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Oct 21, 2021 - 2:53:26 PM

Tailgate

Canada

20 posts since 8/7/2020

Hey folks, I've got one tuner that seems to slip a bit when tuning up or down (I'd call it a bit of 'slop'). Sometimes it will be between an 1/8 and 1/4 turn before the pole / string start to turn. It seems to be getter worse, to the point where it inconsistently affects my tuning. It seems to stay in tune well, just slips when retuning or touching it up.

They are Gotoh Planetary brass tuners and are less than a year old. The screw on the tuner button seems tight and everything else looks fine. The cap piece directly below the button (circled in red) turns with the button.

Any thoughts before I try to get in touch with them directly or order a replacement? If I have to order a replacement, any idea where to get a single?


Oct 21, 2021 - 3:09:09 PM
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wtalley

USA

287 posts since 7/2/2010

I've had that problem before when there is too much clearance between the knob and the post. I've used address labels with stickum on the back to correct it. Just cut narrow strips off the label and stick them on the post until the knob seems tight.

Oct 21, 2021 - 4:21:23 PM

2791 posts since 4/7/2010

Though Gotoh tuners rarely have issues, it is possible for a tuner to have a defective gear.

If you need to buy a single, I do sell them. Unfortunately the postage to Canada is almost the same cost as the tuner.

Bob Smakula

Oct 21, 2021 - 5:29:58 PM

1775 posts since 1/3/2004

I suspect it’s the tuner, but you are sure the string isn’t binding in the nut slot, right?

Oct 21, 2021 - 6:48:21 PM

AldenS

Canada

155 posts since 10/23/2017

Some troubleshooting advice:

Put a pencil mark on the sleeve (the part you have circled) or any other removable mark that will help you tell if it is rotating.

Now try turning the knob.

If during the 1/8-1/4 turn that the pitch doesn't respond (the "dead zone") the sleeve is also not rotating then it is indeed that the knob isn't gripping the post properly. This can be remedied by removing tension on the string, unscrewing the tension screw, pulling the knob off, and then adding strips of paper or veneer until the knob fits snugly, much as Mr. Talley advises above, or just replacing the knob.

If the sleeve is rotating with the knob but the pole isn't (as you say it doesn't in the original post), then it's a problem with the gears and the tuner will need to be replaced.

Edited by - AldenS on 10/21/2021 18:55:49

Oct 21, 2021 - 8:41:33 PM

Tailgate

Canada

20 posts since 8/7/2020

quote:
Originally posted by AldenS

Some troubleshooting advice:

Put a pencil mark on the sleeve (the part you have circled) or any other removable mark that will help you tell if it is rotating.

Now try turning the knob.

If during the 1/8-1/4 turn that the pitch doesn't respond (the "dead zone") the sleeve is also not rotating then it is indeed that the knob isn't gripping the post properly. This can be remedied by removing tension on the string, unscrewing the tension screw, pulling the knob off, and then adding strips of paper or veneer until the knob fits snugly, much as Mr. Talley advises above, or just replacing the knob.

If the sleeve is rotating with the knob but the pole isn't (as you say it doesn't in the original post), then it's a problem with the gears and the tuner will need to be replaced.


Thanks everyone.  Alden, the sleeve does turn with the button.  It looks like everything turns on the button side just like the other tuners, just that the pole has that 'dead spot' you mention.  I was going to take the sleeve off to investigate, but worried that if i do that the whole thing might fall apart.

Does Gotoh warranty these?

Oct 22, 2021 - 4:11:18 AM
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2791 posts since 4/7/2010

quote:
Originally posted by Tailgate
quote:

Does Gotoh warranty these?


You should ask the supplier of the tuner for a replacement. It's a small cost for good customer diplomacy.

Bob Smakula

Oct 22, 2021 - 4:52:01 AM

14020 posts since 6/29/2005

quote:
Originally posted by sugarinthegourd

I suspect it’s the tuner, but you are sure the string isn’t binding in the nut slot, right?


That's a good observation, and one I have been wondering about myself. 

I have a guitar that's very difficult to tune—you can turn the knob and nothing happens, then all of a sudden, it's sharp ot flat, some strings more than others. The original tuners were Klusons, and I thought they were defective. I switched to Gotoh Les Paul types and it still does the same thing, which is maddening. Maybe it's the tuners, maybe it's the nut.  I changed the tuners to no avail, next will be the nut.

I always put zero fret nuts on banjos I make, never have nut problems, and I think I'm going to make a zero fret nut for this guitar and see what happens next.

Oct 22, 2021 - 8:01:57 AM
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Tailgate

Canada

20 posts since 8/7/2020

It's not the nut. I can see the pole (looking at the string hole) does not turn for a bit while being tuned.

Oct 22, 2021 - 8:25:37 AM

12417 posts since 6/2/2008

Remove the screw and lift the button enough for you to see the base of the shaft then turn the button to see if it's engaging the shaft right away or if there's play before the shaft turns.

If there's a delay, you've spotted the problem. Wrapping the shaft to snug up the fit might fix it.  If the shaft turns right away and the string post delays before moving then I suppose the problem is in a gear, in which case you need a new tuner.

Oct 22, 2021 - 8:30:26 AM

1775 posts since 1/3/2004

Before you try to return or replace it, you might try what Bill suggested above. There’s no harm in removing the screw & button. Just loosen the string first and don’t lose track of the sleeve & washer. I think the sleeve could be turning due to tension from the knob, even if the knob isn’t immediately moving the shaft due to a small gap. With the button off and string slack you can try turning the shaft directly and see if the “slop” is still there. If so, it’s the tuner, if not a thin paper shim or sticker will do the trick.

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