Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool
Locking tuners are a pain. Very difficult to change strings and to change tunings (to dropped-D or open G, for example). Unless you use the tremolo a lot, I'd say avoid locking tuners.
I say ditto on the locking tuners. a pain.
As for the bridge, if you are looking to put on a vintage bridge, you're looking at some major work. If your current telecaster is pretty modern, it probably has the modern 6 section bridge (one saddle for each individual string), whereas the vintage is a 3-section (one saddle for every two strings). The forseeable problem with this change is that you are going to have major difficulties setting a decent intonation because you have to gauge each saddle based on the intonation for 2 strings instead of each individual string with the modern bridge. May not be worth the hassle, and definitely is something a licensed Fender tech should take care of if you seriously think about getting it done. The unknown change in intonation would be a big problem for me if I were considering this change. If you do change the bridge yourself, make sure the plate is COMPLETELY flat. You may think they are, but it's always better to check. Use a hammer with flat pieces of 2x4, sandwich the bridge plate between pieces of wood and hammer the wood. Then file or sand if needed to get it flat. Be wary with any bridge and saddle choices, they can severly alter the over tone of the telecaster. Not that it's a bad thing, but you may not like what you get, you may like it better.
back to the tuners, I personally stay away from locking tuners. They just don't give you the range to do lots of alternate tunings. If you're staying basic, and never leave standard tuning, then there's the bonus of not constantly checking your tuning, but for me, I prefer dealing with tuning after each song as opposed to needing a different guitar for each alternate tuning. replacing tuners can tend to be a big deal too. if your problem is that the guitar is falling out of tune erratically or too often, I'd have a tech go over the string slots on the nut with a nut file and also where the strings contact and break over the bridge. That will do wonders for any tuning problems.
For the nut, it's an unnecessary change, unless you've done a lot of filing to the string slots and you're getting crazy fret buzz.
Pickups would be the way to go, if I were you. The quickest and easiest way to get a better sound out of your guitar. If you're looking for a deep, fat, bluesy tone, I'd go with Duncan Broadcasters. If you're looking for something a little thinner, on the higher end of the spectrum, Duncan Vintage '54's. I'm not generally a duncan man, because i play gibson, and i love their 57's, but duncan is the way to go on single coiled guitars.
In all honesty, if you don't feel comfortable changing out the pickups and doing some soldering, I'd shy away from doing anything relating to the nut and bridge on your own. Have a tech do it. I do most of my own work to my guitars, but on the more delicate procedures, I'll take it to the shop
As for the price on all this, it really depends on who you go to. Shop around, and make sure the guy is a licensed fender tech.
let us know how it goes.