SE Tuners and Nuts.


New Member
Apr 26, 2012
There is always a lot of talk about having to replace these two components on SE guitars, and I have to say I kind of disagree.

When I finished my Gucci-Top I had a set of Grover's and a set of locking Gotoh's that I could have put on it, but I didn't really find the need to. I frickin' hate the locking mechanism on the Gotoh's and since this was a non-trem guitar I didn't feel like I really needed them, I had lived with the SE tuners for a couple of weeks and had no trouble staying in tune. I have had three sets of SE tuners and I even used a set on a budget 335 I had, as long as everything is snug they work well.

SE nuts are cut for nine gauge strings, I'm not sure what they are made from or how the material is different from the two I have on my US CE's, but after widening the slots for tens on my Orianthi SE I can still dive-bomb and warble while remaining as perfectly in tune as an electric guitar can be.

I will admit that if you are using one of the trem equipped SE guitars and you want to do wide-travel dive-bombs you absolutely must swap out for locking tuners, but I think a new nut may not be entirely necessary, if you are a little handy.

I just wanted to "put it out there" that I have had some really positive experiences with these components, without feeling the need to change them, with a little love and attention to them.
I'd have to agree with this.

I haven't had a single issue with tuning since swapping the nuts. The stock tuners work just fine providing the strings are properly wound and stretched in (And trem bridge is set up correctly).

Also agree about the nuts. I do wish they where cut for 10's stock even if they came with 9's stock. If binding is the only issue then widening is a relatively simple task.

You should only need to swap the nut or have a tech sort it if slot depth is off (Definitely need changing if they're cut too low) or the string spacing is off. I did have minor binding, which I could have sorted, on both SE's but unfortunately I encountered the other issues and thus felt it was necessary to swap them.

But yeah... Really no need to swap the tuners and nut if there is nothing wrong with them. To go along with what Sergio said, if you use the trem but just casually then the stock tuners are going to be ok anything else then you want to do everything you can to aid tuning stability.
I also agree. Sometimes I'll put US hardware on an SE just because I can, but my most favorite SE ever is a black Soapbar II which is bone stock.
I think many of us are swapping for locking tuners too not for tuning stability, but for string change ease.
No wrapping of the strings around the post and possibly have the string core break or slip, and in my case, I have the Planet Waves Autotrim tuners which also cut the string off for you.
Makes string changing a joy and not a hassle.
I've said it many times, and I'll repeat for the sake of it being totally relevant to the thread, the SE tuners are 100% fine. You can even "lock" the string in place if you know how to wrap it properly - see "How to Make Your Electric Guitar Play Great" by Dan Erlewine. My SEs both have the stock nuts and I have no issues with either one.

Corey T does have a good point, locking tuners offer a level of convenience the SE tuners do not offer, but then the SE tuners are paid for the moment you buy the guitar.
For me it is more personal preference than anything else. I like a Tusq nut and I like locking I install them.
I'm pretty sure the stock nut is okay and does its job if fitted on stoptail models, but it isn't suitable for tremolo equipped models. For mine, very weirdly,
the B and G string nut slots bind even with 9s on. It goes out of tune by just touching the whammy bar, like doing the very light wobble. So I blocked the tremolo (just to curb a stoptail guitar gas for the moment), put on fatter string gauges, tune them to pitch, stretch them thoroughly, retune...never had any problems every since, the tuners still stay in tune after a week of playing. That had further proved to me that the stock nuts can't withstand tremolo use. I think i'll just leave the trem blocked until i sort out the nut. The tuners are perfectly fine, it's the nut that causes the problem from my experience.
The stock SE nuts are hollow. The US nuts are solid. I immediately changed the nut and tuners on my SE within the first month of purchase. My SE's been converted over to US parts among a plethora of other changes. I have more into the guitar then what I paid for it.