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Staggered Strat tuners

bard2dbone

Member
Messages
1,258
I have to confess to ignorance here. I know the tuners I'm picturing exist. But I have no idea whaat they're called r where to find them.

I'm building up a project FrankenStrat. And I want to use the locking tuners that I thought were Sperzels, but am now told they aren't. The important part of the tuners for the sake of this post is that the hole that the string goes through is lower on the post of the tuner the farther up the headstock you go. It makes string trees much less necessary. This sounds like a great idea to me. But when I tried to look them up...they weren't what I thought they were.

Help. Please. What are the locking tuners that looked like Sperzels but with progressively lower holes on the tuner post?
 

AdmiralB

Member
Messages
3,060
Many companies make staggered tuners. Sperzel is one - and Sperzel also makes non-staggered tuners. Schaller also makes staggered, as do Grover, Hipshot, Ping, Kluson, Gotoh...well, just about everybody.

But I've never seen tuners where the holes got lower - all my experiences have been with tuners where the shaft itself is progressively shorter (which has the same effect, after all).
 

tresspassor

Member
Messages
1,139
Fender branded schallers are staggered. They are a good choice if you want drop-in replacements for a modern fender neck. Those are held in place by two small holes for each tuner. And you will have to be very precise at drilling them if installing on an aftermarket neck. I've also used the ones from GFS mentioned in the above post. Those are much easier to install on a non-fender neck as they are held in place with a screw. The quality seem to be on par with the schallers.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
39,361
But I've never seen tuners where the holes got lower - all my experiences have been with tuners where the shaft itself is progressively shorter (which has the same effect, after all).
the fender ones are like this, where the overall post height is the same but the hole is lower on the higher keys.
 

AdmiralB

Member
Messages
3,060
the fender ones are like this, where the overall post height is the same but the hole is lower on the higher keys.
Is this a new style? The ones I know of are the locking Schallers they've used forever (and I think maybe they use Ping copies of them now), and the Kluson-style Gotohs. Those aren't as you describe, they have posts of different lengths (albeit sometimes only slightly).

I've not seen the EJ tuners, or the recent staggered American Standards, though.
 

tresspassor

Member
Messages
1,139
The oldest fender/schallers had the posts at the same height and the holes went lower. The newer ones have different post lengths. I have guitars with both of these styles. They only have 2 different stagger lengths though. Those GFS tuners and some other brands come with 3 different lengths.

The EJ tuners are Klusion vintage style where the post gets shorter in 3 different lengths. Those are custom for that neck as the headstock is actually cut a little deeper and thinner than normal to help give the strings more fall away.
 

bard2dbone

Member
Messages
1,258
You mean these types of Fender/Schaller?:

These will work. they aren't quite the same as the ones I was wanting. But they are similar. I'm now told the ones I wanted were early Fender/Schallers and the posts were the same height with differing holes to get around Sperzels patent. Unfortunately the one set like that I personally thought are the best individual set of tuners I've ever encountered were on one particular Jeff Beck sig Strat.
 

timfred

Member
Messages
11
I just completed a build with Gotoh SD-91 HAPM and I was really impressed. Height adjustable, locking, but a vintage look with super smooth and tight operation. Will use again.
 

AdmiralB

Member
Messages
3,060
Sperzels are the best. If you buy a set of 6-in-line Sperzels, they will have graduated post height.
I use Sperzels on all my Strats. Not because I love them, rather in spite of the fact that I think they're really only "OK" tuners. I use them for two reasons:
  1. They have more than two 'heights' in a set - you get two tuners each, of three heights, and;
  2. They offer other heights that aren't included in sets.
I always buy a set, then call Sperzel and order a single tuner in the tallest height (don't recall what it is though). I use that for the low, or on a reverse, the high E. So I have, high to low (string, that is) 112234 in terms of tuner height, short to tall. Picked this up from Hamer, which used this setup on their Fenderoids in the '90s.

My problem with most staggered tuners is, the one closest to the nut is always too short and results in too much friction in the nut, so vibrato use always hangs that string up. I remember EVH saying in a very early interview that he wound the low strings up the shaft, not down, for a similar reason.

IMO Sperzels are not great tuners. The mechanism is nowhere near as smooth as a Schaller or Gotoh or even a Grover, and the ratio isn't really very fine. But they work, and with the height options, they're the best total package for me. With this tuner setup and LSR nuts, my Strats will stay in tune with pretty much any kind of vibrato use short of dumping the strings slack - and even then, it's good enough to play.
 

stratamania

Member
Messages
3,487
Hipshot locking tuners are available in staggered posts. Essentially three different heights, for the E and A, then the D and G and finally the B and E.

No need for string trees. My personal preference is the Hipshot Grip Lock open tuners. You can also change the buttons out for different shapes if you need to.
 

Beam Tetrode

Member
Messages
1,509
Sperzel might not have the smoothest feel or highest ratio, but their design offers the best string post support and worm stability.
 






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