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View Full Version : How hard is it to switch out tuners on a fluke banjo uke



Piecomics
07-29-2018, 01:30 PM
Hey, I have a tenor flea market banjo uke with the standard tuners, but Iím changing tuning enough I would like to switch out for something better. Any advice on what is a better tuner? Also advice on how to do it, what tools I may need, and most importantly how likely am I to ruin it if I try would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
Ben

derbyhat
07-29-2018, 04:27 PM
I can give half an answer. I've swapped out the stock friction tuners from my Koaloha Noah to Gotoh UPTs. I'd imagine that the experience would be comparable.

I chose the Gotoh UPTs because gears make tuning way easier over friction tuners; I prefer the look over the Pegheads; and I had they hold their position really well.

Regarding tools: something that scrapes or drills. Gotoh's have a wider body than many tuners, so you just have to expand the hole a bit. I'd use either a manual reamer or my father-in-law's drill press. Um...assuming you know my father-in-law, that is. :) If you don't have a carpenter in the family and/or your own machine that can clamp your uke in place and steadily drive the bit, I'd go slow. Under no circumstances would I try a handheld power tool.

As soon as you get over that your drilling into your ukulele!!!!, it's really simple. If you're nervous, practice on a piece of scrap first.

Good luck.

Oh - and The Ukulele Site used to have a setup video that showed how to install Gotoh's. You might look around their site to see if you can find it.

Jim Hanks
07-29-2018, 05:19 PM
Pegheads are an option from the factory. I'd contact them first and see if they can do the upgrade for you. At least they can tell you if it's possible.

Jerryc41
07-30-2018, 12:15 AM
Hey, I have a tenor flea market banjo uke with the standard tuners, but I’m changing tuning enough I would like to switch out for something better. Any advice on what is a better tuner? Also advice on how to do it, what tools I may need, and most importantly how likely am I to ruin it if I try would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
Ben

I replaced the tuners on a Firefly with Gotoh tuners from HMS - good price and fast service. If you must have something specific and deal with the factory in Japan, it will take three months and cost $90 or more. I used a reamer, but that maple is very hard, and it took a while.

I put regular geared tuners on a Fluke, and I used an electric drill for that - much faster. However, the "experts" all warn that a drill can cause damage and lead to an angled hole. I've converted about three ukes with drills - no problems yet. I hate those direct tuners, and I'm not crazy about Pegheds, either. They stick out too far, for one thing. They came on a Flea I bought.

110823 110824 110825

Jerryc41
07-30-2018, 12:21 AM
Pegheads are an option from the factory. I'd contact them first and see if they can do the upgrade for you. At least they can tell you if it's possible.

I'm sure they will. I asked about replacing the plastic neck with a wooden one, and the price would have been $75, the same as ordering one that way. When I bought my first Firefly - at their store - I had them swap out the direct tuners for PegHeds while I waited. Magic Fluke is a very good company.

Jim Hanks
07-30-2018, 06:19 AM
I replaced the tuners on a Firefly with Gotoh tuners from HMS
If I was buying new, I'd just get the PegHeds, but if I find a used one, I'm sending it to you for the Gotoh install. Nice job. :worship:

kerneltime
07-30-2018, 06:31 AM
I used a reamer, but that maple is very hard, and it took a while.


That was the only problematic bit when I tried the same, the rest was straight forward.
That said some of the higher end friction tuners might just slip in without any hassle (I forget the model but I think they were grover) Looked something like this: https://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and_Parts/Tuning_Machines/Ukulele_Tuning_Machines/Grover_Champion_Dulcimer_Uke_Friction_Pegs.html

I would recommend the UPT route and bear the many hours it will take to ream all the 4 holes to the right width. UPT are worth the hassle or you can pay a local luthier..

kerneltime
07-30-2018, 06:34 AM
That was the only problematic bit when I tried the same, the rest was straight forward.
That said some of the higher end friction tuners might just slip in without any hassle (I forget the model but I think they were grover) Looked something like this: https://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and_Parts/Tuning_Machines/Ukulele_Tuning_Machines/Grover_Champion_Dulcimer_Uke_Friction_Pegs.html

I would recommend the UPT route and bear the many hours it will take to ream all the 4 holes to the right width. UPT are worth the hassle or you can pay a local luthier..

Also, if I remember correctly you need to get the long version of UPT. I ordered UPTL UBB-B from hms https://www.theukulelesite.com/gotoh-upt-tuner-upgrade.html

Uke Don
07-30-2018, 11:33 AM
I'd also recommend the Gotoh UPTs. I installed Grover 8s on a Fluke, and it takes a lot of time and much modification to the tuner plates. Much easier to just ream out the holes for the UPTs.

Booli
07-30-2018, 03:16 PM
Hey, I have a tenor flea market banjo uke with the standard tuners, but I’m changing tuning enough I would like to switch out for something better. Any advice on what is a better tuner? Also advice on how to do it, what tools I may need, and most importantly how likely am I to ruin it if I try would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
Ben

FYI: This has been discussed several times previously, and most of those threads (including photos and details of my own procedures) are linked in the first post of:

The Magic Fluke Company Appreciate Thread (http://goo.gl/MYu6WV) <--click here.

Hope this helps! :)

hendulele
07-30-2018, 04:18 PM
I swapped the standard tuners for Grover 6s (friction). The holes needed to be SLIGHTLY larger and I used a flat file. Some gentle pressure removed just enough wood to get a snug fit. I’m very glad I made the switch. I recommend a file over a reamer, because you can be more gentle with a file IMO.

Jerryc41
07-31-2018, 06:22 AM
I recommend a file over a reamer, because you can be more gentle with a file IMO.

Yes. Good suggestion. I used a file at the end for fine tuning.