Significant Tonal Improvement Changing Klusons for Grovers

efstop

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A tuner change, in my opinion, makes a greater aesthetic or reliability adjustment than tonal adjustment. I say opinion because I haven't swapped tuners on a guitar, but I have read the various arguments by those with better ears and technical backgrounds than I.
 

Duane.S

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It's an incorrect usage of the word damper.

A "tuned mass damper" amounts to a redistribution of the energy, not a dissipation of the energy. There is a HUGE difference.

Scott Novak
"There are, however, a number of expressions for damping, all with a particular mathematical meaning. Unfortunately, with words sounding so much alike, we can see some inconsistency also within the scientific society."

Maybe the definition of damping includes more than you thought. If you google "tuned mass damper" you will find plenty of scholarly articles.
 
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HogmanA

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Scott, that is incorrect. Yes, shock absorbers generate heat, but it is a byproduct. It is not their main function (to convert kinetic energy to heat) . You may even see it written on the Web that suspension dampers work by converting kinetic energy into heat, but they are wrong too!
You will have to dig a bit deeper!

www.kaztechnologies.com

Excerpt from the above site (motor racing) :

"I believe dampers are the most misunderstood components on a race car. In fact, in the US they are called shock absorbers even though they really don't absorb shock!"
"The primary function of the damper on the vehicle is to damp the sprung and unsprung masses at their resonant frequencies".


And just to round things off, here is another definition of dampening:


...and no heat was generated in the above example either!
 

Pageburst

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A tuned mass damper is an entire mechanical system specifically designed to absorb or dissipate energy. The mass is just part of it. This type of system is sometimes used for large structures such as buildings and bridges to increase stability and either reduce or shift the frequency of the vibrations. This is NOT random mass added onto a structure.

Using your example of a car hitting a bug or a brick wall, that is a different equation than strings vibrating between multiple points. There is no corollary. If you wanted to stop a string vibrating then yes an item with more mass such as a screwdriver would be more effective than a blade of grass. But tuners as we know are not designed to stop a string from vibrating so that's where that car example fails.
 

Duane.S

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Ok, the car hitting the bug / wall was a bad analogy, All I was trying to point out was that changing the mass will have an effect.

Quantifying Multiple Types of Damping Acting on Bronze-Wound Guitar Strings - This explains the spring-mass-damper system in a guitar.

Yes, a tuner is not designed to stop a string from vibrating, but in this instance changing to a heaver tuner is reducing the damping effect of the headstock on the string. You could probably get the same effect by attaching a weight to the headstock.
 
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Jymbopalyse

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A tuner change, in my opinion, makes a greater aesthetic or reliability adjustment than tonal adjustment. I say opinion because I haven't swapped tuners on a guitar, but I have read the various arguments by those with better ears and technical backgrounds than I.
This is exactally what I experienced when I swapped out 14:1 tuners for 18:1.
I like the way the 18:1 adjust.

But my LP sounded the same to me.
But I'm a hack player and won't make any claims to having prefect pitch or any such.
So I may just not be able to tell.
 

spitfire

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Scott and Spitfire, I think you may be wrong.

You have to consider what 'absorption' even is. If a panel of a machine is vibrating, an engineer will dampen the vibration by adding weight and thereby shifting the resonant frequency. That is all that is required. (I have the term damping applied to just this scenario in a scientific paper somewhere, but I am not at computer just now).

Let's look at car suspension dampers. They don't work by friction! (well, they can, and certainly friction will be involved depending on the design, within the fluid itself, etc).
But they don't convert all the springs movement into heat! Ha!

They change the resonance of the system!

Look it up!
When you add mass to a system it will alter the resonant frequency. That is NOT damping. Now, it may shift the frequency in some way that causes something else to dampen it more. But that would be an indirect result of adding the mass. The mass itself is not doing the damping.

Your example of a panel is like this. The panel is so light weight (low mass) it responds to small amounts of energy with realtively large movements and moves a lot of air. Adding a large mass, will shift the frequency very much lower. The other thing the mass will do, and this is probably where a lot of the confusion is coming in in this discussion, is that for the same amount of transient energy, the large mass won't move as much. This doesn't mean it's not resonating, nor that it won't ring just as long. But, if there is less displacement (range of movement) it wouldn't generate as much sound, in the case of something like a panel.

A simple example is a bass string takes more energy to pluck than a high-E guitar string because of the greater mass. But it is no less resonant or more or less dampened because of the higher mass of the string.

As for car shocks, the shocks are not altering the resonant frequency. They are just adding dampening by way of friction of the fluid. And YES car shocks do convert ALL that movement to heat. That's what they do.

Found this link quickly describing a shock absorber heat test. Not saying this is a definitive source. But here it is:

A quick Google search will show you that shock temperature is a big thing with car shocks.

