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iDavid
01-17-2010, 01:57 AM
I was playing a friend's Bushman concert and it had geared tuners which worked really well. I was thinking it would look even better with friction peg tuners.

Any of you prefer friction tuners. Does a soprano get neck heavy with geared tuners?


david

luvdat
01-17-2010, 02:11 AM
I was playing a friend's Bushman concert and it had geared tuners which worked really well. I was thinking it would look even better with friction peg tuners.

Any of you prefer friction tuners. Does a soprano get neck heavy with geared tuners?


david

In some people's experience sopranos do "get heavy" with geared tuners and the word "uncomfortable" gets tossed around...for me, no. But for others...some people are more "delicate." Also, the whole aesthetic thing? For me, aesthetics includes staying in tune and ease of tuning. Sure, good friction tuners are different. Good ones.

jkevinwolfe
01-17-2010, 02:18 AM
The friction tuners on Fleas are made of metal, so for some the point is moot. But I really prefer the convenience of geared.

micromue
01-17-2010, 02:31 AM
Quality friction tuners are as easy to operate as any geared tuners. I -perspnally- donīt see a plus in convience with geared tuners. I would probably feel another way if I played on stage, but for my home-use I am perfectly fine with friction tuners.
OTH not all geared tuners make a uke top heavy. E.G them Mini-Schallers are nice mechanics, that are very lightweighted, no top-heavieness there.
When comparing different tuners from a certain quality level it comes down to mere aesthetics. And I really donīt like the look of geared tuners. Period.

Skrik
01-17-2010, 02:31 AM
Good friction tuners are not so bad to use. You just have to be very careful when tuning. Geared tuners on a light soprano give the ukulele a tendency to dive head first towards the floor, which is very inconvenient. I like good friction tuners on a good soprano. On the rest, I prefer the ease of geared tuners.

Lanark
01-17-2010, 03:48 AM
I have both kinds on different instruments and really I don't find it to be an issue. I don't even think about it. I tune and play. Aesthetically speaking, I do rather prefer the look of friction tuners, but normally I don't really even consider the tuners on my ukes until another one of these threads pops up. (they're a staple like the angst caused by the "E" chord)

I suspect that some folks just have trouble mastering the tweak that goes with a 1:1 ratio and they tend to be a bit more adamant and vocal about their dislike. (And if it's not a issue there's no reason to post. You just play.)


As I've said in previous threads. It's just a knob. You turn it. You tweak it until you're in tune. Your inability to master it is not the knobs fault. It's just a knob. :o

strings
01-17-2010, 05:00 AM
I'm new to the ukulele so don't know what I'm talking about, but I find the friction tuners appearance more pleasing, and easy to use. Of course being used to tuning a fiddle may be responsible for this. My other string instruments have geared tuners and they work fine too.They can be works of art, as are the Fustero tuners on my classical guitar with the hand carved metal work, and bone knobs. I agree with Lanark. It's just a knob, and if its propery made and engineered, it should be very easy to use.

EDW
01-17-2010, 05:38 AM
My favorite are tuners are Pegheds. That said, I really don't have any complaint with friction tuners. I agree that a decent quality set that is adjusted properly works fine. I would rather the light weight and simplicity over many geared options. I also prefer the look of a uke that does not have "ears".

pdxuke
01-17-2010, 06:43 AM
While I find ukes with "ears" not as pretty, they are easier to use. The good news is it looks like the engineering on friction tuners is getting better.

haole
01-17-2010, 06:52 AM
No preference. I have ukes with both, and I don't really plan on replacing the tuners on anything. My first instrument was violin, and the old-fashioned violin friction pegs are far more heinous and unforgiving than the Grovers or Schallers or Gotohs on most decent soprano ukes. It's a tiny bit tougher to master friction tuners, but tuners aren't a deal-breaker for me.

pithaya9
01-17-2010, 06:55 AM
I have both kinds on different instruments and really I don't find it to be an issue. I don't even think about it. I tune and play. Aesthetically speaking, I do rather prefer the look of friction tuners, but normally I don't really even consider the tuners on my ukes until another one of these threads pops up. (they're a staple like the angst caused by the "E" chord)

I suspect that some folks just have trouble mastering the tweak that goes with a 1:1 ratio and they tend to be a bit more adamant and vocal about their dislike. (And if it's not a issue there's no reason to post. You just play.)


As I've said in previous threads. It's just a knob. You turn it. You tweak it until you're in tune. Your inability to master it is not the knobs fault. It's just a knob. :o

I have to agree with Lanark. I also have both but a good set of friction tuners will work just as good as a set of geared tuners. I wonder if most of the problems that people have with friction tuners is that they have cheap ones instead of high quality tuners. I have noticed that with some of my wallhanger 'ukuleles.

pdxuke
01-17-2010, 07:12 AM
I have to agree with Lanark. I also have both but a good set of friction tuners will work just as good as a set of geared tuners. I wonder if most of the problems that people have with friction tuners is that they have cheap ones instead of high quality tuners. I have noticed that with some of my wallhanger 'ukuleles.

