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Old 11.22.11, 8:24 AM
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Are Locking Tuners more better than Double Locking?

Since playing guitar, I only uses and played an ordinary tremolo equipped instrument. Haven't owned yet guitar w/ locking tuners or double locking floyd rose typed tremolo.

I'm planning to buy electric guitar, but was wondering if those w/ Locking tuners are really good in making guitar tune stable and can do what double locking tremolo does. The Floyd rose type looks complicated to me and could be hard to "maintained" (am I right?)...and it could only add to the price of the guitar...(am I right again?) ...

Any advice and suggestion from those who owned and played guitar with locking tuners and double locking tremolo for a long time...?

And also, what guitar brand do you think has offered the best double locking tremolo (if double locking is the choice)...price, performance, durability, maintenance and ease of use.

Tnx...
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Old 11.22.11, 9:10 AM
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Locking tuners will help keep your tuning stable if the problems are caused by the tuners slipping. Most of the time its the nut, saddles or string trees that cause binding and tuning problems though. If you don't want to bother with a full floyd rose system I'd try getting a good nut and set of saddles and having them professionally set up for your string gauge first. Its also important to have good stringing technique so that any slipping that might happen isn't coming from how you wind your strings. I'd bet you don't even need locking tuners after that.

I've had nothing but great experiences with graph-tech nuts and saddles, in fact its the first thing I put on any new guitar I get and I haven't broken a string or had any major stability issues for a long time.

Of course there are probably situations involving extreme dive-bomb style tremolo use that would cause even the best set up to go out of tune. Floyd rose systems are best suited to those situations.
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Old 11.22.11, 9:44 AM
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Also, I was wondering if the ads in GraphTech String Saver saddles are really true. Did it really works...I mean...how long does it take before you have a broken string using this saddles? And did it really sounds good compared to other guitar nuts and saddles, even compared to double locking nuts?

One thing that attracts me of getting a double locking floyd rose type tremolo (aside from stable tune) was the savings that could be have on string. That everytime there's a broken string that the player just have to loosen the nut and move the broken string into the saddle and tighten it again. But if Graphtech string saver saddles w/ locking tuner could make strings to last forever then maybe I have to choose string saver coz it says that it has more sustain.

What do you think?
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Old 11.22.11, 5:39 PM
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I probably represent an extreme end of the spectrum of opinion but:

Machine heads, apart from ones with plastic gears or made of 100% wool, don't slip.

The most common issue is excess string winding at the machine head capstan. Any time you alter the tension on the string how this "wrap" sits can get reset causing an alteration in overall return point. Properly installing your string with a minimum of wraps (I use 1 maximum) completely solves this issue. Which leads me to the "Save on string breakages" benefit. Even if the string broke on the bridge saddle to have enough free string at the machine head capstan would indicate that you had way too much there to start with. Now with a guitar that has a locking nut this isn't the same problem that it is on a guitar that has no locking nut but it really only "saves" money on bridge breakages. I don't break enough strings for this to be a break point consideration for me.

Tuning stability on a normal "vintage" strat tremolo is a total non-issue. Blackmore/SRV/Hendrix all did the most extreme stuff imaginable on normal strat tremolos. Properly set up you can do full strings flapping dive bombs and go back to 100% in tune with a standard strat tremolo.

Finally, and this is where I get nasty, Floyd Rose systems are designed by guitar techs for guitar techs. They have a huge design flaw that (despite expending decades on Tremolo block material research) they have yet to resolve. THE INTONATION SETTING SCREW IS BLOCKED BY THE STRING. This makes setting up a Floyd rose (especially one that has no trem lock installed) a hideous time consuming process that unnecessarily stresses the strings to the point that after setting one up you should immediately restring it. Not sure how this factors into the saving on string cost equation. More to the point if you didn't do it yourself it probably cost you over $100 to get it done. If all that hasn't made you chuck the Floyd Rose catalogue as far away as your arm can then consider that you need to carry a whole set of special tools with you just to tune your guitar and change strings. Sucks if you misplace one.

