Which tuners?


I'm putting together a parts telecaster and just can't decide which tuning machines I want to use. So far I've gone with fairly "vintage" looking parts, but I'm spoiled by the more modern Sperzel locking tuners on my strat. I looked at the locking tuners Kluson offers, but IMO they don't look good at all. Recommendations?

Trebor Renkluaf

I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse?
For "vintage" style locking tuners I don't think you can beat Gotoh. They make a locking tuner that looks absolutely vintage, doesn't have the dreaded thumbscrew on the back, don't weigh a ton, and did I say they were locking?

For best vintage with smoothest, tighest, no slop whatsoever, most positive feel, nothing has beaten the TonePros Klusons for me.
I recently used the Planet waves locking tuners on a project build.. and they're REALLY nice.. excellent gear ratio, self cutting, etc.


Are the vintage locking Gotohs staggered height? Are any of the lighter weight (lighter than Sperzels) locking tuners staggered?


Are the vintage locking Gotohs staggered height? Are any of the lighter weight (lighter than Sperzels) locking tuners staggered?

Gotohs are one of the, if not the lightest....IIRC around 7oz, some of the Sperzels are like 14oz...Just something to consider.


2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy
I think the Gotohs are staggered, or at least available that way. They're great. I actually like Sperzels better, but they aren't bad...


Weight wise, here’s from Phil Jacoby:

"Tuner weights
With associated bushings, washers, nuts and screws
Weighed using a Pelouze digital postal scale

Schaller Fender style locking, metal buttons 9.6 oz
Sperzel Trimlok locking w/ plastic button 7.0 oz
Sperzel Soundlok w/plastic button 4.6 oz
-these are the ones Jim is describing with the friction lock
Gibson Kluson Dlx, 10mm nut, plastic buttons 6.6 oz
Fender style Kluson Dlx, bushings, by Gotoh 5.0 oz
Grovers w/ metal tulips (90s ES 165) 9.0 oz"

Gotoh kluson tuners actualy have a few variations/models:

#1. Your standard kluson tuners either 6in line or 3+3 as found on Fender US Vintage or similar strats, Gibson LP’s and PRS McCarty, among others.

#2. Same as #1 but with fixed staggered height

#3. Same as #1 but with height adjustable posts

#4. Same as #1 but lockings

#5. Same as #1 but with both #3 and #4.

#6. Same as #1 and #3 to #5 but with their newest self-lubing “lubri-plate” technology and “rock solid” string posts that don’t move sideway/laterally and have zero play.

They all have 1:15 gear ratio.

#6 being very hard to find and expensive.

These Gotoh all look 99% just like the original ones. You can’t detect any visual difference unless you look closely. The original post split shaft where the string enters and wraps is now gone and replaced with a slot (like on a slot head screw) for turning the shaft down to clamp the string.

If you want the lightest tuners and don't mind the modern, non-vintage look, the new Hipshots locking tuner only weighs at 1.164oz singly, yes just over one ounce. They lock just like Sperzels and Schaller.

Brett Faust

A personal favorite is the Gotoh staggered from Allparts.A vintage look and graduated slots as well as posts.Plus they don't cost an arm and a leg.
If you are not stuck on the vintage look ,Hipshot is a very good choice.The tuners are available with staggered posts as well.


The Hipshots are pretty nice looking, very clean. That weight is pretty hard to argue with, too. Thanks for all the options so far, I've got a lot of reading to do!

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