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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

How do y'all feel about locking tuners?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by thecrow, Nov 30, 2016.

  1. thecrow

    thecrow TDPRI Member

    Sep 21, 2014
    upstate NY
    do locking tuners help keep the guitar in tune longer? Are they more hassle than they are worth? Do many people use them? It seems like I am tuning more than I should be and was thinking about getting some for my tele. Thanks.

  2. oldfish

    oldfish Tele-Holic

    Aug 23, 2015
    I never see the need on a tele a strat maybe
    Ripradiant likes this.

  3. 5ofeight

    5ofeight Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    Oct 17, 2016
    Never had them so know nothing about them.. My guitars stop in tune quite well so i am not sure if locking tuners are a thing I need..
    Ripradiant likes this.

  4. rich815

    rich815 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Aug 22, 2016
    San Francisco Bay Area
    I replaced some crappy cheap tuners on a pawn store Ibanez I bought that went out of tune quickly with $25 Chinese locking tuners I got off eBay and they work great. But even the "vintage" style stock non-locking ones on my Road Worn tele and that came on my Squire CV neck I used for a build with a MIM body hold their tune really well so I didn't bother changing them.

  5. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
    I think they are silly on anything but a trem equipped guitar. Ya got parts that wear, break, and get lost.
    I can string safe t post just as fast, not having to search and line up thru hole.
    Some might argue less string windings, or wrap, perhaps valid.

  6. Doghouse_Riley

    Doghouse_Riley Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 11, 2016
    IMO locking tuners are nice for making string changes faster but compared to similar quality non-locking tuners they are not going to improve tuning stability. IMO, nut, bridge saddles and string trees have more effect on tuning than locking vs non-locking tuners.
    tlsmack, Rich724, cabra velha and 3 others like this.

  7. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 24, 2015
    South Lyon, MI
    Here is a good article.

    If you buy what the author is selling, traditional tuners will hold tune just fine if the strings are wound properly.
    Locking tuners seem to make string changing faster, but weigh a bit more than traditional tuners. I'm very skeptical the weight penalty could cause neck dive, but all of the extra mass is way down at the end of the who knows?

    I'm easily distracted by bells and whistles, and have been spending more on locking tuners for my builds in progress. After reading a bit more, I'm leaning towards buying the traditional tuners for future builds; for no other reason than price.

    EDIT: Let me throw out a disclaimer. I'm thinking traditional Gotoh tuners will hold tune just as well as the Gotoh locking tuners. Now, if you are getting some off brand knock-offs, all bets are off.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2016

  8. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
    What we need is a string winding/loading showdown.
    I'm in for representing the safe t post.

    I mean, if that is the main reason, speed...

  9. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    I find that many of the Locking tuning machines have the wrong ratio. You go to make a small adjustment and you get one that's too much.

    Still, when comparing a guitar with die cast non lockers to die cast lockers, I prefer the lockers. But that's assuming the guitar body is heavy enough that the added weight won't tip the guitar into the "neck dive" category.

    The best solution IMO is to make the Leap of Faith and go with Gotoh splits (aka Safe T Post) vintage style (Allparts # TK 0880). But this absolutely means you must learn to prep the string in advance and teach yourself well how to load the string onto the post as if you were making a small spring. IMO it does no good to switch to splits and then slough off and not load them right. They'll slip out and you'll be hating them. This is an all or nothing commitment, really.

    I've got 5 guitars with Schaller or Sperzel lockers, and everything else is Gotoh splits. The 5 guitars with lockers are off in a Cul de Sac; a ghetto of sorts, way apart from the others. It is kinda awkward.


    I'm skeptical about Ebb Soul's challenge. I must say it tends to take a little time, to prep and load the string into a split. I just feel it is worth the inconvenience. I will readily admit it favors me (as the owner of way too many guitars) since the first guitar is kinda slow, and by the time I'm doing the 10th or 12th guitar it is happening very methodically.

  10. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
    Skeptical, how?
    The amount of time is the amount of time.
    I do not know how one would cheat, a litnus test of sorts.
    Safe t post guy must do the string cut, and s bend.
    Locker guy in all fairness should have to snip string after the fact methinks to be fair.

    Perhaps that part is the contention, not the other way around.

  11. rogb

    rogb Tele-Holic

    Jan 3, 2012
    London, England
    What about the Planet Waves ones that trim the string? I think that is going to be fast. With the vintage split posts, I always measure the string length to get the right amount of wraps for stability.
    I would really like to try Planet Waves.

  12. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
    I beleive there are a few tuners, both sate T , and locking, that allow the string to pass straight thru and out backside, these days.
    Those two types should be compaired together.
    Planet waves vrs standard might be unfair.

    I don't think the speed of safe t string cut vrs locking without cut would be off by very much, at all.
    What's mear seconds, anyways?

  13. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    I had them on a Bigsby equipped Les Paul for a few years. I took them off and replaced them with the old tuners and I like them a lot more.

    I have a Strat Plus and a Strat Ultra (both from 87ish) that came standard with them and they're great.

    With the LP it seemed to change the string tension and I didn't really like that.

    Like anything else, YMMV.

  14. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    I'd have to see exactly what you're doing, but I'm 95% sure you're using a prep and load process that's IMO stripped down too far to take full advantage of the strength of the split shaft design. I know you know what you're doing, but I see guys anxiously trying to rush through the installation process on these splits and they get issues like the plain E and sometimes even the B string pulls out of the post as they tension up (or during the first minute of play), leaving a "scorpion's tail" of wire that's extremely resistant to rehabilitation.

    This is analogous to the situation where seasoned drivers can run baldish tires on the back of their cars while putting the fresh new rubber on the front. They know how to compensate for the fact that the rear of the car may have a mind of its own, and ordinary drivers get caught out because they assume the rear will follow and they haven't spent the hours learning to sense what's going on. You're IMO using a technique that works for seasoned guys but IMO it is a trap for the new initiates and the unwary.

  15. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
    Length cut, 90 degree bend, load, make an S, tighten.
    Don't have to look for the hole , line it up, and try three times to get the string thru it. ( my vision ain't what it was)
    Given time, I would preffer the string lock 'over and under' itself, but I don't know how to describe that.
    Guess that's more my Gibson default.

  16. radiomanjh

    radiomanjh Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 14, 2010
    I have them on my partscaster strat and like them a lot especially when using the trem. really helps with staying in tune. guitars without a trem is debatable for sure.

  17. troy2003

    troy2003 Friend of Leo's

    Mar 30, 2010
    Central Minnesota
    I have them on my Deluxe. They're awesome. Not the only factor but that guitar rarely needs tuning. Seriously. Maybe just a little tweak here and there,but it's rock solid. Like I said, other factors besides the tuners in play too but I like to think the tuners play a big role too

  18. picknfool

    picknfool Tele-Meister

    Jun 4, 2003
    Oakland, Ca.
    Like 'em on my strat- unnecessary on everything else...

  19. jjudas

    jjudas Tele-Meister

    Jul 26, 2016
    Metro New Orleans
    They came stock on Mt T-type. I like them. Guitar rarely gets out of tune.

  20. BryMelvin

    BryMelvin Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 4, 2014
    Arivaca AZ
    The only "locking" ones I have ever had were the Wilkinson ones that have two string holes. I'd probably leave them on a guitar if I got one with them but I've never had an urge/need to rplace tuners with locking ones.

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