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View Full Version : Choosing tuning pegs



Skrik
11-17-2009, 09:00 AM
After stringing my Romanian triplets with Aquilas, I have diagnosed that all of them need new tuning pegs and new saddles (perhaps new nuts, but I'm not getting ahead of myself). I will get around to making saddles some time after the new year, when the temperature allows me to work in the shed again. In the meantime, I can fit new tuners as soon as I decide which to fit. The baritone and tenor will be getting ears, which are nice and reliable. The soprano will have friction tuners, though, to preserve the balance of the instrument.

Brüko used to sell their standard tuners, but I can't find them in their online shop. This is disappointing as they work so well on my No. 6.

Thomann.de sells several different kinds of Grover and Schaller tuning pegs (http://www.thomann.de/se/search_dir.html?xsid=dd0bef9024ad1169864e6b0230e71 fa9&sw=ukulele+pegs&x=0&y=0), and I assume the more expensive, the better. But on a €30 uke? I have to use my noggin a little.

I'm leaning towards Grover GR 85 (http://www.thomann.de/se/grover_champion_ukulele_pegs_gr_85b.htm)s.

http://images1.thomann.de/pics/prod/210315.jpg

These are up market from the Grover GR 3 (http://www.thomann.de/se/grover_champion_ukulele_pegs_gr_3w.htm), which appear to be what are fitted to the ukulele from the factory.

http://images1.thomann.de/pics/prod/210316.jpg

Here's the peghead:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v112/gammelost/0a8932c0.jpg

Anyone have any advice for someone (me) who hasn't bought friction tuners before?

dave g
11-17-2009, 10:03 AM
These are excellent: http://windworld.com/products-page/hardware-for-acoustic/friction-tuner/

gp-ak
11-17-2009, 01:32 PM
^ I've used those too, and though they are cheap and functional I wouldn't call them "excellent".

Between those and a Gotohs it is night and day. But the Gotohs cost 10x more.

Skrik
11-18-2009, 05:20 AM
These are excellent: http://windworld.com/products-page/hardware-for-acoustic/friction-tuner/

Those look like the tuners fitted to my Brüko.


^ I've used those too, and though they are cheap and functional I wouldn't call them "excellent".

Between those and a Gotohs it is night and day. But the Gotohs cost 10x more.

Does this mean that you consider Gotohs the best there is? Taking a look at the price, I quite believe it; but they are approaching half the value of the ukulele, which means they would be overkill.

RevWill
11-18-2009, 05:48 AM
What are the symptoms that led you to believe you need new friction tuners? Can the old tuners be reused to upgrade an even cheaper uke?

Which is more important to you: the monetary value of the tuner:uke ratio, or having better, more stable tuners on a uke you already love?

On a tangential note: when I restring my ukes with friction tuners I always loosen the tension screw in order to reduce friction wear from cranking the old strings loose and new strings to pitch. Anyone else do this?

Skrik
11-18-2009, 06:09 AM
What are the symptoms that led you to believe you need new friction tuners?

They are difficult to move (strain to move the thing in the first place, jump too sharp, back a bit, damn, too flat, start again) when they are tight enough to keep the strings in tune. I think it comes from the softish plastic bushings that the buttons bite against. I think, based on the experience with my Brüko, that metal bushings will give smoother operation.


Can the old tuners be reused to upgrade an even cheaper uke?

Now that's a thought...


Which is more important to you: the monetary value of the tuner:uke ratio, or having better, more stable tuners on a uke you already love?

Well, this is the nub of the matter, and hearing stories of friction tuners will help me make my mind up.

I want to love this ukulele. I can hear some potential in the solid spruce top, but without tuners that work well and a saddle made of something harder than PVC, I will never be able to hear what it is really capable of. So upgrades are necessary, something I understood when I ordered it.


On a tangential note: when I restring my ukes with friction tuners I always loosen the tension screw in order to reduce friction wear from cranking the old strings loose and new strings to pitch. Anyone else do this?

No, but now I will. Cheers!

Ronnie Aloha
11-18-2009, 06:25 AM
Just ordered new Shaeller(sp) tuners from Kamaka to replace the old ones on Kamaka tenor. I'll see how they work out. The old ones were shot. Basically the tension screw had to be tightened all the way down since the tuner would spin under the tension of the strings.

RevWill
11-18-2009, 06:38 AM
Sounds to me like you ought to bite the bullet and upgrade the tuners. Bone or Tusq would be good choices for saddle and nut.

Just keep the old tuners in a drawer. If the experiment doesn't work and you decide to sell the uke, put the old ones back on and keep the new ones back for a better uke.

gp-ak
11-18-2009, 06:11 PM
Does this mean that you consider Gotohs the best there is? Taking a look at the price, I quite believe it; but they are approaching half the value of the ukulele, which means they would be overkill.

Of the ones I've tried, which are the pings, the grovers you listed and the gotohs, the gotohs were the best.