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Thread: ZM SE Tuners

  1. #1
    Junior Member prs19's Avatar
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    ZM SE Tuners

    I'm curious about something. I too have been contemplating replacing the tuners on a ZM that I have pre-ordered. The Phase III tuners look awesome although I know they are not a direct replacement. The other Kluson locking tuners that have been discussed in other threads seem like cool options too.

    After thinking through the cost of new tuners...any of them...I also got to thinking...why am I thinking about doing this. My question is are the stock tuners that bad? Just curious considering the cost of Phase III tuners versus the cost of the guitar...kind of a big decision.

    Thanks.
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  2. #2
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    Personally, if I had a(another) stoptail SE I wouldn't bother replacing the standard tuners. Sure it can be quicker to replace strings but there's no tuning stability advantages of locking over non-locking (assuming like for like quality).

  3. #3
    Senior Member Chris528's Avatar
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    I don't have any problems with the factory tuners on mine, but still planning to put Phase III tuners on the limited one I preordered. They are not a direct replacement, but the screw do line up. Just need to ream out the shaft holes.
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    Senior Member Raymond's Avatar
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    i pre-ordered a ZM too and have thought about putting locking tuners on, phase II or Phase III. Was about to come on here and ask which one I can put on as a direct replacement as I do not want to start drilling any wood if at all possible.

    Does anyone know, is the Grovers 406 the only one?
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  5. #5
    Junior Member Matthew's Avatar
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    I have zero issues with the tuners on both of my ZM's. Locking tuners add a "cool factor" and do expedite stringing however

  6. #6
    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    Are they the same tuners as on the Bernie Marsden?

    If so they work perfectly well... Not keen on the greenish tint but I'm not replacing mine until they need it.
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    Junior Member Felix's Avatar
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    I know it is an unpopular opinion, but I do not like the Phase III tuners and wish my Hollowbody II had Phase II tuners. I will leave the open-backed ones on -even though they are messy and greasy and they will catch on my hair if I'm not careful- because to replace them with Phase 2s would be to have 6 useless holes in my headstock.

    As far as replacing them with non-locking tuners, I have been told, and it is my opinion that, if used correctly, locking tuners contribute to tuning stability by leaving a lot less of the string around the post to stretch and slip.

  8. #8
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Felix View Post
    As far as replacing them with non-opinion that, if used correctly, locking tuners contribute to tuning stability by leaving a lot less of the string around the post to stretch and slip.
    I'm considering putting the stock tuners back on my SE Semi-hollow to test this. IMO, as long as the strings are stretched properly then there shouldn't be any issues. Consider the design of the PRS wraparound bridge; there's a lot of string wrapped around that badboy too...

  9. #9
    Junior Member Felix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justmund View Post
    I'm considering putting the stock tuners back on my SE Semi-hollow to test this. IMO, as long as the strings are stretched properly then there shouldn't be any issues. Consider the design of the PRS wraparound bridge; there's a lot of string wrapped around that badboy too...
    Whoops, some of my text got omitted ("non-opinion"?)!

    I thought that the "wraparound" bridge would leave more string to slip but if you look at it carefully, the saddles are very smooth and allow the string to slip across their surfaces rather easily (except perhaps the low E string, which is almost too massive to slip (I tested it) except perhaps under great added tension (a bend of more than 8 half-steps is required to do this (measured from the center of the string at the 12th fret)), and then in a granular manner, popping into place, as it were, whereas the angle of the string over most of the bridge is very gentle (as well as in a channel), right up until the end of the bridge, where there is an almost 90-degree angle; after this bend there is string travel of only about 4 mm before there is an even sharper angle... after this the string is another 2 cm, approximately. I think that this "extra" 2 cm is unlikely to slip much because of the 2 sharp angles totaling approximately 180 degrees in the space of 4 mm; if it does slip, I think it will be less dramatic and sudden than some string malfunctions can be (and important to the wrapped strings more than to the B and high e, as well). I have not noticed any string slipping (of the sort which actually detunes the guitar, at least) from the bridge of my own ("wraparound-tailed") Hollowbody II.

    I forgot to mention that my HBII is strung with .009-.042s, with a wrapped G in a .018 size.
    Last edited by Felix; 03-26-2014 at 11:35 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Felix View Post
    I know it is an unpopular opinion,
    Try livin' in my world of winged tuners.

