Vintage style tuners for strat?????

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by elChieftan, May 4, 2015.

  1. elChieftan

    elChieftan Member

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    How much of a difference in tone do the vintage style tuners make on a strat??
    I have a Fender CS Classic Player Strat that came fits with sperzel locking tuners. I have always liked them for ease of use and the speed with which I can change a string during a show. Hey have been gray tuners. But lately I've been wondering if the vintage style tuners would actually produce a better tone? Plus I like the vintage look cuz the guitar resembles a 57 strat. Give me some feedback please....
     
  2. rowdyyates

    rowdyyates Supporting Member

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    I can't stand locking tuners. I've always thought I could change a string just as fast and don't have to worry about strings breaking. Never noticed any tonal change.
     
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  3. JPenn

    JPenn Member

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    i had never used the split shaft tuners until a few years ago, and now i prefer them. with a vintage bridge setup to pull up a minor 3rd on the g string, i seem to stay in tune just fine without lockers.

    i tried the hipshot locking tuners on my newest partscaster, and although i think they work great, i just like the split shaft better. the older i get and the worse my eyes get, it's just easier for me to restring with the hole on top of the tuner vs. the side of the shaft.
     
  4. elChieftan

    elChieftan Member

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    They're just so much bulkier than vintage style tuners that I guess my train of thought is they would change the sound. I just don't know.
     
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  5. TheoDog

    TheoDog Silver Supporting Member

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    The change in mass might have an affect on tone. It would be foolish for us, as a group, to try to predict what change it would make. The density and grain if the neck wood, the string gauge and fretwire would likely be somewhere in the equation.
    You would likely be dropping a few dozen grams of weight at the headstock. This could raise the fundamental frequency of the guitar slightly. You would have to add conversion bushings which becomes a point where vibration can be lost at a contact point.

    You likely would recognize a larger overall tone change going from old strings to new than from going locking to vintage tuners.
     
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  6. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    yeah, i don't see a big change in tone, just maybe a slightly different resonance (which at most might mean some kind of slight change in how it sustains or goes into controlled feedback).

    the lighter weight might feel nicer on the strap, though.
     
  7. TattooedCarrot

    TattooedCarrot Supporting Member

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  8. Deed_Poll

    Deed_Poll Member

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    Klusons are one of my 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' parts. I prefer them on all my guitars, Gibson and Fender, and short of a Floyd equipped guitar with a roller nut I see no reason to change.
     
  9. stratter

    stratter Member

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    It really depends, but unless you're Eric Johnson... :jo


    But anyway, if anything, the change in weight might make a difference, but you'd probably hear the difference of what changing a control knob on your guitar would produce.
     
  10. metropolis_4

    metropolis_4 Member

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    I can't imagine there could be a perceptible change in tone; I mean, there can't be that much difference in mass between the two. I've got a set of vintage style tuners sitting here, a set of standard modern Fender tuners, and a set of spertzel locking tuners and the weight difference feels minuscule in my hands.

    Even if there is a minute change in tone, it seems like it would be far outweighed by importance in tuning stability, and even just appearance preference
     
  11. monty

    monty Member

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  12. elChieftan

    elChieftan Member

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    Yeah I guess I'm over thinking this whole thing. If it ain't broke right? Maybe I'm just in love with the vintage look. Thought maybe someone out there had done the switch and had it make a positive change in sound. Then again new knobs just might turn me into Eric Johnson.... That and a fossilized t-rex bone nut.
     
  13. TattooedCarrot

    TattooedCarrot Supporting Member

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  14. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    I think it depends on the locking tuners. The last set of Schaller lockers I've had were ridiculously heavy, and were cast. I think that could make a tonal difference. Sperzels are billet aluminum and I doubt much difference in tone would be detectable. I like each for their benefits, but I'm done with Schaller.
     
  15. Creepwood

    Creepwood Member

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    I guess I'm just the opposite... Love the heavy-ass Schallers on my Kirn, not a huge fan of the flimsy Sperzels on my G&L :D

    But I gotta say, the vintage locking tuners on my Grosh are a definite case of "best of both worlds". I think they're Gotohs.
     
  16. Mr Analog

    Mr Analog Member

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    Lighter weight vintage tuners can alter the resonant response of your neck -- for better or worse. You probably won't notice a difference in tone but some notes might sustain a little better or worse. If it sounds good now I wouldn't touch it.
     
  17. ripgtr

    ripgtr Member

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    I will tell my experience, as I have done this exact thing.

    When I got my strat in '76, they convinced me (heck I was a kid, I didn't know) that the tuners were worn out and needed to be replaced. Pretty common back then and This made sense, as it an old beat up guitar. I had them put on Schalers, I think. These were not locking tuners, they didn't exist back then I don't think, but similar design/weight. I played the guitar like that for the next 10 years. It was my only guitar and I gigged full time, so I spent a lot of hours on it, knew it well.

    Sometime in the mid 80s, now that the guitar was 'vintage' and worth some money, I wanted to go back to original type tuners. Just because of the look.

    First night I played with the new tuners on, I thought "man, that is weird, it sounds different". This was a stage I played on 5 nights a week, so it wasn't like I didn't know the sound. Now, remember, this is before the internet as we know it, and I had never heard anyone ever talk about tuners making a dif. Heck, I don't remember people talking all that much about most things people talk about on guitar sites, these days, as far as tone. I was experienced enough to know it could be the difference in line voltage or humidity or what mood I was in or who knows what, so I just kind of noted it in my head as "ok, that's interesting" and just played. I didn't even think about the next night, until I started playing, and it was there again.

    What I heard was a little more smoothness in the high end, not quite as bright or edgy. Which was a good thing.

    Not very scientific, I agree. But then, it wasn't confirmation bias, since I wasn't expecting a change. In fact, I thought I was just hearing differently the first night (that happens and you get used to that happening) or some other outside influence - and there are always so many. But the impression stayed.

    I do like changing strings a lot better on vintage style tuners.
     
  18. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    If it did, it'd be really subtle and not worth it. I do prefer the Gotoh vintage gears over any locking tuners tho'. They are every bit as quick. Simpler with less moving parts to go bad. I had Sperzels and the Schallers give me a few issues over the years. Pins get stuck.

    I wouldn't bother swapping any tuners out tho'. Plus it wouldn't be a direct drop in replacement. Might have to get the conversion bushings and drill holes. I dunno.
     
  19. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    Yeah, I don't think it will make much difference, but some truth to it being possible like mentioned here ^^^^^^
     

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