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Thread: Grover? Gotoh? Schaller? Golden Age Mandolin Tuners?

  1. #1
    Registered User Narayan Kersak's Avatar
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    Default Grover? Gotoh? Schaller? Golden Age Mandolin Tuners?

    Grover? Gotoh? Schaller? Golden Age Mandolin Tuners?

    I'm looking for tuners in the price range of the above mentioned brands.

    Are these good tuners? Do they hold up and their tuning well?

    Any thoughts on one over the others? or any other brands around that price range, or even slightly more that you'd advise checking out?

    It's for an octave mandolin. Looking for F style tuners.
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    Registered User fscotte's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grover? Gotoh? Schaller? Golden Age Mandolin Tuners?

    I like grovers.

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    Default Re: Grover? Gotoh? Schaller? Golden Age Mandolin Tuners?

    Never used Schallers. Grover 309's are fantastic. "Economy" Grovers, not so much. Gotohs don't impress me either. The Golden Ages are pretty nice. I could go with either those or the Grovers.
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    Registered User amowry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grover? Gotoh? Schaller? Golden Age Mandolin Tuners?

    I wish the new Golden Age tuners were available with gold plating. If they were I'd be tempted to use them on all my instruments. Maybe if I keep bugging Stew-mac

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    Registered User Narayan Kersak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grover? Gotoh? Schaller? Golden Age Mandolin Tuners?

    hey andrew! good to hear from you. you ever get any of my emails?

    so the golden age, you like? they hold everything together? maybe you can remind me the tuners you put on my mando when you built it! : )

    the grover 309's are they in the 40-60 dollar range?
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    Registered User Narayan Kersak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grover? Gotoh? Schaller? Golden Age Mandolin Tuners?

    what might be the difference between the golden age and the grover 309's except for looks? The price is the same.
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    Registered User Cheryl Watson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grover? Gotoh? Schaller? Golden Age Mandolin Tuners?

    While I really like the Golden Age tuners, which I have on one mandolin, the Grover 309s turn smoother than any tuner I have ever used for mandolin. I had an Arches FT-F with the Grover 309s (A-style tuners). The Grover 309s are a tiny bit longer in overall length (base plate) so I would check first to see if they would be too long on your mandolin's headstock. I don't know about longevity, however.

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    Registered User Narayan Kersak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grover? Gotoh? Schaller? Golden Age Mandolin Tuners?

    Ok. It's down to the grover 309's or the Golden Age Stew Mac. Aside from the 37 cent price difference, is there that big of a difference other than looks?

    Also, why are waverly's so darn expensive? Are they plated in gold? Seems like there'd be a cutoff to expenses on a simple crank device like a tuner.
    Asheville Celtic Mandolin Blog and Tablature Resource.
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    Default Re: Grover? Gotoh? Schaller? Golden Age Mandolin Tuners?

    The Waverly's are individually machined and that requires a lot of time. And times means money. I have the 309's on both of my Webers and they turn buttery smooth.

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    Default Re: Grover? Gotoh? Schaller? Golden Age Mandolin Tuners?

    Once you step over to the dark side, you'll find that you are only limited by your imagination in terms of how much precision, how beautiful an aesthetic, and how much money you can spend for tuning machines. This set from Niccolo Alessi is a nice example. They were worth every penny and the year and a half wait while communicating in two different languages.On the other end of the spectrum, I use the Schaller F style regularly and re-machine them when the wait or price range is not appropriate for custom machines.

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    Default Re: Grover? Gotoh? Schaller? Golden Age Mandolin Tuners?

    I dont really understad why everybody stresses over tuners.My lowly Eastman has shallers never ever had trouble Had a washburn no trouble Aria Pro II no trouble Yard sale mandos no troble.This is a big disscussion on the martin forum Ive just never had trouble. Hd28 with Grover Rotomaticc no trouble Custon Rushing hog dred with gotohs no problem Yamaha with yamahs no problem. Never had trouble staying in tune but if i could just play like i want to

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    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grover? Gotoh? Schaller? Golden Age Mandolin Tuners?

    I have recently used Rubner tuners on a couple of instruments, one a bouzouki, the other a mandolin, and I like them a lot. Cost me 34 over here in Scotland, whatever that is in dollars. Smooth to use and well finished. The mando ones I got in brass finish to go with the brass tailpiece I had fitted.

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    Lost my boots in transit terzinator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grover? Gotoh? Schaller? Golden Age Mandolin Tuners?

    Quote Originally Posted by baptist mando55 View Post
    I dont really understad why everybody stresses over tuners.My lowly Eastman has shallers never ever had trouble Had a washburn no trouble Aria Pro II no trouble Yard sale mandos no troble.This is a big disscussion on the martin forum Ive just never had trouble. Hd28 with Grover Rotomaticc no trouble Custon Rushing hog dred with gotohs no problem Yamaha with yamahs no problem. Never had trouble staying in tune but if i could just play like i want to
    I think you hit it on the head... you haven't had problems, so you don't understand why people stress out about it...

    I've had good and bad... tuners that slip, tuners that bind, tuners that feel crappy in my fingers, tuners that look cheap, tuners where the button has cracked and fallen off... I've also had some that have had NO PROBLEMS whatsoever.

    Part of the issue is that it's not standard, like a set of tires that come in a thousand sizes for every application. Each mfr has a slightly different configuration with respect to shaft spacing, screwhole location, gear configuration, etc... And some swaps are easier than others.

    Probably more like when you upgrade your car stereo. You might be happy with AM, or the slightly better FM, but there are others that appreciate HD Radio. And then, where some replacement units fit directly, some require minimal modifications, and some are just not worth the hassle because it would require too much drilling and cutting and retrofitting.

