How to tighten up closed-back Kluson tuner

dukeh62

Supporting Member
Hey folks,

One of the closed-back Kluson tuners on my Fender '56 Relic has some "play" in it when you back off and lower the pitch. I'd like to tighten it up, but obviously it's got a closed back.

Anybody know if there's a way to tighten this type of tuner up?

Thanks
 

alderbody

Member
as far as i know, you can tighten up the mounting screws at the back of the tuner to ensure it's stability.

if they are already tight and your keypost is still lose, something should be wrong with it.

maybe the bushing's inner diameter is a bit wider than it should be.

have it checked, but even a replacement should not be costly.

Of course, klusons can be opened (chassis removed), so you could have a closer look, but it requires tools and skills.
If you have them both, go for it! :)
 
Originally posted by dukeh62
One of the closed-back Kluson tuners on my Fender '56 Relic has some "play" in it when you back off and lower the pitch. I'd like to tighten it up, but obviously it's got a closed back.

Anybody know if there's a way to tighten this type of tuner up?
This is not meant as a put-down, but you shouldn't be backing off to lower the pitch. Always go below the target pitch then tune back up.

Backlash is a standard feature of this type of machinehead, and there's not a lot you can do about it. If you choose to use vintage-style heads, expect to have to learn vintage-style tuning technique ;).

With modern high-precision heads with semi-sprung gears (that's what that little spring washer under the key is for) you can often tune down to a note - and with high-quality locking heads you definitely can. That's one of the main reasons a lot of people bored out their classic Fender and Gibson heastocks back in the 60s and 70s to fit better machineheads... which is now considered a faux-pas of course.

Have a look at the pics in the 'string trees' thread if you haven't already :).
 

dukeh62

Supporting Member
Originally posted by John Phillips
This is not meant as a put-down, but you shouldn't be backing off to lower the pitch. Always go below the target pitch then tune back up.
Thanks, but very aware of that. I meant that when a note is sharp and you need to drop it flat to then bring back up to pitch, there is "play" in the tuner when you first back off.

Thanks for the feedback...every bit helps.
 
Originally posted by dukeh62
I meant that when a note is sharp and you need to drop it flat to then bring back up to pitch, there is "play" in the tuner when you first back off.
Ah... that means it's actually sticking slightly, so the string tension alone isn't enough to make the post turn even if the key gear is not holding it. Try a little drop of machine oil in the hole in the back, or possibly around the bottom of the post with the tuner off the headstock.
 

dukeh62

Supporting Member
Thanks John,

So a "sticky post" will actually make the tuner feel like it's loose with a little play in it?

It almost feels like the gear is stripped, but that doesn't make sense being that it functions perfectly when you're tuning "up". You only notice the loose "play" when you first start lowering the pitch.

thanks!
 

dukeh62

Supporting Member
Thanks John!

Hey John, been meaning to write back. Your idea did the trick. I put a little oil in the tuning machine's ferrule slot, and it worked great! It WAS just sticking when I backed off.

Thanks for the great guidance!

Now...how do I make the Top 40 charts playing traditional blues????
 


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