LOXX strap locks
Strap locks are a more secure way of connecting straps to guitars, basses, and the like than the factory supplied hardware. While there are low-tech options, the term most often applies to mechanical varieties. They come in two main parts, a replacement strap button and a device that catches on an inner lip when inserted into the strap button (this is to be attached to the strap). While these are in some ways superior to the standard option (a conical piece of metal on the instrument and an expanding hole on the strap), they do have drawbacks.
They can outright fail. They can break free of the strap (in most designs, they attach to the side of the strap towards the instrument), they can slip loose of their mate, they can unscrew themselves from the instrument. Because the strap now attaches at the end of the strap button (unless the button is countersunk into the instrument), there is increased leverage and therefore increased strain on the wood which can rip the whole device free of the guitar. Some even creak and rattle and the sharp edges of the devices can damage the instrument’s finish (though this is rare, thankfully).
But there is one variety that solves most of these problems, albeit with a drawback that put me off at first. LOXX strap locks have a pin installed in place of the strap button which is then grasped by the piece attached to the strap. This has the obvious fault of keeping it from being used with an unmodified strap but not for no reason; this way, the strap is kept almost as near to the instrument as it would with a standard strap button. And since I really only ever use one strap with each instrument (as I expect is the case with most people), this drawback may be overlooked.
The LOXX design is new to guitars but has been used in the automotive and marine industries for decades, securing soft tops and the like. The design seems perfectly robust and reportedly will require 220 lbs of force to be exerted on it to fail. Because the pin is spherical, the lock pivots smoothly rather than requiring the strap to flex as the instrument’s position on one’s body shifts (not strictly necessary but nice – this reduces strain on the strap that might cause it itself to fail). Even the variety of finishes is impressive (I chose black).
Installation is simple: screw the pins into place and attach the threaded strap insert with the supplied purpose built washer. It even comes with a multitool. There was one hiccup (well, two – I accidentally cut myself) in my installation but it wasn’t a problem with the product; one of the pins went in crooked. It could be that I made a mistake screwing it in or it could be that the whole was already messed up (the guitar’s previous owner took it to a tech I used once). I’m pretty sure it was my fault but I’m going to blame that tech (shame on him).
Once the strap locks were installed, I was entirely pleased. They look far better in person and they seem very secure. The mechanics feel smooth while anything can break, I’m not concerned about accidents. Not only must you pull up on the mechanism with even pressure on each side (i.e., even if it got caught on something, which it won’t, nothing would happen) but the device resists disengaging when carrying the instrument’s weight. Best of all, the mechanics attach through the strap, from the side away from the instrument; the washer is just there for when the strap isn’t in use.
All in all, I have to give this a big thumbs up. I’m very happy with the product and would gladly receive samples for more exhaustive examination and review (another electric set and an acoustic set, nickel thanks *wink wink*). Much more information is available at their website, including an informative, albeit biased, comparison of their design and two common alternatives.