Strap locks help

Cozmik Cowboy

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+1 for the Schallers (and their ilk, eg. Fender/Grover/whatever licensed ones).

One bit of advice for the older design with the normal-type hex nut securing the strap lock to the strap: use a dab of blue locktite on the nut/shaft to prevent the nut from loosening off on you inadvertently over time. I'm talking about the ones that look like this:

View attachment 554654

Nothing worse than placing confidence in your strap lock system, and then having the lock itself slowly dismantle itself over time and fall off of your strap.

The newer Schaller-branded-only version with the knurled collar and set-screws more or less obviates this concern (the set-screws prevent it from self-loosening... as long as you remember to actually tighten the darned things).
I have yet to encounter the new S-Lock design in person; that does sound like it would, indeed, obviate the need to check the nut twice a year. But I'm not so sure about the new button/screw combo; while the buttons on the old separate-screw style could turn by themselves (while I always - well, twice a year - check them, I have _never_ retightened one; can't say the same about the strap end) it seems at first glance that the new style would tend to work loose. Can anyone assuage my fears from first-hand experience?
 

timichango

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I have yet to encounter the new S-Lock design in person; that does sound like it would, indeed, obviate the need to check the nut twice a year. But I'm not so sure about the new button/screw combo; while the buttons on the old separate-screw style could turn by themselves (while I always - well, twice a year - check them, I have _never_ retightened one; can't say the same about the strap end) it seems at first glance that the new style would tend to work loose. Can anyone assuage my fears from first-hand experience?
I’ve got both styles of S-lock in use, and shared your apprehension about the combo button+woodscrew assembly. In theory anyways, the more conventional separate-screw-through-separate-button setup is probably a hair less likely to loosen out of the body over time (in that the button would be able to spin around a slightly loose screw without further loosening the screw) — but in practice I haven’t seen any loosening on mine. I’d wager that there’s just not that much friction between the metal lock/receiver and the button in the first place to motivate the button to rotate/back-out.

On balance, if I had to guess why they went with the combo screw/button design, I’d say it’s probably to prevent people from deciding to use their own too-short/too-loose screws through the older style buttons for whatever reason, and then blaming Schaller when they inevitably tear out of the wood and drop the guitar.

Fortunately if you want to use the older style button, they’re a dime-a-dozen, seemingly, and perfectly compatible with the newer locks; I use my straps with different generation locks interchangeably between a few Schaller-style-buttoned guitars
 

Cozmik Cowboy

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I’ve got both styles of S-lock in use, and shared your apprehension about the combo button+woodscrew assembly. In theory anyways, the more conventional separate-screw-through-separate-button setup is probably a hair less likely to loosen out of the body over time (in that the button would be able to spin around a slightly loose screw without further loosening the screw) — but in practice I haven’t seen any loosening on mine. I’d wager that there’s just not that much friction between the metal lock/receiver and the button in the first place to motivate the button to rotate/back-out.

On balance, if I had to guess why they went with the combo screw/button design, I’d say it’s probably to prevent people from deciding to use their own too-short/too-loose screws through the older style buttons for whatever reason, and then blaming Schaller when they inevitably tear out of the wood and drop the guitar.

Fortunately if you want to use the older style button, they’re a dime-a-dozen, seemingly, and perfectly compatible with the newer locks; I use my straps with different generation locks interchangeably between a few Schaller-style-buttoned guitars
I have used factory screws with several Schallers (to avoid reaming/drilling) with no problem. I assumed the new ones were more cost-effective to manufacture.

According to Schaller, both systems' strap-ends work each other's buttons; Stew-Mac sells the old-style buttons by them selves.
 

timichango

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I have used factory screws with several Schallers (to avoid reaming/drilling) with no problem. I assumed the new ones were more cost-effective to manufacture.
So have I — but I guarantee you that more than one clever soul out there has used an inadequate screw at some point and paid the price ;)

Anyways, I doubt the new buttons are cheaper to produce — It's a more complex one-piece hardened steel part that's bound to be more expensive for them than just sourcing a readily available wood screw, and the aluminum button that was already in production. According to Schaller, the new part was designed for better strength, and I'm actually inclined to believe them, since there doesn't seem to be any other upside to reinventing this particular wheel. And the cost differential between the older style lock/button set (eg. the current Fender ones) and the newer Schaller-branded ones seems to support this, I reckon.

