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roxhum
07-30-2011, 04:30 AM
Isn't the question of friction versus geared tuners simply a preference issue. I personally prefer friction tuners because I prefer the lighter weight. On another thread a UU member is saying that the friction tuners are old fashion, dated and inferior to the newer geared tuners. I am curious to hear what others have to say on the subject.

Kanaka916
07-30-2011, 04:53 AM
Another topic that has been often previously discussed. My dos centavos: Each has it's pros and cons. Really comes down to personal preference. If you want the best of both worlds; go with Pegheds (http://www.pegheds.com/).

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?16423-friction-tuners-vs.-sealed-geared-tuners
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?27411-Friction-or-Geared-tuners-What-s-the-difference
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?48147-friction-tuners-vs-geared-guitar-style-tuners

AncientMatingCalls
07-30-2011, 04:56 AM
I didn't really like the friction tuners on my koaloha concert. If I hadn't decided to sell it, I think I would have switched them out for geared.

hmgberg
07-30-2011, 05:10 AM
It is a matter of preference, based on any number of considerations related to form, function, the size and age of the ukulele. The matter is complicated by the fact that not all friction tuners are created equal, nor are all geared tuners. Most newer friction tuners function better than older ones, but they are also a bit larger and heavier. In general, geared tuners may be easier to use than friction tuners, especially for those who have not gotten used to friction tuners, but they are heavier and look odd from a purist's perspective, especially on a smaller ukulele. A great alternative are Pegheds, light geared tuners with the appearance of friction tuners. These are kind of expensive though. Were I to make or have made a new, higher quality soprano or concert ukulele, I would use them. I would not alter the headstock of a vintage ukulele to fit Pegheds.

I prefer friction tuners. Like you it seems, I play only sopranos and concerts. All my ukuleles have friction tuners except for one concert that has geared tuners. I've grown accustomed to friction tuners and don't find them troublesome. When I tune the concert with geared tuners, I feel like I am cranking away at it forever.

Kanaka916
07-30-2011, 05:32 AM
Pegheds are 4:1 (cost about $70-75 per set) and most geared tuners have a ratio of 14:1 . . . .

joeybug
07-30-2011, 05:46 AM
Based on the fact that up until my flea, I've only had geared, I like those, but I'm also learning that frictions are okay, I just found the first time tuning them hard because I was used to geared, like hmgberg said, it's totally a matter of preference. Now that I've had a little practise w/ the friction, I won't swap them out for geared, nor would I swap my geared for friction, I like the ones I have :D

maclay
07-30-2011, 06:08 AM
Its geared tuners for me.
In general, geared tuners allow for more accurate tuning, and stay in tune better than friction pegs.

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
07-30-2011, 07:50 AM
I've come across crummy geared tuners and crummy friction tuners. Both are frustrating. As long as the tuners on a ukulele work and hold tune, I'll like them.

But given the choice, I'll take friction tuners every time. That being said, I wouldn't kick a Moore Bettah with geared tuners out of bed.

toobacat
07-30-2011, 08:10 AM
Pegheds are hard to beat. They seem more precise than any geared tuners I've used. Mine are very smooth and turn easier than most geared tuners I've had.

janeray1940
07-30-2011, 08:24 AM
Definitely personal preference. I can't stand geared tuners, especially when changing strings - all that winding!!!

When I bought my thinline Kiwaya I thought I'd change out the geared tuners for friction, but then I realized that would sort of negate the "thinline" aspect :)

mm stan
07-30-2011, 08:33 AM
My honeybee soprano tuners are a dream to use and hold it tune very well...can't say I have any complaints with them.....

Ingrate
07-30-2011, 08:44 AM
With the 4:1 gearing (rather than the usual 14:1), restringing is surprisingly quick. They hold tune, of course, and are pleasing to use like geared tuners in general.

Turning resistance is adjustable via an elegant mechanism, there are no screws in sight, they look much like classic wooden pegs, and they are light.

My latest 'uke has them, and so will the next, and the next...

