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Locking tuners?


(@hobson)
Prominent Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 794
Topic starter  

I've never had a guitar with locking tuners, but am thinking about putting them on my Epiphone Dot. I'd like to hear from those who have locking tuners. Do you like them? Is it a big pain when you want to use an alternate tuning or need to tune to another instrument that isn't quite on pitch?

The guitar seems to go out of tune rather quickly. There is a warranty, but this is something that is hard to prove and I don't really want to ship it in for repair. I'll definitely keep the old hardware in case I decide that I can't stand the locking tuners or need to stick the old ones back in for other warranty work. I took the Epi to my local shop. It's the only shop within about 75 miles, so there's no second opinion, but the tech there is good. He checked everything, is not totally convinced that it's the tuners, but couldn't find any other problems. He spent about a half hour with the guitar.

The tech is definitely not trying to get me to spend money in his shop. He said that changing tuners is not a big deal and I could buy some on line and install them myself. I would rather pay him to do it so I know it's right. I think maybe he's worried that new tuners won't help and he'll have an unhappy customer. I'm willing to spend the bucks to try, knowing that there's a chance this isn't the problem. Thing is that what's on there now are Grover, which is supposed to be pretty good. The tech hasn't been able to find any other brand that isn't locking that will work with this guitar without drilling new holes. We're looking at about $100 with Planet Waves, which includes restringing with strings that I supply or $140 with Schaller tuning machines.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

Renee


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(@lue42)
Reputable Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 356
 

I have locking tuners on my Schecter, and they are great.

Note... they do not lock the tuners in place or anything like that.

The word "locking" refers to the fact that they hold (grip) the string into the tuner. This means when changing the string, there is no tedious wrapping the string around or tricks like that. You stick the string in, lock it down and tune it up. Quick, easy and some stretching of the string is avoided.

Higher quality tuners may help your guitar stay in tune. My Schecter never goes out of tune... it is amazing. I pretty much only tune it after putting on new strings and during the wear in period (1 or 2 days).

You don't *need* locking tuners - a high quality non-locking tuner will help your guitar stay in tune as well.

Everyone, please help fill in the blanks or correct me where I am wrong.

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(@moonrider)
Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1309
 

The guitar seems to go out of tune rather quickly. 8X---snip---X8 He checked everything, is not totally convinced that it's the tuners, but couldn't find any other problems.

With good reason . . . How many wraps of string around the posts? If you can, post a pic of your headstock.

Playing guitar and never playing for others is like studying medicine and never working in a clinic.

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(@elecktrablue)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 4389
 

I love my locking tuners! I highly recommend them!

..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
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((¸¸.·´ .·´
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 Nuno
(@nuno)
Famed Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 3998
 

I love my locking tuners! I highly recommend them!
+1!

My Strat has those tuners and I love them, too!

lue42 described the locking mechanism.


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(@greybeard)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5899
 

The question is whether all strings go out of tune equally or whether some or all go out of tune independently.

If they all go out equally, I'd say that you have some problem other than tuners.

If they all go out independently, I'd say that maybe you have a problem with the tuners. I don't know about Epi Dots, but my tuners have small adjusting screws on the end of the tuning head. Tighten them slightly and it increase the tension so that they don't slip out of tune.

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(@trguitar)
Famed Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 3711
 

The nut can be the source of a lot of tuning problems

I have a guitar with Gotoh magnum lock tuners

Locking tuners don't lock in place, they lock on the string. No slippage, no windings. They clamp onto the string and then tune to pitch. Mine have about 1/4 to 1/2 of a wrap on them. They work well.

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grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
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(@tinsmith)
Prominent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 830
 

My Strat's tuners are awesome....the ones on my Epi need to re replaced, fer sure.


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(@notes_norton)
Noble Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1497
 

I have Sperzel tuners on my Parker, and they are great.

They are easy to use, you end up with only about a half wrap on the peg, require no fancy bridge or nut lock, and the guitar stays in tune, even after using the whammy bar.

