Hipshot tuners are usually overlooked when it comes to acoustic guitars in favor of usual suspects Grover/Gotoh/Waverly. My friend was looking for a relatively cheap replacement for GS Mini that would improve stability without having to pay a significant chunk of the price of the guitar for a set of tuners. Locking tuners are usually not associated with acoustic guitars, but my is friend used to locking tuners/nuts/bridges on electric guitar and like the extra stability they provide, so he wanted something like that on the Mini. Hipshot has both open and closed gear tuners, with or without the locking mechanism. What surprised me was the price – locking set runs for 50 bucks from an authorized dealer.
Another thing that makes them interesting are the UMP (universal mounting plates) they offer (extra 10 bucks or something) that allow installation without drilling any holes in the headstock. That’s a big plus for people who don’t want to deal with that or pay a tech to install the tuners. My friend was able to replace them for about the same time it takes to replace strings, which is amazing.
Finally, they have a significant number of custom buttons, both metal and plastic, plenty to match any guitar. My friend went with their standard modernized keystone look that matches Taylor headstock perfectly.
My friend took the open gear locking model which combines vintage and modern and matches acoustic guitar nicely. My friend have had them on the guitar for about a week now. Strings are settled in and they noticeably improved stability. 18:1 ratio is a bit smoother than 16:1 which many makers use as standard. I like finer ratio, especially for thicker strings. With lower ratio they change pitch way too fast, so it’s not easy to get the pitch just right.