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CYN
08-30-2018, 01:12 PM
Would like opinions of the advantages and disadvantages of Planetary tuners and Geared tuners. Having a hard time deciding. I am leaning toward geared since I am used to them.

RichM
08-30-2018, 01:24 PM
Would like opinions of the advantages and disadvantages of Planetary tuners and Geared tuners. Having a hard time deciding. I am leaning toward geared since I am used to them.

Planetary tuners ARE geared tuners, just with a unique gearing system.

Pro planetary:

Smooth and good looking
Lower gear ratio, so tuning is quicker
Maintains a more traditional ukulele look

Con planetary:

Usually more expensive and perhaps a bit more complex to install (reaming usually required)

Pro traditional geared:

Higher gear ratio for those fussy about fine tuning
Cheap and easy to install (although screw holes will need to be drilled)

Con traditional geared:

Not so pretty

Jim Hanks
08-30-2018, 01:30 PM
Planetary tuners are geared tuners. It's just that the gears are hidden. Most often, the planetary tuners (e.g. Gotoh UPT and Pegheds) have a lower gear ratio (4:1) compared to "normal" geared tuners (14:1). This means you can theoretically tune more precisely with normal gears but in practice, the 4:1 ratio gives you plenty of control and is way better than 1:1 friction tuners. The planetary are usually installed facing rearward if you like that look.

The only real disadvantage of planetary in my opinion is the cost, but I have to say that Gotoh UPT are my favorite tuners bar none.

Jim Hanks
08-30-2018, 01:31 PM
Er, what Rich said. :p

RichM
08-30-2018, 01:39 PM
Planetary tuners are geared tuners. It's just that the gears are hidden. Most often, the planetary tuners (e.g. Gotoh UPT and Pegheds) have a lower gear ratio (4:1) compared to "normal" geared tuners (14:1). This means you can theoretically tune more precisely with normal gears but in practice, the 4:1 ratio gives you plenty of control and is way better than 1:1 friction tuners. The planetary are usually installed facing rearward if you like that look.

The only real disadvantage of planetary in my opinion is the cost, but I have to say that Gotoh UPT are my favorite tuners bar none.

Great minds think alike! For people who don't understand the planetary gear system, here's a peek inside (these are Keith banjo tuners, but the idea is the same):

http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Musician/Banjo/KeithTuners/KeithViews/keith11.jpg

You can see how the three "planet" gears rotate around the "sun" gear-- hence the name planetary tuners.

DPO
08-30-2018, 03:03 PM
Great minds think alike! For people who don't understand the planetary gear system, here's a peek inside (these are Keith banjo tuners, but the idea is the same):

http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Musician/Banjo/KeithTuners/KeithViews/keith11.jpg

You can see how the three "planet" gears rotate around the "sun" gear-- hence the name planetary tuners.


Excellent illustration Rich

hollisdwyer
08-30-2018, 04:09 PM
In all of my custom builds I have favoured planetary tuners basically for the ‘Pro’ comments made above. But, I asked for Rubner geared machines(15:1) for my recent Beau Hannam Tenor and will be using them again on my Barron River that is currently in build. A bit expensive when compared to standard geared tuners but not that much more than Gotoh UTP’s or Pegheads. I have come to like the extremely smooth and accurate mechanism and, as I am now favouring thick gauge high tension strings, I thought the extra holding power of the higher gear ratio would be better( this perception could be totally wacko).

stevepetergal
08-30-2018, 05:38 PM
Planetary tuners are geared tuners. It's just that the gears are hidden. Most often, the planetary tuners (e.g. Gotoh UPT and Pegheds) have a lower gear ratio (4:1) compared to "normal" geared tuners (14:1). This means you can theoretically tune more precisely with normal gears but in practice, the 4:1 ratio gives you plenty of control and is way better than 1:1 friction tuners. The planetary are usually installed facing rearward if you like that look.

The only real disadvantage of planetary in my opinion is the cost, but I have to say that Gotoh UPT are my favorite tuners bar none.

I agree with Jim completely.

70sSanO
08-30-2018, 05:43 PM
I have both and prefer the "normal" geared tuners. I find that while the plantary are more precise than friction, they are not as precise as geared tuners and are a little tougher at times to fine tune it just right and not too much. Then again, when I tune a ukulele I generally tune open and check it at the 12th fret. I've also found at times that after a few open strums a string may even out from bridge to tuning peg and be off slightly. I may not be Peterson Strobe picky, but I try to get it as close as I can and the normal geared are easier for me.

John

Jerryc41
08-31-2018, 12:43 AM
Planetary tuners (UPT) are more expensive, with very few vendors. The go-to brand is Gotoh. You can order from the factory in Japan for close to $90 and wait a month or more, or you can buy them from HMS for $59 plus shipping and get fast delivery. The factory makes them when you place the order, so you get exactly what you want. There are so many size and color combinations that HMS can't keep all of them in stock, so you might have to accept your second choice.

Traditional tuners have gearing of 14:1 - 18:1, so it's possible to make tiny adjustments. They cost $20 or less, with lots of sellers and lots of brands available. Grover is a good brand. At 4:1, the UPTs are also easier to tune than the direct tuners, but less turning is required to make small adjustments. Either type is head and shoulders above direct tuning pegs, in my opinion. UPTs require enlarging the hole in the headstock just a little bit.

The UPTs are an excellent replacement for direct tuners. Pictures below show the original Grovers and the Gotoh conversion on a Firefly. Also a standard set of geared tuners on a Fluke.

111585 111586 111588 111590

Jerryc41
08-31-2018, 12:53 AM
Great minds think alike! For people who don't understand the planetary gear system, here's a peek inside (these are Keith banjo tuners, but the idea is the same):

You can see how the three "planet" gears rotate around the "sun" gear-- hence the name planetary tuners.

