Looking For Cheap But Well Made Locking Tuners

Discussion in 'Gear Chat' started by MichaelR, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. MichaelR

    MichaelR Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I know this subject has been covered but lets do it again because I need some for my FF338. I don't want to get to much invested in the Firefly because the attraction is the price in the first place right? I find the guitar itself is damn well made for the price but of course the hardware cant be top of the line for that price. The pots and pickups work well enough and I have already replaced the bridge with a cheaper roller bridge Now I'd like to do the same with the tuners so I'm looking for your input in this area, thanks.
     
  2. MichaelR

    MichaelR Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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  3. slowhand84

    slowhand84 Well-Known Member

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    Honestly I've found that tuners are one place where you really don't wanna "cheap out" on a guitar, so rather than spending $30 for something offbrand that may have flimsy parts or cause issues I would just look into finding a used set of locking Sperzels or another well made set of tuners. I've always loved Sperzels the most and you can sometimes find a used set for around $30-35 popping up on Reverb, Ebay, etc.

    I'll also add that while I agree with not sinking a ton of money into a cheap guitar...if the guitar is generally well made, adding some high end components (which you can save a ton on if you buy them used) is often a great way to go.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019

  4. jtcnj

    jtcnj Well-Known Member

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    I have had good experience with Wilkinson locking from GFS, non locking budget tuners from Jin Ho (I think they make the Wilkinson stuff), and Musiclily Pro series.
     
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  5. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy Well-Known Member

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    Agree on this one. I got burnt on cheaping out on tuners on my mod projects. However, GFS seems to have nice ones, even with their XGP electronics.
     
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  6. Chad

    Chad Well-Known Member

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    hipshot locking tuners can be found on ebay for about $50-55... they are amazing! They have universal mounting plates and can mount on any guitar without having to drill all the extra stuff. That way, if you ever sell the guitar, you can put the old tuners back on and save the hipshots for something else.
     
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  7. idiotsdelight

    idiotsdelight Well-Known Member

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    I'm with slowhand on this.

    First, are the original tuners faulty? In all my years of this nonsense, I've had surprisingly few tuners that the mechs were actually not holding. It's usually the gear ratio that everyone dislikes. If they work I leave 'em now. I'd save my $ for something else.

    Every tuner is a locking tuner if you string it right.
     
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  8. Aullucci

    Aullucci Well-Known Member

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    +1
    I have a set of the locking wilkinsons on my AL2K and they work great. Think I paid $30...
     
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  9. mozz

    mozz Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Yeah, i'd like to know the problem with the factory tuners. Just the gear ratio? Not holding tune is usually the nut or using factory junk strings.
     
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  10. MichaelR

    MichaelR Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Its the gear ratio, they seem to hold tune just fine.
     
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  11. Powertrip240

    Powertrip240 Well-Known Member

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    Wilkinson EZ-LOK. That's all I use now, if I have to replace tuners.
     
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  12. Mickey

    Mickey Gandalf the Intonationer

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    +1 :)

    usually about $25 (or less) for a set.
     
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  13. mozz

    mozz Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Can you tell us the ratio? Common grover types are usually 18-1.
     
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  14. backinit

    backinit Well-Known Member

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  15. Mickey

    Mickey Gandalf the Intonationer

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    If you are talking Wilkinson EZ-LOK tuners, they are about the same ratio as Grovers.
     
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  16. MichaelR

    MichaelR Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Ah good I like the 18 to 1 ratio or the Grovers I own and so was hoping to get something pretty close to that.
     
  17. Cyphre

    Cyphre Well-Known Member

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    Me too...!!!
    Although I did just put Grover locking tuners on my Dot last night and I have to say you can feel the difference in quality.

    The EZ-LOK Tuners work really well though on pretty much all the rest of my guitars
     
  18. MichaelR

    MichaelR Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I think I'll go with these because the gear ratio sounds right and they look easy to use with nothing needing to be tightened down or self trimming which I have found don't work that well on the high E. I just read that they are 19 to 1 making them a tad better than the Grover ratio.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  19. MichaelR

    MichaelR Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I had a set of Grover lockers and they worked well but they are over budget for this guitar, plus I want to try the Wilkinson EZ-LOK just to see if I like them. Another thing I was thinking about is that the EZ-LOK tuners have the hold down screw at a 45% angle same as the firefly so hopefully no drilling.
     
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  20. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member Supporting Member+ Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    The EZ-LOKs do what Wilkinson says, just be prepared to need pliers to install strings as well as take them off. I have a few pairs, but Planet Waves Auto-Trims are the bees knees: no tools needed, fast changes, and locking! They cost a little more than the EZ-LOKs, but they are WAAAAY easier!
     

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