Now what ANY damper will do in a resonant system is lower the Q-factor. Q factor is how sharply tuned the system is at its resonant frequency. Damping will not change the resonant frequency. Systems like guitar strings have relatively high Q as do things like radio station oscillators which generate very specific frequencies. A tuning fork is another exmaple of having a high Q. A car's suspension with the addition of the shock absorbers, has a very low Q, and idealy that Q is so low that the system is said to be "over damped" meaning it will not actually bounce up and down.
 

HogmanA

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The thing is, you are completely wrong about car dampers. The fluid in the shock absorber merely restricts the velocity of the movement, it doesn't dissipate it.
If it is easer for you to grasp, you could imagine a car suspension system where instead of a shock absorber, the is attached a pendulum via linkage.
The resonant frequency of the pendulum would be very much lower than that of the system with just the spring, so it will resist movement (stiffen) over a succesion of close bumps, yet will be softer over single, larger bumps.
In the system I have described, no energy is converted into heat, yet we have without a doubt damped movement at frequencies we don't want.
And that is all that the fluid is doing in other words, it is replacing the pendulum. It is transferring force.
The stiffer the dampers the harder the ride!
Do stiff dampers convert less than soft dampers? No, of course not!
Stiff dampers merely are more effecient at slowing the movement, and so more movement is transmitted through the rest of the car.
Of course heat will build up - it is a problem. We are of course forcing fluid through tiny holes.
Your argument is like saying a bicycle hand pump works by getting hot!


As to damping, the qfactor is completely irrelevant to this argument.

Back to the engineer and the machine:
If the panel has a resonant frequency at 50hz, and the machine has a rotating component at 50 revolutions per second and the engineer adds a small weight to the panel and shifts the panel's resonant frequency to 40hz, it can then be said that the resonance at 50hz have been damped.
The resonance in this case has gone! It no longer exists. It has been dampened. There is no vibration of the panel.
 
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korus

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String vibrates. We hear tone/timbre. Since string is fixed on both ends, vibration is complex. Tone/timbre is not a single frequency. It has fundamental and overtones. Relative level of fundamental and overtones is tone /timbre.

String is attached to support on both ends. Vibrations of string get absorbed by support at both ends gradually until it stops. Support has resonant frequencies. Some overtones within 'tone' create mechanic resonance with support. They last longer due to resonance. Other get absorbed faster meaning last shorter. When overtones with no resonance stop, timbre changes. That change in timbre of sustaining note is called bloom, and used for describing superior timbre of stock original aka vintage electric guitars. It has nothing to do with electric parts ie pickups. Reducing discussion to absorbtion without grasping resonance is a misleading oversimplification.

Support of vibrating string is not a man made constant shape single part made of one material. The variance of support causes variance of absorbtion/resonance pattern which results with variance of timbre/tone some can detect.Tuners vary in construction and materials used. When tuners are replaced with diffent set, different absorption/resonance pattern causes tone to change. However, the difference in tone can be detected if the hearing ability of a person is good enough, pretty much like color blindness prevents a person from seeing all the colors.

Variance in mass of any 2 'the same' parts used on guitar is always lesser than variance in any relevant measurable physical property (which defines absorbtion/resonance pattern of overtones) of 2 different alloys used for making the same part. That is why material used (and construction) of a part makes greater difference in final timbre/tone than just a difference in mass. Reducing discussion to difference in mass is yet another misleading oversimplification. All of them are.


 

PierM

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So the magic tone from Billy King, wasnt in his fingers...was his body resonating.

Ya never stop learning over here! :laugh2:
 

Slick

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This ^^^^^^



None of this bullshit measures good tone against bad. What you think is good tone I will think is bad.
Pickguard on, Topwrap, etc ad finitum :slash:
 

korus

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There is absolutely no need for every human playing (with) the guitar to understand or to hear all there is. My post is intended for those who are able to hear/understand, just like any other form of meaningful and facts based explanation is aimed at those who are really worth the effort of explaining, no matter how small the audience for particular knowledge is.

Others can enjoy the bliss, just the different kind of a bliss. Many talented players know and understand close to nothing about music theory and/or production but still manage to play their instruments and create music that touches other human beings. And touching other human beings is the only reason why music exists at all in this world of ours.

Everyone is good at something. No one is good at everything. Hence, consume your life wisely.
 

spitfire

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The thing is, you are completely wrong about car dampers. The fluid in the shock absorber merely restricts the velocity of the movement, it doesn't dissipate it.
If it is easer for you to grasp, you could imagine a car suspension system where instead of a shock absorber, the is attached a pendulum via linkage.
The resonant frequency of the pendulum would be very much lower than that of the system with just the spring, so it will resist movement (stiffen) over a succesion of close bumps, yet will be softer over single, larger bumps.
In the system I have described, no energy is converted into heat, yet we have without a doubt damped movement at frequencies we don't want.
And that is all that the fluid is doing in other words, it is replacing the pendulum. It is transferring force.
The stiffer the dampers the harder the ride!
Do stiff dampers convert less than soft dampers? No, of course not!
Stiff dampers merely are more effecient at slowing the movement, and so more movement is transmitted through the rest of the car.
Of course heat will build up - it is a problem. We are of course forcing fluid through tiny holes.
Your argument is like saying a bicycle hand pump works by getting hot!


