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Wilkinson "ez-lok" Tuners


GregP
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I'm thinking of adding a set of these as an 'upgrade' to my Pacifica, and maybe to use them on a forthcoming Lap Steel project as well.

Now, despite the name, I understand that they're not truly 'locking' tuners. BUT, due to the simple engineering, I wonder if they're at least an improvement over standard tuners. I can't find an official Wilkinson site, but an eBay auction describes them:

Brand new and really cool. A great full sized 3x3 tuner set with famous Wilkinson quality. These feature string post holes drilled at 90 degrees from each other. Pull the string through one hole real tight, wrap 3/4 around the post, pull tight through the other hole. Tune to pitch, cut the string- DONE. Use the top hole first for the E, A and D, use the bottom hole first for the G, B and E and on many guitars you have enough stagger to do away with the string tree!

Here's the eBay auction while the link's still alive: Click me!

Basically, the short version is that there are 2 holes instead of the 1 that goes through standard tuner posts. They're also staggered in height, though that's not a big deal for me. Because they're not straight, the windings have more 'grab' when you tune to pitch, meaning that you don't have to have as many wraps, and that they should theoretically hold on better than a standard tuner.

The other option, if I don't go with these, is the "locking tuners" (doesn't seem to say brand name or anything) found for $30US (+shipping) at WD music. The Wilkinson ones are $27 + shipping from GuitarFetish eBay store. The WD one seem more like 'true' locking tuners, but not necessarily high quality. The locking mechanism looks suspect, and they're certainly "no-name" tuners.

Neither seem to indicate the gear ratio, though the generic (ie. $9.99 if they were bought retail, I'd wager!) tuners on the Pacifica aren't going to be any better so it's pretty much a non-issue.

Greg

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I'm thinking of adding a set of these as an 'upgrade' to my Pacifica, and maybe to use them on a forthcoming Lap Steel project as well.

Now, despite the name, I understand that they're not truly 'locking' tuners.  BUT, due to the simple engineering, I wonder if they're at least an improvement over standard tuners.  I can't find an official Wilkinson site, but an eBay auction describes them:

Brand new and really cool. A great full sized 3x3 tuner set with famous Wilkinson quality. These feature string post holes drilled at 90 degrees from each other. Pull the string through one hole real tight, wrap 3/4 around the post, pull tight through the other hole. Tune to pitch, cut the string- DONE. Use the top hole first for the E, A and D, use the bottom hole first for the G, B and E and on many guitars you have enough stagger to do away with the string tree!

Here's the eBay auction while the link's still alive: Click me!

Basically, the short version is that there are 2 holes instead of the 1 that goes through standard tuner posts. They're also staggered in height, though that's not a big deal for me. Because they're not straight, the windings have more 'grab' when you tune to pitch, meaning that you don't have to have as many wraps, and that they should theoretically hold on better than a standard tuner.

The other option, if I don't go with these, is the "locking tuners" (doesn't seem to say brand name or anything) found for $30US (+shipping) at WD music. The Wilkinson ones are $27 + shipping from GuitarFetish eBay store. The WD one seem more like 'true' locking tuners, but not necessarily high quality. The locking mechanism looks suspect, and they're certainly "no-name" tuners.

Neither seem to indicate the gear ratio, though the generic (ie. $9.99 if they were bought retail, I'd wager!) tuners on the Pacifica aren't going to be any better so it's pretty much a non-issue.

Greg

I have a set on an in progress guitar, havent strung them yet but they seem nice.

Email a couple people who purchased them and ask, I do it and for every 3 I get 1 reply. I ask allot of ebayers about products they purchased.

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I'm planning on making my own --at least, giving it a go.

It's really just a matter of drilling a second hole in the shaft. The main consideration is that normal tuners aren't made for having two holes, so I'm not sure how much that will weaken the shaft. And I don't know how easy it is to drill into the shaft either...maybe it's not that easy?

But that's why I'll be using a set of cheap tuners for a start.

Anyway, it's out of curiosity, mostly. The locking tuners I usually buy (and prefer) are $43 at StewMac...not significantly more expensive.

The simplicity of the Wilkinson design really appeals to me though.

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Idch: I don't know about you, but 26 dollars is already rock-bottom price, and is (in my book) quite significantly less than 43 bucks. Why bother risking messing up a perfectly good set of tuners (particularly risking chipping the finish/coating, leaving slightly raggedy edges in a place you really don't want them) if these will set you back so little?

They look nifty, though. Think I'll stick to Gotohs, though.

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Idch: I don't know about you, but 26 dollars is already rock-bottom price, and is (in my book) quite significantly less than 43 bucks. Why bother risking messing up a perfectly good set of tuners (particularly risking chipping the finish/coating, leaving slightly raggedy edges in a place you really don't want them) if these will set you back so little?

They look nifty, though. Think I'll stick to Gotohs, though.

When I see a mountain, I got to climb it :D I mean, that's why I started building guitars...(well, actually, I only set out to build a cigar box guitar, then I accidentally stumbled into this place...)

I won't be risking a good set of tuners though. I have a bunch of mismatched tuners from incomplete sets, including a few broken tuners. I was thinking of experimenting on them.

As for the price, it's not significant enough to make me switch from my usual brand. Now, if I normally used $75 tuners, I'd be less likely to hesitate.

On the other hand, the EZ Loks come in black and I'm thinking of using black hardware for the next guitar ...in which case I'm tempted to give them a shot. I can't find Grover mini locking tuners in black.

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  • 4 months later...

Did anyone ever find out the post hole size for these Wilkinsons? I'm planning on putting a pair on both my current builds, however, I don't wanna buy them just yet... but AM getting to the point where I need to go ahead and drill the holes for them....

Chris

I just bought 2 sets of the Wilkinson EZ Loks (gold and black) from Guitar Fetish and they have a 3/8" post hole diameter. I have not installed any of them yet (I thought they were reasonably priced so decided to try them), but they seem to be of decent quality.

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I have some gold ones on one of my guitars and they keep tune well. Really cheap too.

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