Kluson vs. grover tuners

Written by rob billeaud
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Kluson vs. grover tuners
Grover style tuning machines (Guitar tuning image by cdbdi from Fotolia.com)

Kluson and Grover are two of the top manufacturers of tuning machines for guitars. Both produce high-quality products, and the primary difference is aesthetics. During the 1970s and 80s, the more modern looking Grovers held sway as "pointy" and "reversed" headstocks were all the rage, but the more recent return to traditional styling has meant a resurgence for the "old-fashioned" Kluson keystone tuners.

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Types

Kluson offers only two types of tuners, those with keystone keys and those with oval keys. Both the keystone and oval shaped keys are available in either plastic or metal. Grover tuners, on the other hand, come in a wider variety of shapes and sizes, from the full-sized Rotomatics to the smaller Mini Rotomatics, the Supra Rotomatics with their distinctive "art deco" styling and even Grover's own keystone key design. Like the Klusons, most Grover styles come with either plastic or metal keys.

Construction

Both Kluson and Grover tuners employ sealed, self-lubricating gear housings, which ensure smooth, maintenance-free operation. The keys or buttons on the Grover tuners are attached with screws and can be easily removed for replacement if they become damaged or broken. Replacement buttons can be found for the Kluson tuners, but they must be reattached with glue to hold them in place.

Gear Ratios

Kluson tuners are available in a single gear ratio, 15:1, while Grover tuners come in either a 14:1 or 18:1 ratio. In reality, there is not much difference between a 15:1 and 14:1 ratio; however, the difference between 15:1 and 18:1 is noticeable. Jazz musicians, in particular, or other "tone freaks" will appreciate the ability to more quickly and precisely find the perfect note.

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