Modifying a Strat style headstock for side-mounted tuners

Whiskeyrebel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
31,406
The lower neck of my doubleneck is a nuisance to tune because the buttons of the tuning gears are crowded near the headstock of the upper neck (the necks are parallel and not splayed or staggered). Forget using a crank. I'd use a reverse headstock on the lower if I had to do it over, but it's done now and I don't want to waste the neck I have on it.

At first I considered changing to Steinberger tuners, but man those things are pricey ...when you can even find them. Firebird tuners are a bit on the pricey side too compared to standard tuners.

I was thinking that if the tuners were side-mounted like a slot-head acoustic or like the octave strings on a Rickenbacker, the buttons would be an easier reach to tune. Is this possible to do on a headstock that was built for normal rear-mounted tuners? I'd need to cross-drill into the existing hole, then have some sort of spacer to center the string hole in the tuner's shaft in the middle of the "window" formed by the original hole.
 

TheGuildedAge

Senior Member
Messages
13,059
Would locking tuners work so you wouldn't have to keep turning them? A few of my guitars have locking tuners and it's only about a 3/4 turn or so and they are up to pitch?
 

Whiskeyrebel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
31,406
Would locking tuners work so you wouldn't have to keep turning them? A few of my guitars have locking tuners and it's only about a 3/4 turn or so and they are up to pitch?
I do like Sperzels but in this case the problem isn't that I need to adjust often, it is that the bad ergonomics make me hate to it at all, especially string changes.
 

TheGuildedAge

Senior Member
Messages
13,059
I do like Sperzels but in this case the problem isn't that I need to adjust often, it is that the bad ergonomics make me hate to it at all, especially string changes.

I see. I hesitated answering, because I know when I ask a question, I hate when someone gives me the opposite advice. "If I wanted locking tuners, I'd have ASKED ABOUT LOCKING TUNERS!"

Anyway, good luck, sounds like a hassle on your end.
 

John Hurtt

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
20,010
The lower neck of my doubleneck is a nuisance to tune because the buttons of the tuning gears are crowded near the headstock of the upper neck (the necks are parallel and not splayed or staggered). Forget using a crank. I'd use a reverse headstock on the lower if I had to do it over, but it's done now and I don't want to waste the neck I have on it.

At first I considered changing to Steinberger tuners, but man those things are pricey ...when you can even find them. Firebird tuners are a bit on the pricey side too compared to standard tuners.

I was thinking that if the tuners were side-mounted like a slot-head acoustic or like the octave strings on a Rickenbacker, the buttons would be an easier reach to tune. Is this possible to do on a headstock that was built for normal rear-mounted tuners? I'd need to cross-drill into the existing hole, then have some sort of spacer to center the string hole in the tuner's shaft in the middle of the "window" formed by the original hole.
I would think the expense of modifying (or risk of ruining the neck) would far outweigh the price of a set of tuners.
 

tiktok

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
25,044
I think you've got variety of choices combining ugly, cumbersome and expensive in your future, in varying degrees.

I am baffled by your rejection of locking Sperzels on ergonomic grounds, since the main reason I use them on many guitars (including a Strat XII) was the ease of string changes.

If I was trying to wrangle a double-neck, I'd go for the Steinberger type tuners. Sure, they're more expensive, but they work, and they're the least ugly option. The extra cost over the life of the instrument is minor. Alpaca makes a replacement now for about a hundred bucks.
 

Whiskeyrebel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
31,406
I think you've got variety of choices combining ugly, cumbersome and expensive in your future, in varying degrees.

I am baffled by your rejection of locking Sperzels on ergonomic grounds, since the main reason I use them on many guitars (including a Strat XII) was the ease of string changes.

If I was trying to wrangle a double-neck, I'd go for the Steinberger type tuners. Sure, they're more expensive, but they work, and they're the least ugly option. The extra cost over the life of the instrument is minor. Alpaca makes a replacement now for about a hundred bucks.
I did not mean that I dislike changing strings with Sperzels, They make that task much easier than it is with, say non-locking Schallers or Klusons. You are right that locking tuners reduce the amount of winding required.

I'm not rejecting Sperzels based on the ergonomics of Sperzel tuners. As I mentioned, Sperzel tuners are a brand that I like. If my problem was that the tuners were damaged or worn, Sperzels would be a good choice for me.

I meant that I dislike tuning and changing strings on this specific guitar. My problem is that the buttons for the tuners are located in the space between the two headstocks. My fingers just fit, and a crank winder doesn't fit at all.
I would think the expense of modifying (or risk of ruining the neck) would far outweigh the price of a set of tuners.
If I attempt this, I do all the work myself. I stitched the monster together after all. The necks were cheap Peavey import pieces from eBay. I'm into each neck for much less than the price of a new set of tuners.

If I bungled the conversion to side-mount, I would first try alter the head stock to relocate the tuners along the treble edge. The reason I don't want to use this as a first option is because I don't like the effect it would have on the string path.
 

Al Varez

Member
Messages
518
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