I can't imagine why they didn't make that "sun" gear yellow. :)

frianm
08-31-2018, 03:24 AM
In all of my custom builds I have favoured planetary tuners basically for the ‘Pro’ comments made above. But, I asked for Rubner geared machines(15:1) for my recent Beau Hannam Tenor and will be using them again on my Barron River that is currently in build. A bit expensive when compared to standard geared tuners but not that much more than Gotoh UTP’s or Pegheads. I have come to like the extremely smooth and accurate mechanism and, as I am now favouring thick gauge high tension strings, I thought the extra holding power of the higher gear ratio would be better( this perception could be totally wacko).

While I am most in favor of planetary tuners I do want to shout out for the Rubner geared tuners. They are quite amazing and their price varies. The vendor in the US is happy to supply post lengths to fit. I prefer these on slot head instruments and much depends upon the spacing between the posts as to whether these will fit. The next alternative is individual tuning machines. Of these I find the Grovers the most accessible if not a tad ugly - BUT I like the look of the Grovers used by Mele and available from them for retrofitting.

When retrofitting with planetaries the biggest issue is the thickness of the headstock. The Gotoh upt and uptl will fit most BUT some instruments are just too thick in the headstock. One then has to look to banjo tuners which are both heavier and rather larger. Gotoh are for many of us the best and most accessible but I have used a variety of brands on my banjos and have just fitted a set of Five Star on an old Maybell banjo uke. There are some wonderful pre WW2 replicas made in the Czech Republic that are not light and precise but with a wider body the the Five Star or Gotoh. IMHO the upt tuners are the best and I have retrofitted a few to my instruments. Meanwhile my Kamaka tenor still has its original Schaller tuners and I am not about to change those.

So much choice - SIGH!

Jerryc41
08-31-2018, 07:10 AM
Did anyone mention Peghed tuners? They were my introduction to planetary. They're expensive (about $75), and they're a bit too long and thin for my liking. It looks like they're daring someone to break them.

RichM
08-31-2018, 08:02 AM
Did anyone mention Peghed tuners? They were my introduction to planetary. They're expensive (about $75), and they're a bit too long and thin for my liking. It looks like they're daring someone to break them.

I've had Pegheds on a few ukes, and they're fine. They are reliable planetary tuners, and they have a certain look about them. While I never felt the were fragile, I much prefer the look of UPTs to Pegheds.

DPO
08-31-2018, 11:45 AM
While I am most in favor of planetary tuners I do want to shout out for the Rubner geared tuners. They are quite amazing and their price varies. The vendor in the US is happy to supply post lengths to fit. I prefer these on slot head instruments and much depends upon the spacing between the posts as to whether these will fit. The next alternative is individual tuning machines. Of these I find the Grovers the most accessible if not a tad ugly - BUT I like the look of the Grovers used by Mele and available from them for retrofitting.

When retrofitting with planetaries the biggest issue is the thickness of the headstock. The Gotoh upt and uptl will fit most BUT some instruments are just too thick in the headstock. One then has to look to banjo tuners which are both heavier and rather larger. Gotoh are for many of us the best and most accessible but I have used a variety of brands on my banjos and have just fitted a set of Five Star on an old Maybell banjo uke. There are some wonderful pre WW2 replicas made in the Czech Republic that are not light and precise but with a wider body the the Five Star or Gotoh. IMHO the upt tuners are the best and I have retrofitted a few to my instruments. Meanwhile my Kamaka tenor still has its original Schaller tuners and I am not about to change those.

So much choice - SIGH!

I have been fitting Gotoh planetary tuners to my Southern Cross Banjo Ukes for quite a while. Due to a recent increase of shipping costs I bought a set "clones" from Pete Howlett they are identical in every way but cheaper. They had standard length posts which where a bit short for my headstocks which tend to be a bit thicker than Ukes so I simply recessed the rear of the headstock with a Forstner bit and they fitted absolutely perfectly. Very happy with the result See here
https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=111443&d=1535074519

frianm
08-31-2018, 12:19 PM
I have been fitting Gotoh planetary tuners to my Southern Cross Banjo Ukes for quite a while. Due to a recent increase of shipping costs I bought a set "clones" from Pete Howlett they are identical in every way but cheaper. They had standard length posts which where a bit short for my headstocks which tend to be a bit thicker than Ukes so I simply recessed the rear of the headstock with a Forstner bit and they fitted absolutely perfectly. Very happy with the result See here
https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=111443&d=1535074519
That is an excellent solution and nicely done. Thanks for sharing.

spongeuke
08-31-2018, 08:20 PM
I use Pegheads to replace the wooden pegs on primarily 100 year old Martins and the ones made during WWII. I have found that pegheads require very little to no reaming of the holes and the wooden pegs can be installed if a true vintage is wanted. The long extension of the both types of pegs makes it wise to add extra padding under the neck when in a case.

UkingViking
09-01-2018, 10:36 AM
I have two ukes with normal geared tuners, one with pegheds and one with friction tuners.

I prefer the geared tuners for ease, but the pegheds sure work easier than the friction tuners.

From my point of view the advantage of planetaty tuners compared to is primarily cosmetical.
So, what look do you like :-)

Jerryc41
09-02-2018, 02:36 AM
From my point of view the advantage of planetaty tuners compared to is primarily cosmetical.
So, what look do you like :-)

Yes! I don't like tuners sticking out the side of a small uke.

Hms
09-02-2018, 08:35 AM
Excellent illustration Rich

But aren’t all the planetary gears meant to mesh with the sun gear?
H