Thoughts about cheap tuners

bgmacaw

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I'll never buy cheap locking tuners. I'd rather buy $40 Fender locking tuners that I know work over wasting time on some cheap POS's like I did last time. Those were the standard Musiclily "Pro" tuners. Pro my a**.

I've bought 2 sets of these and not had any issues at all with them.
 

Tim E

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Cheap tuners always seem to just work for me. I'm always giving the side eye when people claim that their guitar won't stay in tune because of the cheap tuners. I've used the cheapest of tuners with absolutely no problems whatsoever. Nice tuners may very well feel and look better, but don't really do the job any better. I have seen new tuners that didn't actually function, but they were from quite a while ago. The days of blanket statement "cheap tuners don't work" is decades out of date.

That being said, I'm not sure I'd be prepared to say the same about locking tuners. I've never actually used such contraptions on my own instruments, and could see how they could be poorly thought out/manufactured. So for the kids who can't string up a guitar without them, yeah, don't cheap out. But then again, I'm old.

This isn't to say nice brand name tuners aren't worth it. I'm actually looking at some very nice Waverly open gear tuners that will be replacing some old and abused three on a plate machines (that still work fine), and those Waverlys are just wonderful objects to behold.
 

Kiwi_Neil

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That being said, I'm not sure I'd be prepared to say the same about locking tuners. I've never actually used such contraptions on my own instruments, and could see how they could be poorly thought out/manufactured. So for the kids who can't string up a guitar without them, yeah, don't cheap out. But then again, I'm old.

Locking tuners are not rocket science. Neither are they "contraptions". Indeed they are a simple concept that admittedly are not immune to manufacturing defects, just like any other component that we use in our every day lives. They are also not developed and manufactured for "kids who can't string a guitar without them", anymore than vintage split tuners are for those who can't secure a string to a fixed post and trim off the excess.

Perhaps you should 'actually' use locking tuners for a while so that you may make an informed decision as to their usefulness to you, or not. :)
 

tfarny

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Like a lot of others, if you are unhappy with your cheap junky hardware, replace it with good hardware, not more cheap junky hardware. If you can spot the good from the bad, more power to you. Otherwise I recommend Gotoh tuners, they are very good, come in a variety of styles, and don't cost too much.
 

Tim E

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Locking tuners are not rocket science. Neither are they "contraptions". Indeed they are a simple concept that admittedly are not immune to manufacturing defects, just like any other component that we use in our every day lives. They are also not developed and manufactured for "kids who can't string a guitar without them", anymore than vintage split tuners are for those who can't secure a string to a fixed post and trim off the excess.

Perhaps you should 'actually' use locking tuners for a while so that you may make an informed decision as to their usefulness to you, or not. :)
Looks like I touched a nerve.

If you read carefully, you'll notice I have actually used them. And having actually used them, I have determined I have little actual need for them on my own actual guitars.

Furthermore, if you need them, you'll notice I advise not cheaping out on them. As the mechanisms used to lock strings simply does not seem to be as mature a technology across manufacturers and appears to be an afterthought among the cheaper units. You might think this a silly thing to point out, but there is a long history of even simple technology taking its sweet time trickling down to the point where copycats will copy successfully.

If you're comfortable recommending cheap locking tuners, feel free. Maybe you find they're really good. But I haven't done a survey and I'm not in that camp.
 

jonrpick

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For "budget" tuners, I second the Wilkinsons. I put a set on my Danelectro '56 U2 reissue last year. I suffered needlessly since the guitar was new in '98.

These have 2 holes in the post for a more secure, simulated "locking". But I just use one set of holes. It's now one of my more stable guitars now in terms of tuning.

20220703_185156_HDR.jpg


20220703_185152.jpg
 

Kiwi_Neil

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You wrote:
I've never actually used such contraptions on my own instruments
......... you said it, which is what I replied to!

Locking tuners have been available for many years now, and the mechanism is well proven. As I said, they aren't rocket science and many, many manufactures the world over employ this simple concept to create locking tuners at a more competitive rate that many 'brand' names who charge a lot more simply because they can, and some people lap up brand names like there's no tomorrow.

I am not recommending anything, I'm simply saying that disparaging something that by your own admission you have little to no experience of, is not very helpful. I have very little experience with split post tuners, for example. Personally I see no need to have them but I have never had a set of them on my own instruments, so I'll reserve judgement of them until I have a good deal of experience with them.

A set of locking Gotoh tuners in NZ would cost me anywhere from $200 to $240 (NZD). Hre is a link to show you that I'm not kidding: https://kennyduncanguitars.co.nz/sh...g-guitar-3x3-tuners/gotoh-3x3-locking-tuners/ The Guyker lockers I use cost $54 (NZD) including shipping. Are the Guykers "cheap tuners?" No, they're not....they are inexpensive tuners that do their job perfectly. If someone wants to spend the extra money to get the brand name tuners, then more power to them....but it isn't necessary. Sure, if you want to buy a $10 set, then you get what you deserve, but I don't believe anyone on this forum would do that.

Did you touch a nerve? Not really, but sub-standard parts can be (and are) produced by some brand names (including Fender and Gibson) just as they can be from any other manufacturer. It's simply not fair to put a blanket over a whole category or price range from the standpoint of passing experience. :)
 

ThatsInteresting

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Wilkinson have very decent 'mid-priced' tuners, I've used a couple of sets without any problems.
I bought a set of Wilkinson kluson replicas, one in the pack was chipped you can clearly see its a chrome plated plastic knob, are all manufactures like this or are/were they metal in the old days
 

aging_rocker

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I bought a set of Wilkinson kluson replicas, one in the pack was chipped you can clearly see its a chrome plated plastic knob, are all manufactures like this or are/were they metal in the old days
I've used the Wilkinson WJ-07 tuners on a couple of guitars over the years, I've never noticed any plastic knobs - doesn't mean they aren't, but if they are, I've never noticed.

I've had no issues with using these tuners.
 

mistermikev

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I have a new Epi es 335 that I want to change the tuners(machine heads) on.I want black.I ordered some from China online.I've never had problems with them before.But I wanted your opinions.The black tuners are about $30.If the companies outside of China get them for resale,they mark it up and put their name on it.So they go for $90.Just like Harley Benton does for other companies.Opinions please.
my experience has been that tuners and bridge are not a great place to buy chinese. the gears/screws/threads are never precision and the metal doesn't age well. further, you could order black gotoh sd90 from japarts.com for $36 + s/h.
 

Kiwi_Neil

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I have just ordered another set of Guykers for a new project. I have to finish the current project first (and a non musical project), but I'm accumulating parts. As with the current project, there will be no expensive american parts employed.
 




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