    You mention the Martin forum. Definitely a place to discuss tuner swaps! On my Martins, I've got Waverlys. One set was stock (on my D-18VS), one set the previous owner installed (000-18GE), and one set I put on after replacing the cheapy-looking pearl-knobbed stock units with Grovers. Grovers worked just fine, but I LOVED the look of a certain set of brass Waves with Snakewood knobs. (000-15S, and the tuners were worth 1/3 the cost of the guitar!)

    So, it's form, function, aesthetic, feel, etc... you name it. So many reasons to swap out tuners.

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    Registered User amowry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grover? Gotoh? Schaller? Golden Age Mandolin Tuners?

    Hi Ryan-- I don't think I have received any emails from you in a while. Maybe something's up with one of our accounts? Your mando has Schallers, that I reworked to make them turn smoother.

    I haven't tried the 309s yet, but I'm sure they are smoother than the Golden Age. Grover's just have a few cosmetic differences that I've never been into, and I like the Golden Age's more traditional look.

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    Default Re: Grover? Gotoh? Schaller? Golden Age Mandolin Tuners?

    Quick note On the schallers.You can improve on them if you have eny problems with strings going out of tune. There is a plastic and metal spacer underneath the main gear of each tuner. What you can do is add another plastic spacer to it. This will create more friction the tighter you tighten the screw.The more friction and less slipping.Kind of like what Waverlys do.

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    Default Re: Grover? Gotoh? Schaller? Golden Age Mandolin Tuners?

    I've used Grovers. Very nice machines.
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    Default Re: Grover? Gotoh? Schaller? Golden Age Mandolin Tuners?

    Quote Originally Posted by M. Macica View Post
    Quick note On the schallers.You can improve on them if you have eny problems with strings going out of tune. There is a plastic and metal spacer underneath the main gear of each tuner. What you can do is add another plastic spacer to it. This will create more friction the tighter you tighten the screw.The more friction and less slipping.Kind of like what Waverlys do.
    I know this is travelling back in time slightly but wanted to know whether it was common practise to add another plastic spacer in this fashion, or whether it was only advised if problems were being experienced with slipping. I'm replacing my Schallers imminently and wondered if I should add spacers to all of them?

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    Default Re: Grover? Gotoh? Schaller? Golden Age Mandolin Tuners?

    I have never added another plastic spacer on Schallers and I have been using them for 20years. Never ever have had any problem with slippage, and have never needed to replace a set. They don't hold a candle to Waverlies or Alessi, but cost a lot less.

    Just received a set of golden age tuners from Stew Mac. The look is certainly right, they look almost identical to a set of vintage tuners I have in the worn out spare parts drawer. However, I was somewhat disappointed with them. Not smooth and some inconsistency in stiffness. The black plastic buttons are a bit cheesy and can be improved with a bit fine sanding and polishing. Have fiddled with them and they are improved, but not sure I would buy another set unless the vintage look was important.

    I have been using Rubners on my flatttops and have been quite impressed with these tuners. They are made in the old East Germany part of Germany and there is a large range of options available, some of which are rather nice (e.g. Ebony or Rosewood knobs, black nickel). However, I would recommend the teflon bearings, they are much smoother with this option. Quality is very consistent (unlike Schaller), and price is good if you buy a few sets direct from the factory, and are prepared to wait for them to be manufactured. Only problem is they live in the dinasaur age and don't take credit cards or Paypal so bank charges are an issue.
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    Default Re: Grover? Gotoh? Schaller? Golden Age Mandolin Tuners?

    There was a time Schallers were state of the art and were found on almost all new mandolins and used as replacements when vintage went caput. That's why the shafts are so long on the F's, to make sure they fit anything. Too bad they haven't kept up with the times.

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    Default Re: Grover? Gotoh? Schaller? Golden Age Mandolin Tuners?

    As a general note, if there was the option of adding the exact same plastic spacers from an older set of Schallers to a new would this improve performance, even if not strictly necessary?

    (The older set broke, hence parts going spare)

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    Registered User sblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grover? Gotoh? Schaller? Golden Age Mandolin Tuners?

    Some potentially good news: I was in touch with the Rubner folks by email today. Mr. Kent George wrote to tell me that they would be introducing tuners for F5-style mandolins within the next three weeks. Currently, they only make tuners for A-style mandolins.

  28. #22
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    Default Re: Grover? Gotoh? Schaller? Golden Age Mandolin Tuners?

    Rubner is currently offering A and F style tuners on ebay

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rubner-Mando...item43e09601fb
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    Default Re: Grover? Gotoh? Schaller? Golden Age Mandolin Tuners?

    $78.00 is a very good price for these engraved Rubner tuners. I have these on my Black Tie and am very happy not only with their looks but also their performance.

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    Default Re: Grover? Gotoh? Schaller? Golden Age Mandolin Tuners?

    There have been a few discussions here about stiffness problems with the Golden Age tuners. I had a set on a previous mandolin and, while they looked great and held tune just fine, they were very stiff to turn. I thought maybe they would get better after a while but they never did for the 5 years I had them. It didn't bother me enough to replace them, but they were much stiffer than any other tuner set I've used.

    If money wasn't an issue, I'd go with Alessi in a heartbeat. But if I were buying now, I'd be real tempted to go with Rubner. I've been hearing a lot of good comments about them and they look beautiful.

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    Default Re: Grover? Gotoh? Schaller? Golden Age Mandolin Tuners?

    I've expressed my personal opinion with respect to GA tuners elsewhere. I currently have mandolins with Alessi, Waverley, Robson, Schaller and Stew Mac Restoration tuners and the GAs don't even come close.

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