Phase III Locking Tuners

Filed Under Acoustics / Electrics

Every part of a guitar has an effect on its overall tone. Anything a string is attached to will drain energy away from it.

Let’s consider tuners. Tuning pegs are one of only a few parts that a string actually touches, so they’re very important. If we made the entire tuning peg out of silicone rubber, would the guitar sound better? That question is an exaggeration to prove a point, which is: every single part of a tuning peg has an impact on the sound of the instrument and the tuning stability. A guitar with rubber tuning pegs would sound lifeless and have little sustain.

Our new Phase III machine head was designed and built with two goals in mind : One, that it doesn’t detract from the tone of the guitar and allows the tone woods of the neck and body to do their job, which is to be musical, and two, stay in tune while maintaining a highly useable gear ratio.

On a purely aesthetic level, I believe these new Phase III machine heads are handsome. They also sound great and just plain work. For those of you that don’t like change - get over it! I am confident that once you spend time with these new tuners, you’ll feel the same as I do.

In addition, I’ve heard that a few people have asked if the tuner’s open back design might be susceptible to dirt and wear prematurely. Absolutely not. Look back at all the old, high-quality instruments through acoustic guitar and bass history. History is very favorable to open back tuners.

Comments (33)

Hunter@PRS April 28, 2016 - 1:34pm
Hey Perry, I would recommend contacting our customer service department for specifics about the fit on your instrument. You can reach them at
Perry marchand April 27, 2016 - 4:28pm
Are there any original winged locking tuning pegs available to replace mine on a 1990-92 custom guitar? If not,,,,will Sperzel standard s c fit thanks for your time Perry
Hunter@PRS March 28, 2016 - 4:08pm
Hey John! Hope you are enjoying the SE 245 - I bet it looks great in spalted maple. The tuning issue you're experiencing could be related to the strings being pinched in the nut. E-mail our customer service for some set up tips, or for more information about how locking tuners would work with the SE's. You can reach them at
John Price March 28, 2016 - 1:48pm
I recently purchased a 245 SE spaulted maple PRS. Sounds great with upgraded P90's. Problem is it will not stay in tune at all. I would like some locking tuners. Any suggestions? If not, any regular tuners that are more reliable than what came stock?
Hunter@PRS March 22, 2016 - 1:35pm
Hey Adam! Our customer service folks would be able to help you answer those questions! You can reach them at - thanks!
Adam March 08, 2016 - 3:47am
1996 custom 22, stoptail. Will phase iii's be correct height, angle and help with sustain? Also, I was considering changing the stoptail to the adjustable stoptail Bridge, will that enhance sustain and more flex In the strings? Lastly, everything's original. Since everything's from 96, is it time to change the nut? Never heard that addressed before. Thanks Guys!
Tony August 26, 2015 - 8:27pm
Dose PRS have any locking tuners that fit an SE 245
James LaRocco July 31, 2015 - 4:36pm
Never had any tuning problems with any of my PRS USA Guitars. Its the way you wrap them that can make them move if they do go flat.After stretching,and playing they usually stay in tune.
EB May 01, 2015 - 1:22pm
I have a Dave Grissom model PRS and i really hate the tuners. Thinking about getting the Phase IIIs. Will they work on this model?
Dan Clark April 24, 2015 - 2:18am
I recently purchased a PRS Singlecut Semi Hollowbody. Love my guitar excellent to its core. But it's a pain to keep in tune I think it's got phase II locking tuners and it's a pain tuning all the time. My Gibson's don't have this issue. Should I upgrade to Phase3 tuners? Thanks.
PRS Guitars April 10, 2015 - 9:07am
Hey Slide, please send an email to - thanks!
Slide April 09, 2015 - 12:42pm
I need to replace an ebony tuner for my PRS Custom 22. It is around 2006. I'm not sure of the phase tuners and of the differences. Can you please point me in the right direction?
Daniel Elliott April 04, 2015 - 10:08pm
Just bought a PRS Artist IV with the locking wing tuners. This is the third addition to my collection. Also have a 513 and an SE which is what promted me to grab this one. The biggest nightmare of my life came when I changed the strings. I wasn't aware that I needed a phd in string changing. Will the Phase III fit on a 1996 Artist IV without altering anything else???
Eric Martin January 31, 2015 - 4:58pm
Hi, Same question, different guitar... I have a PRS 513 that has the closed tuners. They are very loose and I happen to have a bear of a time keeping it in tune. I'm thinking the tuners, perhaps? Would these new Phase III's help? I've had the guitar set up by a great shop, and still issues. My 2005 Custom 24 however is rock solid. Thanks!
Pete January 01, 2015 - 11:41am
My PRS SC245 comes with a Vintage Tuner (NON-Locking), I would like to know if the Phase III Locking Tuners is compatible to the SC245 and would I be able to replace it without any issue. On the other hand, if Phase III Locking Tuners is NOT compatible or will NOT work with the SC245, which PRS Locking Tuner would work best with it? Thanks, Pete
Peter November 05, 2014 - 5:08am
Hi can I retrofit these to my Custom 24 (2003) model? Thanks
Andy October 30, 2014 - 4:37pm
Would the phase 3 be a direct fit on a older prs that has the winged locking tuners? if not would the phase 2?
Pascal Lauber October 28, 2014 - 2:17pm
Hello, a few people already asked if Phase III would fit in SE models, but there is no answer on one of these questions yet. I wonder if Phase III would fit on my 2012 SE Singlecut Trem. I know, that the little fixing screws are in a different angle&spot;, but I would like to know, if the shaft fits and if the height is the same. Thanks a lot!
Jax May 21, 2014 - 3:16pm
Can I put the phase II tuners on a 1996 CU22?
Salvador May 08, 2014 - 5:46pm
Can i put the locking tuners phase iii In my prs se 245 ?
PRS Guitars February 18, 2014 - 11:21am
Hi Tom, Due to the thinner headstock of models which use vintage tuners, the PRS locking tuners will not retrofit this headstock. Attempting this would cause an incorrect angle of the strings over the nut. In addition, the mounting hardware and size of the hole through the headstock are different and will not accommodate the locking PRS tuners.
Tom February 12, 2014 - 8:20am
I've an old McCarty and I'd like to change the vintage style tuners for Phase III. Is it working with Phase III? Somebody told me the McCarty headstock's thicker than oder PRS models and the Phase III tuners isn't mach the McCarty. Is it true? If it isn't match, how can I do it? :)
Adrian Gregory March 07, 2013 - 5:59am
I have a 2009 Hollowbody I. I think phase II tuners. A tuner head (the bit you grip and turn) recently worked loose. I tightened the screw holding it to the shaft but then it was too hard to turn. No obvious sweet spot? What advice can you give on setting this up right - or do I have a dodgy tuner?
PRS Guitars January 17, 2013 - 2:56pm
@James: Many companies including Gotoh offer locking vintage style tuners. Stew Mac, All Parts and other online luthier supply shops carry them. @R Dutton: Phase III tuners will be available for purchase by the beginning of March. @Markus: Phase II and Phase III tuners will NOT fit your 1990 EG. Sorry!
PRS Guitars January 17, 2013 - 11:05am
Christy, my apologies. Not replying here is my mistake. Please email if you have any questions...we're happy to hear from you. We'll make it a point to respond publicly in the future. Thanks for your comment.
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