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View Full Version : Decent tuning pegs?



crazybilly
01-06-2017, 07:48 AM
I recently acquired an old, beat up banjo uke (it's branded "Illinois", for whatever that's worth). It's missing two of it's original friction tuners (old janky things with bakelite knobs).

I'd love to get it playable, so I'm planning on buying some new tuners. I don't mind spending a decent amount of money (less than $50 for sure), so I was thinking about getting some Grover friction pegs.

And then I saw the Waverlys. They're gorgeous, but are they really 2 - 3 times the price of the Grovers?

And for that matter, are the Grovers 10x better than $2 ebay specials? I've used the latter in the past and they really are pretty awful: usable, but awful.

cml
01-06-2017, 08:08 AM
I'm sure the groovers will work just fine. I've used ebay tuners as well, they work, but as you say - they are awful.

crazybilly
01-06-2017, 09:17 AM
So the Grovers are worth the price? I mean, $20ish seems reasonable to me if they're that much better...

Allen
01-06-2017, 10:39 AM
The Waverlys are the best friction tuners I've installed on any uke. Not a fan of Grovers friction tuners.

crazybilly
01-06-2017, 10:48 AM
Are there other options somewhere in between that don't involve ears? I'd much prefer a geared tuner--I love my 1:4 planetaries on my banjo, but hate to spend twice as much on tuners as I did on the uke itself (which is why pegheds are out).

Michael Smith
01-06-2017, 10:55 AM
I absolutley hate the Waverlys. If you don't have the bevel just right they will slip or require that you have them so tight it will damage the wood.

Allen
01-06-2017, 05:23 PM
If you want open back geared tuners, then Grover Sta-tites are great for the money.

Anything that is a peg with planetary gears is going to blow the budget.

crazybilly
01-06-2017, 06:46 PM
But those are guitar style geared tuners, right? Not planetary, banjo style tuners?

Choirguy
01-06-2017, 06:53 PM
Have you checked the items available at StewMac? Worth a shot...

Titchtheclown
01-06-2017, 08:02 PM
I get the medium priced chinese ones on ebay sometimes.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/4pcs-Guitar-Ukulele-4-String-Tuning-Peg-Machine-Tuners-Black-/171665668775?hash=item27f8123aa7:g:8gcAAOSwzrxUzxl g

Ken Franklin
01-06-2017, 10:49 PM
I like these if the headstock is thin enough. Not too expensive but you'll have to ream out the holes. http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-4-Gotoh-UPT-UBN-Sealed-Planetary-Ukulele-Tuning-Keys-Tuners-WHITE-CHROME-/191943157198?hash=item2cb0b425ce:g:~v0AAOSw0UdXq4M 2 A lot better than friction pegs.

strumsilly
01-07-2017, 04:31 AM
I like these if the headstock is thin enough. Not too expensive but you'll have to ream out the holes. http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-4-Gotoh-UPT-UBN-Sealed-Planetary-Ukulele-Tuning-Keys-Tuners-WHITE-CHROME-/191943157198?hash=item2cb0b425ce:g:~v0AAOSw0UdXq4M 2 A lot better than friction pegs.go with gotoh, they are awesome.

crazybilly
01-07-2017, 05:44 AM
Those planetary Gotohs look really cool--they'd be ideal, I think, if I had a really nice uke (or one I really loved) that I wanted to upgrade. At $60+, though, they seem a little steep to invest in an instrument that's worth $100 on a good day (and that I paid $12 for). I suspect finding a used set is next to impossible--people keep good stuff!

How much of a difference is there between the $6 eBay tuners and the $17 Grovers?

cml
01-07-2017, 06:05 AM
Enough. Dont buy the cheap ones. I have them on my electric uke and it's night and day compared to my KoAloha. The friction tuners on that uke are my favorite tuners so far.

Allen
01-07-2017, 10:39 AM
But those are guitar style geared tuners, right? Not planetary, banjo style tuners?

Yes, that's what I said, and there are no cheap versions of a planetary gear tuner that I'm aware of.

Titchtheclown
01-07-2017, 01:33 PM
These are the cheapest I can see. I havent tried them though and you get a 5th string tuner chucked in. For some reason you pay an extra $10 without it. Go figure?

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Beautiful-5pcs-banjo-machine-head-Tuning-Tuner-Peg-Pearled-buttons-/331526701907?hash=item4d30880353:g:SwYAAOSw44BYajj t

P.s. they will probably be made for a thicker peg head.

printer2
01-07-2017, 03:10 PM
I get the medium priced chinese ones on ebay sometimes.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/4pcs-Guitar-Ukulele-4-String-Tuning-Peg-Machine-Tuners-Black-/171665668775?hash=item27f8123aa7:g:8gcAAOSwzrxUzxl g

Medium priced? How much are the low priced?

Titchtheclown
01-07-2017, 04:35 PM
Medium priced? How much are the low priced?

The cheapest ones are about $1.50 a set. They do a surprisingly reasonable job too for use on the occasional novelty uke. The cheapest of the geared tuners is about $3 a set which do the job to my satisfaction.

