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Interesting Sperzel Conundrum

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Ok, so I really think I'm going to name this guitar "Imperfect," seeing that Murphy MUST have his hand deep in this one.

I know a TON of people use Carvin necks and Sperzel tuners. And nobody I've heard of has said they've had any problems using the two in conjunction.

Well guess what? I've got problems with them. Go me.

My headstock is 9/16" thick. The Sperzels are for 9-to-11/16" headstocks. I drilled my first hole, for the high E tuner, and fitted the tuner in, screwing it tight.

And the string hole BARELY pokes over the top of the nut and washer. And I mean barely. I checked my Carvin, and not only was the headstock 10/16" thick, but ALL of the posts were the "high" ones. Granted, I might have wanted to take these measurements before hand, but I'm sure that others have made the same mistakes.

I can safely assure myself that the string hole (at least for the e and B strings) will not clear the body after it has been painted. I mean, it says on every website that the different tuner heights are made for 6-inline headstocks. So that's what I bought.

I suppose one alternative is to find a place that sells single Sperzels and get 2 more tall tuners. I could get away with the medium tuners in the e and B strings; I test fitted one in place. Another would be to shave some thickness off the headstock, but 9/16" is already pretty thin, I don't think it'd be structurally sound to take off any more...

low_end_fuzz actually suggested to countersink the tuners (I'm assuming the top side), which seems like a good idea. It wouldn't take off as much as thicknessing the whole head.

So... has this happened to anyone else? I'm taking a safe guess that yes, it has, to at least one other person.

If anything, this could be a warning to another noob, when buying parts.



When I said "first hole" I meant for the tiny stabilization pegs. The tuner holes themselves have been long done.

Edited by Xanthus
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From my experience, Carvin uses *unstaggered* Sperzel tuners. In other words, find the 2 sperzels in a staggered set, with the tallest posts, and that's what a whole set (all 6) of *Carvin* Sperzels are like.

Precisely, which is why it's all the more wonder for me why they even make the staggered tuners, if the shortest posts are way too short on the *thinnest* of reccomended headstock thicknesses.

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Mmm, a refund may very well be in order, though I haven't been down to the cellar to check; just got back from Maine. I'll go down tomorrow and see if countersinking the nut and washer even 1/8" can't be done.

On another note, anyone tried the Planet Waves locking tuners? How are they, aside from the obvious fact of having taller posts :D

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There are many different lengths of posts even among a single manufacturer. I use schaller locking, or Gotoh 510 Delta locking tuners, which require 1/2" headstock thicknesses. Gotoh has sets with longer shafts that work in thicker headstocks. Sperzels need a 1/2" thickness also.

Why not just adjust the thickness of your headstock to 1/2"? Then you could use almost any tuner.


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i had the same problem with the locking tuners i was going to put on my bc rich bich.only had maybe enough room for one wrap of the string if that.the tuners were also for 6 in line headstocks.

Oooh that's a problem...can't very well thin the headstock when it's already finished. :D

Stewmac has drawings of most if not all of their tuners. It's a great reference when looking for tuners if you have never used a particular model before.


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Mmm, yeah, the diagrams are helpful. I looked at them a lot before I purchased, but I was just going on what Sperzel said on their website :D Silly me!

So Doug, you said that a 1/2" thickness is stable enough? That's the only thing I'm worried about, seeing as my 5/8" Carvin guitar has developed a crack at the first tuner peg. I'd much rather thickness the headstock, than wrap my brain around a way to countersink the holes.

Thanks for the suggestions.

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