Sperzel tuners discussion

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Urkoman, Aug 15, 2005.


  1. Urkoman

    Urkoman Member

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    Lately i´ve heard a couple of persons telling me they don´t like Sperzel tuners because they "steal the tone from their guitars".
    I´ve had a lot of guitars with sperzels and never felt anything similar to that. Even only considering the locking system seems there should not be any difference, and going even further yo can leave them opened and just use them as regular tuners.
    IMO it´s just their "it has to be that because it´s how it´s always been done" way of thinking, but i´m curious, maybe i´m the wrong guy :confused:
    Anyway, i love them :dude
     
  2. TattooedCarrot

    TattooedCarrot Supporting Member

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    I use them on most of my guitars, just for the convenience they make in string changes. I never noticed any change in tone. I do wish they had a tighter gear ratio, they feel a little loose to me when compared to say Grover Rotomatics.
     
  3. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    Don't know about stealing the tone but I dislike them. The gear ratio is too high and after a period of time you have to screw them down so hard that it becomes frustrating.

    So far, I'm really digging the 18:1 locking grovers I just installed on a Gibson style guitar. Much easier to use, no slippage and I haven't noticed any loss of tone.
     
  4. Boomdoggy

    Boomdoggy Supporting Member

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    I remember an older repairman/player that I knew.He used to tell me he could hear the difference between vitange Fender tuners and any other tuners.I still really don't buy into it.I really like Sperzel's,but I do have to agree that the new Grovers are better,even though I think the Sperzels stay in tune slightly better.
     
  5. Zero

    Zero Member

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    "The gear ratio is too high"

    Actually the ratio is too low, 12:1. Other locking tuners are 16:1 or better (LSR 40:1). The wheel crank on the back is uncomfortable on the fingers too. I don't like them/.=
     
  6. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    They're based out of Cleveland. I called them once and tried to convince them to offer a 16:1 or 18:1 tuner but they didn't seem to be interested. Even 14:1 which is more standard is too coarse to me. I'm hooked on the 18:1 tuners. I guess Gotoh's making a 21:1 tuner now. I'd be interested in that...
     
  7. fjs1962

    fjs1962 Silver Supporting Member

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    I wouldn't call it stealing tone as much as just changing it. Whether it's a change for the better or worse is up to personal taste, but there is a difference. Just like there is a difference in tone between Grovers and Klusons on a Les Paul, for example.
     
  8. Lex Luthier

    Lex Luthier Member

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    Even though I use Sperzels, I wish they would improve the tuners. I don't like the ratio, the weight, and the gear slop.

    I wish someone would make a REALLY high quality locking tuner. I've tried them all except for the new Steinberger tuners.
     
  9. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    Have you tried the new Grovers? They are the best I've tried so far though they do feel a little flimsy
     
  10. Lex Luthier

    Lex Luthier Member

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    Are you talking about the ones you lock from the top with a coin? If so then yes I've tried those.
     
  11. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    No, you don't lock them with a coin. That slot is to turn/loosen the cam so the holes in the shaft line up with the opening in the cam mechanism. As you turn the tuner, the cam turns first. Once it catches against the string the tuner shaft starts turning and the cam self-tightens against the string. It works quite well.
     
  12. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    I used to use Sperzels a lot on those Hamer Daytona strats. I thought they worked great. I still have one from '95 or so. The tuners still work like new. I don't have a problem with the gear ratio. It tunes up fine. My preference these days is regular old vintage style Kluson types.

    I guess you'd need to compare them on the same neck with other tuners to hear tonal changes. When guys change out the Klusons for Grovers they always say there is a big tone change. more sustain and thud, and less woody resonance. The Govers like the Sperzels are a lot heavier and more mass so...
     
  13. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    I also have them on a Daytona strat and you have to torque them down to a ridiculous degree to get them to stay put while you're tuning up.

    Yes, you can make do with 12:1 tuners but you can also make do with a Squier Strat. The point is that there are better solutions out there. I play a lot of chords voiced with half steps in them. For that kind of work, I like the extra tuning precision you get from 18:1 tuners. Once you try a set of great tuners such as the Gotoh 18:1 tuners, it's hard to go back to somelike like the Spezels.
     
  14. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    I've got the lockiing Sperzels on my latest acquisition, my Baker B-1...

    I used to have them on an 80s Fender Espirit Elite...

    I likes 'em just fine.
     
  15. JingleJungle

    JingleJungle Member

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    I've been thru the same discussion with Nik Huber re. my Melancon IRW neck Classic... The low E sounds a little too soft and Nik's idea was to try to experiment with different tuners because the reasoning is that the total mass of the tuners DOES affect the way the headstock vibrates and affects the overall neck resonance.
    It does make sense if you think of it.

    I won't get into the specifics of Sperzels - some will hate 'em, some will love 'em.
    One thing is sure - if whoever built your guitar *factored in* the mass of the Sperzels, then changing them may very well affect the tone.
    For better or for worse....

    JJ
     
  16. John Bell

    John Bell Member

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    They work wondeful,but do change the tone.I wouldn't say they steal tone.In my experience you want less metal mass at the headstock and more at the bridge.Meaning lightweight vintage style tunes and steel bridges.This has been a key to the tone I've been looking for.
     
  17. Ron Thorn

    Ron Thorn Gold Supporting Member

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    Regarding the ratio: I'll have to dig up the thread on the Thorn Forum but a couple years ago I did a little simple math and determined the 12:1 ratio with a smaller diameter string post was near identical to a 16:1 ratio Schaller with a larger diameter string post.
    In other words, the same amount of linear string is wrapped once around the circumference for both tuners. If you turn either knob, say, a quarter turn then the string will stretch the same amount.

    :)

    ron
     
  18. Shreve

    Shreve Katzenjammer Kid Gold Supporting Member

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    Here 'tis, Ron
     
  19. Antero

    Antero Member

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    A number of people have mentioned a tone change coming from a machinehead change, but nobody seems to have mentioned what sort of change it could be. Anyone care to take a shot?
     
  20. Zero

    Zero Member

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    "I did a little simple math and determined the 12:1 ratio with a smaller diameter string post was near identical to a 16:1 ratio Schaller."


    That's if you want Schaller's. Schallers aren't the only other locking tuner out there. I'd go with Planet Waves (18:1) or if it was a "Super Guitar" Project, LSR's (40:1)
     

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