If you can’t blame a tuning issue on the other usual suspects, it might be time to consider swapping out your machines.
Tuning woes don’t always stem from cheap or worn-out tuning machines, but chances are that installing a quality set will pay dividends in maintaining string-tension, turning smoothness, and ease of string changes. There are loads of options out there for 3x3 headstock configurations, but the 10 sets we’ve rounded up here are a good place to start your search.
Available in black, chrome, and gold with numerous button designs, the Grip-Lock pin and thumbwheel system of these 16:1 tuners clamps onto strings for extra security.
These locking machine heads are available in black, chrome, and gold, and utilize the 18:1 Rotomatic design with a thumbscrew mechanism that locks strings into place.
These 15:1 Kluson-type tuners boast a vintage look and feature a torque balancer to ensure steady rotation of the tuner button for excellent sound performance and functionality.
Designed to retrofit die-cast tuning machines that have a hex-head bushing and a traditional Kluson two-screw mounting pattern, the 19:1 gear ratio of these sealed tuners ensures smooth operation and tuning stability with no backlash.
These tuners have graduated-height string posts, a 12:1 ratio, sealed lubrication, and a locking feature that holds strings tight and eliminates the need for multiple wraps.
These 18:1 ratio tuners feature a locking clamp to prevent slippage and hold strings in tune, as well as an onboard mechanism that trims excess string for quick and easy changes.
Through design and new-material research, these eye-catching 18:1 machines allow for superior performance without grease or polymer lubrication. Available in eight different finishes.
These solid-nickel machine heads feature period-correct vintage styling and traditional pearloid buttons, and offer precise tuning and a well-appointed, classic look.
A great match for archtops or any other 3x3 headstock that would benefit from an art-deco dressing up, these sealed, imperial-style tuning machines are chrome-plated and have an 19:1 tuning ratio.