Best Locking Tuners

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by WrayGun, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. WrayGun

    WrayGun Tele-Afflicted

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    I am looking for the solution ... to keep my Strat in tune when using the tremolo.

    I've done all the usual suggested treatments: stringing up properly with few winds, lubricating the string trees with Chapstick, I worked on the nut slots gently with nut files and lubed with graphite, and finally installed these weird Wilkinson locking tuners, which not only don't work, but break strings if you're not really careful. Hate 'em.

    My strings consistently go flat after mild to moderate tremolo use, so I don't think they are binding in the nut.

    So: I am thinking of dropping some cash for some decent locking tuners, but I only want to do it once.

    Any recommendations for a locking tuner that really works?

    Pics of crappy Wilkinson tuners attached. Yes, that is how they are supposed to look when strung up.

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  2. Cat MacKinnon

    Cat MacKinnon Friend of Leo's

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    i've used Sperzels a lot in the past and always been happy. had a set of Schaller locking tuners once too, they worked fine (BUT, they're a little overpriced and the QC on Schaller stuff has gone wonky over the past couple of years.)

    the Hipshot locking tuners are supposed to be really good, USA-made and at around $50 a set are well-priced. the nice thing is that they offer several different button styles, as well as a lighweight open-gear version if that's how you roll. oh, they also have height-staggered sets too if that's something you're interested in. i plan on getting a set for my Strat in a couple weeks, and a lot of the higher-end builders are starting to use them quite a bit too.

    they're a bit more expensive if you order directly from Hipshot, but there are lots of dealers on Amazon and eBay that have them for around $50-$60ish brand new. there's a company called SportHiTech that are authorized Hipshot dealers and have some of the best prices, and that's who i'll probably end up ordering a set from (i've ordered a few things from SportHiTech before and been pleased, most recently some TUSQ nuts.) SportHiTech will also install your buttons of choice when you order, so you can select a different button style than what comes standard if you want; just go to Hipshot's website and look at the button options they have, and make a note of the one you like the best. their eBay pages are where they mention being able to install the buttons of your choice before sending out the tuners, although i don't see it listed on their website. they also have both an Amazon and eBay store, but you can order directly from their website as well. i've only ever ordered from them through eBay (and they have an almost perfect seller rating, fwiw), but i can't imagine it would be any different (other than having another layer of buyer protection by going through Amazon or eBay.)

    note that i have no affiliated with SportHiTech other than a few previous orders. the shipping has been quick and the prices are very good, but i've never had to deal with their customer service so i can't speak to that. bonus for you: i just noticed they're located in PA, so you'd probably get an order in a couple days!
     
  3. Cat MacKinnon

    Cat MacKinnon Friend of Leo's

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    btw, in the meantime i'd suggest putting a couple more wraps around each post. it looks like you don't have enough and the strings aren't being held tightly against the posts. i shoot for 2-3 wraps on non-locking tuners (with the first wrap above the string poking out, and the rest of the wraps under: this helps "pinch" the string in place, if that makes sense.) you might still have enough on those strings if you carefully unwind them and just use one hole per post.
     
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  4. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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  5. Loco

    Loco Tele-Afflicted

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    ^^ This ^^
     
  6. Williams

    Williams Tele-Meister

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    Firstly: As said above try wrapping more string around the post before you tie it up. And wrap them evenly and tight too.

    Secondly: If you really want locking and/or you are too lazy to do a good wrapping job like me I'll second the Sperzels -- inexpensive and effective in keeping you in tune. I use them on my Strat and some of my Teles as well...
     
  7. spellcaster

    spellcaster Tele-Holic

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    I've tried a few types including Schallers and Sperzels, but nothing works as well as the Steinberger tuners from StewMac.
     
  8. WrayGun

    WrayGun Tele-Afflicted

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    I know that the strings in the photos above look loose, but that is how the Wilkinsons are designed ... that's actually how they are supposed to look ...

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  9. WrayGun

    WrayGun Tele-Afflicted

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    Those Hipshot tuners look mighty nice ... and the price is comparable to the others. Right now I'm leaning in that direction. We'll see ...

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  10. mabley123

    mabley123 Friend of Leo's

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    Check these out. I just bought a set.

    Mine are the Gotoh SGL510Z-H.A.P.M. 21:1 gear ratio.

    These are Gotohs Best tuning gears.

