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hungrysquirrel
01-06-2015, 04:47 AM
I have recently acquired a very nice orginal Keech banjulele made around 1922. But it is fitted with the tapered wood violin type tuning pegs. I want to fit new friction tuners to make it more playable, but would that spoil the value since it will no longer be as it was made?
Any thoughts?

AndyT

SteveZ
01-06-2015, 05:53 AM
Are the tuning pegs original equipment? If so, would keep them.

If the goal is to restore a museum piece, then it would be worth the while to contact a luthier experienced in dealing with vintage instruments so that the value is maintained.

If the goal is a playable instrument which will earn its keep, then having that experienced luthier replace the pegs (keep the originals!) with appropriate tuners makes sense.

RichM
01-06-2015, 06:07 AM
I'll agree with what SteveZ said above and add that collectability is relative. While a Keech is definitely collectible, it's not a super high-value instrument and even if replacement tuners knocks a few dollars off its resale, it probably won't amount to all that much. As Steve said, the real question is, do you want a museum piece or a playable instrument.

My Ludwig Wendell Hall came with the original wonky friction tuners replaced with Five Star planetary tuners. Those Five Stars are such good tuners that I couldn't care less that they are not original, and I haven't seen prices dive on Wendell Hall models with replaced tuners (and I have seen several, often selling for above what models with original tuners sell for)

moetrout
01-06-2015, 06:10 AM
It's bound to affect the value. I recently picked up a 1928 basket case Gretsch Clarophone banjolele. The old peg tuner were shot. I chose to go with modern machine tuners because I don't consider this a restore. I am making it playable for me. My advice is if you are restoring then stay true to the original design. If you are making it playable again for yourself then do what suits you. In my case there is only value in the instrument for me if it is playable and to my liking. Even IF I do sell it later I can probably get my investment back out of it. Some will probably frown at what I've done, but I buy them to play.

SteveZ
01-06-2015, 08:17 AM
It's bound to affect the value. I recently picked up a 1928 basket case Gretsch Clarophone banjolele. The old peg tuner were shot. I chose to go with modern machine tuners because I don't consider this a restore. I am making it playable for me. My advice is if you are restoring then stay true to the original design. If you are making it playable again for yourself then do what suits you. In my case there is only value in the instrument for me if it is playable and to my liking. Even IF I do sell it later I can probably get my investment back out of it. Some will probably frown at what I've done, but I buy them to play.

Making it playable and enjoying it - my favorite way of doing things.

On a side note: The '28 Gretsch should be a joy when done. I've got the 2014 version of the Gretsch Clarophone and love it (took some work to set it up right). FWIW, here's a sound sample of it with Aquila Nylguts tuned CGDA.
http://soundcloud.com/steveztv/gretsch9470/s-JThTl

PhilUSAFRet
01-06-2015, 09:57 AM
I wouldn't modify a "very nice, original Keech" if I ever got my hands on one.