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Author Topic: Auto-Locking Tuners  (Read 7997 times)

Offline Guitarman1117

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Auto-Locking Tuners
« on: April 03, 2007, 05:49:45 AM »
Back in 1988 I picked up an 86 PRS and discovered the joy of auto-locking tuners. It seems that there are 4 basic types of tuning machines: Open gear, sealed standard, manual locking & auto-locking. When I bought my NiteFly a few years ago, I found that the manual twist-locking system (also used on high-end Fenders) wasn't as worry-free as the auto-locking types, in that the under-side twist-to-tighten heads can become loose over time if not checked often. This simply can't happen with an auto-locking system. I recently added a basic Strat to my arsenal and became bent on upgrading it to Deluxe status. After replacing the strap buttons with Dunlap Strap-Loks (which I have done to all my guitars), I focused on the headstock hardware. I then added a roller nut, roller string T's and changed out the standard tuners for Grover 6IL auto-locking machines. These operate very much like the PRS types except that they have an off-center string hole rather than an 'open-mouth' string catch. I was so impressed with them that I got a second set and traded out the set on my NiteFly. Goodbye to the skin abrasive twist knobs and no more loose locker dials. The Grovers list for around $80 a set but they are well worth it, (especially if you can get a good discount). In my professional opinion, any quality guitar maker should adopt a 'Class Act' package that would include pre-installed Strap Loks with a LOGO leather strap, AUTO-Locking tuners, a 'monster cable' and a plush hard-shell case, (classic tweed or ATA). What say ye?

Guitarman1117
« Last Edit: April 03, 2007, 12:03:44 PM by Guitarman1117 »
Donald K. Andrews

Auto-Locking Tuners

jwrooker

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Auto-Locking Tuners
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2007, 01:28:50 PM »
I happen to like the Sperzels.  I have five guitars with Sperzels and they haven't given me any reason to want to switch, especially considering investing $300-400 on tuners.  Ain't gonna happen! [:D][:D]



John
[img=left]http://jwrooker.com/images/parkerforum/avatar.jpg[/img=left]98 Fly Classic w/Gen 1's
98 Fly Classic w/Gen 2's
03 Fly Mojo
02 NiteFly M  w/Virtual PAF's
96 Fly Standard

Auto-Locking Tuners

Offline loumt123

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Auto-Locking Tuners
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2007, 01:56:08 PM »
you forgot gearless tuners...steinberger and lsr
 

Auto-Locking Tuners

Offline JSanta

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Auto-Locking Tuners
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2007, 05:52:09 PM »
I have the tuners you are talking about on my PRS and to be honest, I much prefer the Schallers and Sperzels I have on my guitars.  Perhaps it's because I have had those tuners on guitar for the past 4 years, but still, to each their own.  That's the wonderful thing about guitars!


/jim

"Do not speak.  Unless it improves on silence."
           -Buddha
 

Auto-Locking Tuners

Offline Guitarman1117

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Auto-Locking Tuners
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2007, 06:32:32 PM »
jwrooker: I can see your point and if you like the Sperzel-Schaller style, it's the right type for you. Everyone has their preferences. It's possible, however, to get the cost below $250 if you did want to switch out all 5. (Got a close relative or good buddy that's a music dealer?) Even those who might like the Grovers better may decide to stick with the original hardware simply because any alteration can affect the resale value. It all depends on exactly what the upgrades are and the buyer. Some changes can be cosmetic, some personal and the rest simply a necessary fix or repair. Actually, the body of my topic was just information and POV from my experience. My question at the end was posed to those who: (1) Feel that 'custom extras' should be available off-the-wall without the extra custom price, or (2) Feel that the need to make any 'custom extra' changes should be left up to the new owner.

cmpkllyrslf96: Question- Are those gearless types available as upgrades for any other brands of guitars? ....and what category would you put the use of banjo tuners on a Gibson  'reverse' Firebird? (My list was focused on common types & styles of standard replaceable geared tuners.)

Guitarman1117
« Last Edit: April 04, 2007, 12:55:36 AM by Guitarman1117 »
Donald K. Andrews

Auto-Locking Tuners

Offline Guitarman1117

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Auto-Locking Tuners
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2007, 07:18:58 PM »
JSanta: Thanks for your input.... I certainly can't disagree with getting used to a particular product. If something works well for "you" then that's all that really matters. I only wanted to offer an alternative (from experience) for anyone who might be interested in an auto-lock similar to the PRS, rather than any non-locking or (what I call) the 'manual' locking type.

Guitarman1117
« Last Edit: April 04, 2007, 12:54:37 AM by Guitarman1117 »
Donald K. Andrews

Auto-Locking Tuners

Offline JSanta

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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2007, 07:43:28 PM »
Absolutely, I always like when we get some new ideas on this board.  If gives me something more to think about.  


