According to this expert there is f all differnce......
"Many people seem to think the older Grovers weigh less than the more-recent Grovers. Nope: "
and the 18:1 ratio would be a good thing. Grover Rotomatic Tuner Variations
Beware there are fake CHinese Grovers on ebay apparently
the guy who left the fake -ve feedback emailed me back:
" They weren't gold, they were chrome with black knobs. But yeah, pretty sure. I contacted Grover and was told that they were more than likely fake (shipping from HK, in bulk rather than in Grover packaging, Grover doesn't make a tuner with black plastic knobs, etc.) They might have been o.k. tuners, don't know - sent them back and got a set of (real) Gotohs.
my 2005 JPP CA has Grovers in it and they work absolutely flawlessly and great. That guitar supports all the accolades everyone has for Grovers and I'm a fan.
My Wildwood Spec R0 came with Klusons, which I think is the phrygian word for shit. They stuck, were stiff, had a lower gear ratio and were overall nasty other than looking cool. I wasn't quite ready to change the look of the guitar, so I put Tone Pros on the guitar. Direct replacements with a respectable 16:1 ratio and a $55 experiment (not bad).
I am here to tell you that while I do agree that Grovers are fantastic tuners and I might one day put Grovers on my R0, I would be esthetic only because it's a solution looking for a non existent problem. The Tone Pros are as just as smooth, tune perfectly and easily using both of my strobe tuners, and the guitar has all that Jimmy Page quack and Chirp I want If I play it 'that way'.
I must say I love this forum because we can geek out to the most extreme lengths about the smallest of details...I am now worried thought because you've given me one more thing to worry about and watch out for...
I just dropped in a set of 70's gold USA grovers to finally make my Page accurate to my liking and they are just as good if not better than the stock Page Grovers. They drop right in and I even use the same screw the Page Grovers come with. The hole lines up perfectly. The Page tuners are buttery smooth but when you compare them to a vintage set you won't want to put them back on. You need to get a set. You know you want too......
Grover production went overseas in the early 80's, around 83? They switched to metric too. I have no experience with the early Asian grovers but all the old ones I have had pre '83 have been good. Especially if the grease is been redone.