View Full Version : Mainland Soprano: Tuning Pegs or Gears?

01-28-2010, 07:38 PM
Okay, after kvetching like a baby about tuning pegs, I ordered my Mainland soprano with gears. I love the ease of tuning, but, yes, it is a bit top heavy and is taking some getting used to. I'll stick with it for now, knowing I could go to the new geared pegs, but I'd like to know what other Mainland owners have on their rigs. If you have gears, what tips do you have for dealing with the extra weight, if any?

I'm only talking soprano here.

01-28-2010, 07:49 PM
Can't help with the question as I really like friction tuners....but cool use of the word Kvetching! These days only us Meshuggah even take the time to Kvetch!

Enjoy the new Mainland!

Pukulele Pete
01-29-2010, 12:06 AM
In my opinion, geared tuners do not belong on any soprano or concert size ukulele. It's like putting geared tuners on a violin.
They do not belong there.

01-29-2010, 12:12 AM
Put in a pickup. It will counter the weight. Mike at Mainland sells the MiSi Trio. It's a really nice pickup and preamp combo.

I have a Boat Paddle uke with some pretty heavy Grover geared tuners. Everyone who plays my uke says it's top heavy, but since I play it most, I really don't notice. However I have a Risa soprano stick with with tuners down by the bridge and no headstock. The top end definitely feels light and almost "floaty" on it.

01-29-2010, 12:38 AM
I'll confine myself to the tips part...it sounds like you're already getting used to it. One tip though: find the sweet spot neck angle...sometimes there's 1 or 2 which you can use.

01-29-2010, 01:04 AM
In my opinion, geared tuners do not belong on any soprano or concert size ukulele. It's like putting geared tuners on a violin.
They do not belong there.

Fine. But aside from Roy Smeck, do ukulele players hold their instruments like a violin? Well, kind of like a violin.

BTW, I do get the extra weight part as well as preferences...

01-29-2010, 04:29 AM
I think the quality friction tuners are just about as heavy as some geared tuners...

I do know they are much heavier than the economic plastic friction ones

01-29-2010, 04:43 AM
having come from a decade of playing guitar, i bought a geared soprano first. then got friction tuners on a tenor. i can't stand them. friction tuners have stayed in tune better for me, but that may be the lack of quality in the geared tuners i have. other people here can probably give you a better opinion and it looks like they already have, but i couldn't honestly ever recommend frction tuners to anyone for a uke. it's too frusturating when you're in a rush or tired or it's noisy in the room or something, undue stress :p i know about the weight issue, but it seems so nit picky to me. the weight gain is negligible, and i'd say "getting used" to a barely heavier headstock is infinitely easier than "getting used" to a different sized ukulele, or even brand of strings.

01-29-2010, 02:33 PM
Fascinating that it's dead even so far as to the preference. Thank you for your opinions, and even answers I didn't ask for. I appreciate hearing all of your experiences.

01-29-2010, 04:06 PM
If he hasn't shipped it yet, you can have him add a strap button. That's what I did. No regrets!!! Straps are great, and so are geared tuners. Sometimes it's the little things that make life easier.


Ahnko Honu
01-29-2010, 04:12 PM
I put geared tuners in my cedar/rosewood pineapple and I'm happy with it. I can live with a tad nose heavy.

01-29-2010, 05:19 PM
Well, I don't have a Mainland or a soprano, so I didn't vote. But I don't really see geared tuners as being heavy enough to make a significant difference. Honestly, I see leaving a clip-on tuner on the headstock as adding a lot more weight, and a lot of people do that.