*breaths*

But no doubt they have their good points..
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Old 11.23.11, 2:51 AM
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I have String Savers on my Strat - they sound great and they have reduced string breakage but I wouldn't try and get strings to last for too long on any guitar. I'm a big fan of changing strings often. Old or rusty strings don't intonate properly, go out of tune easily and (to my ears) sound awful.
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Old 11.23.11, 3:34 AM
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I'm really old school. I have had more tuning instability issues on Fenders with 3 bolt micro tilt necks than anything else. To me a properly set up Strat standard trem is a work of art and engineering genius that, once set up, can be maintained almost indefinitely with pencil lead, a spot of 3 in 1 oil, and a Qtip head.
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Old 11.23.11, 9:05 AM
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As far as the Graph Tech saddles - I don't think I've broken a string since I started using them 3+ years ago. As Lobsty said though I still change strings fairly often to keep the intonation correct, only difference is that now I get to choose when I do that instead of having to do it in the middle of a practice or something.

I should get paid for recommending their products so much, but really they're just my favourite upgrades!
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Old 11.23.11, 10:19 AM
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I can confirm that graphite saddles definitely reduce string breakage but also suck a little high end out of your tone, at least that's what they did on my Strat.
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Old 11.23.11, 1:14 PM
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Pencil lead is graphite. A little in the string grooves does the same thing more or less and does not affect the tone. Also rub some on the saddles where the strings touch. If you play, you willbreak strings.
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Old 11.23.11, 2:12 PM
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The Floyd Rose system is by far one of the more stable systems as far as tuning, as the string is basically locked at the two points where it would be most likely to break. I love using it for divebombs, but I'm hard on my guitars, and have to be able to have my Dimebag squeels! To each their own though. If you're looking to save money on strings, a new guitar isn't going to do that, and strings corrode over time.

I used the old pencil trick back in the day on my first strat, and worked well in the long run, until I sold it, when it needed a new nut from the heavier gauge strings I started using. I set up my Les Paul with locking tuners just cause I could, as well as to make stringing it a lot easier for me. It has a graphite nut and a tone pros bridge as well though, yes, my guitars are modded.

So as far as Floyd Rose goes, if you want to change tunings, forget it, I usually spend 3 hours just to set up mine again, but if you keep the same tuning, and wail on your bar a lot, it's definately worth a look, for as long as you stick in the same tuning, and the same brand and gauge of strings, it's a breeze once you know the process. If you're new to them, you're going to have to learn the process of it.

Locking Tuners are just a way to say easier string changes, and you don't have to wind as much string for it to "set". A decent set of tuners does the same though, just the locking part makes it seem cooler to stay in tune.... With a decent nut, and mid grade bridge, it stays in tune quite nicely, but these are the other factors, as a floyd rose system includes both the nut and the bridge that lock, with normal tuners.

I haven't broken a string in years, but when I was gigging, I replaced them every week to two weeks, and now, about every month, maybe month and a half roughly. Strings are something to always stock up on, any person on this forum would more then likely agree.
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Old 11.23.11, 2:28 PM
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I have always bought strings in bulk and replace them every third gig. I never break a string at the nut. Nothing wrong with Floyds if it's your thing. Personally I do not care for locking nuts. Old habits diE hard.
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Old 11.24.11, 12:26 AM
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I like locking tuner even thought apart from my jazzmaster none of my guitars has a tremolo. They're very convenient when restringing. I can't say much about their effect on tuning stability because none of my guitars has much trouble about that whether locking tuners or not.

Last edited by keksdose; 11.24.11 at 12:27 AM. Reason: typos
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Old 11.24.11, 10:23 AM
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Locking tuners should do what you want. If you have a problem with excessive string breakage, though, your problem is likely elsewhere. You could have a saddle burr, a binding nut, a bad break angle, or some other problem. Floyds can be a pain to maintain and might not be worth it for someone who is happy with vintage style trems. NoFroBro pretty much had the right points about the matter.
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