Locking Tuners for 79 Strat ?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by tonio19, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. tonio19

    tonio19 Member

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    I am looking for a set of locking tuners for my 79 Strat... that actually have the same screw mounting positions. I know, what are the odds? Those crazy TV guys, what were they thinking when they used these tuners? The body is like a diaganal shape with the mounting screws located 1 in the upper left, and the other in the lower right corner, and they are all stacked like this. Also I think the ratio is 1:12? Something like 1:18 would be preferred, and of course locking, and in Nickle. Too much to ask...
    I really do not want to drill-N-fill on this one, I would rather try to find some original replacements than plug the old holes. But I don't like the original tuners very much, which is why I ask...
    I bought this guitar new when I was in high school, and it has some special value to me as there are lots of memories with this one.
    Thanks.
    Tony
     
  2. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

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  3. RvChevron

    RvChevron Member

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    The Schaller ones are better, quality wise, than the originals.

    Unfortunately, the Schallers are NOT direct drop in replacement for the originals!

    The Schallers have a different dimension (bigger) that will require some fillings and re-routings and re-drillings.

    You're better off hunting down some originals in good condition on Ebay!
     
  4. mondo_generator

    mondo_generator Member

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    the best locking tuners i have ever user are sperzel tuners, but they do need a larger diameter hole.
     
  5. RvChevron

    RvChevron Member

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  6. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    reeaally? how so? (other than the higher ratio, i mean. the pictures only show the backs of the keys, which is annoying.)
     
  7. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    Yeah, yeah Sperzels are 12:1, BUT - they are machined to very high tolerances with hardly any slack in the play. I really like the open back Sperzels, but alas they are always back ordered. Guess I'll just be happy with the one set I own for mnw.
     
  8. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm still surprised that there are no direct replacements available for the tuners on late 70's strats. But sometimes that's just the way it is...

    Now, I'm going to avoid the whole Sperzel vs. Schaller debate and recommend that you look into Gotoh vintage style locking tuners. They will be easier to install, they have a perfect vintage look (in Nickel no less) and they have a very favorable 15:1 ratio. What's really cool about these is that the posts lock themselves as you tighten the string...no thumbscrews! I have Schallers on two of my Strats and they're great except for that 1 in 1000 chance that you bump one of the thumbscrews just hard enough to pop a string loose...doh!

    Have a look:
    http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tuners/...Vintage_Oval_Knob_Tuners/Details.html#details
     
  9. tonio19

    tonio19 Member

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    Oh the pain and disappointment... the originals still function, they are just getting a little looser than back in the day, but it still holds tune pretty well. A couple of months ago I put a Callaham vintage S style bridge on with the steel (No zinc) block, and it never sounded better. I suppose I just assumed that the old stock tuners wouldn't hold up to the increasing whammy action being thrown at them... but they are still just plugging along doing their job. I just got the last of my boxes and packing material today and hopefully Wed it will go with the nice Fed-X man for a visit to Best Frets and get a new set of SS 6105's and a new bone nut. I think eventually the old tuners are going to be the weakest link (Goodbye) and I am looking to bring everything up to speed now. It already has a set of WCR SR's in there,(and an RS kit) and the new frets (and new tuners) should be the last mod for quite a long time....I hope.
    So far I am probably leaning towards the new version of the original tuners, as long as they really are drop in with no drilling and filling involved. At least they should be tighter and require no mods. Thanks for the tips, and if anyone actually does come up with a locking/no extra hole option, I'm all ears. Thanks. Tony in Portland, Oregon
     
  10. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

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    since you're sending your guitar to Mike Tuttle, you should ask him about some options. He's a talented guy and could probably make just about any retrofit look invisible. It's also alot easier to do with the neck off so the timing seems right.

    Good Luck!
     
  11. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    i wouldn't be surprised if mike could make the original keys work just fine!
     
  12. tonio19

    tonio19 Member

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    I just shipped the Strat out today to Best Frets, double boxed and padded to high heaven. (Fed-X) I did ask Michael about the tuners...before I started this thread. He did not know of anything locking that was a direct fit. He also said that he did not want to take on the job of pluging the old holes (assuming that I put non-stock tuners on it) and making them look invisible, said that it was....? Can't remember the exact quote, but it meant something along the lines of not worth my time for the effort. Said very politely, of course, as he is a class guy. I guess when it comes back, assuming Fed-X returns it in one piece... I'll reassess the need to replace the tuners at this time, or wait. With originals, or.....?
    Tony
     
  13. RvChevron

    RvChevron Member

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    I have a set. Tight and no play with better machining. To me they are that much better!

    You can't tell how a set of tuners performs just by looking at the pic!

    James Tyler doesn't use Sperzels anymore and goes with the new Hipshots.
     

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