/jim

"Do not speak.  Unless it improves on silence."
           -Buddha
 

Auto-Locking Tuners

Offline Guitarman1117

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Auto-Locking Tuners
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2007, 02:40:19 AM »
Some things I have learned over all my years about giving 'advice' is that personal experience with any product is relative to you and your own interaction with that item. Certain aspects of ones own physicality can affect that interplay. The size YOU happen to be (tall, short, husky, thin, etc.) allows one guitar to fit you like a glove while another simply doesn't feel right at all, no matter the brand, weight, scale length, neck radius, body style or any other factors that may be perfect for someone else. Recommendations about 'quality for the money' may be the best that anybodies expertise can actually make a judgment on. Even then, a pro investing big money for a high-quality axe that will 'deliver' night after night may not be at all worth it to someone who just plays out once in a while for their own enjoyment. How much a guitar is played, how hard the player's style, how well it's maintained and a host of other conditions under which a guitar travels (or sets in a closet) can make all the difference over time with ANY guitar, regardless of its quality &/or cost factors. You can guide someone through the plethora of brands & models to help narrow down the choices, but the final test always goes to the player who is ultimately comfortable with both the instrument and it's price. Being asked for advice can be an ego boost, but it's always best to remember that whatever yours is, it needs to be tailored for the person to whom you are giving it. No matter how 'expert' your info might be, you really can't do better than to include the fact that yours is not the only advice they should bank on. (Then finish it off by giving them credit for being smart enough to have asked you for your input in the first place, LOL)

Guitarman1117
« Last Edit: April 04, 2007, 03:01:05 AM by Guitarman1117 »
Donald K. Andrews

Auto-Locking Tuners

Offline loumt123

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Auto-Locking Tuners
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2007, 05:29:31 AM »
The firebird style tuners would be considered gearless I believe (if they are the steinberger planetary type).

   I'm pretty sure with slight modification you could stick a pair of LSR or steinberger gearless tuners on any guitar. The LSR tuners have a mind blowing ratio of 40:1.

 The LSR page says the tuners will retrofit for most gibson or strat style guitars.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2007, 05:32:16 AM by loumt123 »
 

Auto-Locking Tuners

Offline simonlock

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Auto-Locking Tuners
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2007, 08:32:12 AM »
How can a tuner be gearless if it's a planetary type? That's what planetarys are. Gears.

Simon
Vancouver,BC

'00 Parker Fly Supreme-Butterscotch
'06 Parker Nylon Fly(thanks Jamie!)
'99 Parker Fly Artist w/Ken Parker signature
'06 Parker Fly Mojo-T/Cherry
'06 Parker Fly Classic-Dusty Black
'99 Parker Fly Classic-Natural
'98 Parker FlY Classic-Trans Blue
'02 Parker Fly Classic-Hardtail(My Buying Lesson)
 

Auto-Locking Tuners

Offline Lwinn171

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Auto-Locking Tuners
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2007, 03:38:20 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by simonlock

How can a tuner be gearless if it's a planetary type? That's what planetarys are. Gears.

Simon
Vancouver,BC

'00 Parker Fly Supreme-Butterscotch
'06 Parker Nylon Fly(thanks Jamie!)
'99 Parker Fly Artist w/Ken Parker signature
'06 Parker Fly Mojo-T/Cherry
'06 Parker Fly Classic-Dusty Black
'99 Parker Fly Classic-Natural
'98 Parker FlY Classic-Trans Blue
'02 Parker Fly Classic-Hardtail(My Buying Lesson)


Can't get anything past a mechanic, eh? [^]


Lawrence Winn
You can hear me playing and see my woodworks at:
http://www.myspace.com/132917993
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2001 Fly Classic, Green
Larivee Parlour Guitar
Several inferior others
Mesa Boogie MK IV
Marshall 2-12 cab

Lawrence Winn
2001 Classic, 98 Deluxe
various amps, various toys

Auto-Locking Tuners

Offline loumt123

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Auto-Locking Tuners
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2007, 04:49:17 PM »
One web page labeled them as "planetary tuners".

Thanks for clearing that up, though =).
 

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Offline portnoy

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Auto-Locking Tuners
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2007, 07:10:47 PM »
i have grover machineheads on my gibson explorer, not the locking ones though. theyre forever getting stuck when tuning, they have done since i first got the guitar new. also the small buttons on them are too fiddly for my liking also. I love the Sperzels though. i like the self locking idea on the grovers may be worth looking at for my gibson if they dont get stuck also :-)

Kavan,

07' Fly deluxe - ice blue burst
Marshall Vintage modern 100w head + 4x12 cabinet
Boss GT8
Boss Micro BR
Phirana cables
D'addario/DR strings
Apple Macbook C2D
2 Inferior guitars :-)

Auto-Locking Tuners

Offline bembamboo

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« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2007, 08:29:01 PM »
Two things, parker sperzels scare me a little in that using bigger gauge strings, the lock sticks out a long way as a result and looks like it could easily bend.  Also, steinberger/lsr tuners I have wanted for a long time, and I love early steinbergers but for their weight (even thinkin about trying the new "baritone" hardtail with lsr tuners and emg p/u).  Am thinking however, you'd be locked into heavier strings due to the 28" scale which is the antithesis of using a hard tail to keep your bends in tune.  And I don't think I could ever go back to a heavy guitar.  Any thoughts?

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Offline bembamboo

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« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2007, 08:35:50 PM »
What I meant to say was, concerning lsr 40:1 ratio, since I am lusting after a Martin GE with banjo style tuners (3 or 4:1, I think!) to replace my stage '95 SCGC 12 fret slope shoulder acoustic, I have noticed it is EASIER to tune with the SMALLER ratio.  Curious.  So maybe 40:1 is not the way to go.