What are the "best" locking tuners for a Strat?

CalicoSkies

Most Honored Senior Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Jun 10, 2013
7,371
Beaverton, OR, USA
Used to have those on my MIM strat, they work perfect, except for the 1st and 2nd strings where i had to wind them once or twice around the post so the pressure on the screw wont break them when i bended.

Now Im officially out (til next time) of using locking tuners.
I had a set of those on an MIM Strat and they seemed to work okay for it.
 

Rumbman

Strat-Talk Member
Aug 23, 2022
10
Lativa
Just installed original Fender Locking tuners on my AM Performer Strat. 3 short 3 standard. Made in Taiwan by PING. Very good quality. I think, same tuners Made in Korea is different and quality not so good. I looked at Player Plus and Elite - the post with string has play without tension like mine stock tuners. The new tuners made in Taiwan - rock solid.
 

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Sally

Strat-Talk Member
Sep 17, 2022
32
New Jersey
I bought GOTOH MGT thumbwheel tuners for my CV Tele Two weeks back. The tuners were stiff, but were great with tuning stability. However some times you get a bad tuner.

I tried changing strings 3 days ago. And the G string tuner wheel snapped off. It wouldn’t loosen, and when I tried more forcefully, it snapped.

The retailer is responsive, and is sending me a replacement single tuner.
 

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Stratasaur

Strat-Talk Member
Jul 19, 2020
11
Earth
I am actually considering buying some locking tuners for my Strats (and Teles) as string changing is a frequent process for me and I'm now convinced that the locking tuners would simplify and speed-up the process. I see full sets of them advertised from around $40 up to around $100. But I'm mostly interested in value and performance so am interested in what you folks have found to be the "right" locking tuners for you. I do like the looks of the ones with the large "F" on the back! Thanks.
You probably want to pull one of your currently installed tuners off to see how many index pins you have before you start shopping. You don't want to have to drill new holes in the headstock or have exposed screw holes after your swap. The link below is for a drill jig for concealed tuner index pins if you need to drill new holes.

 

Vermoulian

Strat-Talker
Platinum Supporting Member
Oct 27, 2011
245
Chicago
I've bought a bunch of tuners over the years and the only bad tuner I ever got was in a set of Sperzel locking tuners. I am suspicious now of the quality of the metal they use. I got a set of Schallers and they've been great. If I do another build with locking tuners I will get those. However, I am pretty happy with the much-less-expensive Fender split-shaft tuners I have on several other guitars.
 

PlayerOne

Strat-Talker
Jan 29, 2022
369
Charlotte, nc
The locking tuners that came stock on my 2006 Deluxe are the smoothest, most stable tuners that I have ever tried. And I think I've tried them all.
 

John C

Most Honored Senior Member
Silver Member
Jul 17, 2012
8,362
Kansas City
The locking tuners that came stock on my 2006 Deluxe are the smoothest, most stable tuners that I have ever tried. And I think I've tried them all.

Who makes them?
Are they Porsche?

If the thumbwheels on the back of the tuner are blank (no logo) then they are Schallers; if they have the "F" logo on them then they are Pings. I think 2006 was the transition year from Schaller to Ping, but it might have been a year or two later.
 

LedZepconcertvet

Strat-O-Master
Jan 23, 2022
512
Sinks Grove, WV
I love the Schallers on my Strat Plus. I can tell you, though -- don't clip the strings until after you stretch them. Otherwise, they can unwind on you.

I am actually considering buying some locking tuners for my Strats (and Teles) as string changing is a frequent process for me and I'm now convinced that the locking tuners would simplify and speed-up the process. I see full sets of them advertised from around $40 up to around $100. But I'm mostly interested in value and performance so am interested in what you folks have found to be the "right" locking tuners for you. I do like the looks of the ones with the large "F" on the back! Thanks.
I've got Sperzel red anodized aluminum locking tuners. They're tough looking, and hold tune like they're supposed to. The gentleman (I assume that...) who commented on stretching your strings is right on the money. I love them.
Best? Arguably Sperzel.
That's what G&L used to use on the S-500 in the 90s
But they won't fit the stock holes, you'll need to drill for the pin, meaning you'll need to make or buy a jig.

2nd best? German Schaller
Same design as the Fender-branded, drop-in replacement for Fender OEM 2-pin bodies.

3rd choice? Fender branded Ping

Honestly, there are others from Grover, Kluson, and Gotoh that are good, but like the Sperzels, all will require modification to the headstock.

Also honestly, between the top three, I really don't think you'll see a functional difference. The Sperzels might be a bit smoother.
I love my Sperzels. They hold tune well after they're stretched properly, give me no issues. Good looking, too.
 

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grritz

The guitar plays me
Silver Member
May 2, 2014
1,122
Rock Hill, SC
...Just get a set that does not require you to redrill the headstock just to fit them.
Yep. I buy a particular brand of locking tuners over others for that very reason. On various guitars, I have Fenders, Grovers and Sperzels. I do not want to drill more holes.
 

Wound_Up

You can call me Duane 😁
Jan 23, 2020
5,444
NW LA
You probably want to pull one of your currently installed tuners off to see how many index pins you have before you start shopping. You don't want to have to drill new holes in the headstock or have exposed screw holes after your swap. The link below is for a drill jig for concealed tuner index pins if you need to drill new holes.


You don't need to spend $200 on that.

Tighten the tuner until it leave two indentions in the wood exactly where the pins are. Remove the tuner and drill where the indentions are.

Done. And you don't get ripped off by garbage azz Stew Mac in the process.

Twoodfrd shows the process in the vid below. Go to around 18 mins

 
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datsunrobbie

Strat-Talk Member
Jun 20, 2011
63
West Haven, CT
You don't need to spend $200 on that.

Tighten the tuner until it leave two indentions in the wood exactly where the pins are. Remove the tuner and drill where the indentions are.

Done. And you don't get ripped off by garbage azz Stew Mac in the process.

Twoodfrd shows the process in the vid below. Go to around 18 mins


That's the exact method I used when I installed a set of Sperzels on my American Standard Strat.
 

CB91710

No GAS shortage here
Platinum Supporting Member
Feb 24, 2019
11,502
SoCal
You don't need to spend $200 on that.
Seriously dude... You're not helping anyone with your exaggerations.
It's obvious that you have a problem with StewMac, and it's totally justified, but all you are doing by making comments like this and in the neck shim thread is causing people to blow off your comments.
The tool is not $200... even after adding shipping, just as buying three shims is not going to be $75 or $100 or whatever it was you claimed.
 

Butcher of Strats

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 28, 2022
3,131
Maine
Sperzel is “best” for lockers partly due to lighter weight.
But if speedy restringing is the reason?
Split shafts are faster if you have skills using both types.
How or when do you anticipate cutting the strings to length with lockers?
Can you find the hole to feed the string through on a dark stage in a hurry?
Have you developed skill with both and timed yourself?
Or are you just shopping based on trendy internet chatter?
Worth clarifying stuff before shopping and modding!
 


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