  11. #11
    Junior Member Felix's Avatar
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    ^ I can only imagine... *Sympathy*

  12. #12
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Felix View Post
    Whoops, some of my text got omitted ("non-opinion"?)!
    Haha yep, the perils of editing on a mobile...

    I think it's all a little bit too complex to work out theoretically, and it's easier just testing it (e.g. does bending a string introduce enough additional tension to overcome the friction between the string and it's contact points, so that the string does "move" over these points as it stretches slightly, and if it does "move", does it return to it's original position blah blah).

    If I had more time (I'm going away for work on Monday for 4 weeks) I would put an original tuner back onto say the high E string, stretch, tune using a strobe tuner, do a bunch of the same bends on the E and B strings, and see if there's any difference in tuning afterwards. Not perfect but it should give an idea of any performance differences between the 2 tuners.

  13. #13
    Junior Member Felix's Avatar
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    ^ If -like in a month or whatever- you do do that experiment, let us know the results, all right? I think to be valid the strings would have to be the same gauge; just saying.

    As far as testing out how stable the tuning is, that is why I was trying out 8-half-step bends on the low E string, to see if the string would move relative to the bridge (umm... nope). *Ouch* (...Reminds Felix of his "things to avoid so as to not get tendonitis again" list.)
    Last edited by Felix; 03-27-2014 at 04:10 AM.

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  15. #15
    Senior Member Raymond's Avatar
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    Thanks Corey, i do like the look of those, seen very similar ones on the back of Les Pauls.

    Although one thing i want to change are the buttons, I know the ZM comes with the same green ones, the ZM I am getting is Tobacco Sunburst so I am planning to swap them to a rosewood buttons.

    Something like this if I go for Grovers 406c.

    http://www.crazyparts.de/mode/tunerb...c-rosewood.php

    So I guess I am asking is can the tuners you linked to have the buttons swapped over and would it be difficult ?
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  17. #17
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Felix View Post
    ^ If -like in a month or whatever- you do do that experiment, let us know the results, all right? I think to be valid the strings would have to be the same gauge; just saying.
    Yep will do, and I know it's not perfect hence why I said it's "not perfect"

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond View Post
    Something like this if I go for Grovers 406c.
    I have 406c's and I hate them. The design is not condusive for quick string changes on a dark stage. Even with all the time in the world they're a pain to get right. I'd choose Phase II/IIIs over them any day of the week, and let's not forget there's a reason why PRSh puts brass posts where the string contacts the tuner...

  18. #18
    Senior Member Raymond's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justmund View Post
    I have 406c's and I hate them. The design is not condusive for quick string changes on a dark stage. Even with all the time in the world they're a pain to get right. I'd choose Phase II/IIIs over them any day of the week, and let's not forget there's a reason why PRSh puts brass posts where the string contacts the tuner...
    I have Phase III on my CU24 but I am just want to upgrade the stock tuners? I really don't want to start drilling the guitar so looking for some locking tuners that just drop straight in.
    Last edited by Raymond; 03-27-2014 at 04:09 PM.
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  19. #19
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond View Post
    I have Phase III on my CU24 but I am just want to upgrade the stock tuners? I really don't want to start drilling the guitar so looking for some locking tuners that just drop straight in.
    Have a read of this thread, looks like Phase IIIs are a drop in replacement?

    http://prsguitars.com/forum/showthre...-SE-Zach-Myers

  20. #20
    Senior Member Raymond's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justmund View Post
    Have a read of this thread, looks like Phase IIIs are a drop in replacement?

    http://prsguitars.com/forum/showthre...-SE-Zach-Myers
    Quote Originally Posted by fatb0y View Post
    Had some free time this morning so I decided to pull a few guitars out and check headstock thicknesses.

    '02 SC with factory installed Vintage tuners .580
    '07 Mira with factory installed Phase II tuners .625
    '11 SE Custom with factory installed Phase II tuners .604
    '11 SC58 with factory installed Phase III tuners .646
    '13 Paul's Guitar with factory installed Phase III tuners .639
    '13 CU22 AP with factory installed Phase III tuners .628
    '14 SE ZM with factory installed Vintage tuners .630

    I went with the Phase IIIs on my ZM. It's headstock thickness is marginally more than the CU22 and less than the Paul's Guitar. Installation was relatively simple with only minor reaming to rear of the headstock. The screw holes lined up nicely.
    Doesn't look like it i am afraid! I don't even own a drill.
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