You may be right about the quality of the tuners not being up to snuff.

But it is a little frustrating to read posts like "it's just a knob." To those of us who have difficulty with them, it is not "just a knob." It's a @@#$%%@ knob! And our complaints are being heard: MGM has posted his Ohana concerts with nice red ink that says NOW WITH GEARED TUNERS. Mele has redesigned their Koa soprano to have geared tuners. So we are not imagining this problem.

And there are obviously a great many who feel this way, otherwise manufacturers wouldn't be inventing friction tuners with gears inside. :)

spots
01-17-2010, 08:23 AM
After working with both (and lots of other type of mechanical tuning devices)... just give me a tuner made from good quality parts. Low quality tuners of any type lead to problems.

In some ways I prefer good quality friction tuners. I upgraded the friction tuning pegs on my Flea (not to Peg Heads) and it some of the best money I've spent.

String changes are much faster and easier, for me, with friction tuners. I find that once the strings have stretched I don't have to retune because you can tighten them down. It's been weeks since I've had to touch the tuning knobs on the Flea.

Geared tuners are smooth, but I don't feel the 1:14 ratio of geared tuners makes tuning any more precise than nice friction tuners. With geared tuners the string is still dealing with the friction over the nut. If a string is over tightened it still takes a few turns to back it down. Depending on the amount of friction at the nut, the tuning can still jump too high or too low as it finally slips through the nut.

I find geared tuners to be a pain with string changes. That 1:14 ratio now takes you forever to unwind the string, and wind the new string back on.

I've had cheap geared tuners wear out and lead to tuning issues. With cheap geared tuners the metal on the gears wears away and you end up with play/movement/slop in the tuning mechanism. This extra play allows the tension on the strings to pull them slightly of tune.

Regardless of what type of tuner you purchase - say "No" to poor or cheap quality!!!

pdxuke
01-17-2010, 09:04 AM
After working with both (and lots of other type of mechanical tuning devices)... just give me a tuner made from good quality parts. Low quality tuners of any type lead to problems.

In some ways I prefer good quality friction tuners. I upgraded the friction tuning pegs on my Flea (not to Peg Heads) and it some of the best money I've spent.

String changes are much faster and easier, for me, with friction tuners. I find that once the strings have stretched I don't have to retune because you can tighten them down. It's been weeks since I've had to touch the tuning knobs on the Flea.

Geared tuners are smooth, but I don't feel the 1:14 ratio of geared tuners makes tuning any more precise than nice friction tuners. With geared tuners the string is still dealing with the friction over the nut. If a string is over tightened it still takes a few turns to back it down. Depending on the amount of friction at the nut, the tuning can still jump too high or too low as it finally slips through the nut.

I find geared tuners to be a pain with string changes. That 1:14 ratio now takes you forever to unwind the string, and wind the new string back on.

I've had cheap geared tuners wear out and lead to tuning issues. With cheap geared tuners the metal on the gears wears away and you end up with play/movement/slop in the tuning mechanism. This extra play allows the tension on the strings to pull them slightly of tune.

Regardless of what type of tuner you purchase - say "No" to poor or cheap quality!!!

Great post. Thank you for this helpful information!

trizzle333
01-17-2010, 09:25 AM
I actually just got a recording king resonator uke, and it came with friction tuners, which after two weeks of playing, have already ordered geared tuners from a shop, and they're installing them on my uke now. i know some people like them, though, so a lot of it is just personal preference

MartinLil
01-17-2010, 09:33 AM
I too prefer the look of friction tuners. There is just something about how great they look on a uke. I really disliked them once, but it was because they were cheap tuners on my cheap uke. I love the friction tuners on KoAlohas. They're great, never slip, and are easy to use. If I were to have a custom made, however, it would definitely be a slotted headstock.

luvdat
01-17-2010, 10:14 AM
No preference. I have ukes with both, and I don't really plan on replacing the tuners on anything. My first instrument was violin, and the old-fashioned violin friction pegs are far more heinous and unforgiving than the Grovers or Schallers or Gotohs on most decent soprano ukes. It's a tiny bit tougher to master friction tuners, but tuners aren't a deal-breaker for me.

"I don't really plan on replacing the tuners on anything." Music to my ears. Coming from electric guitarland (especially Fender) where nearly EVERYTHING gets modded...

haole
01-17-2010, 10:26 AM
"I don't really plan on replacing the tuners on anything." Music to my ears. Coming from electric guitarland (especially Fender) where nearly EVERYTHING gets modded...

