Do locking tuners help stay in tune?

hightime

New Member!
Jun 9, 2021
6
CA
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?
 

Believer7713

The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein
Silver Member
Dec 27, 2016
17,442
KC
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!
 

train

Senior Stratmaster
Silver Member
Jan 22, 2015
1,068
Usa.
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.
 

jbylake

Fabulously Famous Nobody
Gold Supporting Member
Silver Member
Nov 25, 2019
2,368
Currently MIA
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
 
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Cesspit

Senior Stratmaster
Sep 4, 2016
1,070
Oxford England
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.
 

nutball73

Senior Stratmaster
Nov 12, 2013
3,495
Southern UK
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.
 

Voxman

Strat-Talker
Dec 11, 2020
423
USA
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.
 

rolandson

Dr. Stratster
Jul 13, 2015
12,324
Foothills of the Cascades
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
 

Kestrel

Strat-Talker
Silver Member
Sep 25, 2017
494
Northants England
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.
 

Wrighty

Dr. Stratster
Mar 7, 2013
11,626
Harlow, Essex, UK
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?

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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