View Full Version : Friction Tuners for a Kamaka

11-12-2009, 07:49 PM
Let me begin by saying... "Yes I did use the search function!" and still I can't seem to find the answer. I know that once I post this someone most likely will be able to find what I've been looking for during the past 3 hours.:o

I was lucky enough to buy an older Kamaka Uke. Soprano with the Gold label on it. It is currently at a repair shop to fix some cracks, but as I gave the Uke to the repair person she mentioned that the Tuning Pegs did not seem to look like the ones she had seen in other Kamakas.

After looking around on the forums I read that Kamaka Ukes usually come with the Schaller Tuning pegs. The pegs on my Uke are definitely not the same. As much as possible I want to keep the Uke as close to the original as possible.

So long story short, has Kamaka always used these Schaller ones or could I have pegs that they used to use? Also, does anyone know of any online stores that sell the Pegs?

Thanks in advance.

11-13-2009, 06:21 PM
hmmm... not sure on those really old ones.

What do yours look like?

do they look like the ones on the uke in this thread...


11-14-2009, 04:45 AM
Hi Jinny,

How's it going? I wish I took a couple of pictures before I brought it in to the shop.

The Uke somewhat looks like the one in the link. Same shape, same headstock, but the main difference is that mine seems to be made of the same wood all over. The bridge is the same color as the top, and it did not seem like there was a separate piece of wood for the fretboard.

After looking around the closest thing I found was the Historic Soprano circa mid-50's found on the Kamaka website.


The only difference is that the wood looks a darker. I'm not good with identifying the types of wood, but the repair person claims it is made out of Koa.

11-14-2009, 06:08 PM
Wow, Dennis, looks like you are well on your way to some serious UAS.

regarding your uke... for a Gold Label Kamaka, or almost any Kamaka, I would bet money that it was Koa.

hope it comes back from the shop all nice.

11-14-2009, 08:06 PM
Dude... I always scoffed at the idea of UAS but man... it was too good of a deal. The uke plus the repair is going to cost me a little under $200.00.

Must stop buying!!!

11-15-2009, 05:52 AM
that is a steal of a deal for a gold label kamaka!

but, going back to the tuners real quick... I'm guessing that the Schaller friction tuners you are thinking of are the biggish white plastic tuners with the big steel slotted adjustment screw on the end. Most of the more modern Kamakas I've seen have 'em... and the newest larger kamaka have Schaller geared tuner options. I've not spent much time with Kamakas that were more than a few decades old... and if/when i did see a really old one, i did not pay enough attention to take note of the tuners, but I wouldn't be surprised if your gold label originally did not have the more modern white tuners because Schaller did not make uke tuners until the mid-70's... i think... and gold labels are all older than that, right?

The Schallers are nice tho... I believe they were originally made and designed for Kamaka. I would imagine that they are better than the earlier tuners and I might consider switching, but switching to the big white Shallers might require drilling out the hole... which might take you away from your quest to keep it as original as possible.

I've considered switching the friction tuners on my kamaka soprano to geared ones so i went looking for some Schallers... not easy. I think you can still get them straight from Germany but they are plenty expensive. I've seen them pop up on ebay... but they've still been pricey. I think I remember that StewMac sells Schaller tuners for banjos, but I think they didn't carry uke ones.

11-15-2009, 06:20 AM
Thanks for the input Jinny. I'll keep my eyes out for those tuners on ebay. I just have 5 more days until it comes back from the repair shop. I'll see you next week at Guitar Merchant.