Tuner Shootout: TonePros Locking Kluson vs. Grover Roto-Grip

Discussion in 'The Custom Shop' started by Chobey, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. Chobey

    Chobey Senior Member

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    Hey MLP,

    I have a Gibson CS-356 (can be seen here: http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/other-gibsons/146021-gibson-custom-shop-cs-356-appreciation.html#post2789109) with stock Grover Rotomatics. I want to upgrade to locking tuners because I look lots of crazy bends (on 12s!) and because changing strings is sometimes a hassle on the fly (especially with 12s, they don't like to stay around the post while winding). I have TonePros Locking Kluson tuners on my 1980 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe (don't worry, they dropped right in) and love how they work.

    So I was wondering, should I go with:

    Grover Roto-Grips, which function very similarly to Sperzels - they'll drop right in. $80

    or

    TonePros Locking Klusons, which will drop right in, but I'll have to drill wholes for the top screws. $60

    I'm leaning toward the TP Klusons. I know that I'll have to drill into the guitar, but I'm never going to sell the guitar anyway, plus they are $20 cheaper. Anyone have experience with both? Any preferece? Thanks guys!
     
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  2. tonyg73

    tonyg73 Senior Member

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    Personally if I were you I'd go with the Grover. I replaced the non-locking Grovers on my Agile with locking and love them. Here's my post from another thread in this subforum with pics.

    Ok. Got them. Yes the dropped right in, but...how shall I put this delicately...not sure if I'm liking the looking? They are front locking as opposed to Sperzel and Grover. I like the color of the key, but the thumbwheel I'm not so sure about.

    They are smooth and the wheel is very nice but...this is what they look like:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Chobey

    Chobey Senior Member

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    Cool, thanks for the input. Personally I think the TP Klusons look just fine. But then again, the Grovers will drop right in. Now if only there were Keystone Roto-Grips... Decisions decisions...
     
  4. tonyg73

    tonyg73 Senior Member

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    Thanks for making me feel less bad about my ugly tuners. :D

    I have to ask though, why not just go straight to the RotoMatic RotoGrip grovers? 18-1 ratio (TonePros is 15-1) and a direct drop in. My Agile came with the 18-1 non-locking and the drop-in with the locking Grovers was ridiculously straight forward.

    Your guitar is AMAZING. Don't drill holes in it. Get the locking RotoGrip Grovers...you will LOVE them. 18-1, with a wheel on the back. What more could you want?
     
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  5. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member MLP Vendor

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    What's with all this business about locking tuners lately? Every tuner I have locks and none of them are of the "locking" variety. It's all about learning how to wind and tension a string properly while stringing up. SRV, Hendrix, Page, Peter Green, etc. had some MIGHTY bends and as far as I know they all had normal tuning machines.

    Locking tuners are marketing hype.

    I don't mean to sound gruff, I just don't get it. If I'm overlooking something, feel free to educate me.
     
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  6. Hedcrash

    Hedcrash Senior Member

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    I've got Sperzel Trim-Lok's on one of my guitars, and I love 'em. I don't think that particular guitar stays in tune any better than my other guitars - I know how to wind strings properly - but I do know that it makes changing strings a lot easier and faster. Also nice when I want to change pickups or whatever because I don't have to waste a set of strings.
     
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  7. Chobey

    Chobey Senior Member

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    I totally agree! I know how to wrap strings around the tuner post, in fact I lock-wrap them. But if I'm on stage or on the fly, I don't have time to undo the wrap, and wrap another string on. That's why I like locking tuners. And on my '80 LP Deluxe, the locking tuners helped the tuning stability substantially! So I'm tired of my 356 going outta tune, time for some locking tuners!
     
  8. Chobey

    Chobey Senior Member

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    They did have old school tuning machines, but have you ever heard Hendrix's guitar out of tune? Yikes, I idolize the man, but even that is hard to listen to.
     
  9. harpmaster

    harpmaster Senior Member

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    I have used the Grove Roto Grips on several guitars and have sold them to others I love them. They are much nicer than the sperzel in feel and quality also they are 18:1 I highly recommend them!!

    PM me I can get you a good price on what ever you decide
     
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  10. tonyg73

    tonyg73 Senior Member

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    Yep...Hendrix is the WORST possible example here. I have two Strats...one Agile with locking Grovers (drop-in upgrade from non-locking Grovers) and a custom made USA Strat with Sperzels, stock. I can PULVERIZE the trem on both these guitars (the Agile has a Wilkinson, the custom Strat has a Callaham) and I literally cannot get either of these guitars to go out of tune.

    Locking tuners are as much of a "fad" as shielding, strap locks, trems that actually return to pitch, potting pickups, etc. Older is not necessarily better.
     
  11. tonyg73

    tonyg73 Senior Member

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    I have to say I was a die-hard Sperzel guy since they came with my ESP Eclipse, G&L Legacy and custom-made Strat. When I got my Agile LP, I wanted to upgrade all the hardware to locking and my only drop-in option was the Grover RotoGrip Rotomatics. Hands down these are my favorite. My next LP will definitely have to have either Grovers so I can upgrade or come with the RotoGrips stock. Love these tuners!
     
  12. Chobey

    Chobey Senior Member

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    I've got a 1987 E-Serial MIJ '67 Strat that enjoys going out of tune as well; it'll have to get new tuners as well... Hmm, I'm GASing on ugrading all my gear lately... One guitar at a time haha!
     
  13. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member MLP Vendor

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    Yes. Point taken. :) He wasn't a great example. I suspect that's more to do with the trem than tuners though.
     
  14. Chobey

    Chobey Senior Member

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    Most likely. But both bending and trem-ing deal with changing the pitch, so I really think I'll benefit from them on my guitars. Plus I just beat the hell outta all my guitars.
     
  15. Hedcrash

    Hedcrash Senior Member

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    What do you like about the Grovers vs. the Sperzels?
     
  16. tonyg73

    tonyg73 Senior Member

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    The higher ratio of the Grovers plus the look. That's pretty much it. Both are great...my three best guitars came with Sperzel's stock and I LOVE Sperzel's D-thing (drop D tuner).

    Now that I think about it, it's a toss-up: Sperzel wins the weight battle (lighter weight aluminum means more resonance) but I like the more classic look of the Grovers.

    Not so sure how I feel about my mutant Tone Pros in the pics above though...:hmm:
     
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  17. Chobey

    Chobey Senior Member

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    I think you've got me convinced to buy the Grover Roto-Grips. Thanks man!
     
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  18. tonyg73

    tonyg73 Senior Member

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    No problem! You're definitely making the right choice for that guitar.
     
  19. harpmaster

    harpmaster Senior Member

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    That is too funny Tony I never quite heard Tone Pros described like that
     
  20. tonyg73

    tonyg73 Senior Member

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    Well they are quite "unique" looking compared to Sperzels and Grover locking tuners. :laugh2: I'm trying to learn to love them now since they were what I asked for...a drop in replacement to the existing tuners. The shop that installed them told me they were actually LIGHTER than the stock green key, which is a plus.

    Still, the Grovers are still my favorite. :thumb:
     

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