According to Schaller, both systems' strap-ends work each other's buttons; Stew-Mac sells the old-style buttons by them selves.
Yeppers! They are indeed compatible.
 

Cozmik Cowboy

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So have I — but I guarantee you that more than one clever soul out there has used an inadequate screw at some point and paid the price ;)

Anyways, I doubt the new buttons are cheaper to produce — It's a more complex one-piece hardened steel part that's bound to be more expensive for them than just sourcing a readily available wood screw, and the aluminum button that was already in production. According to Schaller, the new part was designed for better strength, and I'm actually inclined to believe them, since there doesn't seem to be any other upside to reinventing this particular wheel. And the cost differential between the older style lock/button set (eg. the current Fender ones) and the newer Schaller-branded ones seems to support this, I reckon.


Yeppers! They are indeed compatible.
Good points.

But I seem to recall (it's been a few years since I installed any) the old buttons weighing more like steel than aluminum - and I wouldn't have expected Al to hold up as well as every one I know of has. But I'll take your word for it; I'm not near curious enough to take one off to see...............
 

Dan18

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The solution is simple. Go to the liquor store and buy a four pack of the 15 oz Grolsch lager bottles with the red rubber gasket ring. Not only do you have some excellent beer, but you also get two sets of excellent straps locks that you will never have to worry about.
I ordered some Grolsch gaskets from Amazon. Works great. But no head buzz.
 

Peter M

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Nowadays I just use these on the Gibson oversized strap buttons:

51N3AM0VnBL._AC_SL1000_.jpg


Easy-peasy.
 

moreles

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Uh oh, another strap lock thread. I know no one who has ever damaged a guitar by having it fall off its strap; I know lots of people who dinged their top with a Schaller on the end of a loose strap, or who almost dropped their guitar because they "thought" they had engaged the lock successfully. Do what yopu want, but hardly anyone here is actually doing multiple onstage guitar changes, or active, theatrical moves while playing, or anything that might call for strap locks. On the other hand, everyone using locks ends up with straps anchored an extra inch away fromn the guitar body, creating bad leverage calling for a heftier screw torqued into the body in order to achieve a morore awkward and much more ugly arrangement... go fot it, not my business, but a proper strap button, a decent strap with durable ends, and, if you want, a grommet work perfectly -- better than any lock, all of which I have tried, IMO. As for the OP -- yes, it will fit in the case and won't deform or rip up the interior until much later on.
 

mgenet

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Yep. You'll be fine. Use what you are comfortable with.*




* Apologies for ending a sentence with a preposition.
Good thing the Grammar Police have retired.

Oh and nice git. dk. Sweet, sweet, sweet...
 

Peter M

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I know no one who has ever damaged a guitar by having it fall off its strap
Well, safe to say you didn't know me in the mid 80's when my Explorer would often detach without (and surprisingly with) strap locks. I blame Gibson for awful strap button placement lol. Anyway, no major damage save for a coupe nasty dings...and thankfully it only happend at practice, never on stage.
 

HardCore Troubadour

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Both of the major brand of strap locks will fail you if not properly maintained and inspected...period.

They will both ding the top of your guitar if you are not careful and let the end of the strap hit the top....so will virtually anything else with a little mass.

The washers will "burn" the nitro if you leave them touching the guitar while in storage (do NOT throw them in the bottom of your case and put the guitar on top of them....do NOT put them back on the strap button for safe keeping until the next gig).

Must be 100+ threads on this by now.
 
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Leee

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I'm a Schaller believer.
More than 30 years now.
And I'm not very enthusiastic about the new S-Lock - for reasons I'll address below.

I've seen a gazillion ways to attach a strap to a guitar, from lag bolts and a steel chain to custom made straps and elegant decorative attachments.
For me, I just want something simple and reliable so almost every guitar I've ever owned got Schallers.
I've recommended them all along, and installed dozens of them on guitars for others.
Along the way, I've developed a few tricks to make the installation more secure.
Whether you agree with my take on this or not, I think you will find something you can use.

