To Lock Tuner or Not? Help!

Gimble

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Oct 3, 2021
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I have an American Pro II Tele which is great.

No tuning issues at all.

But, I started “gassing” for locking tuners - $60 from Fender.

Sure, it’ll make string changes easier, but I’m a hobby/bedroom player (no gigs in my future) so nary a need for quick changes.

I’m trying to convince myself I don’t need them - I really don’t.

But that darn “gas” persists.

So, dear reader finish convincing me that I am fine without them…

…unless I’m missing something that subconsciously is causing me wanting something I don’t need.
 

John C

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For what it's worth as also a bedroom player I say go for it if you want them - sure they aren't really needed, but if you're like me with standard tuners I don't need the frustration of trying to either get tight winds or a "luthier's lock" on those damned short post tuners. On my American Pro II Strat I went with locking tuners just for the convenience factor; I thought about using split-post tuners but seemed like locking tuners were more of a natural addition on a Strat.

On a Tele I might go with the Classicgear instead - they are on my American Performer Tele and I love the split post tuners more than the locking tuners.
 

bobio

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There is no real advantage to them other than making string changes a tad easier.
If you get the ones with staggered posts, you might get a slightly increased break angle 🤷‍♂️
Having said that, I love locking tuners and have them on every one of my Fenders.
I don't have a nostalgic bone in my body so I don't care about sticking to a vintage look 😝
All of my Partscasters are a mish-mash of vintage and modern parts and I love it!

s-l1600.jpg

The latest to get them was my Fender Am Pro II Strat, the BatStrat :)

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I also put them on my most recent Partscaster, Fender Player 3-Color Burst body with Roasted Maple neck.

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RLee77

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I strongly recommend you pass on the locking tuners. They add a lot of weight in the worst place — right at the end of the neck, which changes the balance of the guitar.
I used them on my tele build, then immediately switched them out for vintage split-post tuners. For two reasons: I wanted the split-post vintage look and feel, and didn’t like the additional weight.
(And they are a pain to mount.)
 

fender4life

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I use them on strats and they make a big difference if i use the trem at all. On teles, don't need them. I much prefer the vintage split shafts. The ones i really hate tho are the modern cast tuners with a hole. Just because i don't have to pull the string under itself and pull it up and over to do it right on those. I find that a PITA for several reasons. Plus i hate the weight on the head that changes the dynamic in a way i dislike. So for me it's vintage split shafts on teles, vintage lockers on strats, (the ones that look just like vintage but have locking posts) and i won't even buy guitars with modern cast tuners.
 

tomasz

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If you want to contemplate some more...

Pros:
- make string changes faster
- increase tuning stability if you use the whammy a lot
- adding mass to the headstock may be a good thing, if you are trying to shift a wolf tone or increase sustain

Cons:
- adding mass to the headstock may be a bad thing
- every mod decreases the resale value of the guitar

So, if it doesn't solve a specific problem.. ;)
 

ahiddentableau

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With respect, I don't understand why you'd want locking tuners on that particular guitar apart from making it ever so slightly faster to change strings, or if it was a balance thing and/or you feel you need to add mass to your headstock to move a dead spot or something like that. And frankly, the old style split post tuners are almost as fast to change strings on as locking tuners.

I'd find something else to spend the money on.
 

Wallaby

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Suit yourself and do what makes you happy.

I personally find them annoying to use and they have no purpose for me, others find them indispensable and totally worthwhile.

Adding a little extra mass to the headstock might be something you like, too.
 

Phrygian77

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My experience so far is that they can easily break strings if you don't know what your doing. They take another bit of finesse to get right when they're something that's mostly not needed.
 

birdawesome

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Aug 17, 2022
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I have an American Pro II Tele which is great.

No tuning issues at all.

But, I started “gassing” for locking tuners - $60 from Fender.

Sure, it’ll make string changes easier, but I’m a hobby/bedroom player (no gigs in my future) so nary a need for quick changes.

I’m trying to convince myself I don’t need them - I really don’t.

But that darn “gas” persists.

So, dear reader finish convincing me that I am fine without them…

…unless I’m missing something that subconsciously is causing me wanting something I don’t need.
Vintage tuners are the best. Hands down. They’re also nice and light. Lockers are heavy and can make a guitar neck heavy. They’re convenient, sure, but they’re no more stable than a properly wrapped string.
 

telemnemonics

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I would pay to remove locking tuners from a Tele.
Strats may benefit if you use the trem, or for that matter a Tele with Bigsby may benefit.
 

msalama

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I've never needed lockers on any of mine, because they all stay in tune just fine with their old originals. And modern tuners wouldn't even fit without redrilling - and that's something you just don't do to a bunch of vintage(ish) guitars.
 




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