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View Full Version : Geared Tuners Hard to turn on Kamaka Tenor



Howie1947
06-25-2008, 01:47 PM
I have had my tenor uke for 2 yrs, live in the San Diego area, so I don't think climate or atmospheric changes are an issue..........But I have noticed lately that the tuning pegs seem harder to turn, not as smooth turning when new.....any idea??? Have not done anything to the tuners, tightened or loosened........Howie

Keonikapila
06-25-2008, 01:54 PM
Are they rusting?

If it's an open-gear type you might pop a little bit of lubricant in there and see if it helps

Howie1947
06-25-2008, 01:58 PM
I can't tell if the tuners are rusting..................they look the same to me as the day I bought it.........This is a stock Kamaka just like the one that Aldrine plays. Not sure what you mean "opened gear type".........Maybe I should have it looked at by a luthier???...Do the gears need to be oiled???

Poi Dog
06-25-2008, 02:37 PM
I can't tell if the tuners are rusting..................they look the same to me as the day I bought it.........This is a stock Kamaka just like the one that Aldrine plays. Not sure what you mean "opened gear type".........Maybe I should have it looked at by a luthier???...Do the gears need to be oiled???

Sealed geared tuners
http://www.hanalimastore.com/catalog/tuners_sg381_gmopL03.jpg

Open geared tuners
http://www.hanalimastore.com/catalog/tuners_uke_peg_gw.jpg

Howie1947
06-25-2008, 06:12 PM
Looks like I got the "sealed" tuners............

Crow
06-26-2008, 03:27 AM
The problem might not be with your tuners at all. Here are a few possibilities. You might check your nut for crud in the slots that's stopping your strings from moving smoothly. If your strings are old, they might have pinched and conformed to the nut slot leaving little humps that bind in the nut. If you have new strings, did you go up in gauge? If the strings "jump" in pitch when you tune rather than moving gradually, I think one of these is the culprit.

With sealed tuners, it's highly unlikely that more than one of them would go bad at the same time. With one exception, though. Take off your strings and check to see if the nuts around the posts are tight. If they are really loose, the posts might bind a little as they turn. I'd think that you would be experiencing monster buzzes if that was the case, though.

Howie1947
06-26-2008, 05:28 AM
Crow............I changed the strings about 6mos ago, went from the stock strings that it came with to Aguila (no wound)........The Uke looks as great as the day I purchased it..........I take good care of it...........So these tuners don't require lubrication from time to time?? I don't even know how I would even attempt to oil them, and I don't want to either.....Howie

Howie1947
06-26-2008, 05:33 AM
Crow.............One other thing if you could clarify........When you say take off the strings and check to see if the "nuts around the posts" are loose, not sure if follow..........Thanks..........Howie

Crow
06-26-2008, 05:38 AM
Howie, most modern sealed tuners are supposed to be "permanently lubricated" meaning that the lubricant has nowhere to go, and dirt can't get in.

There's an easy way to track down the string possibility. Just pull one of the strings that's giving you trouble out of the nut slot and loosen and tighten the string. If it turns smoothly, you know the string has deformed and you need new ones. If the tuner is still tight, you know the problem lives there.

If it really is a tuner thing, Kamaka will want to know about it, and I'm pretty sure they'll make it right. If you end up needing to switch out the tuners, it's really no biggie. Most of the time, it's one screw and a nut, maybe one minute per tuner.

edit: When you look at the posts on your tuners (the metal pole that the string goes through) look at the place where it meets the headstock. You'll see a narrow nut that is used to hold the tuner in the headstock, usually supplemented by a screw in back. That nut can loosen up over time.

Howie1947
06-26-2008, 07:59 AM
CRow..........thanks so much for all the info.....Bowie

Kekani
06-27-2008, 11:16 PM
You probably have Schaller tuners (most Kamaka Tenor's I've seen lately have them).

These are top quality, as are the Waverly's that are installed on Jake's, and you shouldn't have problems. One thing, they have an adjustable tension knob - its the screw on the end/side. The cost of a set is more than what I've seen some people willing to pay for an entire instrument.

-Aaron

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tuners/Guitar,_solid_peghead/Schaller_M-6_Mini_Guitar_Machines.html