As to damping, the qfactor is completely irrelevant to this argument.

Back to the engineer and the machine:
If the panel has a resonant frequency at 50hz, and the machine has a rotating component at 50 revolutions per second and the engineer adds a small weight to the panel and shifts the panel's resonant frequency to 40hz, it can then be said that the resonance at 50hz have been damped.
The resonance in this case has gone! It no longer exists. It has been dampened. There is no vibration of the panel.
You need to do some reading on how car shocks work and why they are used. Here's a link to a Mobile Oil web page article on what shocks do and how they do it. Which is in line with exactly what I have been saying.


As to your pendulum example, of course if I take a resonant system, say a simple tuning fork, and then attach the tines of the fork (the part that moves) to a large mass, let's say weld the tines to some barbells. Then of course it's not going to resonate at the original frequency of the tuning fork anymore. But you have not dampened it, you've simple tuned it to a different frequency. While this method may meet your needs, by altering the behavior at a given frequency, that is not dampening. At least if using the term the way engineers do.

Damping specifically removes energy from the system.

As to your 50 Hz panel and 50 Hz source (rotating component), this is a perfect example of tuning the system. And is of course a useful thing to do. And while I agree you have reduce the amplitude of the vibration, this is not damping, what you have is attenuation. If you want to use the word damping to describe this, that's your choice, but that is not the proper term for it. And the mass you have added is most certainly not a damper.

Having said all that, is there an industry or application that might call any reduction in vibration amplitude "damping", I can imagine there is. There's plenty of times words and terms are used incorrectly, but that doesn't change the words true or general meaning.

I did check to see if there were any other definitions of mechanical damping that didn't remove energy from the system. Just to see if the term has a broader meaning than I'm aware of. I could not find any. Even when you see terms like "tuned mass damper", the mass is not doing the damping, there is something else, often a hydraulic fluid damper similar to a shock absorber that is doing the damping.

Anyway, there's no point in arguing about the meaning of damping. We can leave that to Websters'. In your case you are referering to anything that reduces the amplitude of the vibration as damping. I on the other hand, use the word more specifically in terms of what a mechanical damper does, removes energy from the system.
 

Duane.S

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Variance in mass of any 2 'the same' parts used on guitar is always lesser than variance in any relevant measurable physical property (which defines absorbtion/resonance pattern of overtones) of 2 different alloys used for making the same part. That is why material used (and construction) of a part makes greater difference in final timbre/tone than just a difference in mass. Reducing discussion to difference in mass is yet another misleading oversimplification.
I pretty much agree with your entire post. I would just like to add that there is a product, the Fender Fatfinger, that is designed to add mass to the headstock. For what it is worth, many of the people who have used it clam much the same result as the OP did by changing from Klusons to Grovers.

This is not a scientific evaluation, but I have experienced the Fatfinger on a client’s guitar. I took it off and I could hear the difference. He doesn’t have a Fatfinger on any of his other guitars, he said that they didn’t need it. Grovers weigh about 4 ounces more than Klusons, and the Fatfinger weighs about 3.5 ounces.

We can discuss this ad nauseam, and weather the effect is damping, absorption, dissipation, or materials are up for debate. But in the end I would hope we can agree that with some guitars adding weight to the headstock will have a noticeable effect.
 

Duane.S

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I did check to see if there were any other definitions of mechanical damping that didn't remove energy from the system. Just to see if the term has a broader meaning than I'm aware of. I could not find any. Even when you see terms like "tuned mass damper", the mass is not doing the damping, there is something else, often a hydraulic fluid damper similar to a shock absorber that is doing the damping.
You are correct that the damping coefficient will not vary with mass. When you look at the definition of damper it lists many types: dashpot, shock absorber, electronics, tuned mass damper, spring mass damper, HVAC, etc. In a few of these dampers, mass is a variable in the calculations so the mass has an effect on the damping.
 

Dolebludger

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If the OP gets a better tone to his ears with Grover sealed tuners than with Kluson “open” tuners, who are we to say he didn’t? I have one guitar out of 12 with “classic” Kluson tuners, and it is a 1961 SG LP Standard. I seldom play it, as I have other guitars that sound better to me.

And why do you think that Kluson now has sealed, high ratio tuners that have screw spacing that will fit a 59 LP without drilling more holes? Could it be that others besides the OP and me think those classic design Klusons suck? They do because they are difficult to tune and (oh yeah) they suck tone. I have no ability to offer a scientific explanation for this, but my ears have never lied to me. I think that the Grover type tuners give a a stronger bond between the head stock and the string attachment shafts.

I have a late model Carvin guitar with Spretzel locking tuners (which are like Grover’s, but they lock the strings to the shaft).. Strings ring like a bell!

Can tuners affect tone? Well, yes!
 


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