Why the visceral hate for locking tuners?

Aquinas

Member
Messages
1,571
I was on a different forum - notably one with a lot of [*ahem*] traditionalists (even more than here, per capita) - and the question of locking tuners came up, specifically on a 335.

There were a lot of visceral "I HATE THEM" responses almost immediately!

Personally, I don't think they are necessary on anything without a floating trem, but I also like them and have them on my 335 (which had essentially busted Grovers on it when I got it that needed replacement anyway). They make string changes easier if you break a string on a gig and don't hurt anything. The Sperzels I have on most things are even lighter than non-Kluson tuners like Grovers, Schallers, or Gotohs!

This is not the first time I've encountered this attitude, and I still don't understand it. I get that they aren't really necessary, but why do people HATE them so much? I've had people at gigs comment on my Jazzmaster or 335 that "you don't need those, learn to use the vintage ones" even! I just don't get it, beyond "them newfangled contraptions ain't like my oldfangled ones, and that disturbs me"...

Anyone else experience this?

(Just so you know, I do know how to use vintage slot-heads, and even still have some on my main Tele. I just prefer the locking tuners.)
 

Benz2112

Supporting Member
Messages
4,631
I have no problem with a locking mechanism. These days, parts makers like Gotoh use such discreet mechanisms, while using traditional button shapes and materials, you are hard pressed to even notice the difference. What I do hate is when someone ruins the visual aesthetic of a guitar, and puts tuners on with some awkward looking buttons, like the ones Hipshot use a lot. You might as well make the buttons look like dice at that point. Ooof.
 
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11,184
The only set of locking tuners I get along with are PRS Phase II.

I had a Carvin with Sperzels that were low ratio and the mechanisms kept sticking.

I have a tele that came with Gotoh vintage locking tuners. After using them for a few years, I came to hate the locking mechanism and replaced them with Gotoh split shaft tuners.

I will go out of my way to buy non-locking tuners if I can. The last set I bought were 18:1 Hipshot tuners that are fantastic on my 1980 Ibanez AR-50. I would buy them again.

Stringing a guitar isn't difficult. Stick the string through the hole, pull back a fret and a half, kink the string, wind to pitch, stretch, tune again. Locking tuners do not hold tune any better than non-locking tuners. The only "benefit" is not winding the string around the post. Seems unnecessary.

I'm glad you like them though.
 

Aquinas

Member
Messages
1,571
The only set of locking tuners I get along with are PRS Phase II.
Weirdly, those are the ones I like the least amongst my guitars (I have two guitars with them) - I dislike the need to use a coin to unlock them. Otherwise they perform admirably, so I keep them, but the coin thing bugs me!

I had a Carvin with Sperzels that were low ratio and the mechanisms kept sticking.
I have 7 guitars with Sperzels, and none of that problem. They are "low ratio", sort of - yes, they are technically 12:1, but there are physical parameters (shaft external diameter) that make them feel more comparable to 18:1 - but I've never had issues with them sticking. Luck?

Stringing a guitar isn't difficult. Stick the string through the hole, pull back a fret and a half, kink the string, wind to pitch, stretch, tune again. Locking tuners do not hold tune any better than non-locking tuners. The only "benefit" is not winding the string around the post. Seems unnecessary.
But is it hurting anything? Why does something have to be necessary to be a decent option? That's the attitude I truly don't understand - "it isn't a requirement, so therefore it is bad". What is the impetus behind this way of thinking?
 

rawkguitarist

Member
Messages
10,852
I've never seen "visceral hate" or even just regular hate for them... I don't dislike a type of tuner. What is a pet peeve of mine is that too many people think they help maintain tuning. Basically the only benefit of locking tuners is making string changes a bit quicker. Properly wrapped and stretched strings (which also tightens the wraps on the tuning post) offer tuning stability as good as it gets.

The Koll in my avatar came with Hipshot locking tuners even though I didn't specify them. Didn't bother Saul with it. I just replaced them with non-locking Hipshots because I simply prefer standard type tuners.
 

Yamaha 350

Member
Messages
6,788
Some hate them and some do not. Even on new guitars. They hate them. Each person is different. And is entitled to his or her opinion. I like them myself no hate here. Doug on YouTube EytschPi42 recently said in a few videos he would expect to see them on expensive guitars. He thinks all expensive should have them so that is the vibe I got from the comments he made. Some just do not like change.
 
Messages
11,184
But is it hurting anything? Why does something have to be necessary to be a decent option? That's the attitude I truly don't understand - "it isn't a requirement, so therefore it is bad". What is the impetus behind this way of thinking?
I like how you rebutted my entire post except for the "I'm glad you like them" part.

They don't work for me. They're not going to cease to exist either. It's super easy to find a different solution. And I do.
 




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