Hi, I have a gibson SG and the tuning instability is driving me crazy. My understanding is that this is a pretty common problem with SGs, so I was wondering if anyone has any locking tuner recommendations - or maybe even other upgrades that could help? Objective info on this kind of stuff is pretty hard to find

The guitar is a '98 SG standard, with a couple mods already installed - pickups, some aesthetic things but also an aftermarket locking bridge (Tone Pros ABR-1, the non-notched one). I tune down a full step (D-standard) but I had it professionally set-up with EB "not even slinky"s (12-56).

Basically, I am wondering:

a.) Will locking tuners improve the situation?

b.) Which locking tuners would you guys recommend? (I would drill holes if I had to, but I would obviously prefer to avoid it)

c.) Are there any other upgrades I could get that could improve tuning stability?

Also, I have some intonation issues (seperate from the guitar falling out of tune) that are mostly due to the fact that I sweat like crazy when I play and my strings are usually worn after a day or two. Nevertheless, are there any mods I can do to make the intonation as perfect as possible? I have heard about the Buzz Feiten system, but I am not 100% sure on what exactly that is and if it is practical for my situation. Is it likely that the frets might have something to do with it, even after only about 10 years?

Thanks a lot guys,
Okay, I'll answer as best I can -

a.) They will, but not completely, as most of the tuning issues with gibson les pauls and SG's come from their extremely tempermental necks. You're going to have to adjust the truss rod very frequently either way.

b.) If you choose to do locking tuners, I'd go with Planet Waves Clip and Lock. They're reliable, durable, and they clip the string for you past a quarter turn so you don't have to use wire cutters.

c.) The Buzz Fieten bridge system would not help much in the way you're thinking. It is designed to fix the natural issue in a guitar with string length and tension so that all the notes sound evenly in proportion to one another. For example - tune your guitar to pitch and play an open G. No matter how perfectly you've tuned the axe, it will always sound a bit off on the D, G, and B strings. That's becuase the length of the neck and tension on the strings of a guitar isn't perfectly aligned. The Buzz Fieten Tuning System fixes this. It'll help, but not in the way you're thinking it will.

The frets may be worn down, depending on the degree of play you've given. I'd check into that, although it shouldn't be the complete cause of the problems you're having.
Ah... so do you think its worthwhile going for the locking tuners, or am I pretty much SOL? And would the Planet Waves ones require any extra drilling? Are they difficult to install? Would I need another setup after changing the tuners?

As for the Buzz Feiten system, I'm gonna look into that, because that sounds exactly like what I was talking about (although I guess I did word it in a confusing manner ). In terms of intonation, open chords involving notes past mid-neck are often brutally out of tune (things like 0-7-9-9-x-x or x-0-7-5-0-8)). Chances are, I'll be back with some questions about that lol.

Thanks a lot though, sorry to reply with more questions
for tuners, i believe grover locking tuners (non mini's) will do fine, since gibson uses them on their SG supremes (non locking) i dont think there will be a need for modifications. the BFTS does correct intonation, they install a bone nut, and adjust your guitar. i have 2 guitars and a bass with it, came stock this way, and it works quite well. even for major string guage changes. down side, i believe its 120 bucks to get it installed, which is cheap for a custom bone nut, and a set up.
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Quote by steven seagull
You don't argue with tubadude on Washburn-related matters, he flosses with the G string from a set of 0.12's y'know....and it's WOUND!
Ah, seems another dude already answered the questions. The advice is solid, I say go for the tuners even if they're just for locking and clipping - it's worth it. The Buzz Fieten system, while expensive, does work well for what it's for - i've got it on my ESP.
yeah, I was actually just about to post and say that, although it seems convincing, the buzz feiten system seems a little pricey... I guess I will just wait until I already need a fret redress or their patent expires lol.

No offence, but the Grovers' locking system doesnt sound as reliable as the Planet Waves ones... It's cool that you dont have to tighten a wheel to lock them in place, but I would rather have that aspect under my control you know? I think I'm gonna go with the Planet Waves ones (Plus, they look pretty badass to boot)

Thanks for all the help guys, Ill try to remember to let you know how it went after I order them off the internet and install em lol
another great locking tuner system is the schallers, ive installed them on a guitar, and they did great, just another option. i have had no experience with the planet waves
Recognised by the Official Who To Listen To List 2012

Quote by steven seagull
You don't argue with tubadude on Washburn-related matters, he flosses with the G string from a set of 0.12's y'know....and it's WOUND!
Ouch that one had to hurt. It looks like thats a really bad break and i would suggest going to a pro or to someone with experience before you doing anything.