PDA

View Full Version : Hate these new Risa geared tuners! What's gives?



BeachDog
09-17-2010, 01:32 PM
My new Risa with geared tuners is driving me nuts. It is constantly out of tune and has a great deal of non-responsive peg action. I stretched the strings, played lots, and tightened the pegs screws.

I'm using a chromatic tuner with a new battery which functions well on my Flea. The Flea, my first uke, has friction tuners and I learned how to tune with finesse. Piece of cake. I love them. And it.

On the Risa I have to turn the pegs WAY too much with no change in the tuning. I turn and turn and turn. Nothing. Turn some more. Nothing. No movement on the tuner dial. Then I turn again and the tuning goes off the wall to the other end. Arg!

Anybody have any suggestions specific to Risa tuning and/or geared tuners and the trick behind them? Is it normal to turn the pegs half a revolution and more with absolutely no response?

Apart from the tuning issues, I love the Risa. It plays well, feels great, and is a sight to behold.

mailman
09-17-2010, 01:40 PM
Is it possible that the strings are getting caught in the nut slots? A string bound in the nut slot would seem unresponsive to tuning, until the tension from the tuner gets to be so great that it suddenly breaks free and the tuning "jumps".,,,

BadLands Bart
09-17-2010, 01:43 PM
What make are the tuners?

dnewton2
09-17-2010, 01:45 PM
Is it possible that the strings are getting caught in the nut slots? A string bound in the nut slot would seem unresponsive to tuning, until the tension from the tuner gets to be so great that it suddenly breaks free and the tuning "jumps".,,,

That was my first thought. One way to fix this is to put some graphite in the nut slots.

Pondoro
09-17-2010, 01:46 PM
You are describing my experience with friction tuners, when I got my first uke with them! You may get used to them.

Friction in the nut slots is another possibility, as mailman says. Try lubricating the slots with a bit of graphite powder from a "lead" pencil. It might help.

I also think new tuners are sometmes rough and stick, after a while they wear in and become smoother.

Ingrate
09-17-2010, 01:48 PM
..I'm presuming you have the stick? Me, too. It's a great instrument, but the design routes the strings around that chrome bar. It seems the route around the bar makes the strings balky to tune. One must turn the tuner a lot before the string then over-responds.

1. When I put on the strings, I wound them on the tuners so that, if you are wearing the Risa, looking down, you tighten the string by turning the tuner clockwise. (Opposite the delivered setup) This slightly reduces the amount of string in contact w/the chrome bar. It helps for tuning the G and C, and maybe a little for the E & A strings.
2. When tuning, usually the string has drifted flat. Tighten the appropriate tuner just a bit, then press with your fingers on the portion of the string between the chrome bar and the tuner to get the string to budge. Repeat as needed. With my setup, I don't have to do this w/the G & C strings.

It's a pain, to be sure, but works better than anything else I've tried. I've thought about putting a lube in the chrome bar grooves that carry the string, but don't know what to try. Maybe talcum powder? Beats me.

Putting geared tuners on a Risa stick probably is of no use, since the strings stick to the chrome bar. Perhaps, having the finer adjustment using the above technique will work even better for you.

Good luck!

BeachDog
09-17-2010, 01:52 PM
What make are the tuners?

Dunno. I bought it thinking that it had friction tuners. There was lots of talk about Risa going to geared tuners on all their ukes. The frictions are Grovers - at least that's what their website says.

BeachDog
09-17-2010, 01:54 PM
That was my first thought. One way to fix this is to put some graphite in the nut slots.

I'm not exactly sure what a nut slot is but I noticed that there's lots of string on the peg, whereas the Flea has room left to wind more string. Don't know if that makes a difference.

mailman
09-17-2010, 01:55 PM
Now I recall seeing the strange string routing arrangement on the Risa ukes with that chrome bar. Is that bar stationary? Or does it rotate? If each string passed over a "sleeve" around the bar, indepenant of each other, the sleeve would be free to roll around the bar as the string was tuned. Wouldn't be difficult to retrofit....

mailman
09-17-2010, 01:57 PM
I'm not exactly sure what a nut slot is but I noticed that there's lots of string on the peg, whereas the Flea has room left to wind more string. Don't know if that makes a difference.



That can, indeed, make a difference. The string wraps at the tuner's peg should be on the peg....not on other string wraps. If the string has begun to wrap over itself, it's time to shorten the string....

Ingrate
09-17-2010, 01:58 PM
Now I recall seeing the strange string routing arrangement on the Risa ukes with that chrome bar. Is that bar stationary? Or does it rotate? If each string passed over a "sleeve" around the bar, indepenant of each other, the sleeve would be free to roll around the bar as the string was tuned. Wouldn't be difficult to retrofit....

