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Thread: Guyker Locking Tuners - you get what you pay for

  1. #1
    Member ross.pearson's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Lower Upper Woop Woop, WA

    Guyker Locking Tuners - you get what you pay for

    In my search for cheap alternatives, I discovered Guyker brand locking tuners on eBay. At ~$40 for a set of 6 in-line, I read some reviews around the net and thought, you know these might just do the trick.

    I was wrong!

    Absolutely the worst thing I've ever put on a guitar. Even standard non-locking tuners from any standard kit would be 100 times better. Here are some of the issues I had:

    • High E and B did not want to lock, and had to be wound around the post like standard tuners.
    • The set I bought had two registration posts instead of screws, so you end up with these ugly holes in the back of your headstock.
    • There was an incredible amount of play in the gearing, meaning you had to complete almost a full turn before the gears would engage when reversing direction. Super annoying when you're going back/forth to perfect pitch.
    • In general, the machining is terrible. The nuts wouldn't run smoothly down the posts, so when you're tightening them down from the front they would occasionally catch and spin the machine head, dragging the registration posts and leaving ugly arc shaped dents across the back of the headstock.
    • The registration posts combined with the terrible nut machining made it almost impossibly to get them to line up neatly.
    • The locking mechanism clamped with more of a cutting motion rather than "clamping", meaning strings were prone to breaking at the post.

    These things are an absolute waste of time and money. Get any reputable standard non-locking tuner for the same price point and enjoy a better outcome, or spring for a decent set of locking tuners instead.

  2. #2
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Miami, FL, USA
    Thanks for posting. I recently got a set of Wilkinson tuners for a build that my daughter is doing. I had also heard that PING might be a lower cost alternative to the big names, but couldn't find any. I saw the Guykers and the price and some of the reviews made them look tempting. Nice to know that these are not worth considering!

  3. #3
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Reading, UK
    Guyker do a wide range of locking tuners in different fixing configurations. Only some of them have the two indents, and these would seem to me to be drop in replacements for Squiers and some Fenders that have that type of tuner mounting mechanism. It's something that's easy to overlook but other variants with a single screw fixing are available.

    But that doesn't help if they don't do the job. Looking at photos of them with the locking knob unscrewed they first looked look very similar to some Korean-made locking machines that I have, but mine work well. I did have to sand off some rough edges from the top of the locking pins as they were cutting the strings, but after doing that they were just fine.

    But looking at mine again, the construction of the gear and post is quite different.


    NorthWestGuitar's locking tuners:

    My gear is threaded onto the tuner post shaft and has a nut built on to facilitate tightening it up to remove any play in the post.

    From the picture, the Guyker gear appears to be held on with the splayed end of a tube that forms part of the shaft assembly. Not a particularly robust or reliable means of fixing the gear on and I can easily see it coming loose and the nut spinning. I may be misreading the photo and there may be a thread involved, but there's certainly no easy means of tightening the gear onto the tread if there is without a special tool. A splayed shaft would explain the amount of play you were encountering.

    It may have be possible to improve things by running superglue around the mating edges, at least for a while, but you've done the best thing IMO by removing them.

    Also, the general casting quality of the Guyker seems poor, with a very dimpled surface. If everything else worked, then you could accept it due to the low cost, but it's just one more thing to add to the negatives list.

    One thing that my locking tuner and the Guyker both have is that the post hole is 23mm from the mounting base. This isn't great on a guitar with a flat angle Fender-style headstock. It's 2mm higher than the standard 21mm post hole height e.g. on the Gotoh 510s (and 23mm corresponds to the 'tall' option on the Gotohs). 2mm may not sound much but when the string isn't being wound around the post to lower the point where it leaves the post to head for the nut, it can mean almost no break angle over the nut for the bottom E and A strings, causing buzzing in the slots.

    I first fitted a set of those Korean lockers on my EX-1. This had an angled headstock and the height wasn't an issue (it never occurred to me at all). But for a flat headstock, 21mm is probably the tallest you want to go with locking tuners. I was going to fit the same tuners on my GST-1 build, but a test fitting showed they weren't suitable, so a set of 'staggered' locking Gotoh 510s went on instead, with 3 x 21mm and 3 x 19mm hole heights.

  4. Liked by: OliSam

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