Tuners with slotted string poste for acoustic guitars


I've always played with a heavy right hand using a Fender Exta Heavy nitrocellulose pick no matter what style of music I've played as I've felt that I got the best definition and greatest volume from my Martin D-25K (try playing acoustic with 3-4 hand drummers sometime!). And, as you might imagine, I break strings often as well as having done a "Willy Nelson" on the guitar's top. When performing I've often had to change a string between songs or - with a band - during songs and something the entire set during an intermission. As such I like to be able to change the strings as quickly as possible.

Since the Sperzal tuners which came with my Martin are now sloppy a few years ago I had the "great idea" of making a mark on the top of each tuner's string post indicating the string hole so that I could more easily change the string in the dark. So I got out my Dremel tool and installed a cutoff wheel. But not anticipating that the post is brass I soon cut though into the string hole on a couple of them so I decided to then just convert them into "Fender style" open slot tuners - and this is one of the best "mistakes" I've ever accomplished! With the open slot I can change a set of strings in just a few minutes and a single broken string in less than a minutes (one of the smart ass drummers - without my knowing it - timed me). Of course I now think that this is the best thing since sliced white bread and I wonder why no tumer manufacturer, as best I can tell, offers a preslotted machine for an acoustic guitar. When my finances are better I really need to finally replace the Sperzals but I don't look forward to slotting a brand new set as the resultant tuner, while more functional, looks funky.

Do you guys know of anyone making something like this? Or any suggestions as to how to so modify a tuner in the best looking manner? Also, what's the best current production replacement tuner for my Martin for the dollar (assuming a long string post that I can slot)?


Views: 234

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

could you please share a photo ?
I believe what you are looking for are 'safety post' tuners by Kluson or Tone Pros. I have seen them in a 3x3 format. I think Grover has something similar? l have always loved this design because you never stick your fingers with string ends!
Are any of these made as 3 on a side or are all these single sided peghead Fender replacements?


I do recommend Planet Waves tuners, since they have three great advantages:
-higher ratio (18:1)
-string lock
-string cutter

You just insert the string, lock it with a twist of the base, and tune up. Can't be much simpler than that!
Sperzel "Sound-lok", is what you're looking for.
To A Lopez,

I see you didn't read my post as you tuner is the very oppostite of what works for me. First off I want to be able to change the strings in near darkness - stage, bonfire, etc., - and the original reason for marking my tuners (which resulted in the slotting) was to be able to find the string post holes in darkness. The PW tuner has the same issue as the original Sperzals and is probably even worse due to the black finish. Secondly my string breakage is at the saddle and often when the rest of the set still sound pretty good - good enough for practice, etc., - so I tend to slip a salvaged string ball over the broken end, tie a knot in it with the pliers that I keep (although I've learned to do this with a Swiss Army Knife when the pliers aren't there and the SAK is always with me) and then reuse the string for a while. Thus I don't cut the string at the peg head and I've come to like a neatly curled loop. Somehow now a string cut at the post seems wasteful and anal. Thanks for the offering but I included lots of boring detail in my original post to avoid "off target" replies. Oh, and I've never understood why anyone would need any sort of "string lock" - seem more like a marketing device - I loop the string around the post three times below the post hole, draw the string though the hole, and then make a sharp bend in the string at the post (the three loops are to force the string down to get a better break angle at the nut). I learned this trick from a woman guitarist in an early '70s issue of Guitar Player and it has worked for me for over 30 years now.


I just looked at the sound lock and I don't understand why you think that they would fit my needs - could you elaborate. First I was asking if there was a tuner that was preslotted like a Fender for three on a side - guess there's not. And secondly I wanted longer sound post. I'm not looking for a "locking" tuner - more expense and more "Murphy" for no benefit that I can tell.

It seems that no one can conjure new machine heads to please you. Perhaps you should approach a head manufacture for a custom set or maybe use multiple guitars with the same setup then you won't have to change strings in the dark.

Sorry if the Tuesday responses were a little "grouchy" folks - I was going to tone them down before posting but the machine here "burped" and then the net went down. Still I think my original queries and the core of my responses are reasonable even if I was a bit cranky in my tone.

Everybody has a bad day - I just average 5 out of 7 .

They're slotted. You run the string down the hole. Sorry to have wasted your time, best luck in your search.
You didn't waste my time - sorry if I implied so. After finally finding a good image of these they seem interesting. The Sperzels on my Martin got fairly sloppy after around 15 years or so (I wouldn't have messed with them if they weren't already "heading south") - do you have any experience as to how long these might last (although 15 years isn't bad there are Martins out there much older with the original tuners that have been played as heavily). Also can you recommend the source with the best prices - my income is limited these days and I've got to pinch pennies at least until I get through chemo.


Rob - see my original post .... Google is your friend :) Go here - top middle set.


© 2024   Created by Frank Ford.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service