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View Full Version : Friction Pegs: Weird Issue with Tightening Them.



Ataraxia
01-01-2011, 06:48 AM
First, I would like to start by saying that I absolutely HATE friction pegs.. I'm not sure whether this stems from the quality of my particular tuners or perhaps it has something to do with my background of playing guitar for 7 years and using Groverô geared tuners most of the time. If possible, I'd like to learn how I can live with these friction pegs so that I won't have to drill new holes into my uke's headstock. The problem: It appears that when my tuning pegs are too loose it barely holds it's tune longer than a few songs. However, when the pegs are tightened any measure beyond this point it seems to dampen the string volume and increase string tension as well! I thought I understood the mechanics of friction pegs, but it's possible I was mistaken. The pegs should simply be there to hold the tuning posts in place, I don't understand how they could possibly affect something like string tension.. but feeling is believing in this case. Do the pegs rub against the headstock to hold tuning? Or is the friction created by contact with another part of the peg? Correct me if I'm wrong, but if the friction is caused by contact with the headstock.. won't it eventually destroy my headstock? How often should I be adjusting the screws? It seems as though it's become a daily chore! :( I would GREATLY appreciate any help! I live in Taipei and I rely on my gf to translate Chinese for me in music shops. P.S. I've included a link to the tuners I'm using on my uke.http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tuners/Ukulele_tuners/Ukulele_Friction_Pegs.html

Ingrate
01-01-2011, 07:03 AM
First, I would like to start by saying that I absolutely HATE friction pegs.. I'm not sure whether this stems from the quality of my particular tuners or perhaps it has something to do with my background of playing guitar for 7 years and using Groverô geared tuners most of the time. If possible, I'd like to learn how I can live with these friction pegs so that I won't have to drill new holes into my uke's headstock. The problem: It appears that when my tuning pegs are too loose it barely holds it's tune longer than a few songs. However, when the pegs are tightened any measure beyond this point it seems to dampen the string volume and increase string tension as well! I thought I understood the mechanics of friction pegs, but it's possible I was mistaken. The pegs should simply be there to hold the tuning posts in place, I don't understand how they could possibly affect something like string tension.. but feeling is believing in this case. Do the pegs rub against the headstock to hold tuning? Or is the friction created by contact with another part of the peg? Correct me if I'm wrong, but if the friction is caused by contact with the headstock.. won't it eventually destroy my headstock? How often should I be adjusting the screws? It seems as though it's become a daily chore! :( I would GREATLY appreciate any help! I live in Taipei and I rely on my gf to translate Chinese for me in music shops. P.S. I've included a link to the tuners I'm using on my uke.http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tuners/Ukulele_tuners/Ukulele_Friction_Pegs.html

Friction pegs are very simple. The screw regulates how tight they squeeze the headstock, thus how hard they are to turn, thus whether they hold the string in tune or not. This screw cannot have any effect on the sound of the 'ukulele, other than whether the string stays on pitch, or not.

Ataraxia
01-01-2011, 07:08 AM
Thank you very much! That's exactly as I thought, I'm guessing I just had them too loose the whole time. I'm a bit OCD about tuning though, and ukulele is the only instrument I've ever played that uses friction pegs. I appreciate your response! :D So, I guess my only question then would be this... Can they damage my headstock? If they're tightened only to a resonable level necessary to hold pitch, will turning the pegs regularly wear down the wood of my uke's headstock overtime?

Ingrate
01-01-2011, 08:05 AM
Thank you very much! That's exactly as I thought, I'm guessing I just had them too loose the whole time. I'm a bit OCD about tuning though, and ukulele is the only instrument I've ever played that uses friction pegs. I appreciate your response! :D So, I guess my only question then would be this... Can they damage my headstock? If they're tightened only to a resonable level necessary to hold pitch, will turning the pegs regularly wear down the wood of my uke's headstock overtime?

A photo of your 'uke's tuners would clarify things, but I think the answer is "no". Very old 'ukuleles used a wooden conical peg stuck thru the headstock hole, with no other parts. These relied on wood-to-wood friction, so, yes, they would wear out with time. Modern 'ukes have a metal shaft that goes thru a metal part which is tightly fitted into the hole in the headstock. There is no part that rubs the wood, so there will be no wear on the headstock. There is no risk to the headstock, no matter how tight the tuner screws.

Play that dang 'uke and enjoy it!

..and Happy New Year!

jeff

Edit: Sorry, I just saw your link to your tuning pegs. These will do no harm to your headstock over time.

pdxuke
01-01-2011, 08:07 AM
First, I would like to start by saying that I absolutely HATE friction pegs.. I'm not sure whether this stems from the quality of my particular tuners or perhaps it has something to do with my background of playing guitar for 7 years and using Grover™ geared tuners most of the time. If possible, I'd like to learn how I can live with these friction pegs so that I won't have to drill new holes into my uke's headstock. [/URL]

I hear you, because one year ago I was typing the exact same thing in this forum. Oddly, one year later, I would not buy a soprano uke with anything BUT friction pegs (unless it's a novelty uke.)
Simply put, I got used to them, and learned to appreciate the aesthetics, the way they properly weight the uke. I also played and owned a wood uke that had geared tuners and it was top heavy, which I hated! So, after getting used to the art of tuning with friction pegs, and appreciating the lightness of them, and realizing I wasn't going to get a vintage uke without them, time took care of my objections.

Time and experience may do the same for you. And here's a practical tip that may help you. Always tune the string UP with a friction peg--not down. In other words, don't go from G# down to G, approach the string from the flat side and tune it UP. It holds better.

Good luck!

Ataraxia
01-01-2011, 08:54 AM
Thanks! Ingrate: I'm very happy to hear that the friction doesn't rely on the headstock's wood. I greatly appreciate all of the info and advice :D. I must say that UU is by far one of the friendliest and most helpful communities on the web. Pdxuke: I've used that method of "tuning up" to correct pitch for awhile, it works great for sure. You have an amazing collection of ukuleles btw! I certainly agree about the weight issue with geared tuners.

SailingUke
01-01-2011, 09:30 AM
Peghead tuners are an option to friction tuners.
They do not overweight the headstock, are easy to tune and they hold.
I have them on two tenors and would not hesitate installing on any uke.
They may be a bit pricey for some, but worth it to me.
I like the vintage look and the new technology precision.

peterp
01-01-2011, 11:10 AM
Peghead tuners are an option to friction tuners.
They do not overweight the headstock, are easy to tune and they hold.
I have them on two tenors and would not hesitate installing on any uke.
They may be a bit pricey for some, but worth it to me.
I like the vintage look and the new technology precision.
I have peghed tuners on some of my ukes and I really like them. Are they interchangeable with any friction tuners? I have Grover friction tuners on a uke, and I'd love to swap them out.

Ukuleleblues
01-01-2011, 01:22 PM
I only have to adjust the screws when the uke is subject to environment changes. If I go stay at the beach for a few days I may have to loosen the screws as the wood swells. Usually near the middle of winter I have to tighten the screws. Other than that, they stay pretty consistent. Sometimes on a new Uke you have to tighten them for a while as everything settles in.

Ataraxia
01-01-2011, 07:53 PM
Ah, that's probably why some people believe that their humidifier affects their tuning stability. Good to know! I humidify regularly anyway since my uke is solid mahogany. I have an Ayers, they're designed by an Australian luthier but made here in Taipei. Thanks for the advice!