I could not find a possible solution to my problem. I recently upgraded my guitar with sperzel machineheads. The technician of the shop from where i bought my guitar did it for me. But he happened to put the tuners in an opposite way such that they are tightening the string anticlockwise. Should there be any problem for tunining? I feel some unbalance though listening to the guitar.

  • 1
    3 a side? 6 in a line? What guitar? Have the strings been wound on the opposite way? Have you taken it back to the guy? So many questions!
    – Tim
    Oct 16, 2016 at 11:43
  • 1
    This does not sound like the machine heads are on backward, but rather that the strings are wound backwards. Did the tech at the guitar shop put the strings on? If so, take it back and make them fix it.
    – blusician
    Oct 16, 2016 at 12:28
  • Machine heads on my Rikki 4001 turn the opposite way to every other guitar I own [inc. Strat straight 6 & Yamaha, Fender & Line6 'double 3s'. Some just do;)
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 16, 2016 at 17:09
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    It shouldn't matter which direction you have to turn the tuners, except for getting used to it if it's the other direction than that you are accustomed to. What does matter is that the strings are wound on in the way that they run as straight as possible over the nut. Oct 16, 2016 at 18:34
  • The strings are going straight over the nut and over wind over the tuners just like they do on any other guitar. It just that the tuners move the opposite way now. Oct 16, 2016 at 21:49

2 Answers 2


The only real answer, assuming your strings are wound correctly to give the straightest path through the nut is "Some are just made the other way round"

I own 5 guitars... two acoustics, two electrics & a bass. One has 6-a-side machines heads [Strat], three are 3-a-side [Line6 & both acoustics] & one is 2-a-side [Rickenbacker 4001 bass]

All except the Rikki have the machine heads configured to turn in the same direction as each other for sharp/flat.

The Rikki goes the opposite way.

I can only assume it's a design difference.

  1. Someone decided that "tighter" should be 'moving the top of the machine head away from the bridge' - also that's how the old peg system works, with no gearing mechanism. Most guitars would appear to be set this way.
  2. Someone else decided that "tighter" should be clockwise, as it's a screw mechanism. This may be Rickenbacker-only, but I have no further evidence.

I can only assume that your machine head configuration is 6-a-side, Strat type, as that's the only one where 'anticlockwise = tighter' is consistent for all 6.
That would mean your new machine heads are 'standard' configuration rather than 'Rikki'.
Anticlockwise on the top side is 'tighter = top of machine head moves away from the bridge'


A machine is omnidirectional, tightening is a function of the direction that you wrap the strings with respect to the axis of the peg or post.

If you wrap the string clockwise, you turn the gear (or peg) one way to tighten. If you wrap the string anti-clockwise, then you need to turn the gear the other way to tighten.

The placement of the machines will dictate which way you want to wind them. On Strat, this means wrapping the string anti-clockwise. On a Les Paul, the top three wrap anti-clockwise, the bottom 3 wrap clockwise.

For Strat style heads, all 6 machines are identical, for heads laid out with 3 on each side of the head, they use two sets of 3 machines that are mirrored so that the shaft is "north" of the peg & gear for each side.

If you feel that they are backwards, reverse the winding direction. The "normal" way is to have the strings straight (as you can) from the nut to the peg, but aside from some minor mental adjustment it ought not be an issue.

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