Are locking tuners worth it?

Discussion in 'The Custom Shop' started by romonster, May 5, 2008.

  1. romonster

    romonster Junior Member

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    I'm thinking of switching out the vintage style (Green) tuners on my 05 LP Standard faded to locking Grover tuners (106C). I've never had locking tuners. My impression is that they speed up restringing and that they help keep tuning stability, but I may be wrong. Are they worth it? Are there any detriments to having locking tuners?
     
  2. dennistruckdriver

    dennistruckdriver V.I.P. Member

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    What's the hurry?
     
  3. romonster

    romonster Junior Member

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    Hehe, if you mean about restringing, none necessarily. I am actually more interested in getting new tuners because the stock tuners don't seem to stay in tune very well. I was under the impression that locking tuners would help in that area. Any help in the restringing area is just a nice addition, IMO.
     
  4. LoKi

    LoKi V.I.P. Member

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    9 times outta 10 tuning instability is caused by the nut. You might want to check that out before you spend money on new tuners.

    Locking tuners are nice though, but I've never found them necessary on non-trem guitars.
     
  5. monroe

    monroe Senior Member

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    +1 on the nut statement, and I would add it really matters how you put the strings onto the tuners much more than the style of tuner. I have never actually seen a tuner unwind due to string tension unless it was severely damaged.
     
  6. romonster

    romonster Junior Member

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    What should I look for in the nut that'd cause tuning issues?
     
  7. dennistruckdriver

    dennistruckdriver V.I.P. Member

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    I get this:
    [​IMG]
    at Harbor Freight for a couple of bucks. Works great.
     
  8. romonster

    romonster Junior Member

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    Awesome! I found this site: Super Lube Synthetic Lubricants

    There seem to be a variety of Super Lube items...which one are you using? Also, do you just apply it to the nut grooves when restringing? How often do you use it?
     
  9. ISOgoldtone

    ISOgoldtone Senior Member

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    I've been toying with the idea of putting some locking grovers on my Les Paul as well. The Kluson "look-a-likes" that are on it are pretty spiffy, but I think they have a pretty low gear ratio, so it's easy to jump past perfectly in tune (especially on my Peterson Strobostomp!) I've also been spoiled by the locking schallers that are on my Am. Deluxe Strat! I was having issues with the nut, but a little GHS graphitall lube fixed that problem. The only thing that's really holding me back is not knowing if the tuning posts are any bigger on the grovers, which would require reaming the post holes.
     
  10. romonster

    romonster Junior Member

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  11. romonster

    romonster Junior Member

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    I might try that Graphitall...looks like it should be easy to obtain.

    thanks@
     
  12. ISOgoldtone

    ISOgoldtone Senior Member

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    yeah, MF has it for $3 or so IIRC. I had the infamous "tinking" problem, but after applying some of that stuff to the nut slots and saddles it completely went away! Still may opt for some Grovers though. If I ever find out if they'll be a direct replacement I will for sure!
     
  13. Jims Les Paul

    Jims Les Paul Senior Member

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    It could also be that the strings are not installed correctly and are slipping. I believe this to be the number one reason why strings will not stay in tune.
     
  14. notoperational

    notoperational MLP Sponsor

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    Well, if all things fail and you really do have an issue with your tuning heads... I would say go ahead and get the locking-tuners. If you gig, I would say get them anyways. My EC-1000 with Sperzel locking tuners will stay in tune for days at a time (as long as it don't change climates).

    Just my $.02 on things, but I really, really enjoy having them on my guitar.
     
  15. lexluthier

    lexluthier V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    If you have a poorly cut nut, even locking tuners won't help. Locking tuners are nice, I've used them for years and they work, but some like Sperzels and other with the big knob on the back add weight to the headstock. I've tried a few that lock from the top (Gotoh, Grover) and I don't like those tuners personally.

    Right now the best tuners on the market are the Waverly tuners, those things are built like a tank, though the super vintage open back look may not be for everyone.
     
  16. hbucker

    hbucker Senior Member

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    I agree with what's been said about tuning stability and your nuts...

    I do have a set of Sperzels on one of my guitars and they are the best tuners I've ever used. This does not mean the others suck! It only means that:
    1. Yes, restringing is a breeze.
    2. They are very stable and there is no play in the knob when I tune up. Slight turns one way or the other affect the pitch. I don't have to go past and then back and then back until I get it in tune. A small twist one way or the other and it's good. And they stay put.

    They are heavier so that could be a factor, especially since you're installing that extra weight at the end of your neck where it will be noticed the most. Other than the fact that they are not vintage spec (something that seems to matter more to LP owners than others) I can recommend them. No guarantees that they'll be "worth it" to you though.

    ...and good luck with the nuts.
     
  17. GibsonSlash

    GibsonSlash Senior Member

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    My stock tuner on LP Standard hold the tunes very well, I bend alot (I mean really alot), but they stay in tunes, and keeps in tune even from the case after storing for days.

    I suggest go to your local luthiers and get some advices (before go ahead changing the tuners)

     
  18. LPNick

    LPNick Member

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    So for those who have switched to Grovers, where you required to drill any pilot holes in the wood or was it just a direct transfer?
     
  19. LoKi

    LoKi V.I.P. Member

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    I think most grovers need some sort of reaming to fit, and possibly a new hole drilled for the screw.

    I personally don't like Grovers. Schaller and Spertzel are the only way to go for me, if you're into upgrading and don't care about 'vintage' look.
     
  20. notoperational

    notoperational MLP Sponsor

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    I really agree with this. Honestly, if your replacing your tuners with ANY tuner, why would you go with Grovers over a locking-tuner? It just makes no sense to me.
     

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