DPO
01-08-2017, 09:12 AM
These are the cheapest I can see. I havent tried them though and you get a 5th string tuner chucked in. For some reason you pay an extra $10 without it. Go figure?

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Beautiful-5pcs-banjo-machine-head-Tuning-Tuner-Peg-Pearled-buttons-/331526701907?hash=item4d30880353:g:SwYAAOSw44BYajj t

P.s. they will probably be made for a thicker peg head.

I tried them once, three worked sort of and one not at all. Never used them again.

FinnP
01-08-2017, 10:34 AM
I bought these from Eaglemusic UK for my Ohana longneck. They are very well build and keep the tuning fine.
968199682096821

crazybilly
01-09-2017, 08:17 AM
Ooo, those are gorgeous, Finn.

Those cheap planetaries look really tempting--I've got a banjo build coming up and it's awful tempting to try them. But I think you're probably right--I don't know how they'd go on the uke headstock.

I suspect I'll land on the $5 ebay friction tuners, assuming the holes are all the right size. If I like how it sounds and plays, I can always upgrade later and at $5, I won't be out too much--I'm sure I'll be able to re-use them on another project later on.

crazybilly
01-09-2017, 06:53 PM
Do you know what the hole size is supposed to be for those medium Ebay Specials, Titch? I just measured my uke's current holes--they're tiny. Like 9/64" tiny.

I'm not opposed to reaming them out a bit, but I hate to make a permanent change for what might be a stopgap solution...

Michael Smith
01-09-2017, 07:02 PM
What planet are those from, not the geared planet.

Titchtheclown
01-10-2017, 12:50 AM
Do you know what the hole size is supposed to be for those medium Ebay Specials, Titch? I just measured my uke's current holes--they're tiny. Like 9/64" tiny.

I'm not opposed to reaming them out a bit, but I hate to make a permanent change for what might be a stopgap solution...



The $6 tuners have a 5 mm shaft and a 8mm grommet diameter, the grommet needs a 5 or 6 mm deep hole. The tightest they go is down to 8mm thin for the headstock thickness and about 16 for the thickest.
I have ordered a set of the planetary tuners myself to give them a tryout most of the sellers don't post postal dimensions and I really wish they would. I have generally found that dimensions on cheap tuners can vary a bit though for example nearly all of the regular geared ones I buy have 6mm shafts. Sending a message to the seller can sometimes get a reply though I think any measurements are likely to be done with the aid of a wooden ruler.
It may take a few weeks for the planetary ones to arrive.

jcalkin
01-12-2017, 03:52 AM
An eBay friend turned me on to the Chinese planetary tuners, saying that they run rough but stay in tune. I ordered three sets at $20 a set. I put them on a yard sale dulcimer and a cheap tenor banjo that I swapped for. They certainly do feel rough when tuning. I have not played the instruments so I don't know if they smooth out with use. Quality planetary tuners have a pin cast into the housing that prevents the entire tuner from spinning. The cheapos have a hole in the casing with an undersize piece of wire poked into it to serve the same purpose. The wire is easily bent or pulled out. I have raided my third set to replace tuners in the first two. I'd certainly never put these tuners on an instrument that I was proud of, or any I built to sell (which I'm also proud of). I've always been pleased with Grover Sta-tites, but I love the look of planetaries. At $90 a set I just don't love them enough to put them on all of my instruments.

mikeyb2
01-12-2017, 07:11 AM
I don't know if they smooth out with use.
A while ago, I read a post on the Banjohangout forum, where a member used to buy these and run them for a while in his cordless drill, to wear them in. Can't remember how long though, but it's worth consideration.

crazybilly
01-13-2017, 07:48 AM
... I have raided my third set to replace tuners in the first two. I'd certainly never put these tuners on an instrument that I was proud of, or any I built to sell (which I'm also proud of). I've always been pleased with Grover Sta-tites, ... At $90 a set I just don't love them enough to put them on all of my instruments.

Ain't that the truth--same for Peghedz: even at $60, I can't justify it, at least not for a cheap uke.

That's good to know about the cheap planetaries--I wish they were at least bearable, but it sounds like a recipe for disaster.

pahu
01-27-2017, 05:36 PM
A while ago, I read a post on the Banjohangout forum, where a member used to buy these and run them for a while in his cordless drill, to wear them in. Can't remember how long though, but it's worth consideration.

I, too bought some cheapo Chinese planetary tuners. The drill trick didnt do it on them, unfortunately. I believe they are 4:1 ratio, because every 4th revolution the rough spot showed up.
Minimum headstock thickness is 1/2" so that may be a problem for some Ukes.
I havent tried these yet but they are in the middle between cheapo Chinese and the Gotoh Planetaries.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Fender-Genuine-Tuning-Keys-For-FB58-Banjo-Chrome-Geared-0055039000-Brand-New-/231949326545?hash=item360141d8d1:g:3QoAAOxySoJTTg7 n
The Seller claims they are not Chinese

If youre interested, I'll give you the Chinese set for postage costs-the Seller gave me a full refund.