Why are PRS Tuners so ugly?

Rick Allison

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Dec 27, 2017
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Just replaced my S2 Phase II tuners with Grover locking Rotomatics. A much, much cleaner look. Of all the awesome things about PRS guitars, why are the tuners so damn ugly??
(Can't figure out how to post a pic...)
 
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Rick Allison

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Dec 27, 2017
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Just not a fan of the overly tall brass post protruding out of the headstock with an ugly black thumbscrew topping it off. Years ago, I owned 2 PRSs with the Phase I “wing” tuners, and those were a much less obtrusive design. I like that the Grover’s have a short, clean post, and the locking hardware is hidden on the back of the headstock. Plus, I honestly think the Grover’s perform better. I have Grover’s on all of my guitars, except my Fenders which have Fender-branded locking tuners which have a design similar to Grover’s and Schallers.
 

flux

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...Fender-branded locking tuners...

Had a set on my Jeff Beck signature, they performed very nicely for a long haul, comparable to Sperzel, Schaller and hardware I ran with on non-PRSi. Grovers usually did well for me too. (One lemon, no biggie.)

I have no strong preference as long as a set works well, but from a maintenance standpoint I rather dislike "american vintage" hardware. Strongly.

Phase IIIs are beautiful to me, however. I'll post pics if I have to! :p
 

Rick Allison

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Dec 27, 2017
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Right on. My understanding is that the Fender-branded ones (with the F on the thumb wheel) are made in Asia, but to the same specs as the "Fender-Schaller" ones that are actually made by Schaller in Germany (similar to how PRS makes the S2 Phase II tuners compared to the Core Phase II/III tuners....).

At any rate, I know it's all (mostly) cosmetics, but I just think that long-ass brass post and black thumb screw detract from the beauty of the rest of the guitar. But, TBH, I really do think the Grovers (and Schallers) are a better design (at least compared to the S2 version of these tuners) - I was having some slight tuning issues with this particular guitar until I swapped to the Grovers, and now it is rock solid...
 

Audie

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What you are not considering is the "Rules of Tone" that apply to Paul;s tuners. I find they are great looking and cutting edge. Nothing boring about them in that regard for sure and I think they look great. His acoustic tuners are even more brilliant and very good looking.
 

Nomad

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Dec 14, 2014
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What you are not considering is the "Rules of Tone" that apply to Paul;s tuners. I find they are great looking and cutting edge. Nothing boring about them in that regard for sure and I think they look great. His acoustic tuners are even more brilliant and very good looking.
A very good point. A lot of guitar builders just buy generic available parts for their guitars. When a builder goes to the trouble and expense to design their own parts for a specific model, I feel there is a good reason for it. Just like pickups, the hardware can have an effect on how the guitar plays and sounds. Paul designed has guitars, not me. I believe he knows more about them then any of us do. He could put any parts on them he chooses. If he chose these parts then it's more than good enough for me. Paul may have designed them, but we pay for them, so we can do what we want with them. I for one believe he got it right. I started playing in 1960. I've owned more guitars then I probably could count at this point. I've owned several that had Grover tuners. I have found 4 things about them...... they are ugly- they are heavy- they have a vague rubbery feel to them and you usually have to drill a very large hole to mount them(a least with the original USA made ones) But that's just my personal thoughts. If players out there love them then go for it . It's your guitar. Make it your own.
 

andy474x

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I like the S2/phase II tuners. I guess the brass and lock wheel don't bother me. Probably because I know why they are the way they are, and considering the great job they do, while visible, the design is very unobtrusive. I also have the roto's on one of my guitars. I like the locking mechanism slightly better on the phase II, the roto mechanism slips on the plain strings. But I will say this, the keys on the mini roto's (which are what I have) are smaller, due to protruding less they don't get knocked around in the gig bag and the guitar is usually much closer to being in tune when I pull it out.
 

leokula

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Jan 29, 2018
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A very good point. A lot of guitar builders just buy generic available parts for their guitars. When a builder goes to the trouble and expense to design their own parts for a specific model, I feel there is a good reason for it. Just like pickups, the hardware can have an effect on how the guitar plays and sounds. Paul designed has guitars, not me. I believe he knows more about them then any of us do. He could put any parts on them he chooses. If he chose these parts then it's more than good enough for me.

In regard to PRS guitars, I think in the same way... Knowing everything that goes behind Paul's design choices, I wouldn't want to mess with the balance in a PRS guitar. Maybe it's just that his marketing talk got me LOL either way, out of all the guitars I've owned and own, the PRS is one I don't want to mess with or mod, feels like disrupting the concept behind them to me.
 

drdoom8793

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Ugly? I find them to be quite the contrary. I think SEs look weird without them. Just nabbed some of John Mann's locking SE tuners for my SE Custom 24, not only for the obvious reason of having locking tuners, but also because I miss the aesthetic of the PRS locking tuners.
 
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