Thanks to the United States Government and their solution to problems (bribes), I now have 300 tax-deductible dollars to use at my leisure. I've decide this would be a perfect time to "revive" my Strat so to speak. I'm getting two DiMarzio Area 58s, and one Area 61. That comes out to about $210 + shipping. Include the cost of a full setup and installation, it reaches around $300.

Now, my dilemma is whether or not to invest also in locking tuners (also 70 dollars). Seeing as how I will get the Strat bridge set-up to a floating position, the tuning stability may not be that great. The Ibanez RG550 I own has a Lo-Pro so I've never really had to worry about tuning stability as of late.

So, those of you with experience using locking tuners, how much of a difference do they make? Is it worth spending the extra money?

Last edited by JeffWiredBeck24 at Aug 30, 2008,
I have a set of Sperzel locking tuners on my SG. They're nice, but if I were to go back, I don't think I'd do it a second time. I don't think I need them to make my guitar have good tuning stability.

Here's a guide I made on tuning stability:
There's several factors, when you're trying to keep a guitar in tune:
- Stringing technique
- proper setup
- As little friction as possible.

So let's attack these possible problems.
Friction - Your guitar has what are called string trees:

The circled metal thing keeps the string from popping out of the string nut. Useful, but they also create friction that prevents the string from returning to its proper pitch after a bend or something. So...apply some sort of lubrication to to the underside of the string tree, as pointed to by the arrow. Use something like Big Bends Nut Sauce, or Guitar Grease. Even pencil lead will work. Simply grind the pencil lead into dust on a paper, and use some of this dust on the point of friction. You can even use machine oil.
The same problem occurs at the string nut. Each groove has a bit of friction. So you can apply the same lubricant there, underneath the string, and that will help. You can also buy the appropriate replacement nut, but the nut should be made of graphite. There's less friction from that material.

Moving on to setup. There's a lot of material to cover with setup, far more than I feel inclined to go into...but I can point you towards some helpful links:

Lastly, stringing technique. Yes, it's possible to string a guitar improperly. I actually mess with my Strats trem a lot, and it stays in tune really nicely. Of course, I have it lubricated at the proper points of friction and have a graphite nut, but I don't use locking tuners or anything like that. The secret? Stringing your guitar the right way! Here's a link that will show you how I do it:

Just that stringing technique alone is very powerful, in terms of tuning stability. I have a floating setup on my Strat and it works quite well.

Any reason you're going with those pickups?
^Thanks, I didn't exactly have a problem with set-up, but I suppose that extra push for tuning stability. I suppose it's not worth the cost.

As for the pickups, my guitar teacher has them on his Strat and they sound incredible. True single-coils, yet completely hum canceling. They handle gain quite well too.
Well, they're NOT true single coils. They simply can't be, and also be hum canceling. They're simply stacked humbuckers wired in parallel, in a single coil housing.

I'm personally not a fan of noiseless single coils. Don't sound convincing enough to me.

BTW, if you do dive bombs, it might be worth the tuners. Pulling up is fine for my Strat. It's dive bombing that makes it get wonky.