The bar is stationary. That's the whole issue. It's not the tuners. I've thought of trying a strip of teflon tape between each string and the bar. I'll get back to you on this...

BeachDog
09-17-2010, 02:00 PM
..I'm presuming you have the stick? Me, too. It's a great instrument, but the design routes the strings around that chrome bar. It seems the route around the bar makes the strings balky to tune. One must turn the tuner a lot before the string then over-responds.

1. When I put on the strings, I wound them on the tuners so that, if you are wearing the Risa, looking down, you tighten the string by turning the tuner clockwise. (Opposite the delivered setup) This slightly reduces the amount of string in contact w/the chrome bar. It helps for tuning the G and C, and maybe a little for the E & A strings.
2. When tuning, usually the string has drifted flat. Tighten the appropriate tuner just a bit, then press with your fingers on the portion of the string between the chrome bar and the tuner to get the string to budge. Repeat as needed. With my setup, I don't have to do this w/the G & C strings.

It's a pain, to be sure, but works better than anything else I've tried. I've thought about putting a lube in the chrome bar grooves that carry the string, but don't know what to try. Maybe talcum powder? Beats me.

Putting geared tuners on a Risa stick probably is of no use, since the strings stick to the chrome bar. Perhaps, having the finer adjustment using the above technique will work even better for you.

Good luck!

Yeah, it's a stick. I've read here in this forum that the "a" string tends to break because of the angle around and over the chrome bar.

Thanks for the head's up on the over-responding.

Because I'm new to ukes in general, and this uke in particular I probably won't restring but will keep this in mind for later.

I guess Risa won't be offering the friction tuners anymore but they've gotta change their website to indicate that. Imagine my surprise when I opened the box.

Thanks for the info.

Ingrate
09-17-2010, 02:03 PM
Yeah, it's a stick. I've read here in this forum that the "a" string tends to break because of the angle around and over the chrome bar.

Thanks for the head's up on the over-responding.

Because I'm new to ukes in general, and this uke in particular I probably won't restring but will keep this in mind for later.

I guess Risa won't be offering the friction tuners anymore but they've gotta change their website to indicate that. Imagine my surprise when I opened the box.

Thanks for the info.

I hope it helps. Keep in mind that w/your stretched strings, it's easy to unwind them, then take up the slack and wind them the other way. This eliminates the excess string on the winder post. PLEASE NOTE: you have geared winders. I do not know if they work winding in both clockwise and anticlockwise orientation.

BeachDog
09-17-2010, 02:03 PM
That can, indeed, make a difference. The string wraps at the tuner's peg should be on the peg....not on other string wraps. If the string has begun to wrap over itself, it's time to shorten the string....

Good to know. They're not wrapped over one another but there is no more room on the peg. It kinda looks really precise.

I wonder if part of this issue may be that it's so new. I've only had it a week. But still, this seems way too extreme.

BeachDog
09-17-2010, 02:09 PM
I hope it helps. Keep in mind that w/your stretched strings, it's easy to unwind them, then take up the slack and wind them the other way. This eliminates the excess string on the winder post. PLEASE NOTE: you have geared winders. I do not know if they work winding in both clockwise and anticlockwise orientation.

Everything I've read here has helped. Thanks to everybody!

BeachDog
09-17-2010, 02:12 PM
You are describing my experience with friction tuners, when I got my first uke with them! You may get used to them.

Friction in the nut slots is another possibility, as mailman says. Try lubricating the slots with a bit of graphite powder from a "lead" pencil. It might help.

I also think new tuners are sometmes rough and stick, after a while they wear in and become smoother.

I never understood the debate between friction and geared tuners. Now I do! Thanks for the suggestions.

Ukuleleblues
09-18-2010, 11:46 AM
Sounds to me that the strings ar binding in the nut. Use a pencil to lay down somg graphite in the slot or you can buy some "Nut Sauce" http://accessories.musiciansfriend.com/product/Big-Bends-Nut-Sauce-Tuning-Lubricant?sku=429800

Ingrate
09-18-2010, 11:54 AM
Sounds to me that the strings ar binding in the nut. Use a pencil to lay down somg graphite in the slot or you can buy some "Nut Sauce" http://accessories.musiciansfriend.com/product/Big-Bends-Nut-Sauce-Tuning-Lubricant?sku=429800

For Pete's sake, THERE IS NO NUT on the Risa stick. It's not the tuners, either. It's friction between the strings and the chrome bar around which they are routed before going to the tuners.

Ukuleleblues
09-18-2010, 12:00 PM
Golly Gee, If my uke looked like that I'd expect it to act up, It's missin the entire freakin body!!!!! I'd send it back.