Hi, I have these same tuners. Yes they were time consuming to install. I used a straight edge to line them up, then pressed down to mark the wood with the pins. Then I drilled out the holes. I don't remember what bit size I used but it was enough to make them fit snug. My issue with these, and not sure if it's normal (hint, hint, question here, anybody know?) is that they seem to have a bit of play in them. While tuning, if you go a little sharp, when you go to loosen the peg you get movement before it actually starts to lower the pitch. Then more movement when you bring it back up to pitch. It happens everytime you change directions. I would say, comparing it to the face of a clock, about 10 minutes worth of movement. Is this normal, maybe I got a bad batch. I've kinda learned to live with them now but was just wondering.
not just nut binding, but there can be friction at the bridge to, when you get it in tune, pull the string up at the 12th fret, an inch or two, no enough to break it, let it sit for a minute then check it again, tune it, pull, let sit repeat. if you do this, your guitar will stay in tune longer. works like a charm for me. i do it every time i change strings or down tune.
Yeah I still tune up to pitch also but I have also tried the other way to see if it makes a difference. I've tried all that. They are locking so you basically inset the string, pull taught, tighten, then clip. Very minimal string winding on post. The issue is in the tuner. Nothing moves so the string is not binding. Its not like it is tuning down then some string slipage occurs. The peg itself just has play in it when turning it in the opposite direction. I think I will try the Sperzels next time.
Next time you restring, check the little screws that hold the knobs to the shaft. When they're loose the shaft will move in/out in its journal, and by so doing will introduce slop. There's a range of acceptable "tightness" on those screws, a sort of tension adjustment.