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Squire Tuner upgrade recommendations

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by BCBrother, Dec 1, 2020.

  1. BCBrother

    BCBrother TDPRI Member

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    My Squire Strat fell off of it's wall hanger and the tuners were damaged so I wil be upgrading them. I was talking to a local guitar tech and he was saying he'd go with the hipshot locking machines but said it won't cover the old holes. I just want something that stays in tune and works well enough for this guitar. I don't use the whammy bar much, if that's any factor.

    I was thinking of replacing with Fender tuning machines:
    $40 Fender American Professional Staggered Stratocaster/Telecaster Tuning Machines Set - Chrome

    Does anyone think I should also replace the bridge on this guitar?

    The whole pickguard assembly (pickups and volume/tone knobs) was upgraded a few years ago already (VanZandt p'ups)

    Thanks
     

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  2. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    I bought a set of KMise 18:1 locking tuners on EBay for a project, for around $22 and they have worked quite well. I don't think they'll cover the holes exactly on your guitar though.
     
  3. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Tele-Meister

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    I don't think you'd get any tangible benefit by replacing the bridge.
     
  4. 1 21 gigawatts

    1 21 gigawatts Tele-Meister

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    No loss there; those trapezoidal tuners were terrible. I've been considering the Hipshot tuners for a build, but the Fender locking tuners aren't much more. I'd probably use those if I had to drill new holes anyways.

    Is the trem assembly the MIM one or the standard Squire one with the tiny block? If the latter, I'd replace it with a new MIM trem assembly. At $23 shipped from Amazon, it is a no brainer as a Squire upgrade.
     
  5. telestratosonic

    telestratosonic Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    3DB280C1-74FF-4985-ACA3-202C826957DE.jpeg EC47386C-9E94-43EE-8030-A92E7FF966EA.jpeg
    I put these Grovers in my Squier Standard 8 years ago. If memory serves, they were a drop-in; no need to enlarge the holes. I'd go for a less-hassle drop-ins. These are great tuners.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2020
    BulletLee likes this.
  6. BulletLee

    BulletLee TDPRI Member

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    After a lot of research I just upgraded my Squier Bullet Strat with the Hipshot Locking Tuners with the Universal Mounting Plate. I couldn't be happier and it mostly covers the original holes. I'll put the photo below, on the Bullet series I did have to enlarge the holes by a little and it was a scary task but I went slow and stepped up in drill bit size. The spacing too for some reason on the Squier maxed out the tuners on the mounting plate. The quality of these tuners is above that of those found on my Fenders and it is also cool that Hipshot is only an hour from here!

    IMG_2642.jpg
     
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  7. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    For about $50 the Fender locking tuners are hard to beat. I love how fast string changes are with this type of tuner and have them or similar on all my electrics. (Just pull the string tight, lock the tuner, about half a rotation around the peg to tune up, stretch, retune and done.) These are staggered, as well, so no string tree necessary. They are probably a little heavier than non-locking tuners.
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/de...tratocaster-telecaster-tuning-machines-chrome
     
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  8. Danb541

    Danb541 Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a bunch of those cheap tuners. I'll send you some for free if you just want to replace the broken ones. Personally, I'd put some better tuners on it though. I really like the gotoh tuners, they can be purchased for around $30. Keep in mind you'll need to enlarge the post holes to 10mm most likely.
     
  9. Ronzo

    Ronzo Tele-Holic

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    For the Affinity Tele, the Musiclily locking turners worked perfectly. But they are NOT the same drop-in fit for the trapezoidal tuners on your Squirr Strat. I replaced mine with the Hipshots, which covered all but one hole:
    Hipshot Grip-Lock Vintage 6... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IRXN2NS/?tag=tdpri-20

    You’ll need to get a sharp 11/32” drill bit to open up the peg head holes. I bought a Milwaukee bit at Home Depot that mounted in my power screwdriver. WORK SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY. The holes don’t have to be enlarged very much at all.

