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View Full Version : What tuners would you use (money no object)?



lancemanion
12-27-2011, 10:48 PM
I need to replace the tuners on my son's new Christmas present, a new resonator. I am sure he will have it for the rest of his life so I want to put really good tuners on it. I don't want to spend more then I have to, but I would rather spend a little more if it means getting quality that will last. What are the best ukulele tuning machines and where do you buy yours? Thanks for the help.

Allen
12-27-2011, 10:53 PM
What type of machine heads? Paddle or slot head?

I'm quite partial to Grover Sta-Tites for both options. Very well made and don't cost a lot. But if your keen to spend up big, then you can really get carried away. Lot's of options at the pointy end of the market, but they cost more than most people dare to spend on a uke. I get Grovers direct from the manufacturer at 50 sets at a time.

lancemanion
12-28-2011, 04:52 PM
It is a Recording King with a standard Paddle style head. The Grovers that they sell at Stew-Mac look the same as the Sta-Tites at the Grover website. I would love to get away with spending only $14.00 but I was very worried about the quality. The only other tuning machines Stew-Mac sells are the Waverly tuners that sell for over seven times as much. I so many high end ukes being made by the members of UU I just thought I would see what luthiers use for their nicer ukes. Thanks again for any suggestions.

Allen
12-28-2011, 07:55 PM
The ones StewMac sell are the same that I get in bulk. I've not had a single issue with them, and they work great on a uke.

I do have some Schertler's but they are similarly priced to the Waverly's. They have a look that you'll either love or hate. And while they are very smooth and easy to use. It's hard to justify the cost unless someone really wants them. They just aren't that much better. Nor for that matter are the Waverly's in my opinion.

A medium jump up in price are the Gotoh's you can get from LMI. Again they are a nice tuner, but are they that much better than the Grovers?

RyanMFT
12-28-2011, 07:59 PM
I think Peghead tuners are awesome. I would put them on a custom uke if I were to order one.

lancemanion
12-28-2011, 09:16 PM
I love the Schertler's but I can only find them for slotted head applications. I also really like the Peghead, and would use them if it were for an antique and I wanted to keep the original look but with only a 4 to 1 turn ratio they wouldn't be ideal for this uke. I would really like to have a higher ratio that would make it much easier to tune. There are lots of tuning machines available from the guitarcenter website. I really like the look of the Hipshot guitar tuners. I asume these are made for steel string electric guitars. Are these an option or are the holes for the strings and the shaft lengths not compatible with a nylon string ukulele? None of the tuners for sale say classical guitar so I asume they are all for steel strings.
Thanks again.

Uke Whisperer
12-29-2011, 12:44 AM
To the Question: "What tuners would you use (money no object)? "
Answer: "Automatic"

(sorry, I couldn't resist)

Allen
12-29-2011, 08:58 AM
Schertlers (http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tuners/Guitar,_solid_peghead_tuners/Schertler_Tuning_Machines_for_Solid_Peghead_Guitar .html) for solid head. You have to get them in a 6 pack. Get 2 packs and then you have 3 sets for ukes. Sell off the other 2 sets if you don't have a use for them.

Steel string tuners work fine for ukes. The thing you need to watch out for is their dimensions. If you go to StewMac have a look at the drawings of the tuner you are interested in and determine if it will work. The other is weight. Some tuners can get pretty hefty and throughs the balance of the instrument way off.

ukeeku
12-29-2011, 09:09 AM
PegHed. No question, best uke tuners on the market.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
12-29-2011, 10:38 AM
Schertlers (http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tuners/Guitar,_solid_peghead_tuners/Schertler_Tuning_Machines_for_Solid_Peghead_Guitar .html) for solid head.

18:1 ratio! I think I'll pass. But I agree with you on the Sta-Tites.

