Tools for the Task: Open-Gear Tuners
Ten open-gear tuner options to dress your acoustic for success, simply or ornately.
Whether you need a period-correct set for an heirloom acoustic or just want to spruce up the functionality and aesthetics of a modern 6-string, swapping out tuning machines can provide a dramatic headstock makeover through a (hopefully) simple process.
These 16:1 gear ratio tuners are a direct replacement for Grover Sta-Tites, and feature butterbean buttons and a stainless-steel worm with nylon bushings for smooth action.
Made for a flush fit, these tuners employ a nut-mount system and can utilize the same holes to replace Rotomatic-syle machines.
These skeleton-button tuners feature individual gear ratios, as in all of GraphTech’s Ratio line, which means each half-key turn equals one semitone change for its string.
Sta-Tite 98 Series
These machine heads feature a classic, round button and a heavily plated finish that creates a prominent contrast to the brass gears.
With no polymer coatings used for the gear joints and fittings, these tuners claim excellent stick/slip performance and zero wear and slackening.
Designed to look like tuners of yesteryear, but tune better, these machines feature open gears and steel plates, and represent a solid option when restoring an old guitar.
These tradition-style, open-frame tuning machines are chrome plated and were designed to be an affordable yet high-quality option for Western-style guitars.
These ornate tuners are available with plate material made of brass, nickel silver, or sterling silver, and with buttons ranging from exotic woods to bone to mother-of-pearl.
$792 street (starting)
These high-end machines are available in a wide variety of finishes, bobbins, and buttons, and are reported to run friction free, precisely, and with quick reaction.
Ebony Special Series
Adaptable for unique roller-spacing situations thanks to a small, two-screw faceplate, these tuners boast Moldflon anti-friction bearings for smooth precision tuning.