tuner confusion


Active member
First, has anyone had any experiences with these tuners or this brand of hardware in general?


(Wilkinson Waverly style open back vintage tuners)

To me they look badass, like something from a Tim Burton movie, which I love.  Kind of techy and retro and goth all at the same time.  I'd like to put together a black L5S (or maybe even an LPS) style guitar with chrome or nickel hardware, covered humbuckers or mini humbuckers and white bound neck with pearly inlays someday, and these seem to fit that vibe really well.

This brings me to my larger area of confusion.  There are so many styles of tuners (and bridges etcetera) out there, and so many manufacturers that it seems overwhelming to try to find the right ones.  Most of the online retailers I've seen sell this or that "style" of hardware, but don't always give any info about who made it or where, which makes it hard to tell what you'd be getting.  The consensus on Warmoth seems to be that the bodies and necks they make are top quality, and I'd hate to degrade that by putting some junky hardware on one.

I've had good and bad experiences with (bass) tuners in the past, ranging from cheap rattly elephant ear style ones on a cheapo Yamaha, to "spontaneous decomposition" in some early 70's wavy-style Grovers on a Rickenbacker, to rock solid Titan style (I think) on a Precision Elite from the early 80's.

Back in the 80's when I first started plunking around on bass, I remember that Schaller was considered the good stuff, and Gibson and Fender were just coming out of their long bad period in the 70's.  A bunch of the brands that exist now didn't exist then, and maybe some of the names from that era have gone "offshore" and could be just trading on the name recognition and selling cheap stuff now.

Also, I assume that nowadays everything is made to metric sizes, since it's all made in Japan or Germany.  (Or China or wherever else the cheap stuff is coming from.)

All that said, are there any hardware gurus out there who'd like to give an educated opinion about what's good, what's crap and what's hype?


Senior member
well - regarding those waverly knockoffs - why not just buy the real article?  The real waverly tuners are available from StuMac.  Very high quality from what I hear.  I have not been hearing great things about Wilkinson quality at the moment, but as usual YMMV.

Schaller still has a good reputation.  I'm a fan of the Planet Waves auto trim tuners, which are high quality and work well.

Can't comment on others.


Senior member
I've always used schaller tuners. I find them reliable, and they've never let me down.


Senior member
I haven't used those ones, but I recently put a set of Waverly's on a Gretsch.  I can attest to the very high quality of them.  Decent mass and smooth movement.