Advice for changing strings - Gotoh tuners

Advice for changing strings - Gotoh tuners
I'm a new owner of an ESP Eclipse II with the Gotoh magnum lock tuners. Looking for advice on how to change strings. I also have a PRS with the winged locking tuners. Anyone know if they function like the PRS tuners? Haven't actully tried to change strings yet. Just looking for some advice before screwing things up. :lol

I hate these tuners. I am changing them out on my M1.

I would give you advice, but I haven't really worked it out myself.

From what I have been told, if you leave just enough room in the peg for the strings, then put the strings through, then hold the peg with a screwdriver while you tighten them, they will lock. I have yet to get that to work for me.

Also you don't want any winding on the peg, which is the problem I currently have, I can't seem to get the strings tight enough before winding to not have any winding on the peg.

Good luck!


Thanks everyone. I guess what I was struggling with was do you pull the string as tight as possible before tightenng. That's how it is with my PRS. Sounds like these work pretty much the same way.


I always switched to Sperzels, but I finally just bought an M-I(!) and I can't believe how horrible the Gotoh tuners are. I had a set of Grover locking tuners before which are a really similar style and these are actually worse.
What is ESP thinking? I can't imagine that they're saving that much money by not using Sperzels on the standard line. I think skipping the locking bridge is weak, but I get that it costs a lot more money.
I'm ditching these as soon as I get enough to order more Sperzels.


The magnum-locks are way better than sperzels.

Learn how to fucking use them before you make a comment.


Yeah dude, they're awesome if you feel like taking too long and needing extra tools. Maybe you can teach me what a guitar is since people who prefer a thumb screw don't know shit about guitars.


Usually I loosen them up a bit, then cut all the strings like at the 12 fret range. I use a flat head screw driver to unlock the string from the tuner then remove. I pull the new string through a little tight and then tighten till it locks. Pretty quick string changes with these tuners.

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No, no, no, no......... not Sperzels!!!!

The magnum gotohs are excellent,they are one of the best features on the ESP range.

I agree with ChrisTM, use them before making comment!!!

Ok, I agree, you have to get your head round how they work, but its not rocket science....jeez!!!

Once you have got the hang of them, (which takes about a minute) the Gotohs are the dogs nuts.

I love 'em can probably tell.

Our other guitarist has got a LTD with Sperzels and they are ok (ish) but no where near as good as the magnums

nuff said


Sorry Gfunk, my post was useless as it was a rant to say how good the Magnums are but actually offered no advice.

This is what i do.

1. loosen the string with the tuning key as per normal
2. Cut string
3. The string will still be locked in the tuning key by the collet. Use screwdrive/penny to un-lock collet.
4. Loosen collet by hand and remove string
5. Thread through new string

My Tip!! - spin collet so the the hole is just big enough to let the string through. Dont allow the hole to be too big.

6. Pull string as tight as you can
7. Turn tuning key as normal
8. After a few turns the collet will "bite" and the string will tighten.
9. The string should be "tune" tight in about 3/4's of a turn (ish)

Note: If you have got an Eclipse or Viper with 3 tuners on the top and 3 on the bottom, you will see that the collet is loosened by turning it clockwise, not anticlockwise like normal.

The time to change a string and get it up to tune is remarkably quick

Hope this helps


Exactly, once I found out how these tuners on my Horizon NT-II worked it was pretty easy. The one on my low E-string is always a pain in the ass though. I don't know why but even though I can change the other 5 strings in no time, the low E takes ages to lock itself... I keep turning and I just have to be patient and be lucky, until it 'bites'. I'd say string is too big, but it's only a 0.046!


To each their own. I swapped for Sperzels on my M-I and no regrets. Going with my default.
If anyone is looking for a set of reverse Gotoh Magnum Locking tuners, I'll do $30 shipped con us. Good shape, black nickel.


I guess that was my biggest problem with the tuners, the 6th string not locking. I tune to B standard with 13's. The 6th, and even 5th string did not want to "catch". I pulled them off, replaced them with a set of non-locking Gotoh. The mounting screw holes do not match, so I had to fill in the old holes, but other than that they are a great fit.

I also wanted black hardware, instead of the "Ibanez like" black chrome. That stuff looks ok on an Ibanez, but for some reason just doesn't look right on an ESP.


Just want to ask what direction to turn with a screwdriver to unlock the collet?


If the tuners are in a straight line (like a strat) then they are all anti-clockwise to unlock.

If you have 3 up and 3 down (like a LP) then the 3 at the bottom (G,B and E strings) will be clock wise to unlock.


many thanks!

Dominic Dauphin

I also hate those gotoh.. I only bring one guitar to band practice and never my gotoh esp eclipse. I have planet waves trim locking in.another ecliose and gibson locking on my 2017 sg. Both great, no need of a screwdriver to change strings


Gotoh have updated those tuners to a thumb wheel option I have the (I think) 21-1 ratio best dame thing I ever did.. they are so well made make the sperzels feel like 2 dollar store tuners....not even kidding 

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