#1
Hey guys, I was wondering if someone could show me or give me a video on how to change tuning machines.

I was also wondering how much effort is needed in changing tuning machines, and if there is anything I need to look out for. I have a MiM Tele that doesn't quite stay in tune.

Thanks.
Caution:
This post may contain my opinion and/or inaccurate information.

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#2
If the tuners you get are a perfect match, then it's as easy as undoing the screws or nuts, removing the old, replacing with new, and re-tightening the screws or nuts.

If the old ones have 1 locating pin and the new have 2 then you'll need to drill a couple of little holes for them per tuner. If the old had 2 and the new has one, then it's probably not in the same place as either of the old 2, so you'd have to drill one new one.

If they're they vintage style that screw to the headstock then you'll only have to drill if the screws are in the wrong place.

I recommend the Fender/Schaller locking tuners like they use on MIA Deluxe instruments. GC has them for $65. I put them on my Squier and now it plays as well as my MIA Strat. When you use those you can remove the inboard string tee since they're staggered.

If you run into any issues, or want info on how to know where to drill the holes, PM me for help.
#3
i have had amazing luck with grovers, always treated me good. never had a single problem. however the sperzels i bought broke after two months and they wouldn't refund me. needless to say i wasn't very happy. i have no idea why it happened but 2 out of 6. never had the problem before, i wasn't even using them at that time, i wasn't even pulling the trem, etc. so
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#4
Your tuning machines are NOT the problem. 99.9% of the time tuning problems are caused by (1) nut slots cut improperly causing the strings to catch, (2) strings wound improperly on the posts, causing them to slip, and (3) strings not stretched.

Your MIM tele has good tuners. Changing them won't solve your problem.

There is another post currently up that addresses proper string winding and stretching. https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1522662 If your nut is the problem, go to your local hardware store and get a set of torch tip cleaners. These are tiny round files, and cost only a couple dollars. For each slot, choose the file size that matches the string... slightly larger, and pass it through the slot a couple times to take away any rough edges and make sure it is wide enough. Then lubricate the slot using a pencil (graphite)... chapstick also works pretty well.
Last edited by stormin1155 at Feb 27, 2012,
#5
I've got Grovers on 2 of my guitars, but they both have locking trems/nuts, so it's not much of any issue on those anyway.

Yes, string stretching is important.

And, I do the locking method on all my guitars except the one with the locking tuners. The locking tuners save about a minute or two compared to the locking method.

Another plus to the Fender Schallers is they're staggered, so without a doubt you won't need windings. I don't think MIM tuners are staggered, so even if you did the locking method, you'd probably still need windings. Maybe windings won't cause stability issues on Tele 'cause there's no trem, but they'll at least make it take a little longer to stretch the strings. Might not be significant, though.

I'd leave nut work to a good luthier. It's way too easy to affect string height and cause fret buzz. Many guitars will never look the same with a new nut, depending on the finish up there.

Pencil lead doesn't have a measurable effect compared to a true graphite lube. And you should lube the slots and the saddles (or barrels?) where the strings contact them. Pencil lead mainly gets your nut dirty and nobody likes dirty nuts.

Changing your tuners will definitely fix your problem if you have a cracked housing. The reason I put new tuners on my Squier was that 2 of the old ones had cracked housing. And it wouldn't stay in tune worth a damn. If there's a lot of play in the shaft, or if they're visibly leaning in toward the bridge when under tension, then that could be the problem. Also check to make sure the nut on the top of the tuner is tight. If if just keeps spinning without getting any tighter, then you have a broken or stripped housing (more likely broken).

@ stormin1155: That's a pretty cool Tele you just built a couple of weeks ago. Way to go!
Last edited by jetwash69 at Feb 27, 2012,
#6
Cheap tuners are not good, in my experience. If something comes with Gotoh or Grover, I know I can trust the tuners, but if it's a knock-off, or fender name, it's probably junk. My mim strat could not stay in tune for 5 minutes when I bought it(used). It was not the nut, or not entirely. The Fender locking tuners I bought were a direct drop in, and supposedly the same ones that are on the American strats. They are a huge improvement over the stock, but they do break strings, so I wrap them once. And they still go out of tune more than I'd like, even with the graphtech nut I installed.

If I could do it again, I'd go with the sperzels or schallers. I went with the fender tuners because they use the 2 post design, so they dropped right in, but I think the Schallers do that as well.
#7
Quote by W4RP1G
Cheap tuners are not good, in my experience. If something comes with Gotoh or Grover, I know I can trust the tuners, but if it's a knock-off, or fender name, it's probably junk. My mim strat could not stay in tune for 5 minutes when I bought it(used). It was not the nut, or not entirely. The Fender locking tuners I bought were a direct drop in, and supposedly the same ones that are on the American strats. They are a huge improvement over the stock, but they do break strings, so I wrap them once. And they still go out of tune more than I'd like, even with the graphtech nut I installed.

If I could do it again, I'd go with the sperzels or schallers. I went with the fender tuners because they use the 2 post design, so they dropped right in, but I think the Schallers do that as well.


The Fender locking tuners are made by Schaller. At least the ones I got. Same goes for the strap locks and some other miscellaneous Fender parts.
#8
Quote by jetwash69
The Fender locking tuners are made by Schaller. At least the ones I got. Same goes for the strap locks and some other miscellaneous Fender parts.

Well these said made in Taiwan on the package. Just my luck to get the crappy ones, probably made by ping.
#9
Quote by W4RP1G
Well these said made in Taiwan on the package. Just my luck to get the crappy ones, probably made by ping.


Hmmmm. I think these are the ones I got: http://www.darrenriley.com/shop/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=929, but I can't remember if I got them from these guys, from MF, or what.

I thought they cost more like $80 and that was a few years ago. Maybe they've replaced them and that's why they're so cheap now? I saw some at GC the other day for $65, but I didn't check the package so I don't know if those were from the Far East.

I'm pretty sure the ones on an American Deluxe are Schallers made in USA or made in Germany, however things change, so who knows?

Maybe just gotta buy direct from Schaller now? Might not have those cool Fender "F"s on the back, though.
#11
Quote by jetwash69
Hmmmm. I think these are the ones I got: http://www.darrenriley.com/shop/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=929, but I can't remember if I got them from these guys, from MF, or what.

I thought they cost more like $80 and that was a few years ago. Maybe they've replaced them and that's why they're so cheap now? I saw some at GC the other day for $65, but I didn't check the package so I don't know if those were from the Far East.

I'm pretty sure the ones on an American Deluxe are Schallers made in USA or made in Germany, however things change, so who knows?

Maybe just gotta buy direct from Schaller now? Might not have those cool Fender "F"s on the back, though.

Those are the same one's I got, but I paid $80 too. I think fender did actually go with ping for a little while, and ping isn't anything special.

For less than $50, they are very good. For $80, there are better options.