I don't own a single electric guitar that I haven't modded in some way. I think the body and neck are the only original parts on my Tele. Guitarists usually figure that, for a few bucks, they can change anything they don't like about their instrument because there are so many parts available. But it's not as easy to take a uke that already exists and make it a completely different beast. I think uke players are more likely to just buy a different uke if the one they had their eye on has a feature they don't care for, so they're not as quick to take the whole thing apart and change everything that can be changed.


As for the "geared tuners make your uke neck-heavy" argument, I can see that. Even my tenor is neck-heavy because the tuners are pretty bulky, but it doesn't necessarily feel wrong. Some folks just like a lighter neck feel, which is cool.

Lanark
01-17-2010, 12:10 PM
You may be right about the quality of the tuners not being up to snuff.

But it is a little frustrating to read posts like "it's just a knob." To those of us who have difficulty with them, it is not "just a knob." It's a @@#$%%@ knob! And our complaints are being heard: MGM has posted his Ohana concerts with nice red ink that says NOW WITH GEARED TUNERS. Mele has redesigned their Koa soprano to have geared tuners. So we are not imagining this problem.

And there are obviously a great many who feel this way, otherwise manufacturers wouldn't be inventing friction tuners with gears inside. :)

I imagine it's more a case of the Squeaky Wheel. Not everyone seems to have the same problem you do with friction tuners so they don't feel a need to make a fuss. It's the people who do have issues in making them work that complain. Manufacturers hear and respond to complaints not satisfied silence. It's a reactive measure.

And it then becomes one of those things that starts influencing people's buying decisions based more on the endless repetition of a strongly perceived opinion rather than by actual experience. (See also "graduating to a Tenor when you get serious") So the circle closes around what is essentially misinformation and people start developing a weird phobia of friction tuners. (I've seen the same thing with tube amplifiers. Some people are terrified of them..) And then as somebody who prefers the aesthetic of friction tuners, it then effects me adversely because it begins to limit my choices as manufacturers begin to cater to the misinformed.


I mean, you certainly come across here as rather passionate on the subject. :p But for all your apparent passion, it's still falls in to the realm of an opinion and not the sum of the experience. Simply because you don't like and can't work with friction tuners doesn't meant they are inherently bad. It simply means that you don't like friction tuners, speaking for and about yourself. (Most of the folks I meet and play with on a regular basis have instruments with friction tuners. Nobody gives it a second thought.) And yes, while there are a lot of people who share the same opinion as you on the matter, it still doesn't make it true. It's still an opinion.


Personally, I'd simply suggest that you actually spend some time with a decent instrument with decent friction tuners for a while. (A time at least much longer than you spent previously before deciding that they were evil or whatever it is.) Take a deep breath and just work with them. Make it a part of the ukulele learning process like Barring or playing an E chord. It's tricky at first, it may even seem impossible, but eventually you get the hang of it and wonder why the hell you made such a big stink about it in the first place. It's only a problem because you let it be one.

It's certainly a good reason enough to spend more time with that sopranino. :o
(I've got one too. I like it quite a lot. I've got it tuned to A.)

ukulelearp
01-17-2010, 03:15 PM
I personally find it easier to tune with geared tuners. Easier to make small adjustments. But in the end I couldn't care less how I'm tuning it because I'd rather be playing the thing.

Ukeology
01-17-2010, 03:52 PM
I think geared tuners are better - the mechanical advantage you get with a geared tuner means you can reach the correct tuning point more easily (slowly) than a friction tuner, which is more direct.

pithaya9
01-17-2010, 03:58 PM
I think geared tuners are better - the mechanical advantage you get with a geared tuner means you can reach the correct tuning point more easily (slowly) than a friction tuner, which is more direct.

Never found that to be true with QUALITY friction tuners.

brUKEman
01-17-2010, 04:06 PM
I was under the impression you can get the best of both worlds by getting the geared tuners that look like pegheads.

ukulelearp
01-17-2010, 04:11 PM
I was under the impression you can get the best of both worlds by getting the geared tuners that look like pegheads.


Pretty much. The gear ratio is a bit different though, and some complain about them looking cheap.

pdxuke
01-17-2010, 06:09 PM
I
I mean, you certainly come across here as rather passionate on the subject. :p But for all your apparent passion, it's still falls in to the realm of an opinion and not the sum of the experience. Simply because you don't like and can't work with friction tuners doesn't meant they are inherently bad. It simply means that you don't like friction tuners, speaking for and about yourself. (Most of the folks I meet and play with on a regular basis have instruments with friction tuners. Nobody gives it a second thought.) And yes, while there are a lot of people who share the same opinion as you on the matter, it still doesn't make it true. It's still an opinion.




