When Graphtech released their revolutionary Ratio Tuned machine heads I was lucky enough to receive a pre-release set to review and provide feedback on. I found that the uniquly matched ratio for each tuner worked extremely well, making tuning a real breeze. My only criticism at the time was that there was only a limited range of models available. Graphtech have now lessened that criticism, releasing a range of locking models. I was lucky enough to receive a set of 3+3 Contemporary 2 Pin chrome locking machine heads to review.
I installed Ratio tuners on my Saga PRS/LP style kit guitar, replacing a pretty standard set of Gotoh non-locking tuners. One of the other criticisms that I had about the original Ratio range was that there was no 6 inline models with a 45 or 90 degree angle mounts. Graphtech responded to this criticism by offering 45 degree screw mount adapter plate, making installation easier for those who’s guitars come with this mounting setup. My guitar was one of these, so installation was super simple. All I had to do was make sure I installed the tuners in the right order (each tuner is marked with a number to indicate the string it is calibrated for).
Just like the standard Ratio models, the locking ones are made of high quailty components that feel nice and solid. Graphtech have chosen to use a thumbwheel to lock the string in place, and like the rest of the tuner it feels nice and solid. The string does not feel like it will slip once the thumbwheel is properly locked.
The big test for a locking machine head is how well the guitar stays in tune. The guitar I installed these on has a tune-o-matic bridge and tail piece, so there’s no crazy whammy bar antics going on in this review, but the Ratios hold tune well after extreme string bending and heavy rhythm work.
Overall the Graphtech Ratio Tuned Locking Machine heads are a great addition to the Ratio line. They are a rock-solid machine head that will hold up well, keeping your guitar in tune. As I already talked about in my first Ratio review, the uniquely tuned gears are a brilliant idea that make tuning and switching tune a breeze. The adaptor plates make installation options a breeze, and is a very nice touch. All Graphtech need to offer now is a staggered post range and they will have the guitar tuner market pretty much covered. If you liked the look of the original Ratio line, but were in need of a locking machine head then definitely check out the new range of locking Ratio models.