Significant Tonal Improvement Changing Klusons for Grovers

Quiglam Panster

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2019
Messages
14
Reaction score
6
So I installed some Grovers on my ol’ beater of a Les Paul and I have to say the tonal improvement with regard to response, sustain and note to note balance across the fretboard is not subtle. The guitar as a whole feels more alive and vibrant.

I know there is a simplistic view that added weight at the end of the headstock deadens the response but this is completely contrary to basic physics. Even acoustic guitar makers know that proper bracing is crucial to enhancing and tuning tonal response.

Prior to the Grovers, The guitar was tonally a bit “unfocused”. The lighter kluson tuners allowed the resonances to either cancel out or dissipate creating a somewhat muddled response plugged in despite the guitar being acoustically quite loud. The Grovers have not lessened the resonances as the guitar still rings out loudly acoustically. However that muddledness when plugged in is gone. Now the guitar has greater definition and punch with plenty of sweet overtones and harmonics that a great Les Paul is able to deliver.

I do think to Grover or not to Grover maybe guitar dependent. Some guitars have a compact and very strong fundamental tone that would be better served with klusons. But acoustically loud Les Pauls especially those that seem to have a tonal response that a little more prominent in the lower mids might very well benefit from them.





I also like the looks, has that old school rock n roll vibe




Agreed, there are guitars that almost got a way because of not trying this, and glad we did. Something wasnt translating through the neck to the nut to the bridge etc. The grovers fixed that problem
 

michelguitar

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2017
Messages
3
Reaction score
4
Yes, of course changing mass at the end or the beginning of the string change the tone, so people think it's strange while they're convinced that changing the stop-bar changes the tone? What's the difference? Same thing. The best upgrade I've never made on my LP was to change the bridge (for a faber) and an aluminium stop-bar, the difference is not subtle amd very evident. I advised a friend to do the same and he was chocked by the difference. The sustainer thing/plaque, very popular in the 80's (I think it was made of brass, a plaque added in between the headstock and the tuners) was a bunch of bs, as I guess the difference is not that huge that it communicates to all parts in contact with the parts in contact with the strings....but logically on the guitar all parts are somehow in contact with parts that are in contact with the strings, some guitar are more vibrants than others, regardless of the tuners, and some not. I've heard small differences when changing tuners, yes, I love the grovers, but only because they're (to me) better tuners, so I'd put them on every LP I have. I mean it's all relative, I'm still recovering from eric Johnson hearing the difference in different batteries put in pedals ;)....but for having played 35 years and being a guitar-teck 30 and being a licenced luthier I confirm that the mass of the tuners certainly make a subtle change....then add subtle + subtle+subtle and sure at the end.....same thing for the weight.......then somehow the difference is more audible on some LP than on others, no idea why, I have to ask a doctor in Psycho-acoustics ;)....
 

Big Do

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2020
Messages
32
Reaction score
40
Anywhere the string touches the guitar is going to make a difference to the tone. That's a fact that Paul Reed Smith strongly advocates. PRS use brass parts on bridges and tuners as a result. A great sounding resonant guitar starts with a decent bridge, nut and tuners in my opinion.
 

Russfalkowski

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2019
Messages
29
Reaction score
49
I really like the Grover vintage deluxe tuners, model number 135N if I’m not mistaken. They look cool and function perfectly. I did go ahead and try some Grover locking tuners and I hate them. The ratio is so damn high I feel absolutely disconnected when I’m tuning. It makes me think the tuning post isn’t spooling up taught. So those are gonna go up on Reverb for someone who will enjoy them more than me.
D6345BA9-24C9-4442-9BFA-51ECD0A2A871.jpeg

FDBF23EC-6063-4B6D-BF98-809659AAA0F2.jpeg
 

AJK1

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2014
Messages
1,074
Reaction score
516
I just changed the tuners on one of my LP from Kluson to Grover Keystone Rotomatics in nickel
The new tuners are a massive improvement but my guitar still sounds the same as I expected
 
Last edited:

LtDave32

Desert Star Guitars
Super Mod
Premium Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2010
Messages
40,086
Reaction score
132,978
Just killed a spammer, but I had to clip and past this here beaut for you to enjoy:

". Remember the fact that whether or not a model will be carrying make-up, almost about half of the company's appearance are going to be decreased when captured. You could probably request your mannequin to go to the hairstylist in a area hair salon and also deal with the payment. "

I'm here to tell you, I always send my mannequin out to collect for me, at all the beauty salons that I own.

I also provide it with a big pistol, so there will be better odd against it being killed or captured.
 

Pop1655

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2014
Messages
11,879
Reaction score
33,711
Difference being Dave, he was just talk. We’ve got pics of you and yours.
 

