View Full Version : Replacement tuners for Kiwaya KTS-4K?

04-29-2018, 02:04 PM
I love the sound of my Kiwaya, but the friction tuners are pretty terrible. Takes forever to get the thing in tune. They're so sensitive, they jump sharp at the slightest tightening, and drop flat if I even look at them counter-clockwise. I see Gotoh UPTs on the Ukulele Site for $59. I'm sure they're great, but is there something a step down from that that would still be good? I've never messed with tuners before, not on a uke anyway. Thanks for any advice!

04-29-2018, 03:00 PM
They're so sensitive, they jump sharp at the slightest tightening, and drop flat if I even look at them counter-clockwise.

Last night a friend of mine had a similar problem on a 50s Harmony Concert. It had "single wing" tuners. On a hunch I switched to my new D'Addario digital tuner to check it and the problem disappeared.
Could be a problem with the clip on tuner.

Pukulele Pete
04-30-2018, 01:22 AM
The Friction tuners on my KTS-4 work just fine , they are quality tuners. That said , if I were to replace them , I wouldnt be looking for a cheaper version of the tuners I really want.
That's a great uke , it deserves great tuners. Maybe your friction tuners just need a little adjusting.

04-30-2018, 08:33 AM
I agree with your assessment of your tuners. You might find a "step down" and save 10 or 15 bucks. Then, you'd still have friction tuners. I don't think $59 is much to spend on the UPTs, when the improvement will be very great indeed.

04-30-2018, 09:10 AM
I believe those ukes come with Gotoh Deluxe tuners, which are good quality frictions. Have you adjusted the screws on the back? I find it a balancing act, getting the screw tension just right, so it will adjust smoothly, but not slip. You could also try adding a washer under each button, for smoother operation.

If frictions just aren't for you, I'd recommend the UPTs also. Since it's not a vintage uke, there's no worries about expanding the peg holes. They are the best tuners I've used, although I still have a couple of ukes with frictions, which I've learned to live with. Once the strings are well broken in, I find that the pitch doesn't vary much from session to session, whether using frictions or UPTs.

04-30-2018, 03:26 PM
I will try adjusting them. That I have not tried. Thanks for the advice!

Pukulele Pete
05-02-2018, 02:12 AM
Being a KTS-4K , I think this may be a rare uke and might be worth while keeping it in original condition. IMHO

05-02-2018, 07:15 AM
I've swapped all friction tuners with the UPTs and smiled at the dramatic difference they make. Easy to install - see vid at HMS. Just delightful instead of frustration. Love the Kiwayas... Now.

05-03-2018, 01:02 PM
So, a little update. I tightened the screws on the back of the tuners, about a quarter turn each. They are hard to turn now, but the strings stay in tune much better. I also changed the strings. I had D'Addario classical guitar strings on it. Maybe those just aren't meant for such a short scale because they never sounded right. I put on a spare set of Aquila super nylguts and they are already more stable than the other ones. Louder too. For the low G I put on a Thomastik Infeld wound D, and it's the most stable of all. I have that on all my ukes now. This setup will do for now. It's at least playable.