MIM worth upgrading tuners and block ?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by edsdds, Sep 20, 2018.

  1. edsdds

    edsdds Strat-Talker

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    The stock tuners on my Strat have some slight wiggle but seem to stay in tune ok. Are some locking tuners worth the upgrade if I don’t use the trem? And on that note is a brass block from GF something that would improve the sound since I pretty much use it as a hard tail ?
     
  2. heltershelton

    heltershelton BANNED Strat-Talk Supporter

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    no. just take a small screwdriver and tighten the screws on top of the pegs until they dont slip. and the block is fine.
    i just built a $1000+ warmoth tele. you know what tuners i put on it? stock fender mim tuners. it stays in tune perfectly.
     
  3. rolandson

    rolandson Still Breathing Strat-Talk Supporter

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    if it isn't broken, don't fix it.
     
  4. heltershelton

    heltershelton BANNED Strat-Talk Supporter

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    the thing to do is look up frudua tv on youtube and learn to do a complete setup on that thing.
     
  5. Stratoman10

    Stratoman10 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    What's wiggling ? Are the nuts on the headstock loose ? Tighten them up but dont get all He Man on them. Same with the screws in the pegs. Just snug them up. Are you having tuning issues ?
     
  6. edsdds

    edsdds Strat-Talker

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    It’s setup fine and plays nice. Tuners are holding ok. I guess I meant when you turn them the tuners you don’t feel a smooth transition. You feel a slight little kink once in a while.
     
  7. heltershelton

    heltershelton BANNED Strat-Talk Supporter

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    do you put any lube in the nut slots? every string change i put a little chapstick in the slots. theres all kinds of stuff to use, but chapstick works.
     
  8. possumkiller

    possumkiller Strat-Talker

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    It really depends on the person as to what they think is worth it. I had a Mexican standard that wasn't as resonant as my other guitars. An expensive Callaham bridge brought it to life.

    All my strats with vintage type saddles got Highwood saddles because the design is more comfortable than the original bent steel saddles.

    In my opinion, Mexican strats were made to be upgraded to taste.
     
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  9. Hawk8789

    Hawk8789 Strat-Talker

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    I do like the brass gfs block, but I found it doesn’t always make a difference. Locking tuners make for faster string changes, but don’t help tuning. In fact, out of 30 plus guitars I’ve owned, the ones with locking tuners are the only ones that don’t stay tuned when they’re not getting played.
     
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  10. Stratoman10

    Stratoman10 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I think HS is on the right path
     
  11. CyFan4036

    CyFan4036 Strat-O-Master

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    Both of those upgrades combined should be less than $100 and in my opinion make a guitar better. I use Hipshot tuners on my +$1000 build. I use the stock Fender Deluxe block but it’s already steel. I’ve been thinking about a brass block to warm up the tone a bit since I’ve done that to good effect on many import guitars in the past. I’d probably replace the entire Trem if I were you, it just makes your guitar a better instrument. Not saying it isn’t already good but better is better.
     
  12. Textele

    Textele Senior Stratmaster

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    Mo betta is mo betta :)

    IMO, if you are decking or blocking the trem, I wouldn't replace the block. In my experience, when you block/deck the trem on a Strat, the guitar, most of the time, sounds a bit more powerful with more sustain anyway.

    But I think locking tuners are always a great idea, and worth it.
     
  13. henderman

    henderman Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    My experience and opinion -

    I have an ibanez with i am not kidding the smallest trem block in electric guitar world... I upgraded with a super well made brass and as large as they could make it and still work block and it made the whammy bar feel different from the change in mass but I could not hear any difference at all.

    I have some Grover lockers and i like Grover's a bunch but these are hard to use and I have broken 2 high e strings because of the tuners. The Fender lockers look easy to use but I have never had a problem with tuners on any guitar except for a toy so I am now in the do not fix it if it ain't broke department for tuners and blocks.

    I wish I would have spent that money on a good set of nut files or new strings instead.
     
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  14. edsdds

    edsdds Strat-Talker

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    Thanks for the input. I think I might just change the pickups instead. They are not the stock pickups they are N3 which are quiet but seem lack the sparkle.

    The videos on YouTube where people show you before and after block upgrades really don’t do much as I can’t really hear any difference.
     
  15. Strat Jacket

    Strat Jacket Senior Stratmaster

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    On one hand, I waited 40 years to change out the crap tuners on my Epi Casino with Grovers and found it to be the best thing I ever did for that guitar. It would not stay in tune for one song before that. I always suspected it was tuners, but was reluctant to drop that kind of money into it. Hindsight is 20/20...
    On the other hand, both my MiM Strat and Tele have stock Fender tuners and stay in tune very well, even when flogging them mercilessly. Changing tuners would probably be a complete, unnecessary waste of money that I would never recover if I sold them down the line.
    As for the bridge, if you don't use the trem, decking the bridge and blocking it makes a huge difference, costs absolutely nothing, and is completely reversible. If you go that route, I recommend a hardwood for the block such as oak or maple.
     
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  16. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

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    Your guitar already stays in tune ok, it's not about staying in tune. It's about how it feels when you use 'em. If the tuners that are on there don't feel nice to use, replace 'em. Tuners are not all that expensive and it could improve how you feel about playing the guitar, every time you tune up.

    As an aside, most tuning issues are not in the tuners. My Casino (note: it's got a Bigsby) wouldn't stay in tune through a single string bend before I installed a roller bridge and dusted a little pencil graphite in the nut slots, now it's rock solid.

    For the trem block, you're asking if it will sound "better." "Better" is purely subjective--if it changes the sound in any way you can hear it (the difference will be pretty subtle), do you like it more, or less? Decking the bridge is a fine idea if you don't use the trem, and is easily reversed if you don't like how it changes your sound.

    Far be it for me to dissuade anyone from changing pickups, but have you considered pickup height and pot values? Higher value pots and higher pickups will both make for a brighter guitar.
     
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  17. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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  18. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Senior Stratmaster

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    Tuners are relatively inexpensive and there are many types to choose from.
    If i wanted to replace the stock ones, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

    People change out much less "significant" parts all of the time.
    Scratch plates, knobs, etc..... why not tuners?

    Do whatever makes you happy with it.
     
  19. heltershelton

    heltershelton BANNED Strat-Talk Supporter

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    i think if i chose to replace the entire bridge i would go with a wudtone or callaham.
     
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  20. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Senior Stratmaster

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    If it ain't broke, fix it till it is! :whistling:
    Now, Where's That Hammer? :eek:
    Gene
     
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