What are your thoughts on the new Schaller S-Locks? Just tried them out!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by sillennium, Aug 26, 2018.

  1. sillennium

    sillennium Member

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    I was surprised to see that Schaller had revised their Strap Locks and updated a few things in hopes to solve some issues. I personally am liking most of what I see. Have any of you had them installed for a decent amount of time and run into any issues? What are your thoughts of the new S-Locks. I posted my review and install video here too so you check them out if you aren't aware of them.

    Looking forward to your comments on your experience with them.

    Scott

     
  2. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    i'm not 100% sold on the integrated button/screw part, i would have liked the option for longer screws, but otherwise i think it's a home run all the way around; it solves all the problems of the old system, primarily the way the old hex nut would always loosen over time unless you used a little loctite on the threads.
     
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  3. WhiskeyTango

    WhiskeyTango Member

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    I installed a set in a LP a few months back (and have another set still NIB). No issues at all that I've noticed. The bigger screws made for a tight fit, just like you noticed. A bit of soap helped. I have zero concerns they'll come out on their own. If I ever want to go back to strap locks with a skinnier screw, I'll just toothpick it.

    I got them to try on my thickest strap, a Walker & Wilson, so not the thickest leather out there, but still pretty thick...thick enough I'd have had to really crank down the old Schaller's to catch enough thread. Plenty of thread on the S-locks. The set screw has held fine so far, and everything is still tight and lined up properly. The release is a bit stiffer than on my old sets, and takes a little more effort to take the strap off. Assuming it'll probably wear in with more time, but not a big deal.

    The don't clack like the old ones!

    Yeah, the install is a little more complex, but I have a lot more confidence that it'll stay. As far as allen screws being used, maybe it's b/c the have a lesser tendency to strip or for the tool to pop out?
     
  4. sillennium

    sillennium Member

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    Yeah maybe the Allen wrench is used so you don't strip it out.... That could be. It is a bit harder to screw in that way unless you have allen wrench adapters for a screwdriver handle. Just hard to get the grip and leverage when the screw is being a bugger and not wanting to go in that easy.
     
  5. Matttt

    Matttt Member

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    Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I've got a question about these.

    Are the strap pins the same as the old schallers strap locks? I've got a couple of guitars with the old system, I don't mind changing the fitting on the strap but if I have to fill/redrilling holes then I really can't be bothered. I'd rather not change the strap pin at all.
     
  6. Terry McInturff

    Terry McInturff 40th Anniversary of guitar building! Gold Supporting Member

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    Ive used the Dunlop "Dual Design" forever it seems. You can use a regular strap without the fitting if you want and....in my earlier WILD onstage days, I never dropped a guitar not once. They WILL squeak once in awhile....
    Am I ignoring a better alternative?
     
  7. bigtone23

    bigtone23 Member

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    +1
    The integrated button/screw is awkward and limiting. I have the older gen version on all my instruments and have a few extra sets laying around. I did the Loctite trick and they are solid. Glad these S Locks are compatible if I get some in the future.
     
  8. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    Yeah, new will fit old.
     
  9. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    Always liked how the strap mounting part with its C-clip could not come unscrewed or turn out of the right orientation (the flaws of the old schaller) but never liked how it made the strap stand way off the body, sometimes enough to jab your stomach (SG anyone?) or alter the balance on the strap.

    I also wish the little ball bearing lock components were bigger or stuck out further, because I have heard of (haven’t seen it myself) them wearing out to the point the button lock actually failed and pulled out.

    I think the new schallers’ fixes let it achieve parity with the design advantages of the Dunlop, while keeping the schallers’ own advantages (closer to body strap position, a button that cannot come out of the cup as long as its open side is up).
     
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  10. Terry McInturff

    Terry McInturff 40th Anniversary of guitar building! Gold Supporting Member

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    Thank you sir. Can always trust your comments 100%!
     
  11. Matttt

    Matttt Member

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    Well, if they solve the problem of getting them on to a strap, and the rattling noise, then I'm sold.

    Got a new strap coming this week; very expensive and very thick. I'm dreading putting the schaller locks on it that I have. The S-locks sound easier.
     