    Standard are standard regular height tuning posts.
    •MG are Magnum Lock®. Magnum Lock by Gotoh is a self locking system by which string tension is a great asset when keeping vibrato-equipped guitars in tune without any string breaking or slipping off. Tuning stability of new Magnum Lock® is taken to a higher level with smaller string holes on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd string posts.
    •HAP are (Height Adjustable Posts). These allow you to create the perfect down pressure by adjusting the posts to the exact height required
    •HAP-A are (Height Adjustable Posts Angled) These allow a benefit from slightly less pressure at the nut. The HAP-A tuning machine heads are designed to adjust the string anchor point away from the face of the headstock.
    •HAP-M are (Height Adjustable Posts with Magnum Lock®). These posts improve the locking stability and also feature the smaller string holes on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd strings.
    Why - The advantage of using the HAP-M?

    HAP system that can be arbitrarily set the height of the post of each string, it is possible to adjust the string tension.
    It is possible to remove the (string guide) string tensioner or give a stronger attack by lowering the post, interfere with the restoration of tuning in arming time.
    Magnum lock system to stabilize the tuning by minimizing the number of turns of the string to the post further.
    By using the system HAP-M the ultimate elimination as much as possible weakness of the tremolo unit with a guitar, you can increase significantly the stability of the tuning.
     
  11. WrayGun

    WrayGun Tele-Afflicted

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    Mabley, those Gotohs look awesome, but $115? That's a lotta frogskins ... for tuning machines. Hmm ...

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  12. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have Sperzels on two guitars, a Strat and a Gretsch and I've been real happy with them. I haven't tried any others so I can't compare. I'm going to get some pearl buttons for the Gretsch just to make it look a little classier.
     
  13. XKnight

    XKnight Tele-Afflicted

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    If those Wilisons are locking tuners then why do you need to wind the strings at all? As a few others have mentioned, I've had good luck with both Sperzel, Schaller and Gotoh locking tuners.
     
  14. CajunPicker316

    CajunPicker316 Tele-Holic

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    The way these tuners are made is with 2 sets of holes 90° to each other, with one hole higher than the other. The way you string these up is to go through the bottom hole, wrap the string 1.25 wraps, then into the top hole. These"locking" tuners slip more than standard tuners, until you get ALL the slack on the posts out, then they do a fairly decent job. The biggest complaint I have about these is that they are a royal pain to change the strings, you are not going to just pull the string out once the tension is off, have pliers nearby. I would strongly advise anyone not to use these tuners, they are a hassle.
     
  15. KenH

    KenH Tele-Holic

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    Grover makes nice 18:1 locking tuners in full size and mini. Both 6 in-line or 3x3. It's also a nice feature that the knob doesn't come off letting the locking pin fall out like the Sperzels. There's a set of 6 in-line on ebay parted out by Stratospere but I think you can find them cheaper than $70 bucks. The 3x3s are mine.
     

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  16. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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  17. nofrets

    nofrets Tele-Meister

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    I put a set of Fender lockers on my Strat, been real happy with them, weren't too expensive, either.
     
  18. mabley123

    mabley123 Friend of Leo's

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    When I was doing a partscaster I bought the Gotoh 510 Delta series 21:1 nnlocking. the 1's I bought were antique gold and retail for 240 dollars at allparts.

    I found them for 160- 180 dollars.

    So to make a long story short.

    The 510 Delta 1:21 I originally bought are not compatible the the fender neck because of the neck angle and not HAP.

    I I looked around some more and found the

    Gotoh 510 series with Height Adjustable Posts and magnum lock....H.A.P.-M.

    SGL510Z-H.A.P.M. 21:1 gear ratio

    Not to mention the lubriplate and the rock solid posts.

    considering I originally paid 180 dollars for the 1s with no HAP-M...

    I think 115 is really a steal.

    Also you can go to some Taylor, Martin and several other major acoustic guitar forums and they are taking 500 dollar Waverly gears off their guitars and putting The 510 Delta Series on their guitars. So they have to be good if people are taking the Waverly's off their 5-10,000 dollar guitars.

    These are Gotohs best Closed back tuning gear.

    I ordered mine from here

    www.japarts.ca

    This place had the best pics and description and videos too.

    www.g-gotoh.com/international

    I got my onfo from here and ordered from japarts.ca.

    The guy at japarts.ca is very good to deal with and would buy from him again.
     
  19. WrayGun

    WrayGun Tele-Afflicted

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    That's right. The other issue I have with them is that I broke brand new G string and B string while stringing up, and I *never* break strings. I'm glad there were no children or old ladies in the room to hear the expletives flying. You have to be veeerry careful ...

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  20. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Those are not actually locking tuners... there is no "lock"... no screw that locks the string. The strings are simply tied to the post with a second hole... this is not locking..
     
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