Kekani
07-30-2011, 09:12 AM
Geared, all the way. 2 main reasons: accuracy, and weight (which is good, unless its a tiple, then its just "okay").

I would imagine that most `ukulele players haven't been exposed to GOOD geared tuners, hence the preference for friction (those with pegheads or midrange instruments like a Kamaka Tenor (with Shallers) wouldn't fall into the most category), or they haven't been exposed to an instrument that takes advantage of the weight. And that's okay, it'll come, eventually, hopefully, maybe. Again, general statement - I know there are some that don't care about a light weight headstock, so frictions (and pegheads) are perfect for them.

Just to take it a step further, which one, & which type? For the most part, sealed for me. Gotoh geared mini, but I'd take Shallers as well. Grovers are a little loose, and oxidize fast. If Gilbert ever got into upright geared, it would be them (even if they do cost about $50 a tuner). Gilbert and Hipshot would be the open geared exceptions - someday I'll get a Hipshot set for an `ukulele, but I'll make sure the neck is stiff when I do. I LOVE the Hipshot Ultralights on my Bass, which doesn't need added weight on the headstock - the neck through design and string through body bridge takes care of all the sustain I need.

Ataraxia
07-30-2011, 09:52 AM
Geared, all the way. 2 main reasons: accuracy, and weight (which is good, unless its a tiple, then its just "okay").

I would imagine that most `ukulele players haven't been exposed to GOOD geared tuners, hence the preference for friction (those with pegheads or midrange instruments like a Kamaka Tenor (with Shallers) wouldn't fall into the most category), or they haven't been exposed to an instrument that takes advantage of the weight. And that's okay, it'll come, eventually, hopefully, maybe. Again, general statement - I know there are some that don't care about a light weight headstock, so frictions (and pegheads) are perfect for them.

Just to take it a step further, which one, & which type? For the most part, sealed for me. Gotoh geared mini, but I'd take Shallers as well. Grovers are a little loose, and oxidize fast. If Gilbert ever got into upright geared, it would be them (even if they do cost about $50 a tuner). Gilbert and Hipshot would be the open geared exceptions - someday I'll get a Hipshot set for an `ukulele, but I'll make sure the neck is stiff when I do. I LOVE the Hipshot Ultralights on my Bass, which doesn't need added weight on the headstock - the neck through design and string through body bridge takes care of all the sustain I need.

Even on a soprano? I definitely have a preference for geared tuners, and also prefer a heavy headstock. I really don't like the instrument to be unbalanced though. I was looking at the Keli'i sopranos and they seem nice but the open geared tuners with chrome buttons has turned me off from getting it. I suppose it wouldn't be an issue if the body were equally heavy. Is that what you were referring to when you mentioned taking advantage of the weight?

Also, a heavier headstock adds sustain to the instrument as well... yet another plus for geared tuners.

PhilUSAFRet
07-30-2011, 09:57 AM
As you can see, you won't get this debate settled anytime soon!

3nails4holes
07-30-2011, 11:15 AM
i've had both.

geared on my less expensive ukes--mitchell, lanikai, mele. and friction on my koaloha.

the tuners on the mitchell have to be tuned more often. those on the lanikai and mele hold better and are very easy to adjust.

the tuners on the koaloha work well. and can be tuned easily with attention to small changes.

i'd say it's a matter of cheap tuners don't work well--geared or friction. better ones--geared or friction--work better.

Kekani
07-30-2011, 06:36 PM
Even on a soprano?

All of my Standards collect dust, so no comment.

Actually, I will comment - friction. Mostly because a Standard is nothing like a Tenor, and would not take advantage of a heavier headstock. I don't like Pegheads (I think they're butt ugly, and too long), BUT (no pun intended), I'd probably throw them on a Standard just because geared will always be better than friction. Actually, I'd just as soon throw on Banjo tuning machines if that's the case.