Just(A)Theory

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2020
Messages
120
Reaction score
71
Would be nice if grover would make some tuners that would screw in the original kluson screw holes. If it didnt involve leaving a hole in the headstock i imagine a lot of people would swap between the two. Hell id keep both sets and swap em out every now and then
 

Brek

Member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
45
Reaction score
57
having no real insight into the subject, i can only add that playing a newly acquired 2013 r9 59 light aged that i was quite surprised by the amount of resonance felt on the head stock when tuning. its not a massive leap to get that more mass there will affect something in the sound.
 

Just(A)Theory

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2020
Messages
120
Reaction score
71
I personally just dont like klusons :v
They look like thyl snap easily and when i tried tuning up a kluson fitted gibson, felt like my fingers were getting cut into from the sharp edges of them.

But hey if they tick your ticker enjoy them, just dont ask me to :v xD
 

MiniB

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2012
Messages
4,307
Reaction score
3,122
Anyone ever done the opposite....replace Grovers with Kluson types (with conversion bushings or screw-ins) to 'free up' what you felt was being choked or dampened by the mass of the Grovers? I essentially did that with an ES335 I had way back. More I think about it, it was probably too lighten up what I thought was a neck-heavy guitar, so maybe it just made me feel a bit freer.

I put Grovers on an R7 I had some time back, didn't really seem to make much difference, but that guitar wasn't a particularly resonant one. The '13 R8 I have really resonates all the way through the neck, rich and 'in-concert' with the strings unplugged/acoustically.....so I don't want to mess with that and change tuners (actually changed the stock Klusons to more vintage-like Gotoh-made Klusons, in terms of flat post heads). And I especially don't want to ream out any wood, even if it's a little. As someone mentioned earlier, that's the unfortunate thing about comparing in that you have to ream for Grovers.
 

jwinger

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2008
Messages
2,354
Reaction score
1,025
My conclusion on this topic is every guitar is different. I have a 59 that came with grovers. Switched to Klusons and became a bit less hard sounding and a bit more balanced, less bright. It's naturally a super bright guitar.

58 GT, went the other way. That's naturally a warmer guitar than the 59 replica, particularly in the low mids. Switched to grovers, and became harder sounding, brighter, and less low mids.

So as I see it, there is no better...I'd say tuners are a very effective way to optimize and balance the acoustic tone of a guitar. Anyone who says tuner mass makes no difference either hasn't done it, or is deaf! To me it's a very obvious change, although perhaps some guitars are more impacted than others...I can only speak from my personal experience
 

John_P

Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2013
Messages
97
Reaction score
80
When you compare ("kidney") Grovers with ("tulip") Klusons, you are comparing Grover Rotomatics with Kluson Deluxe tuners. You should know there are different spec Rotomatics and different spec Deluxe tuners, they are not all the same and therefore no valid general verdict can exist. But you should also know this:

The original Grover Rotomatic 102 have taller pegs effectively decreasing the vertical string break angle, thereby reducing nut friction. -Taller than what? Taller than for example some Kluson tuners and taller than locking Grovers. A nut break angle less sharp could sometimes make your guitar stay in tune better, bend smoother, play better, hence sound better.

Regardless of any other plausible or busted myth why changing tuners could change tuning stability and tone, the peg dimension effect is confirmed.

note: The effective peg height relative to the nut depends on head stock angle (or head stock off-set) as well as the depth of the headstock, but only depth behind the face plate. i.e washers, bushings or nuts on top of the face plate would just make the peg appear shorter and don't mean anything (as long as the peg can take 2" of string).

The effective nut string break angle can also be altered by winding the strings upwards on the peg or by tieing the string. I personally wouldn't do that, but whatever works for you.

I always wind 2" of string (about the width of three fingers) on Rotomatics 102 on 17 degree headstock guitars. My guitars stay in tune, bend smooth, play great and sound great.
 

CoolRene

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2017
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
OK: there are several aspects
- looks
Some prefer the original, vintage look of the Klusons.
- efficiency
The recent Klusons are smooth, precise and have no problem competing with Grover-type tuners
- mass
That’s where the most important difference lies. More mass on the headstock will give you indeed more sustain on some frequencies and will eventually correct some dead notes on the fretboard. I had this once with a fretted D on the A string. Adding mass did correct the fading of the fretted note and added sustain.
On the other hand, with a lighter guitar like an SG, you might get neck dive which could be a problem.
- ratio
Old tuners with a 15/1 ratio will not give you the precise tuning of modern 18/1 or even 20/1.
- locking
As long as you don’t have a tremolo with dive bomb type of playing, my experience is that locking tuners only bring you the convenience and speed when changing strings.
The method used to lock the string on itself while turning the peg is more than enough on a fixed stoptail, after having stretched the strings of course.
Make sure the string gauge is adapted to your playing style AND to the guitar model/scale.
A 9-42 on an ES 335 won’t do. One would need at least 10-48 with this.
So, make your own arbitration and choices with regard to all these elements.
My 2 ć after 5 decades of experimenting ;-)
Good luck
 


Latest Threads



Top