Grover’s Sta-Tite tuning machine, with a retro butter-bean button and 18:1 gear ratio.

Curious about upgrading your tuners? It’s not as simple as you might think.

Throughout the years, tuning machines for guitars have seen various styles and iterations. From the original open-back tuners, to the introduction of stamped-metal covers, and eventually the transition to sealed, grease-filled tuners, the designs of these machines have continuously evolved. Over the course of decades of playing, three cherished guitars have been my faithful companions: a 1956 Stratocaster, a 1957 P bass, and a 1957 Martin D-18. These instruments still bear their original tuners, which have proven to be reliable and functional to this day. With proper maintenance, these vintage tuners continue to serve their purpose, and there is no reason to replace them with modern alternatives.

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