1 (edited by Tenement Funster 2015-05-09 13:18:03)

Topic: Locking Tuners VS Locking Nut

A while back, I mentioned that I'd removed the trem from my Les Paul, as it wasn't staying in tune well. Some of you recommended either locking tuners or a locking nut, and I have zero experience with either one. Some manufacturers use one or the other on their tremolo models, and I'd like to know which is the most preferable, and more importantly why.

My LP has regular, non-locking Grovers on it now, so I was going to switch to the Grover locking tuners, since the measurements are identical:


A locking nut is less expensive, but it just seems from observation that it would create a stress point on the strings, that locking tuners wouldn't. So once again ... I'm calling on the collective expertise of the Chordie Universe, to give me some guidance. I miss having the trem, but don't want to keep retuning like I was before.

Re: Locking Tuners VS Locking Nut

I have been using Guitar Grease and have no problems with tuning when using a tremolo I put some on the nut and on the saddles or any part that comes in contact with the strings. One little container has lasted me over a year, I have both locking and standard tuners I like them both it  also depends on the tuning ratio too some tuners slip more than others too I get guitar grease from Stu Mack

"Growing old is not for sissies"

Re: Locking Tuners VS Locking Nut

I personally find the locking nut a pain, even with a Floyd Rose,  especially when new strings are settling down.

Gonna get me some of that grease smile

Re: Locking Tuners VS Locking Nut

I also hate locking nuts. They get in the way.

The purposes of both are to 1) isolate the string from it's windings and 2) mitigate string stick/slip on the nut. String windings (on your peg) slip and move around a lot and take a while to settle. When you trem you relax tension on the string which loosens the windings, which can cause them to need to re-settle, which means your guitar goes out of tune. Locking trems clamp the strings down at the nut, which prevents string grab at the nut (the string doesn't move at the nut if the nut is clamped) and also takes the windings out of the equation.

I prefer locking tuners with a well cut and well lubed nut because they have one added advantage over locking nuts: String changes. No more winding strings at all. You just pull the string through the peg, clamp it off and tune. To me it has all the advantages of a locking nut and then some. (If you've ever had to re-string in the middle of a song you can related to this.)

Plus you don't need to modify your guitar to add them.
Plus you don't need to carry around any special hardware (i.e. a hex nut) to use them.

Re: Locking Tuners VS Locking Nut

I agree with the previous posts! Especially Baldguitardude. As Twiddle mentioned, the locking nut is a pain...when settling in new strings, it's a constant loosen the nut (or leave it loose until strings stretch and settle). If you use open tunings...it's once again having to loosen the locking nut. I put locking tuners on mine making it much easier and faster to change strings (plus no slippage) ...and as Harding mentioned, get some Guitar grease for the nut.

A lot could depend on your bridge set-up too. A Floyd Rose or Kayler will have fine tuning knobs to tweak and adjust your tuning once everything is locked down...

Middleaged Redneck sorta guy who refuses to grow up...passion for music, especially Southern Rock but like bout everything cept Gangsta/Hip Hop. Collect guitars, mandolins, and love to ride Harleys.

6 (edited by Tenement Funster 2015-05-12 09:36:00)

Re: Locking Tuners VS Locking Nut

Thanks for all the great advice, folks ... you guys are the best!

I've ordered the Grover locking tuners (http://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and_Par … uners.html), and picked up some guitar grease at the local music shop (http://www.bigbends.com/). Once the tuners arrive, I'll install them and the trem, lube the nut, and we'll whammy away to see how the new setup works. Again, thanks for the help fellow-Chordians ... much obliged!

Re: Locking Tuners VS Locking Nut

What an adventure this is turning out to be!

Ordered these from Stew-Mac back in May, and they were out of stock, with no anticipated delivery date. Tried several other places (All Parts, Q-Parts, Mojo Tone, etc.) with the same answer. Finally got ahold of someone at Grover, and they're production (out of Asia, as usual) on the gold tuners was "delayed" for some reason. My LP already has gold regular Grover tuners, so I'd like to stick with these so it's and easy in-and-out. I finally got them ordered from a local shop, and even though they're a wee bit more expensive, there'll be no freight charge. They anticipate delivery in mid-September.

Just all seems more than crazy ... had to vent!

Re: Locking Tuners VS Locking Nut

I'll be interested to see how that works with the whammy since you still need to wrap the string.

Re: Locking Tuners VS Locking Nut

You make a great point, BGD ... string windings certainly would affect tuning stability. This particular Grover model has an internal cam, which locks the string down first, and then brings it to tune is less than one turn. That was the main reason I went with this one, instead of fiddling with thumb wheels on the underside, like most tuners. I got to see them demonstrated by a guy who has them on a real Les Paul (Gibson), and they're the cat's pyjamas. Here the doodoo on them:

https://www.grotro.com/Grover/2154a941- … 106-Series

Re: Locking Tuners VS Locking Nut

If it has the cam you should be fine. Maybe just 1 winding will suffice?

Re: Locking Tuners VS Locking Nut

These things finally arrived (Grover 106G locking tuners) and they're installed on my Les Paul. They only needed a 3/4 turn to bring it to tune, so coupled with some nut grease, it now stays in tune when using the trem. Even the opening segment of "Sorrow" by Pink Floyd didn't knock it out of tune ... good addition.