The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary

View Poll Results: Which Locking Tuners Do you Use?

64. You may not vote on this poll
  • Grover (Standard or Minis)

    8 12.50%
  • Sperzels

    27 42.19%
  • HipShot (Open Back or Friction grip)

    9 14.06%
  • Planet Wave

    6 9.38%
  • Schaller

    16 25.00%
  • Kluson

    5 7.81%
  • Fender

    8 12.50%
  • Other

    10 15.63%
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Posts 51 to 56 of 56
  1. #51

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    I have locking tuners on my main tele.

    I never thought they were about better tuning stability (but they're great as far as that goes)-- I always thought the biggest plus to locking tuners was how fast and easy they make string changing.


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  3. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    I tried some lockers (sorry can't remember the make but it was
    a well known brand though ,with TI flats and they broke multiple wound strings at the tuner posts)
    That’s almost always because of overtightening the locking wheel. It should just barely be finger tight - any more force can damage the string’s surface. Any flaw becomes a “stress riser” that’s the beginning of a crack, and it’s pulled apart as the string is bent around the post. Pulling the string straight through and cranking the lock can break it when it’s tight if the surface is scored or crushed at all. If I'm on stage and break a string, I'll change it the quick and dirty way - pull it all the way through, turn the tuning knob until there's between a quarter and a half turn, tighten the lock until the knob just starts resisting, and tune. But I'll remove that one as soon as the set is over and put on a fresh one with the S bend I describe in the next paragaph and at least one full wrap.

    I position each string in the hole with enough slack for a turn or two (depending on the string’s thickness) and bend it against the post into an S, with the center in the post hole. Then I gently snug the locking wheel until it stops turning with very light force, and I tune from there. I also cut the string once I get at least half a turn on it to avoid having the free end snag under an adjacent string. I hold the string as I turn the knob so that it wraps down the post and not up.

    Even if you overtighten the lock just a little, the damage is done. The string may not break right away, but I’ve had a few break when I loosened them for cleaning the board etc. Once you’re tuned, the locking knob can be loose - it no longer matters as long as you have at least one wrap around the post.

    I use TI JS strings and Sperzel lockers.
    Last edited by nevershouldhavesoldit; 05-16-2022 at 09:55 AM.

  4. #53

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    Sperzel came stock on my Strat Plus 34 years ago.

    The thing is when you are good at it the old string comes off almost instantly, the new string goes on almost instantly, and tuning up to standard pitch is just a few more seconds... one string takes about as long as you can hold your breath. Especially now days; the original directions were more complicated and probably unnecessarily cautious.

    The original instructions directed to align the post hole with the string, put the string through, then pull the string gently at 15 degrees in the direction of tuning "up" and turn the key to rotate the post that same 15 degrees as the string, still loose in the post hole.

    Then turn the locking barrel only enough to advance the locking pin to barely make contact with the string.
    Then half turn of the tuning key.
    Then turn the locking barrel to just light contact.
    Then half turn of the tuning key.
    Then just firm on the locking barrel...
    You keep alternating back and forth.

    When finished the last crank on the locking barrel is not hard; this is the only thing the girl in the video did right - the locking barrel should be about as tight as a teenage girl could mange, not a man with hard work hands.

    Then tune up to pitch.

    The whole purpose of the 15 degree offset followed by alternating of the key and barrel is to prevent the locking pin from establishing a straight dead-on contact to the string. If that happens, the string is pinched by two pressure points (pin and top of cavity) and may be damaged or cut. The intent is to get the string to slip away from the end of the locking pin so that the string is held by three pressure points - the top and side of the internal cavity of the post, and the front edge of the rounded locking pin.

    I guess with time it became clear that the string cutting was very rare, instructions were simplified. I still do it the original way.

  5. #54

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    I've had Fender, Sperzel, PRS, Schaller,..... they all worked, and I really have no preference. When I play rock, use a whammy bar, or know HUGE Blues bends (yea, I'm a Boomer Bender) I appreciate the lockers. Otherwise, I don't feel a need for them. I had one Sperzel go bad once. EZ replacement. I think they just sent me one, gratis.

  6. #55

    User Info Menu

    I have Hipshots on an acoustic of mine and love them. Very high quality, and a nice, clean, high-tech appearance. They have a unique plate which allows for installation in most headstocks without drilling new holes (and covers up old ones).

    Locking Tuners-89fae6e9-b843-435b-8633-29c85de532e9-jpeg

    I am trying to justify adding them to my 175, but just can’t bear to change out the vintage Grovers.

  7. #56

    User Info Menu

    All of my guitars have Gotoh Machine Heads. The work well for me.
    I play a short scale 5 string bass and the B string had been problematic. I'm trying Graph Tech Ratio Tuned Machine Heads. It's only been a few days, but they seem to have solved my problem with the B string

    They are very expensive and I don't see me using them on any of my guitars.