View Full Version : Tulip tuners

02-23-2019, 09:08 AM
Hadn't seen these Gotoh UPT tuners with white tulip buttons before until recently. My 40's Style 0 had the original tulip tuners, which were among the worst frictions I have used. At the bottom of the button, there is a little cone which fits into the headstock hole, so it makes adding washers all but impossible. I replaced mine with Pings, which were a no-mod drop in replacement. They are better, but still just OK, compared to UPTs. The vintage tuners in the pic below are on eBay for $129.00, I can't imagine they'll sell for that, but if they do, I may put my set on there too, to fund a set of these UPTs.


Bill Sheehan
02-23-2019, 05:16 PM
Wow, the tulip-style UPT's do indeed look very nice!

02-24-2019, 04:31 AM
......My suggestion for a vintage uke is to only fit UPTs that can be installed without removing any wood, and keep the original tuners with the paperwork for the uke. This would not apply to ukes which are never going to be collectible or vintage.

All good points, but I've yet to meet a uke where UPTs could be swapped in without removing wood. Plus, these days when you can have trouble selling a nice vintage Style 0 for even $400.00, whether it has the vintage frictions or UPTs doesn't affect value that much, and may even add value in some buyers eyes. Of course a more rare or desirable vintage model is another story.

02-24-2019, 10:29 AM
Some people buy ukuleles, especially vintage ones, to collect and admire and maybe eventually sell at a profit. Occasionally playing them. For them it doesn't make sense to change the tuners because and all-original vintage uke with have greater resale value than one with replaced or repaired parts. Sometimes the difference is small, often it is large.

Other people buy ukuleles to play and enjoy their sound. Some buy vintage ukuleles because they like and appreciate the sound that age and use and old construction methods have bestowed upon the instruments. For many of them, the utility of updated tuners is more important than any effect installing them will have on the resale value.

It all depends upon the reason you acquire your instruments. Neither is better than the other.