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View Full Version : Violin fine tuners for ukulele?



Vindelanda
04-21-2010, 07:56 AM
Alright, so I'm in a quartet playing piano with 3 string instruments (viola, violin and cello) and they all use small "fine tuners" on the bottom of their instruments instead of using the larger tuners at the top.

I think they look like this:

http://www.projectsandhobbies.com/fiddle%20fine%20tuners.jpg

Is it possible to use these on a uke? Would it even make much difference?

It looks like they're usually only used on bowed string instruments, but I was curious if anyone has ever tried putting them on a guitar or uke.

darkwater
04-21-2010, 10:54 AM
That kind of tuner would only work on a uke with a tailpiece and movable bridge, like a jazz guitar. They may exist, but I haven't seen one.

Bradford
04-21-2010, 12:51 PM
Now you can see one. There are a few of us building them. In theory, you could use the tailpiece fine tuners if you wanted to go with wood friction pegs, but it is much easier to use geared tuners or PegHeds.

Brad

kissing
04-21-2010, 04:36 PM
Do they use geared tuners at all for Violins (and related string)?
I haven't heard much of them..

DaveVisi
04-21-2010, 04:38 PM
Tradition... and cost. Pegheds are expensive. Fine tuners can be had for a couple dollars each.

kissing
04-21-2010, 04:47 PM
lol @ this discussion amongst violinists about whether to try geared pegheads.
http://www.violinist.com/discussion/response.cfm?ID=5677

I feel kinda sorry for them (my apologies to violinists and other bowed string players).
They seem to be living in the dark, whereas Ukuleles took that Geared tuner leap a long time ago and have benefitted so much from it.

sgporc
04-21-2010, 05:49 PM
On a similar note, I've always wondered why the adjustable bridges used in electric guitars (such as the one pictured below) were never used for ukuleles. then both intonation deviation and bridge action could be adjusted to the player's preference...

http://chasesraceplace.com/bs1c2.jpg

DaveVisi
04-21-2010, 06:26 PM
I was thinking about that too. I suppose there's a lot of mass to those electric guitar bridges. Not exactly ideal for an acoustic instrument.

clayton56
04-21-2010, 10:32 PM
I have thought about them, but you need the tailpiece. Also, violinists who use natural gut strings can't use them on the gut ones, only the steel. There's a hybrid string strong enough to use the tuners, but not the gut. So I don't know how nylon strings would hold up.

Keep in mind that most ukuleles, like guitars, get the sound from the tension of pulling UP from the soundboard, whereas violins, mandolins, banjos, use the tension of pushing down. Strings suspended above, pushing down leave room for those tuners, whereas there's no room for them on a uke bridge which is nearly at the level of the soundboard. Those little tuners depend on being able to push the string down more and more to tune, so you need some space there.

You could probably design a peg-bridge (similar to Kanilea's bridge) that could use the tuners, but they'd have to be inset down into the wood and there would be gaps there.

I can think of a variation, how about threading the string through an eyelet that is at the end of a thumbscrew? Turn the screw and the eyelet pulls straight back, tightening the string.

OR on peg bridge models, the pegs themselves could have thumbscrews that push down to tune. Attach the string to the bottom of the peg, stick it in (come up with a way to lock it) and just turn the top of the peg to adjust.

All that metal on a uke bridge sounds like heresy.

paraclete
04-22-2010, 07:36 AM
lol @ this discussion amongst violinists about whether to try geared pegheads.
http://www.violinist.com/discussion/response.cfm?ID=5677

I feel kinda sorry for them (my apologies to violinists and other bowed string players).
They seem to be living in the dark, whereas Ukuleles took that Geared tuner leap a long time ago and have benefitted so much from it.

With fine tuners on a violin, there really isn't a serious need for geared tuners. I don't have any problems with tuning my violin. That said, I'm not sure that fine tuners would work for nylon strings. They generally require ball or loopend strings as an absolute anchor point.

I haven't noticed any issues with uke tuning that would require something more exact than standard geared or friction tuners that come on a uke.

As for violinists using geared pegheds... I wouldn't. Maybe if it was a brand new instrument and I could have them prefitted. But there is NO WAY that I would alter my nearly 200 year old violin. Those ebony pegs on my instrument are excellent... and totally antique.

kissing
04-22-2010, 08:38 AM
On a similar note, I've always wondered why the adjustable bridges used in electric guitars (such as the one pictured below) were never used for ukuleles. then both intonation deviation and bridge action could be adjusted to the player's preference...

http://chasesraceplace.com/bs1c2.jpg

Steel string electric ukuleles use them :)
http://ukulele.de/shop/images/product_images/popup_images/332_0.jpg

CulpRJ
04-22-2010, 11:41 AM
On a similar note, I've always wondered why the adjustable bridges used in electric guitars (such as the one pictured below) were never used for ukuleles. then both intonation deviation and bridge action could be adjusted to the player's preference...

Jupiter Creek ukes have them too.http://www.nigeldeon.com/uke/intonation.jpg

70sSanO
04-22-2010, 03:20 PM
I do all of my own setups, so that would be super cool!

However...

I would imagine electric guitar bridges are not used on acoustic instruments, ukulele or guitar is due to the weight. Hanging a half a pound of steel on a soundboard would probably have an adverse effect on the tone and voume.

Now if someone comes up with a small lightweight composite adjustable bridge, you might be in business.

John

kissing
04-22-2010, 06:27 PM
With fine tuners on a violin, there really isn't a serious need for geared tuners. I don't have any problems with tuning my violin.

But isn't that the same as some uke players settling for friction tuners, and saying there really isn't a need for geared tuners?