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locking tuners and flatwounds

jstolaski

Member
Messages
13
I recently decided to try flat wounds on strat which has locking tuners. In the process of tuning it up the low e string broke right at the tuner. Anybody else have experience with flat wounds and locking tuners?
 

jstolaski

Member
Messages
13
tried another low e and it also broke before I even got it up to pitch. Thinking flat wounds and locking tuners just don't get along
 

cap10kirk

Member
Messages
8,143
Is there a burr or something in the tuner? What strings? I've never had a problem with flats (used both Thomastik and D'Addario), and all my guitars have locking tuners.
 

jstolaski

Member
Messages
13
They are thomastik 10's. It's possible there is a burr on it but I don't think so. I did have a harder time getting the flat wound string on the tuner but just put a round wound on it with no problems
 

mikepittarelli

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
14
I had that problem using Thomastik Jazz flatwounds on a Gretsch with locking tuners. If the strings have the red thread at the ends, just make sure that you leave enough of the thread on the end of the string for the pin to clamp on to. I realize that the extra winds this results in kind of negates one of the advantages of a locking tuner, but I wasn't aware of any alternative that would work.
 

stickyFingerz

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,411
I had that problem using Thomastik Jazz flatwounds on a Gretsch with locking tuners. If the strings have the red thread at the ends, just make sure that you leave enough of the thread on the end of the string for the pin to clamp on to. I realize that the extra winds this results in kind of negates one of the advantages of a locking tuner, but I wasn't aware of any alternative that would work.
I didn't have to do this. Am I lucky (so far) or aren't all locking tuners the same?
 

Adagietto

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,179
I recently decided to try flat wounds on strat which has locking tuners. In the process of tuning it up the low e string broke right at the tuner. Anybody else have experience with flat wounds and locking tuners?
If you broke two low E strings at the tuning post while tuning up, look for burrs, a sharp edge, etc. on that post. Perhaps it could be related to the specific strings and installation technique, so more info there might be helpful. Are you possibly over-tightening the locking mech? I'm not sure if that could deform a string enough to weaken it, but only light to moderate locking pressure is needed IME.

I'm using Griplocks and Optima 11s on one guitar with no problems. Griplocks are on several of my guitars, but I only have flats on one — and no problems with breaking strings on any of them.
 

jddub440

Member
Messages
142
I've used D'addario flats and semi-rounds on my strat with locking tuning machines no problems at all....
 

jaxjaxon

Member
Messages
235
The area the string comes out of the tuner is it flat or tapered if its flat the break angle of the string becomes too extreme When you string it up do you see a gap where the winding of the string starts to separate where the string go's into the machine head post.
 

Pasty White

Member
Messages
52
I recently decided to try flat wounds on strat which has locking tuners. In the process of tuning it up the low e string broke right at the tuner. Anybody else have experience with flat wounds and locking tuners?
I definitely had the same issue with a few brands of flats that had round cores with Gotoh locking tuners on one of my Fenders. It wasn’t a case of burrs or defective tuner and it happened on the low E string as well. I contacted JustStrings.com about the problem and they cautioned against locking tuners with these type of flats which happen to be very expensive (but are also far superior to other brands). You’d need to wind the string way too much to have the red cloth wrapping centered and locked by the tuner’s pin which does negate the purpose of locking tuners so I don’t see that as a solution. D’Addario Chromes with hex core and double winding do resist this problem with locking tuners though they’re not my favorites so I use LaBella roller wound strings as somewhat of a compromise for that guitar with the locking tuners. Hope that helps
 

stickyFingerz

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,411
I thought I didn't have issues and then I discovered that my low E and A strings were being shredded by the tuners.
It worked, until it didn't... very strange.
 

Don A

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,846
Fender had stringing instructions for when strings broke on locking tuners on the Strat Plus in the late 80s/early '90s. I don't recall the details, but I think the manual is available as a PDF on their site.
 

JeffOlson

Member
Messages
2,909
I love TI Blues Sliders and Jazz Swings--so much so that I will replace locking tenders with regular tuners, even though I like the convenience of locking tuners.

TI Blues Sliders and Jazz Swings (the wound strings) are not compatible with locking tuners. I was just reminded of this with my new Fender American Ultra Strat. I went through two sets of Blues Sliders in an attempt to make them work. (Sweetwater is sending regular tuners at the end of his week.)
 

JeffOlson

Member
Messages
2,909
I wish someone would tell me what I am doing wrong. I have wrecked countless wound Blues Sliders and Jazz Swings on Fender locking tuners.

As soon as I start to wind the tuner, the fragile wrapping splits at the tuner, making the wound string unusable.
 

JeffOlson

Member
Messages
2,909
A theory:

It is not the fragile wrapping on the wound strings, it is the ROUND core.

The wrapped wire, whether round or flat, cannot grip well on the round core wire (unlike hex core wire, where the grip is good). With locking tuners and no string wrapped around the post, the outer wire slides away from the round inner wire when the string is brought up to pitch, ruining the string.

Solutions?
1. Don't use locking tuners.
2. If you must use locking tuners, make sure each wound string wraps around the tuner post and over itself before bringing it up to pitch (just as you would with a non-locking tuner).
3. Or, crimp the wound string and flatten the wrapped wire where the strings exits the tuner post hole so the wrapped wire is less likely to slide off the inner round core wire.
 
Messages
15,619
I always wrap at least once around the machine-head capstan, that will solve your problem.
It allows the capstan to distribute the tension.
 

fitzo

Greybeard
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,833
....
3. Or, crimp the wound string and flatten the wrapped wire where the strings exits the tuner post hole so the wrapped wire is less likely to slide off the inner round core wire.
+1
TI flats like to separate and get the core pinched off in locking tuners like Sperzels. Crimp the heck out of the area that goes through the tuning machine and will go around the capstan. Don't overtighten! Sperzels grab adequately when they are a lot less than cranked down.
 
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