I've heard that Grover tuning machines are among the best tuners available. Whether that's true or not, they seem to be standard on very high end guitars. I find it surprising that you would use such expensive hardware on a sub $1,000 guitar. Please explain:
You're very observant. Those are indeed genuine Grover tuners on MacKenzie & Marr guitars. And yes, you're very well informed. Grovers are usually only found on very expensive guitars. We love the smooth accurate tuning and the 18:1 ratio. Perhaps using Grover tuning machines is a bit frivolous but in keeping with our philosophy of putting the money we save on distribution into building a better guitar it made sense to us.
A bit of history - In April of 2011 we changed - switching from Gotoh 381s to a new tuning machine from DerJung. We liked the increased 18:1 (or in one case 20:1) tuning ratio. The fact that the factory that made our new tuners was across the street from our guitar factory seemed to be an added plus. We expressed some concern about the appearance of the buttons on the new tuners. They didn't look as smooth or well made as the ones on the Gotohs. As it turned out they weren't. We've had multiple reports of crumbling and cracking buttons and have sent out dozens of acrylic replacement sets. We now retrofit any guitars equipped with DeJung tuners still in stock with the new buttons before shipping.
Luckily one of the legendary tuning machine makers rode to our rescue. As long as I remember the name Grover has been synonymous with precision craftsmanship. When we learned that they had re-engineered their famous tuning machines with a new high ratio (18:1) gearing we jumped at the chance to use them. Our Opeongo now comes with Grovers, as does the new Grand Manan and Ian Tyson Inspiration. Tofino will follow in early spring and by the end of 2020 every guitar we sell will be "Groverized" with beautiful die cast tuning machines.