The first thing I don't like about the new S-Locks is that there is no separate screw that drops through the strap pin. It's all one piece, so you're stuck with that screw size and thread pitch.
Starting from zero, like the new Telecaster build I did earlier this year, there are no existing threads already cut into the body so anything goes.
OK, that's fine.
That Telecaster will never have a different strap setup on it as long as I live, so that part is done.

But adding them to a guitar in place of the factory strap pins presents a few hazards to be aware of.
First, I prefer to use whatever screws came in the body originally.
It's STUPID to thread a different screw in that hole, then maybe another, and then maybe another, until the hole is wallowed out. The day comes when that faithful strap pin suddenly gives way and SURPRISE! Hope you were paying attention, and maybe got lucky, but you kept the guitar from hitting the floor.

Then the fix?
The toothpick trick?
AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!! :mad2:
Strap pin failure number two will occur sooner than you think.

Only two fixes available then - drill the hole oversize (which creates other problems) or drill the hole deeper to get into some solid wood - which is not always possible.

Original screws
To use the original screws from the guitar in a Schaller strap pin can be a challenge if they are too large in diameter, or if the screw head is too large.
(Les Pauls often have a larger screw in the back than in the upper bout)

I've clamped many Schaller pins in a set of Vise Grips, with thin cardboard to protect the finish, to drill the hole out large enough to accept a larger-diameter screw.
If the screw head is too large to drop into the Schaller pin, I've often wrapped the screw threads in cardboard and clamped it into Vise Grips to grind the edge of the screw head down so it drops in - and hides the grinding marks on the screw head.

Either way, the original screw is still used in the guitar body.

Screw depth - faucet washers
Something almost everyone overlooks, and I did at first, is the depth of the screw.
The Schaller pin allows the screw to drop down much deeper into the hole than any factory pins, and it's possible to bottom out and start wedging the wood in the bottom of the hole.
Might even snap off the screw when forcing it.

Too mitigate this, and address the occasional loosening of a strap pin, I decided that a 00-size faucet washer was the way to go.


00 trade size is 1/2" O.D. and the hole in the center is 0.19"
This moves the screw back out to the original depth.
It's slightly smaller in diameter than the Schaller strap pin, and gives you confidence to know the screw is sufficiently tightened by beginning to bulge out when compressed.
That's tight enough.

On an irregular surface like a Stratocaster upper horn, the washer compresses and conforms to the shape a bit, and is less likely to deflect sideways under high stress - which is what will shear a screw off.
I've NEVER had one come loose on me, they haven't deteriorated in 20 years, and they are compatible with the nitro finish on all of my Gibsons.
My cherry 335 has had them for 20 years. No discoloration to speak of.

Locking mechanism
The new Schaller locking mechanism has a single advantage in the longer threads.
A thicker strap no longer means a wrestling match with pliers to compress it enough to get that tiny nut started on the threads, or using diagonal cutters to trim the inside of the hole out to accommodate the Schaller threaded post.

But the massive knurled washer adds a significant amount of weight to swing around on the end of your strap. I've always had it on my mind to be careful with the sharp edges of the lock anyway, but this new setup makes the possibility of finish damage far more likely.

I don't care for the set screw that secures the big honking washer either, because it isn't convenient to check it and a visual OK is impossible to ascertain.

I've figured out how to get the old-style locks to work on even a thick leather strap, and I keep a Craftsman 1/4" ratchet and a deep socket in my gig bag to snug it up when I suspect it of being loose on any of the twenty-something straps I have.

As far as the beer bottle washers go, I don't buy the "cheap" argument.
How much have you spent on beer over the years, yet you still need to buy MORE to get the washers you need?

:rofl:
 

efstop

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The directions and maintenance for strap washers is much shorter and easier.
:D
 

TVvoodoo

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Alternate suggestions for guitar binkies

Old school leather strap locks, 'member these? (or something like it?)



Big buttons, big buttons
Talk about phat pins
My gat's got 'em

standard space capsule button in foreground for comparison



Simpler solutions, Occam knew the deal
 
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