Notes ♫

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

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(@gnease)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5058
 

I've got a couple different types, and can add that I have Grover Mini Locking Rotomatics on two of my guitars -- one as stock from an older Reverend, the other on a kit I built. both have worked very well. the only caution is that you will need good near vision to install strings in these.

The other are what Wilkinson calls "no moving parts" EZ-LOK locking tuners, purchased from GF. I haven't yet installed them on a guitar, but the principle of operation is bonehead simple: there are two thru-holes drilled at 90 degrees from each other in the capstan ("post"). when installing the string, simply pull the string thru one hole "real tight"; make a 3/4 turn wrap around the capstan; pull the string end thru the second hole "real tight"; trim end and tune. I'm pretty sure this will work well, as Wilkinson has a great track record for creating simple, well-functioning solutions.

-=tension & release=-


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(@hobson)
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Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 794
Topic starter  

Thanks for all of the input.

It's not the number of windings or the stringing technique. All of my other guitars are strung the same way and they stay in tune just fine. And the guitar was having this problem even with the original strings. I didn't discover it right away and naturally, my first thought was that the strings had been used and abused in the store.

The 3 strings on the treble side are the ones that go out of tune. They don't go out of tune uniformly or even at the same time. All of the adjusting screws have been tightened. The tech did check the nut and said that it's fine, although it's not a high quality nut. I suspect either a bad set of tuners or bad installation at the factory.

Renee


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(@s1120)
Prominent Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 849
 

Thanks for all of the input.

It's not the number of windings or the stringing technique. All of my other guitars are strung the same way and they stay in tune just fine. And the guitar was having this problem even with the original strings. I didn't discover it right away and naturally, my first thought was that the strings had been used and abused in the store.

The 3 strings on the treble side are the ones that go out of tune. They don't go out of tune uniformly or even at the same time. All of the adjusting screws have been tightened. The tech did check the nut and said that it's fine, although it's not a high quality nut. I suspect either a bad set of tuners or bad installation at the factory.
Pretty strange... the bridge isnt slipping or something is it?? I have two epi's. One LP, and a low end accustic, and bolth hold tune great. Almost never have to tune it any unless you have just changed strings.

Paul B


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(@hobson)
Prominent Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 794
Topic starter  

Hi, I haven't posted for a while. First, it took a while for the new tuners to arrive at the shop. Then I was out of town. Then I got the tuners installed and didn't play for a while due to life getting in the way, including some damage to the house from a frozen pipe during our recent all time record low temperatures. (No damage to guitars. We were home at the time and got the water turned off pretty quickly.)

Sigh! Life is more or less back to normal and after playing the Epi with its Planet Waves locking tuners a few times now, I have to say that the problem is fixed. It's not the fact that the new tuners are locking, just that they're new tuners. The guitar now stays in tune. Maybe it's a rare thing to have bad tuners, but that was definitely the problem.

Thanks again for all of the advice here.

Renee


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 Ande
(@ande)
Honorable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 659
 

Funny- IMO, it's rare for it to be the tuners. I just read through this thread, and was going to tell you not to do it! I've been wrong before, though, so I won't worry.

In my experience, it's sometimes the nut. It's sometime the strings themselves. It's sometimes the bridge (pretty often, with certain kinds of tremolo.) Usually, though- it's the way it's strung. The best tuners in the world tend NOT to stay in tune with too many wraps round.

All that said- you were right, clearly. IF the tuners got changed, and the problem went away, then I guess they were the problem.

Happy playing,

Ande


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(@zenmonkey)
Active Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 6
 

Hey, I've tried many different types of locking and non-locking tuners. Locking tuners are superior! Mostly because they minimize restring time. I had a strat style guitar with Planet Waves Clip-Lock tuners and I could finish a restring in 5 minutes easily! The Clip-Lock tuners cut the end of the string off for you, pretty cool. I've also used the Sperzel Locking Tuners, also good. Grovers are good too. I HATE my stock Gibson Les Paul Studio tuners!!!
I'd like to try the HipShot tuners! They seem to be VERY heavy duty. Has anyone used hipshot tuners for 6-string guitars?

http://www.NotionMusic.com


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