Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Waverly Acoustic Guitar Tuners Review


I don’t think I have ever reviewed a set of acoustic guitar tuners before, but I have a long-term love affair with the Waverly butter-bean knob set. These things are beautiful to look at and work well; over the years I have owned three guitars that came with them: two Martins and a Santa Cruz.

First off, I have to talk about how these things look. They are open gear tuners, with precisely machined bronze string post gears that are like miniature works of art. The butterbean-shaped knobs are made from solid brass (not cast) and have just the right shape as the OEM tuners on older instruments. These look right at home on the Martin Golden Age and Vintage series guitars, and they are direct drop-in replacements for many older Martins and Gibsons.

These tuners are not just pretty, they are also made to last. The moving parts are a stainless steel worm gear and the bronze tuning post gears are more durable than the brass gears used in lesser tuners. They also hold very well, and operate smoothly thanks to the nylon worm gear bushings that they use. I have not found any play or looseness in any of their tuners that I have used.

There are three different finish treatments available for Waverly tuners: nickel, gold, and aged nickel (for your relic), so you will probably be able to find a set that matches with the character of your instrument.

If you decide to retrofit your guitar with Waverly tuners, they are not cheap, but you get what you pay for in this case: they run from $144 to $199 for a set. There are also conversion peghead bushings available so that you can use them with larger-size holes that are common with Gotoh, Schaller, or Grover tuners.


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