don't care about the ratio.
  11. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I like a higher ratio.
  12. F-Clef-Jef


    Nov 13, 2006
    Neenah, WI
    I don't see where the ratio has anything to do with the weight (except in a very very tiny micro-ounce sort of way)
    I prefer finer tuning ratio also, but I have much more important things to [DEL]worry[/DEL] think about.

    Also, my Steinberger is 40:1...
  13. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    I agree, the ratio doesn't necessarily have anything to do weight, but it appears that is a big part of how Hipshot and others have cut the weight. 50% Smaller wheel(larger of two gears that meet), courser ratio of both wheel and worm which means less metal, single screw body. I wonder if the aircraft aluminum is that big a factor in the weight difference at all.

    I have a Steinberger too - the linear action of a Steinberger tuner is nice but not everyone wants to deal with a Steiny.

    For those interested..

    Steinberger pulls/tightens a string .025" per turn.
    One turn of a 20:1 tuner with a 3/8" post pulls string .059"
    One turn of 27:1 tuner with 3/8 post " " .037.

    One turn of 20:1 with 1/2" post pulls string - .078"
    " : 27:1 with 1/2" post " " .058"

    Math:post diameter X Pi(3.1416) divided by larger number of ratio. So the coarsest tuner is a 20:1 with a 1/2" post. Buy those lower ratio lightweights with the smaller post for higher/finer ratios.