Locking Tuners for 1965 Strat

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by JacksonAmpworks, Jan 6, 2006.


  1. JacksonAmpworks

    JacksonAmpworks Member

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    Hey guys-

    I have a 1965 Strat that I really like the sound of, but she will NOT stay in tune and I've had it. What good is an old guitar that sounds great if I hate playing it because it will not stay in tune and is poorly intonated. I'm going to have the Buzz Feiten tuning system put on this guitar and install locking tuners. I know what you're thinking, but this is a working guitar and not a collectors piece. The neck is a 1965, the pickups are 1966 and the body is stripped so I have no idea what it is. Again this is a working axe that I use weekly and modding it will only make it more useful to me.

    So the question at hand is: Do you know of any locking/staggering tuners that will retrofit into the existing holes?

    Thanks!
     
  2. fred dons

    fred dons Member

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    you could use the gotoh magnum locking tuners which look vintage but are locking and will be an easy retro fit
    however the problem will mostly be with your nut, so my preference would be to change the nut and if you are going to that anyway change it for a earvana nut, this will achieve the thing you want to obtain with buzz feiten but will not be an change you would not be able to undo should you decide the result is not what you wanted it to be (as is with Feiten)
     
  3. McCauley

    McCauley Member

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    I agree, 90% of the time it's the nut hanging up, the other 90% of the time it's the..........;)
     
  4. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Member

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    The BF system is nice but won't help you stay in tune. It might devalue the neck slightly since they have to widen the nut slot. Even being a parts guitar that neck would probably bring a few grand on ebay if it is nice. If it has been refin'ed and has a new decal or something it's a different story. I would do three things to get it to play in tune-

    -Tighten the trem. down to the body so it doesn't float at all.
    -Get a new nut installed by a competent luthier.
    -Put the old tuners in the case and get a replacement set of Klusons. If the tuners are a problem it's because they are worn out. Locking tuners should not be necessary.
     
  5. JacksonAmpworks

    JacksonAmpworks Member

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    Well I'm wanting to use the trem more and have it stay in tune, so that's the motivation behind changing things up a bit. I have an Anderson Tele that intonates PERFECTLY up and down the neck, so that is what is really pushing me to try the BF tuning system.
     
  6. tonedaddy

    tonedaddy Member

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    How about just using a new neck, and save the vintage one in it's original condition?
     
  7. killerburst

    killerburst killerburstguitars.com Silver Supporting Member

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    Buzz Feiten authorized retrofitters use a shelf nut that does not require widening the nut or any other non-reversible mod.
     
  8. killerburst

    killerburst killerburstguitars.com Silver Supporting Member

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  9. stratovarius

    stratovarius Supporting Member

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    I also recommend the Earvana nut. It makes a big difference on Fender style guitars. It is possible to achieve great results with these.

    I don't see the need for locking tuners, personally. With split post tuners you can get away with only a half turn. There is no need to have multiple wraps of string - this causes slippage.
     
  10. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Just drill out the headstock and fit Sperzels, like I did on the '64 that my friend lent me.

    [​IMG]

    Now he doesn't want it back for some reason :confused:.


















    For the easily shocked that haven't seen this one before - yes, that is a real '64 Strat and yes I did fit the Sperzels... and that may be part of the reason I got loaned it permanently afterwards :).

    But in fact the damage was done before my friend bought it - some idiot fitted mini Grovers, so badly that they took big splinters out of the back and compressed the front so badly you could never get Klusons back neatly even if you doweled the holes or used larger bushings. When he got it it had Kluson repros just tacked across the ragged holes with tape round the bushings, and you can imagine how well it stayed in tune. So I repaired the splinters and fitted the Sperzels since I had a set to hand and they were large enough to fill the holes and cover the damage on the front... and they're excellent heads. It does stay in tune perfectly now, even with trem abuse. It also sounds better than any other old Strat I've played. He lent it to me really because he has several of them and this one wasn't his favorite, even before the Sperzels.

    I wouldn't do that sort of thing to an undamaged neck... I don't think ;). But at the end of the day they are musical instruments not museum exhibits IMO.
     
  11. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    The Feiten thing is a shelf system. No wood removal necessary. That's a good thing.
    The Enut is way cheaper ($15) and to me, works as well. The Earvana is f'ugly.

    I have better luck with the Klusons than Sperzels or anything like that. I would keep the original tuners on. My '66 stays in tune fine. Any strat even a Squire will stay in tune real well with the whammy if you string/set it up right. Just a few wraps and stretches and it will stay in tune fine with aggressive whammy stuff.

    With an understanding of where the friction is created and the techniques necessary to eliminate them, any strat trem can stay in tune as well as a locking nut or tuners. The only trems that don't stay in tune well for me are angled headstocks for obvious reasons, but Fenders don't have those, thank God.
     
  12. eric-d

    eric-d Member

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    OUCH... Gee, I wonder why.... Ruining Vintage Fenders makes baby Jesus cry...
     
  13. stratofied

    stratofied Member

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    Don't do it! Beat or not, have you looked into the price of vintage Strats lately? I would have a good luthier check the nut and experiment with the number of wraps when re-stringing.
     
  14. playon

    playon Supporting Member

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    I definitely wouldn't put heavier locking tuners on that guitar, it will change the tone... I'd look into getting a new nut and the Gotoh retrofit locking tuners.
     
  15. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    If you'd seen the mess it was before you'd understand ;). I wish I'd taken a pic, it really was very disturbing. The drill holes were made with what I'd guess to be a hand held power drill, ragged and splintered and not even truly round.

    This is the back after it was fixed, and no I did not enlarge the splinter hole at all before filling it! I simply made a new piece to fit the hole. It's about 1/4" deep under the A tuner too.

    [​IMG]

    There's other damage covered by the heads around most of the holes, and the compression marks in the front from the Grovers are almost 1/16" deep. To round it off there are numerous marks in the front where the idiot that did this slipped with the spanner (repeatedly) while tightening them.

    Trust me, refitting Klusons would have been completely pointless and never look - or possibly work - right. This solution at least works right and sounds good - and I think looks OK too.

    And I do get some perverse amusement when a vintage enthusiast sees it and I tell them I fitted the Sperzels (without the rest of the story)... the look on their faces is usually priceless :).
     
  16. JacksonAmpworks

    JacksonAmpworks Member

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    At this point, I'm going to use the Gotoh retrofit locking tuners with the Buzz Feiten Nut. The BF nut is reverseable, so that's good.
     
  17. guitarhurricane

    guitarhurricane Member

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    I am really glad to hear that. Makes me happy when people decide not to harm vintage guitars.
     

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