SailingUke
12-29-2011, 11:03 AM
I also really like the Peghead, and would use them if it were for an antique and I wanted to keep the original look but with only a 4 to 1 turn ratio they wouldn't be ideal for this uke. I would really like to have a higher ratio that would make it much easier to tune.

I have Pegheads on two ukes, they are super, smooth and very accurate. The 4:1 ratio does not seem to hinder accurate tuning.

ksquine
12-29-2011, 12:57 PM
Ditto on the Sta-Tites. I get them from Stewmac. They work great and look great (to me anyway). They're also light enough for uke applications

specialk13
12-30-2011, 12:36 PM
I have to throw out a vote for the Waverly's, they are amazing! They are also pretty dang expensive. I'm sure they're overkill and probably not even necessary on a uke but they sure do work well.
Peghed brand tuners are still my overall favorite, I love the light weight and they work great (also not the cheapest as noted before).

joejeweler
12-30-2011, 01:10 PM
A second vote on the Waverly open back tuners. I liked the 1st set i installed on a Kanile'a soprano so much, i installed a 2nd set on a custom curly koa concert.

The high ratio tuning is a plus in my mind, for fine tuning. Only during the initial stretching in process is it a bit more work. But,...geeze,....it is only 4 strings, and you can use a mechanical string winder if the effort is too much! lol

Other than that they are a joy to use, and the quality construction is 2nd to none. As good as the pegheads are,....these will outlast them due simply to the materials involved. The are also smaller and neater in profile,.....pegheads are longer than i like. These open back tuners are a breeze to install also.

All geared tuners are not alike,.....these are the cream of the crop,....and you will not be disappointed.

BTW,....i think if Chuck tried a set,......he might never go back,.....especially on his tenors.


I thought you might all want to see these new tuners a bit closer, with some of the fine features and quality construction that caught my eye. The ebony buttons are well matched, high quality material, and finished immaculately. Nice work from Bozeman, Montana and the Waverly crew!

The fact that they are still made in the USA by American workers is a plus also!

Because BOTH sides of the base plate are solid with no open "hook" to get the worm gear in place,....these Waverly tuners have a drilled and tapped screwed in bushing that can be seen here. The reduction gear is bronze also,....much harder than simple brass and should last a very long time.

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb200/joejeweler/Kanilea%20Soprano%20Ukulele%20Changes/DSC03719.jpg

Here are a few views that i think show how well made these tuners are:

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb200/joejeweler/Kanilea%20Soprano%20Ukulele%20Changes/DSC03725.jpg

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb200/joejeweler/Kanilea%20Soprano%20Ukulele%20Changes/DSC03726.jpg

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb200/joejeweler/Kanilea%20Soprano%20Ukulele%20Changes/DSC03729.jpg

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
12-30-2011, 02:28 PM
First, I've never run into a customer where "money was no object". Everyone seems to have a budget figure and I do everything I can to give them the best best value and stay within it. I'll install Waverlys if people really want them but I'd rather have them put that money into a side sound port or a small inlay somewhere. Somewhere where you can realize real value. Sorry folks, I just don't see it. (And give me a break. At the very least allow me to buy Waverlys without that fancy packaging. The box alone should save me $20.)

joejeweler
12-30-2011, 05:28 PM
First, I've never run into a customer where "money was no object". Everyone seems to have a budget figure and I do everything I can to give them the best best value and stay within it. I'll install Waverlys if people really want them but I'd rather have them put that money into a side sound port or a small inlay somewhere. Somewhere where you can realize real value. Sorry folks, I just don't see it. (And give me a break. At the very least allow me to buy Waverlys without that fancy packaging. The box alone should save me $20.)

That is a valid point,......a fancy box is of no use after they're mounted. Probably costs more like $10 though i'd think. It is just cardboard with some foam linings.

I am curious though, since you mention the box, is if you have actually used them yet? (fairly new on the market and all)

The smoothness gets me every time, to where i look forward to changing strings sooner than i normally would!

