Graph Tech Ratio Tuners – Review – 15/12/17
Instrument tuners have been around a lot longer than the guitar
itself, originally crude pegs on the first Spanish guitar
models, these later evolved to a worm gear style for easier
tuning and better stability.
The Ratio tuners however address an issue which has never been
dealt with on regular tuners. When tuning a different number
of turns are required for each strings, due to the different
size of these and different tensions.
The Ratio tuners overcome this by having customised gear ratios
for each string, so the same number of turns will equal the
same tone, whether on the Low E or the high B, therefore each
tuner feels exactly the same. The lower strings will have
finer tuning and the higher ones will be quicker.
The Ratio tuners are offered in various versions and contemporary
style finishes with a two pin mounting system. If you do not
wish to drill holes or modify your guitar, mounting plates
are also available. This makes the modification to your guitar
non-permanent should you wish to sell it on for example and
retain the tuners for another instrument.
For the purpose of this review
we installed a set of chrome six in line tuners onto a new
telecaster style neck. This had no mounting holes so it was
in essence a new installation. This was done by first installing
the tuners in the correct order until they are finger tight
and lining them up with a straight edge. Once they were straight
we pressed them into the neck in the correct order. This is
done to mark the wood as to where the pin holes would go.
These where then marked with a fine permanent marker, measured
and double checked.
Pilot holes where then drilled with a 1.5mm drill bit and then
drilled again to the correct 2.5mm size. (When drilling into
a guitar always use a depth gauge or mark the depth with some
tape to avoid drilling too deep or through the instrument)
The tuners were then tightened permanently (always take care
not to over tighten) and the guitar was strung up with nine
Also note that when installing screws into a hardwood neck use
some candle wax to ease them in, use hand tools and make sure
your screwdriver is the correct type and has a good fit.
In use the tuners are smooth, at first it may take a bit of
getting use the feel of the equal tuning with the ratios,
but it definitely works and is also stable when in use whether
it be gigging or recording. Aesthetically they are also pleasing
to the eye and won’t look too different to regular modern
My suggestion to Graph Tech would be to release a vintage look
version of the tuner for those wanting to use the on instrument
with kluson style spilt tuners
By Ernest H Slade
note the installation procedure is described as a recommendation
and is done at your own risk. Please consult a professional
luthier if in doubt on how to proceed.