How Do Locking Tuners Work?

Written by scott howard
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How Do Locking Tuners Work?
Locking tuners continue to show how guitars evolve (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Andrew Barden)

Keeping a guitar equipped with a non-locking tremolo in tune is a challenge for many players. Locking tuners are evolving into a tool to not only prevent string slippage, but also promote flexibility and ease of use for guitarists.

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Locking Tuner Features

As with standard tuners, strings wrap then thread through a hole in the tuning peg. Locking tuners employ a nut, cap, or screw---depending on manufacturer---which threads over the tuning peg, securing the strings. String slippage is reduced and retuning remains as simple as turning the tuning key.

Unlocking the Nut

Since locking tuners clamp the string at the tuning peg, rather than the nut, as with modern-age locking tremolo systems, the process of traditional tuning and string replacement remains unchanged.

Tone Is In the Nut

Guitars equipped with locking nuts---made of a variety of metals---produce a brighter tone. Locking tuners won't affect tone, but rather allow the nut to shape part of the guitar's warmer tones.

Modification Not Required

Any prospect of routing or drilling to the guitar body is eliminated, as locking tuners are secured to the headstock in the same manner as traditional tuners.

Style Variety

Locking tuners come in styles mirroring any current headstock configuration. The most common setups are three-per side or six-in-line, in right or left hand models. Black, chrome or brushed chrome finishes are also available.

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