Do locking tuners help stay in tune?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by hightime, Oct 13, 2021.

  1. hightime

    hightime New Member!

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    I have an American Performer strat with the 6 point floating tremolo system. I really like the guitar, but I'm paranoid about using the tremolo bar (always very gently). Sometimes, I'd go a bit more on it and my guitar usually goes out of tune.

    I'm wondering, currently, the guitar has Fender vintage tuners, would installing locking tuners help?
     
  2. Believer7713

    Believer7713 The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein Silver Member

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    They can help, yes. But...start with making sure the nut slots are properly cut for your strings. As much as I love my locking tuners, it's because of their convenience. Not their stability. If your nut is properly cut you won't need locking tuners or nut lube. The strings will glide through their respective guide slots.

    Welcome to ST by the way!
     
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  3. jrbirdman

    jrbirdman Senior Stratmaster Platinum Supporting Member Silver Member

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    ^^^^^^
    nuff said
     
  4. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Senior Stratmaster

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    I think that added tuning stability is strickly a marketting feature. I have never seen any difference.
     
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  5. joe_cpwe

    joe_cpwe Senior Stratmaster

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    Does a Floyd Rose have a locking nut or locking tuners?

    :thumb:
     
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  6. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    The key to tuning stability with the trad six screw bridge plate is in the setup and the nut.
     
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  7. Mind Flayer

    Mind Flayer Strat-O-Master

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    Yeah, I don’t think locking tuners make much difference. I mean, they can’t hurt, but it’s the nut (and sometimes the saddles) and the setup that are most important.
     
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  8. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985

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    90% nut, 10% everything else.
     
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  9. train

    train Fender 1 —the met. Silver Member

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    Something I have noticed playing evh w.g. With d tuna the 5 and 6 stg. Can’t be locked down , And I’m frequently sweeting them up, rarely do I touch the 1-4 fine tuners. Without tuna and all locked no difference . Never really gave any thought till now. I can’t play but I m a great tuner.
     
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  10. jbylake

    jbylake Fabulously Famous Nobody Gold Supporting Member Silver Member

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    I have them on every Fender I own, except one, plus a LP and A PRS. As far as I'm concerned they're just there to make string changes a lot quicker. No difference in tone that I can tell, and going out of tune depends how hard I'm wailing on them, maybe a very slight increase but if anything it's minor. Some folks do claim they add more mass to the headstock increasing sustain, but nothing that I've ever personally experienced, so I call BS on that one. I just got addicted to them for the quick string changes.:D
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021
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  11. Cesspit

    Cesspit Strat-O-Master

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    I don't like locking tuners at all. As said before, set up is everything. Also if you string the guitar so the string locks on itself (been posted on here many times but difficult to describe) your tuning will be fine.
     
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  12. Swamp_Thang

    Swamp_Thang Strat-Talker

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    I don't have locking tuners on any of my guitars and I don't have any tuning stability issues. Maybe on my PRS SE but all my Strats are fine.
     
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  13. nutball73

    nutball73 Senior Stratmaster

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    They can help a bit because they reduce the length of string past the nut, and hence the amount that gets stretched by the trem. But as everyone else has said, nut cut and setup is more important.

    With the 6 screw bridge, make sure the 4 middle screws are higher than the rest. Normal way to do it is to screw each screw down until the screw hits the bridge plate then back off 1/4 turn, 1/2 a turn for the middle 4 screws.

    Strings and springs off, of course.
     
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  14. Stonetone

    Stonetone Most Honored Senior Member

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    Convenience really
     
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  15. Voxman

    Voxman Strat-Talker

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    They do have an effect on tuning if used correctly.
    Using locking tuners but still having 3-4 wraps around defeats the purpose and doesn't help at all.

    The nut is more important still and should get the most attention.
     
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  16. aviamsi

    aviamsi Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Yes, IMO and from a personal experience.
     
  17. rolandson

    rolandson Dr. Stratster

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    It's been said already...Nuts, not tuners, are the source of nearly all tuning issues relating to trem use. A well properly cut nut will not bind, nor will it require lubrication.

    Contrary to popular opinion, manufacturers rarely, if ever, do a complete setup before an instrument leaves the factory. They rough it in, expecting the buyer to complete the setup to their liking. The setup, including finishing off the nut.

    Adding locking tuners to instruments lacking split shaft tuning posts makes for very easy, quick and simple string changes. If, however, one has split shaft posts, there really isn't a tremendous benefit realized by adding locking tuners
     
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  18. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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    No, they just cost money that could pay for a proper set up.
     
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  19. Kestrel

    Kestrel Strat-Talker Silver Member

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    When wrapping strings around the post there is still stretch left in the coils and bending the strings or lifting the trem can stretch those coils putting you out of tune, with locking tuners, if you pull the string through the post tightly and the locking it, when you tune it you will have about half a coil and very little stretch in it, this helps you keep in tune, those that leave slack before locking the sting and still winding coils are defeating the point of using locking tuners, split posts are also a benefit as you need less coils to lock your string in place.
     
  20. Wrighty

    Wrighty Most Honored Senior Member

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    If you don’t normally install strings correctly, yes. If you do normally install strings correctly, no, you’ll notice no difference. I’ve got them on most of my guitars!
     
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