Um...Yes, it is my opinion. And, the fact that I don't like friction tuners makes it true for me, and, uh..the other people who don't like friction tuners!

And it is also my opinion that you are absolutely correct that it might be wise to take a deep breath and continue spending time with the instruments I have that have friction tuners (which I intend to do.) I mean, I'm not giving up because I don't like the tuners. But I certainly don't prefer them, which is the subject of the thread. I hate them. Did I mention that?

And yes, I don't have any experience with a high end tuner like on a Kamaka or the other big K lines. So I have a lot of experiencing to do there. But my experience is my experience, and my opinion is my opinion, and, it's true for me.

Still, thank you for your opinion. Lots to think about there...:)

Oh, and I also hate the E chord. It is evil (like friction tuners:deadhorse: HA HA)

RyanMFT
01-17-2010, 08:34 PM
I respect anyone's personal opinion or taste....they are your uke's, have them the way you like. My first uke had good quality sealed gear tuners which I got used to. When I first tried to tune a uke with friction tuners they seemed archaic and I didn't understand why anyone would use them. I later got my first vintage uke and it had friction tuners and after adjusting and using them I started to like them more than geared.

I like friction tuners for two reasons, first, I like the simplicity of the 1:1 ratio, and second, I like the way they look. I don't understand why so many people have trouble with their friction tuners, but then again, when I get an old ukulele I take the tuners off, carefully clean and polish every part, place a tiny drop of oil on the threads, wipe them down, and reinstall. They all work easily and smoothly on my uke's.

I even installed some inexpensive "Ping" brand tuners on a vintage uke. The originals were falling apart. I went for it because the shaft was narrow enough that I didn't have to drill out the holes. Once I installed them, they worked amazingly well, and these are pretty inexpensive.

One final thought, I really like wooden post friction tuners. I have them on a Kumalae and they stay in tune and are a breeze to tweek. If they slip, I just give them a little push to imbed them deeper in the headstock and they hold great.

I think it is just a matter of taste.

micromue
01-17-2010, 10:47 PM
I imagine it's more a case of the Squeaky Wheel. Not everyone seems to have the same problem you do with friction tuners so they don't feel a need to make a fuss. It's the people who do have issues in making them work that complain. Manufacturers hear and respond to complaints not satisfied silence. It's a reactive measure.

And it then becomes one of those things that starts influencing people's buying decisions based more on the endless repetition of a strongly perceived opinion rather than by actual experience. (See also "graduating to a Tenor when you get serious") So the circle closes around what is essentially misinformation and people start developing a weird phobia of friction tuners. (I've seen the same thing with tube amplifiers. Some people are terrified of them..) And then as somebody who prefers the aesthetic of friction tuners, it then effects me adversely because it begins to limit my choices as manufacturers begin to cater to the misinformed.


I am completely with you on that. Besides the obvious fact, that there are different tastes (which is perfectly fine!), I find it to be true, that some manufacturerers stick very close to the pattern "reactive measure". Itīs absolutely ok, to keep an eye on the market, but I am very glad, that there are still some manufacturerers which are committed to their design and donīt flood us with slotted-headstocked, ultra-low-actioned, geared tunered "pro-"instruments. I like my instruments to come with "character" rather than "options".

Lanark
01-18-2010, 02:01 AM
And it is also my opinion that you are absolutely correct that it might be wise to take a deep breath and continue spending time with the instruments I have that have friction tuners (which I intend to do.) I mean, I'm not giving up because I don't like the tuners. But I certainly don't prefer them, which is the subject of the thread. I hate them. Did I mention that?



I would bookmark this thread then. Come back to it in say, six months, after you've spent more time with the friction tuners and I think you'll understand why I find this whole nontroversy to be kind of silly. If you'd put as much time, effort and angst into learning to finesse a 1:1 gear ratio as you've put into posting on this thread you wouldn't feel the need to post on this thread. (same goes for an E chord)

Skrik
01-18-2010, 04:35 AM
People, we're beginning to sound like guitarists. Not good.

Pukulele Pete
01-18-2010, 08:35 AM
I don't think there should be geared tuners on a soprano or concert size uke. Geared tuners belong on guitars. They don't look right on a ukulele. Ever see geared tuners on a violin? It would ruin the whole look of the violin. Geared tuners are for guitars..........and maybe tenor ukes.

Sic_Rob
01-18-2010, 11:55 AM
I am new to the uku also and I created a similar thread with a poll a while back. Here is a link to the thread. Maybe it will help.

Thread: Friction or Gear, Koa or Mahogany, Concert or Tenor?
if this link doesn't work, try the 1 below.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?23303-Friction-or-Gear-Koa-or-Mahogany-Concert-or-Tenor