BTW,..."real value" is already a given with your offerings,.....as all would agree who have purchased from you. An extra few dollars would not be noticed for Waverly's, since they wholesale about the same as Pegheads anyway, which you are already using.

lancemanion
12-30-2011, 07:32 PM
I am leaning towards the Schertlers. According to their website:

"It is now possible to order tuners for UKULELE with solid peg-head. The 4-pack is available in Satin Chrome and Satin Black finish."

I have already emailed their North America distributor, "Eastman Guitars and Mandolins" to get a price on the four pack.
I would like to save a little money and get Hipshot Tuners (http://www.guitarcenter.com/Hipshot-6GNO-Classic-Guitar-Tuning-Machines-3-3-Set-424087-i1527282.gc) from the Guitar Center. I love the look and they also have an 18:1 gear ratio. There are no measurements listed on the manufactures website or on the Guitar Center website, so I am a little hesitant, not knowing the the shaft diameter or length.

Chuck, I have the utmost respect for your opinion, what tuners do you usually put on your ukuleles?
Thanks for all the input, I love this place.

mm stan
12-30-2011, 08:48 PM
That is a valid point,......a fancy box is of no use after they're mounted. Probably costs more like $10 though i'd think. It is just cardboard with some foam linings.

I am curious though, since you mention the box, is if you have actually used them yet? (fairly new on the market and all)

The smoothness gets me every time, to where i look forward to changing strings sooner than i normally would!

BTW,..."real value" is already a given with your offerings,.....as all would agree who have purchased from you. An extra few dollars would not be noticed for Waverly's, since they wholesale about the same as Pegheads anyway, which you are already using.

What I see I like about the waverlys is that the shaft is encompassed through holes of the bent body sides...it resolves that loose play in cheaper open gear tuners.. how it works, I am not
competely sure..or how it is acheived...from a manufacturing standpoint..

joejeweler
12-30-2011, 09:18 PM
What I see I like about the waverlys is that the shaft is encompassed through holes of the bent body sides...it resolves that loose play in cheaper open gear tuners.. how it works, I am not
competely sure..or how it is acheived...

That's what makes them so smooth,....absolutely NO play. Simply wonderful to use, you'll look forward to your next string change. The Grovers have "hooked" side plates that are not solid like on the Waverly's, and the Grovers have a bit of play in them where the worm gear is positioned. Grover's work ok,...the Waverly's work a lot smoother.

The Waverly 16-1 gear ration is more than "needed", but i like the fine tuning it allows without overshooting.

Give Waverly's a crack,....you'll never go back! :)

BTW,...the worm gear is held in place by a screw in bushing, as seen below. Precision fitting......

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb200/joejeweler/Kanilea%20Soprano%20Ukulele%20Changes/DSC03719.jpg

mm stan
12-31-2011, 01:31 AM
Mahalo Joe... I see now..very ingenius..

maclay
01-01-2012, 05:13 PM
Well I like geared tuners, so its Waverly's for me. I put them on all of my ukes unless the customer requests something else.

Believe it or not, I do not like the Pegheds tuners.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
01-01-2012, 07:10 PM
Believe it or not, I do not like the Pegheds tuners.

Yikes! I don't believe it!

Kekani
01-01-2012, 10:41 PM
Gilbert's, for slotted heads. Ugly as hell, works excellent!

Personally, I like the weight of sealed geared tuners, so that throws out Pegheads and friction tuners. Schallers are nice, if I wanted to lay out a little more (Kamaka does) than Gotoh's.

Because of my research and builds with my bass, I too am looking at possibly using Hipshots. Very nice and smooth. I use the Ultralights on my bass (it's a neck through, so it already sustains well), and the balance is great, especially with the 13 oz brass bridge on the other end (yup, almost a pound!). Not too many guys using Hipshots on 'ukulele that I've seen.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
01-02-2012, 04:59 AM
Gilbert's, for slotted heads. Ugly as hell, works excellent!