    Heere’s my finished product:
    37C0AB5C-59D0-44D6-95BD-CA69E1C83760.jpeg

    I’m very happy with the outcome. Should have done it sooner. Three different heights on these staggered tuners. A 10mm deep socket is helpful for the installation.

    I also wouldn’t replace the bridge. Lube the nut and string trees with PTFE liibe
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2020
  10. medownsouth

    medownsouth Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    You can find a direct replacement on eBay, or just plug the holes and install whatever you want I like deluxe kluson style tuners personally, make sure the ferrule holes match
     
  11. reddy2300

    reddy2300 Tele-Meister

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    Whatever you do, don't buy the cheap Chinese knockoffs on Ebay. If you do buy on Ebay, verify that name brand ones are, in-fact, the brand they're supposed to be. (China is even knocking-off "entry level" Grovers and the like.)

    IIRC, the MiM Fender tuners are the same as the ones they use on American made Fenders. I've had quite a few sets of those and I like them a lot.

    I like Wilkinson hardware quite a bit. Really nice stuff for less than crazy money. I've built a few guitars with all Wilkinson hardware. All have been really good.
     
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  12. BCBrother

    BCBrother TDPRI Member

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    Thanks so much to everyone! I really appreciate all the recommendations and advice. This is a great community with a wealth of knowledge.

    Seeing various tuner brands on strat headstocks helps with my decision a lot. I didn't think I would care about looks so much but aesthetics are affecting my thinking. They all look acceptable enough for a low end guitar and will function as needed. The round tuning heads are looking good to me. I like the feel of them also, possibly they are lighter? but what's a few ounces going to matter. The body on this guitar is pretty heavy, So maybe heavier tuning machines would balance the weight better.

    To all who posted pics.. all the other Fender and Hipshots look great too. I think anything in the forty-fifty dollar range will be a big improvement. The trapezoid tuners seem like chrome covered plastic. Danb, thanks for the offer on the extra trapezoids! but you’re right about replacing them, they don’t hold tune very well.

    Reddy,
    I recently sold a Hamer T51 that had all Wilkinson hardware and I agree it's very solid and excellent quality.

    SRHMusic, The Fender locking are highly considered for their functionality. Thanks for posting the link.

    Ronzo, Thanks for the your opinions about the my bridge. I was thinking if the trapezoid tuners are crap than why wouldn't the bridge be crap too. The hipshots look great on your guitar, thanks for the pic.

    Telestratosonic, i’m digging the round shape of the Grovers! They're definitely worth considering!

    Medownsouth
    The tuners on my Squire tele custom (vintage modified?) hold tune very well, I’d likely be happy with the same set that's on my squire tele.

    Gigawatts, I should take a pic of my bridge from underneath, perhaps you'd have a better idea about the block size.

    The tuner set on my tele custom (vintage modified i think?) and they hold tune very well.

    My Squire Tele Custom:

    IMG_2554.jpg

    I found these. They appear to be the same tuners the are on the tele.
     

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  13. BCBrother

    BCBrother TDPRI Member

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  14. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Fill the old screw holes with the round-style toothpicks and a dab of glue.

    For the Squier bridge ... either deck it or 'block it' with a piece of wood. That's what Eric Clapton does. He's more worried about note bending problems where the other strings go out of tune when bending a few than the myth of 'sustain'. But a hard tail will give you 'more sustain' than a massive metal block that still wiggles, if you believe in that sort of thing (sustain has more to due with frictional losses at the nut and saddles due to string length stretching beyond the nut and saddles).

    Tuning issues are 99% the problem of the nut. Or 'the nut tuning the guitar' drops back to pitch when overshooting. Dropping down to pitch leaves slack in the system that is released with the first strum going out of tune. If you overshoot pitch, drop a half step lower and bring the string up to pitch. That's why it's called 'tuning up your guitar'.

    The other thing to check is file the burrs off the underside of string trees so they don't grab the strings.

    .
     
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