Over the years I’ve had several sets of both Gotoh & Schaller tuners. When I built my last strat I opted for a set of Schaller mini locking tuners. I went this route because this was the only locking set that Warmoth sold. In hind sight that was a dumb decision. This marks the last time I settle for hardware over convenience. The Schallers did work OK, but after a re-string they take FOREVER to settle in and hold tune. Not only that but they felt cheap and the gears didn’t feel very smooth. Even though I wasn’t 100% satisfied with them I was planning to just tolerate them. That changed a few weeks ago when the high E string tuner on the developed a rough spot on the post. It basically sliced the string as it’s tuned to pitch. 100% useless; total garbage. I’ve never experienced anything like this before with a tuner.
At this point I really started missing the Gotoh tuners that my Anderson & Tele have. I removed one from my Tele to see if it would fit the holes in the headstock. Not only was the routing identical, but the screw holes lined up perfectly. I found a set of Gotoh SG381-MG for $70 on Amazon. No-brainer.
Installing the tuners took less than 5 minutes, and this was just what this strat needed. It’s made a huge difference and when I put a new set of strings on it only took a couple minutes to stretch the strings (as opposed to ~30 min). If you’re using the Schaller mini locking tuners I highly recommend you dump them for Gotohs.