How to add robot tuners to a guitar
These are cool to have if you use alternate tunings often.
How do you add robot tuners to a guitar?
Before answering that question, you should know what's involved first.
Can you motorize your existing tuners? No. You must replace all tuners outright.
How many pieces are involved? An entire kit usually has 8 total pieces. Six tuners, one backplate, one control module.
Are there any holes required to be drilled? No. The kit is designed to be a drop-in solution.
How long does it take to install this whole thing? About 20 minutes.
Does it add a bunch of weight? Probably not. While I don't know the exact weight of the kit, it shouldn't add more than just a few ounces.
Does it work? Yes, it works.
What kit do you get? Tronical Tuning Systems makes the kits. The one seen above is for the Gibson Les Paul and you can check out the kit here.
Is it worth getting?
Note what I said above. It's cool to have if you use alternate tunings often.
The Tronical system has 18 different tunings you can choose from. So if you want to switch from EADGBE to DADGAD and back again very quickly, yes you can do it. And yes, you can program in your own custom tuning presets if you use something that's not covered by the 18 factory presets.
If however you don't use alternate tunings often or only use a simple alternate tuning like a "drop-D" where only the 6 string is changed, then the robot tuners really aren't any faster than tuning yourself. Just grab yourself a cheap Snark SN-5 and call it a day.
Are robot guitar tuners just a fad?
Some argue they are while others swear by them and wouldn't use anything else.
In the end, it all depends how often you change tunings that dictates whether you need the robot tuners or not. Yes, the price of a kit is up there, but generally speaking it's cheaper and more convenient than having multiple guitars in different tunings.
What you're buying with robot tuners is convenience and not better tuning stability. Small adjustments will still have to be made by you depending on your playing style. But yes, they do work.