Warmoth project tele needs tuners. Locking or no? Sperzel, Schaller or Hipshot?


My new Warmoth Tele project needs tuners and I've never used locking ones before. Are they the definite way to go? Sperzel seems to get mixed reviews but mostly good ones. Am I missing out by going the old traditional Gotoh or Grover route with the higher gear ratio? Need to have the neck holes drilled to the right size so I can't be too indecisive.


The Sperzels are great. The post heights are staggered so you don't need to use string trees.

Blue Fin

I just finished a Tele and I used the locking Schaller tuners and they work very nicely. I bough them from Warmoth along with the body & neck.


Just installed my first set of Hipshot lockers on a project (recommended by several top builders on here). Nice tuners and pretty light weight if that's what you're looking for.

I didn't get my neck drilled out (drilled for vintage from Warmoth) and did it my self. Not too pretty in a couple of places so my opinion is that you're right in letting Warmoth do the drilling for you.

I've used the other brands recommended here and agree with the others that they are all good stuff. I like the vintage Gotoh (kluson style) for Fender style guitars and they're extra light weight too.


I've used all three:

Gotoh's. I use the Gotoh Height Adjustable Pole with the Magnum lock (HAPM). These are on a Tele neck (signed by Bill Kirchen):


Sperzels. These are on a Strat neck (signed by Tommy Allsup):


I've just discovered the Hipshot tuners. I've got them on a Tele neck and I've just added a set to a Danelectro (signed by no-one!):


Don't worry, I did straighten them before I added the fixing screws!

In order of preference, I live the Gotohs the best. The Sperzels and Hipshots tie for second.

They are all easy to fit and all work extremely well.

I use locking tuners largely to speed up and make string changes easier.

Hope this helps.

:) Peter


Any quality tuner will function just fine. Locking tuners do offer a little extra tuning stability insurance but keep in mind they only eliminate one potential tuning problem, slack storage at the tuner. A non-locking design can be nearly as stable if the strings are installed correctly. That said, I do like locking tuners for ease of string changes and have Sperzels on a couple of guitars. These are nice tuners and work well so long as you don't want a vintage look. If you'd like a traditional look with locking tuners, the Gotoh vintage style locking are great and I plan to buy a set for one of my partscasters that currently has vintage style tuners that are a bit sloppy (though they hold well enough).

Regarding the staggered posts for eliminating the string tree, usually it seems to work okay, but sometimes not. I talked with my luthier about this because one of my guitars with staggered-post Sperzels just seemed to need more downforce on the nut and I wound up putting in a string tree anyway. Sounds much better. The other Sperzel equipped guitar is fine without it. He told me it's pretty much a case-by-case thing and the way you play can be a factor.

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