Ah, I should've just left it as "no comment".

roxhum
07-30-2011, 06:55 PM
Well this is quiet the debate with some strong opinions. I like friction and according to my electronic tuner my ukes are completely in tune and they stay in tune.

Ukuleleblues
07-31-2011, 02:17 PM
We ended up nicknaming the geared tuners "drunky tuners". They work great when you have had to many "milk and cookies" while playing. I like the light weight of the peg and dislike the weight of the geared.

Pippin
07-31-2011, 09:38 PM
Another topic that has been often previously discussed. My dos centavos: Each has it's pros and cons. Really comes down to personal preference. If you want the best of both worlds; go with Pegheds (http://www.pegheds.com/).

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?16423-friction-tuners-vs.-sealed-geared-tuners
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?27411-Friction-or-Geared-tuners-What-s-the-difference
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?48147-friction-tuners-vs-geared-guitar-style-tuners

PegHeds are fantastic! I'll take them over friction tuners any day.

Mr Bill
08-01-2011, 06:02 PM
Friction is my choice.

ksiegel
08-01-2011, 06:20 PM
My 1920s Stella banjo Uke has friction, and my 1950's Harmony soprano has friction. They are completely different tuners, and both probably need to be removed, cleaned, reassembled, and replaced - at which time I'll hope that they hold tune. Right now, they both require a retune after every song.

The Les Pauls, Kala, Cordoba, and Republic have geared tuners. They work just fine, and hold tune. The Cordoba tuners slip a hair while tuning, but when they are tuned, they are just fine for hours. Actually, the Cordoba sat in the case unplayed for 3 weeks, and when I pulled it out to play, it was 100% in tune.

The Kala doesn't slip, but needs to be tuned probably every other day if not otherwise used.

I haven't played the Epis enough to know.

The Fluke and Firefly have Pegheds. I love 'em.

If I can ever specify what kind of tuner I want on a new ukulele, the answer is clear: Peghed.

-Kurt

roxhum
08-02-2011, 04:11 AM
Oh in defense of friction. I have a Nahnahe from the 90's,not all that old, but older, with friction tuners. I play that uke the least. Weeks go buy and that little bugger is ALWAYS in tune. Pretty amazing. I have zero trouble keeping my friction tuners in tune with zero fuss. I also have the equal success with the geared tuners on the Mainland. I just like the look and lighter (in my experience) feel of the friction, particularly on a soprano.

And the debate goes on.......

koa
08-02-2011, 06:34 AM
Pegheds are hard to beat. They seem more precise than any geared tuners I've used. Mine are very smooth and turn easier than most geared tuners I've had.

Switched the stock KoAloha tuners (the dreaded Schallers buzzers & decent Grover) over to PegHeds a few years ago. Even factoring in the costs of the tuners and a decent reamer have not regretted the switch. The custom the King was built with Pegheds. The ordered Glyph is spec with peghed tuners. If light & more "traditional" looking "geared" tuners are important elements, the PegHeds are the option to seriously consider.

strumsilly
08-02-2011, 08:43 AM
I switched from friction to geared on my Harmony baritone because I was experimenting with strings and when using wound strings ,like Southcoast flatwound or Guadalupe wound, the strings don't stretch enough to make for accurate tuning, That would be the only reason other than preference for using one over the other.

cheekmeat
08-02-2011, 10:04 AM
My Akulele soprano has really primitive friction tuners. Just a hunk of plastic and a screw. They work just fine and weigh nuthin'. I chose the amber friction tuners for my Mainland soprano, and they work great and look fantastic.

Color Me Friction!

toobacat
08-07-2011, 11:58 AM
Switched the stock KoAloha tuners (the dreaded Schallers buzzers & decent Grover) over to PegHeds a few years ago. Even factoring in the costs of the tuners and a decent reamer have not regretted the switch. The custom the King was built with Pegheds. The ordered Glyph is spec with peghed tuners. If light & more "traditional" looking "geared" tuners are important elements, the PegHeds are the option to seriously consider.

Did this leave any marks where the old tuners were, or did the Pegheds cover everything up?