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Post subject: Tuning Up or Down with Locking Tuners
Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:45 pm
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In the Additional Hints section of the Fender Stratocaster Setup Guide, the instructions for locking tuners is to "... go past the note and tune down to pitch" but no reason is given. http://www.fender.com/en-CA/support/art ... etup-guide

I've tuned up to pitch and down to pitch on my guitars with locking tuners and I can't say I've noticed any difference with regard to the guitars staying in tune. Obviously there must be a reason for the tune down with locking tuners advice. What I am overlooking?

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Post subject: Re: Tuning Up or Down with Locking Tuners
Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:41 pm
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Yeah, that's goofy. I've also tried both ways, and it doesn't seem any better than the tried and true "regular" way. It seems to be about any slop in the gears of the tuner, in which case it makes more sense to tune up to the note, and less sense to go past and then tune down to the note.

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Post subject: Re: Tuning Up or Down with Locking Tuners
Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:11 pm
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I always tune up. I find when tunning down It don,t hold tune as well.


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Post subject: Re: Tuning Up or Down with Locking Tuners
Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:39 am
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Well, from a purely physical point of view, there would be no difference, unless you decide for ONE of both options, not both. That means, if you choose downtuning, ALWAYS downtune!

But there's one more thing to consider:
In the vast majority of cases, your strings will (if at all) go flat after a while of playing.
That means you will have to tune UP in most cases. If you have decided to use downtuning to the intended tuning, you would have to go up beyond the intended note and tune down again, which would mean "more work" than just instantly tune up to the note.

Generally both methods are done because of slight play in the tuners' gears.

Of course it can happen that your tuning goes sharp due to temperature changes but I personally would suspect that to happen in fewer times than going flat.

I think I catch myself correcting flat tuning way more often than sharp tunings, which would lead me to the decision to always preferring to use the mentioned uptuning method, rather than the downtuning method.

Does that make any sense outside my head???? :roll: :?:

Besides my purely scientific approach to this topic, I hardly have long time experience with locking tuners. I am used to standard tuners and vintage tuners. I just recently got a strat with locking tuners.
I dare to assume that it doesn't make a difference whether you use this or that type of tuners.
They all can have slight play in the gears.

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Post subject: Re: Tuning Up or Down with Locking Tuners
Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:09 am
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I always tune up, because the ear is trained to hear sharp notes better than flat ones.
If the guitar goes sharp in tuning during playing there´s not that much you can do.
If it goes flat you can easily (enough practice) bend it in tune.
Jimi was a master in playing out of tune but bend the strings in tune during solos.
Malmsteen uses the trem to put the strings back in tune.
I don´t use locking tuners though.

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Robin

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Post subject: Re: Tuning Up or Down with Locking Tuners
Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:49 am
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Thanks for the replies, guys. It would appear that most of us are in agreement yet none of us knows why Fender recommends tuning down with locking tuners. Of course an e-mail to Fender could solve the mystery but half the fun is trying to figure things out on our own. :D

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Post subject: Re: Tuning Up or Down with Locking Tuners
Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:13 am
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You'll find that the question of "why...?" applies to many, many things that Fender does. Some other really strange things in the setup recommendations that are absolute nonsense, picture anomalies on product descriptions, mislabeled switch positions on some schematics, etc. Maybe they do these things so that we all can relate to them, or to give us something to talk about. :lol:

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Post subject: Re: Tuning Up or Down with Locking Tuners
Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:40 pm
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I turns out there is a reason for the tune down to pitch policy with locking tuners. It would never have occurred to me but here is what the good folks at Fender provided as an explanation.
Fender Consumer Relations wrote:
That is just ensure that the string is stable on the tuning post, when you overwind the string slightly the grooves of the string can settle onto the post eliminating any "slippage" during first time use.
I guess the degree to which the string grooves settle onto the tuning post would depend on the type of string.

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Post subject: Re: Tuning Up or Down with Locking Tuners
Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:06 pm
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That makes no sense at all.

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Post subject: Re: Tuning Up or Down with Locking Tuners
Posted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:06 am
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I was thinking that if there is anything to this at all, maybe tuning up or down to pitch has more to do with the nut than the tuning posts. I could imagine that tuning down to pitch is better because the string has enough tension on it to pull back through the nut even if the string slots in the nut are binding a bit. However, with a non-locking tuning post, you have wraps of string which would loosen if tuning down to pitch with a slot that is binding. Once tuned to pitch that slack beyond the nut would eventually release causing the string to go flat. Since there are no wraps on a locking tuner that slack would be minimized.

Or not.... :?

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Post subject: Re: Tuning Up or Down with Locking Tuners
Posted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:50 am
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shimmilou wrote:
That makes no sense at all.
:lol: This was my reaction as well.

It took a few reads but I managed to understand what was being described. Then upon further pondering, and taking into consideration my own practical experience and that of others, I have to say that the reason for the tune down recommendation doesn't make sense.

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Post subject: Re: Tuning Up or Down with Locking Tuners
Posted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:30 am
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Yah, I read that instruction too, some time ago, can't remember when. I just assumed it was a typo or a mistake in hearing a dictation. I cannot think of any other explanation for it to be there. Locking or non-locking I tune up to pitch, not down.

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Post subject: Re: Tuning Up or Down with Locking Tuners
Posted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:52 am
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It's spring tension and the opposing movement of the fine tuners on a FR. On a FR, the strings are locked and can't twist. In as much as you need to balance the string tension on a hard tail until everything is synced by tuning up, you have to balance both string tension and spring tension *and* let the fine tuners slip into their exact positions on the FR -- the springs being more resistent and the fine tuners are at the bottom of the guitar, it makes sense to yield to the springs and fine tuners, not the strings and nut lock, hence, you tune down to pitch to yield to the fine tuners and then the springs.

I tune over pitch, bend the strings or tune the strings back down to pitch, lock it down, work the whammy bar, adjust, and then fine tune accordingly. However, if it's happy tuning up that day, fine. If not, down. I don't argue with the FR nomore, I let it tell me what it wants to do.

I know string tension equals spring tension and the fine tuners are in the correct position when I lock it down and it's perfect pitch across the board before and after working the whammy bar hard.

New springs are a pain. New strings can be difficult if they're not *fully* stretched. The fine tuners need to be solid with no slop or binding or the whole thing falls apart over and over.

The FR drove me nutz for a bit, but...I got it now!

So, I'm assuming it's relatively the same with locking tuners and the floating bridge -- it's all about the spring tension and yielding to it by tuning over pitch and then fine tuning down.

I have locking tuners on my Hwy 1 Strat and tune over pitch, bend the strings heavily, and then tune down if they don't go out of tune, tune up and then bend again down if they go flat, then work the crap out of the whamy bar.

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Post subject: Re: Tuning Up or Down with Locking Tuners
Posted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:14 am
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As a relative newby I found this discussion really interesting and informative!
Thanks
ginop


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Post subject: Re: Tuning Up or Down with Locking Tuners
Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:58 pm
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A while back I read the setup guide and saw the tune down business. It made no sense so I contacted Fender customer service and the reply I got was not satisfying. They said "the manufacturer of the tuners said to do it that way".

I tune up.


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