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Should You Upgrade Your Tuning Keys?


Hi fam,


I know it can be super irritating when your guitar won’t stay in tune, but there are quite a few things you can do to improve the tuning stability of your guitar. If you are plagued by tuning problems, upgrading your tuning machines might be an option you want to consider. So how can you tell when/if you need to upgrade your guitar tuners or even swap them out for some locking tuning machines? That’s what we are going to cover in this video.

I ended up ordering some Hipshot locking tuners from Solo Music Gear because they seemed to be very high quality and had some unique features. The best thing about these tuners is that they come with a universal mounting plate, so you don’t have to drill any new holes in your guitar for the mounting screws. For some reason I was sent the wrong mounting plates for the tuners I ordered, but Solo Music Gear and Hipshot were more than helpful, and replaced the plates ASAP. A+ for customer service.

In this video, we try to answer the following two questions.

1- Should you upgrade the tuning keys on your guitar?

2 - Should you upgrade to locking tuners?

Here are some things to consider before going out and dropping $100-$200 on new tuning keys for your guitar.

1 - Try replacing your nut first. Most tuning problems originate at the nut, but a set of quality tuning machines can help too.

2 - Do you feel a physical problem (slipping, gaps, etc.) with your current tuning keys. If your nut is okay, then it might be worth investing in some new high-quality tuning keys.

3 - Be sure to double-check the specs on your guitar so you don’t order the wrong tuning key model. The whole diameter, post size, tuning key configuration (3x3 or 6 in-line), and the option for staggered tuning posts are all things that need to be considered.

4 - Consider getting some locking tuners. - You don’t necessarily need locking tuners for greater tuning stability, but they sure do make string changes much faster.

So should you upgrade your tuners to higher-quality tuning machines or locking tuners? Only you can answer that, but the info in this video should empower you to make that call. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Later,

Nate

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4 Comments


Tammy Anderson
Tammy Anderson
Jan 17, 2023

This is great information and a very helpful demo, Nate. I don't believe I have a need to change tuners at this time. I would love to see a video of changing the nut if there is ever an opportunity for you to capture that. Seeing as that would be the first step before tuners I'd find that helpful.

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Unknown member
Jan 24, 2023
Replying to

Yeah, next time I do that I'll try and video it. Thanks Tammy.

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Wayne Caswell
Wayne Caswell
Jan 17, 2023

Great information. Never changed Tuning keys before but will consider it now. What was the previous video on the changes you made to this guitar? I have am Ibanez AS 53 and want to upgrade it. Thanks, Wayne

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Unknown member
Jan 24, 2023
Replying to

Here you go Wayne. https://youtu.be/lviYtTs0lhE That's the link to the other video.

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