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View Full Version : Gotoh Stealth Tuners: opinions?



coolkayaker1
06-14-2014, 06:06 AM
Gotoh Stealth tuners. I have heard of other having issues with them (such as one breaking on RyRod, for which the US Gotoh supplier mailed him a replacement tuner, and he then eventually had a bad gear in another).

It seems, anecdotally, that people have been dis-pleased with the robustness of them, yet my research on other forums, mostly guitar and mandolin, are with more satisfied users of Stealths. I did a UU Title Search and only found no recent four dedicated threads (since RyRod's), even though they came out in 2010, I think.

Anyone have thoughts or experiences, good or bad, on Gotoh Stealth tuners? Has anyone changed them out on their ukulele, and if so, what other tuner was substituted?

Thank you.

M3Ukulele
06-14-2014, 05:53 PM
bump…. I'm curious also. They look very cool and are super light weight.. but will they last. I also inquired on another thread as to whether they would fit a fluke?

AndrewKuker
06-14-2014, 06:16 PM
We have been selling ukes with them for the past few years and never had a problem or any issue at all. Ko'olau has been using them since they were released and has never experienced a bad one. But I don't doubt some have. Just thought I would share my experience FWIW. If one does have a problem it's a refreshingly easy fix.

coolkayaker1
06-14-2014, 07:42 PM
That means a ton to hear it from you, Andrew. You are at ground zero for knowing what's right and what's wrong out there, and if you say they're a go, then I believe you. Thank you for writing.

I did quite an internet search on them, including non-uke forums, and to be honest, RyRod's two separate broken Gotoh Stealths (two for one poor guy!) is the only story of malfunction that I can find.

bborzell
06-14-2014, 07:47 PM
Mike put them on my MP.

http://i315.photobucket.com/albums/ll468/bborzell/3a2b74db1bd50add08010dc9c475c1f1.jpg

Been over a year and through several string changes. Smooth and accurate. When I get around to specing out a new custom, I'll use them again.

In addition to functioning as expected, they just plain feel better than any other tuners I have and that includes well into double digits of guitars, basses, mandolins and ukes. Almost brings a sense of disappointment when uke strings settle in.

coolkayaker1
06-14-2014, 07:54 PM
Mike put them on my MP. Been over a year and through several string changes. Smooth and accurate. When I get around to specing out a new custom, I'll use them again.
Thanks super reassuring, bb. Thank you for sharing your experience. Wow, they look awesome! What a gorgeous headstock. Your thumbs up means a lot to me.


I, actually, have a lead on a Noa Bonk-made KoOlau tenor, used from a UUer and it has Gotoh Stealths. I know from owning and playing a boatload of ukuleles (Andrew knows...lol) that, for me, KoOlau is the best of them all. Absolutely the best. I think Noa and another gentleman whose name eludes me now make them. Anyhow, the only thing I was so-so on was the GStealths. 18:1, wow, that's going to be quite a change from my 1:1 friction pegs. Lol.

pS that MP slot head is nice and thick, so looks as if you have options for other tuners in the future (not that you'll need then). RyRods issue was a thinner slot head that only accommodated his Stealths...when two of four failed on him, he actually paid luthier Talsma to add thickness to headstock just to accommodate Waverlys. Doh! He has a video on it someplace. Gotoh Stealths, I think, are expensive and only sold in sets of six (3 right, 3left) for nearly two hundred bucks a set. Wow! They must be sweet!

bborzell
06-14-2014, 07:56 PM
Glad to help. I went back and posted a photo. Always like to look at that thing.

Jim Hanks
06-15-2014, 03:31 AM
Gotoh Stealths, I think, are expensive and only sold in sets of six (3 right, 3left) for nearly two hundred bucks a set. Wow! They must be sweet!
found here individually for $100 for a set of 4 - http://www.lmii.com/products/mostly-not-wood/tuning-machines/steel-string-tuners/gotoh-stealth-tuners

Ukulele Eddie
06-15-2014, 03:36 AM
I, actually, have a lead on a Noa Bonk-made KoOlau tenor, used from a UUer and it has Gotoh Stealths. I know from owning and playing a boatload of ukuleles (Andrew knows...lol) that, for me, KoOlau is the best of them all. Absolutely the best.!

Wow, a Ko'olau. That would make quite a Father's Day gift to yourself but it's too big for you. You have my address, you can just post it my way. ;-)

coolkayaker1
06-15-2014, 04:06 AM
Eddie, you are right about the too big: I plan to play it with my feet. ;)

Jim, thanks for the link. Good stuff. I wonder if those would work for me, though, since I will be getting a slotted head.

bborzell
06-15-2014, 04:57 AM
Eddie, you are right about the too big: I plan to play it with my feet. ;)

Jim, thanks for the link. Good stuff. I wonder if those would work for me, though, since I will be getting a slotted head.

Check out post 5. Unless I have become dyslexic, those are the same as mine.

Guess I'm not clear on the plan. Are you looking at a uke with Stealths and wondering about them or are you thinking about a new build with a slotted head and using Stealths?

Dan Uke
06-15-2014, 05:50 AM
I got a set on my LFDM and 2 of the 4 don't work well. It's weird but they turn a few times before it actually works so personally, I would not buy them again. I've tried to tighten them and I sent an email to Japarts, the Canadian distributor and they said I had to send them in and they would determine if they were defective. In the meantime, I have no uke. I will wait until they fail completely before sending them in

coolkayaker1
06-15-2014, 02:26 PM
I got a set on my LFDM and 2 of the 4 don't work well. It's weird but they turn a few times before it actually works so personally, I would not buy them again. I've tried to tighten them and I sent an email to Japarts, the Canadian distributor and they said I had to send them in and they would determine if they were defective. In the meantime, I have no uke. I will wait until they fail completely before sending them in

This is the type of information I wanted. I have never heard of any other tuners failing, for any reason (although I'm sure they have for someone), so two out of four for you too (like RyRod) is unacceptable. This is particularly true because I know you don;t change strings that often, and you treat your ukes like children. Honestly, did you ever think about sending them back before Gotoh stops making them? This could happen at any time. I, personally, wouldn;t wait, especially if your headstock is thin (I think the custom Squitos are thin) and no other tuner would work for them, size-wise, Daniel (see RyRod's plight). Please consider that (and post here what comes of it if you choose to do it).

P.S. On a banjo forum, a poster complained precisely about what you are, the slow lag to "catch". He said it's especially an issue when changing direction in the tuning, tune up, lag, tune down.

Here's Ryan's video, btw. Start watching at 1:40 min for a super sad story re: Gotoh Stealths.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wO62tcqrQ0


Check out post 5. Unless I have become dyslexic, those are the same as mine.

Guess I'm not clear on the plan. Are you looking at a uke with Stealths and wondering about them or are you thinking about a new build with a slotted head and using Stealths? I am buying a slotted head uke with them, but if I have to pay and replace them, wondering what my options will be. Dumb question here: are the Stealths (or any tuner, for that matter) the same for slotted and non-slotted headstock ukes? Wouldn't the slotted models need a longer tuning peg to span the slot (i.e. Gotoh Stealths are sometimes used on non-slotted instruments)? Maybe not, I don;t know. Help me understand.

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Wouldn't the Gotoh Stealth on the left only span a normal headstock, like on the right? Or is the winding cylinder on a slotted headstock a completely separate thing from the tuner itself?