  12. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    disagree here, the old schallers had a big problem as well as a minor second problem shared by most all strap buttons:

    they depended on tightening down a hex nut onto a metal washer that was just compressing the soft material of the strap. any mechanic-type will tell you that this nut will never be truly "tight" because the soft material of the strap will always compress just a little more. the result is you have to always be checking and re-tightening the critical part because it's never truly secure. (the problem of the U-cups being upside down is just user error).

    i can attest to decades of fixing loose schaller lock mechanisms on customer guitars; the best fix is to run a bit of mild loc-tite into the threads of that nut as you tighten it down, that will keep it in place.

    the second (admittedly more rare) problem is something i got hipped to on these very gear pages! when you have a strap button with a separate screw fed through it and run into end-grain wood, the same issue happens, namely the wood might compress a little causing the button to become slightly loose relative to the screw so it can move a little. any slight movement of the button over time causes wear and increased looseness which causes more wear and so on and now your buttons are loose on the guitar.

    by having the button and screw be one piece, any movement of the button part relative to the screw and the body is prevented.
     
  13. Ayrton

    Ayrton Member

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    I do like the updated version.

    I have always used thread locker and wax (squeaks) to resolve shortcomings
     
  14. Raimonds

    Raimonds Member

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  15. Gclef

    Gclef Member

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    I have had the same set of schaller strap locks on my thick black levy's strap for 20 years with no loosening.

    I chalk it up to the leather being compressed and pushing back against the nut and washer.

    No loctite was used.

    Never has a button fail either.

    I did buy a bunch of the off branded schaller replacement buttons for all of my guitars. They work just as well as the originals and were way cheaper.
     
  16. Deed_Poll

    Deed_Poll Member

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    I haven't the experience with these, but I found reading your posts about the gradual loosening interesting as it's very similar to the challenge of designing a good vibrato arm!

    The challenge being that you generally want a piece which can be moved around (to get the arm out of the way laterally when it's not being used) but so that repeated loosening / tightening caused by this movement doesn't gradually introduce slop into the assembly.

    I'll be interested to see how these 'S-Locks' work as I might borrow the idea for a vibrato arm!

    It has seemed to me that some kind of bearing to prevent loosening of the main compression screw against whatever is being used to introduce controlled friction (silicon washer?) might foot the bill nicely.
     
  17. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    OK, now i can report a less than awesome issue with these.

    that screw is just plain too short with threads that are too shallow. i had a hell of a time installing a set on a new reverend guitar, even though the original screws weren't that big. i needed a bunch of toothpick/wood glue filler to make the new buttons secure.
     
  18. John Coloccia

    John Coloccia Cold Supporting Member

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    I've gone back and forth, tried every lock there is, used no locks, and I always come back to Dimarzio ClipLocks. They're cheap enough that I can buy a strap for every guitar, the leather straps are actually quite comfortable, and that's it.

    I have every cliplock strap I've ever owned, going back probably almost 30 years, and every one is still as sturdy and functional as it was day one. Not one failure, for any reason, ever.
     
  19. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    whereas i hate those things :hide2

    yes the strap ends themselves are super-reliable, but the "clip" part is pretty much pointless; you unclip the middle part of the strap and what have you accomplished? you still have those two long floppy ends on your guitar getting in the way when you put it in the case, scratching the guitar finish and preventing the use of any other strap.

    they might as well make it without the "cliplock" part, just make it a permanent one-piece strap. it would be literally easier to stuff in a tight-fitting case that way.
     
  20. John Coloccia

    John Coloccia Cold Supporting Member

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    It's a very practical system. The leather straps are expensive. I only own two or three of those, and I can use them on any guitar with the clips. Also, for people who use wireless systems, you attach them to your strap and they move from guitar to guitar.

    There's always enough room/compliance in the guitar case that I tuck the clip part in along the side of the guitar, and it's never really caused an issue. That said, I've never been too concerned about keeping a guitar pristine. It's a tool for me. On occasion that I don't have the room, the clip sits on top of the guitar. If it makes a little scratch, I don't care. :)

    To each his own. I won't pretend they're perfect, but in terms of a strap lock system that has given me exactly zero problems over many many years of use and abuse, I haven't found anything that beats Cliplocks. They're especially good on guitars that have the strap button on the back of the guitar. Every other system pushes the strap out WAY too far IMHO. But I mostly play Teles and Strats, so this is just a very occasional benefit for me.
     

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