Boy, you are talking some serious fugly there! Smooth as silk though.

I find the weight of the Pegheds to be a real advantage and I've pretty much stopped using any closed geared tuners altogether now. I'm not a huge fan of how Pegheds work but I like to use them for the possibilities they offer with inlay work.

Pete Howlett
01-02-2012, 07:58 AM
These workshop mods of Chinese tuners for slotted headstock.

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p66/PeteHowlett/NewSlotted.jpg

I like Pegheds but I really don't like fitting them into Spanish Cedar and you have to be real crafty with the entry and exit points creating arises that the lacquer won't crack. I use a burnishing bit in my cordless to compress the fibres at the edges of the hole and thus create a 'smooth' countersink that won't 'burst' the lacquer.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
01-02-2012, 08:15 AM
These workshop mods of Chinese tuners for slotted headstock.

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p66/PeteHowlett/NewSlotted.jpg

I like Pegheds but I really don't like fitting them into Spanish Cedar and you have to be real crafty with the entry and exit points creating arises that the lacquer won't crack. I use a burnishing bit in my cordless to compress the fibres at the edges of the hole and thus create a 'smooth' countersink that won't 'burst' the lacquer.

Good tip Pete. I chamfer the entry and exist holes with a conical diamond burr. It's like 320 grit sandpaper.

Pete Howlett
01-02-2012, 09:43 AM
Burnishing means no issues with grain filling. Diamond burr seems the business though. My burnisher is a piece of round ebony with a 45 degree conical point... real low tech, the sort that would make Ken proud :)

Timbuck
01-02-2012, 11:12 AM
real low tech, the sort that would make Ken proud :)

I think that Pete.. presumes i am reading this..but he's wrong! actually i'm asleep in bed at the moment.

BlackBearUkes
01-02-2012, 02:38 PM
I too am one who does not care for the Pegheds. I like the idea of them but they are fashioned after violins tuners and look like violin tuners. If they looked like old uke pegs I might try a few. I also do not like the way they are installed, very finicky, especially with softer woods.

UKEON TERRITORY
01-04-2012, 06:18 AM
to the question: "what tuners would you use (money no object)? "
answer: "automatic"

(sorry, i couldn't resist)

hahahahahhahahahahaha ! A+

Kekani
01-04-2012, 08:02 AM
If Gibson starts building `ukulele again, who knows. . .
http://www.gibson.com/RobotGuitar/

Mark Roberts Ukuleles
01-05-2012, 02:59 PM
Gotoh closed 510 minis or open back, Pegheads, Waverlys....in that price order.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
01-05-2012, 04:45 PM
Gotoh closed 510 minis or open back, Pegheads, Waverlys....in that price order.

Your first day here. Welcome. But how about introducing yourself?

UKEON TERRITORY
03-29-2012, 02:21 PM
To the Question: "What tuners would you use (money no object)? "
Answer: "Automatic"

(sorry, I couldn't resist)


This post still cracks me up beyond expectations of good humor .More of this sort of thing is in DIRE need . I laughed hard the first time I read it and laugh even harder everytime I've seen it since .

lancemanion
05-01-2012, 07:22 PM
I went with the Schertler tuners and love them. They are smooth as butter and I love the look. They were a little expensive but I hope that my son will have this uke for the rest of his life. The only downside to them I can see is the 3/8" hole they require for installation. I also installed a Schatten NR-2 pickup. Gordon from Mya-Moe recommended it and I am also happy with it. This is now one of my son's favorite ukes.37290372913729237293

coolkayaker1
05-02-2012, 02:03 AM
37302Gotoh Deluxe Friction. Gorgeous, smooth, and even on the high tension Worth strings on my tenor Kiwaya, they stay in tune beautifully.

Pukulele Pete
05-02-2012, 02:41 AM
37302Gotoh Deluxe Friction. Gorgeous, smooth, and even on the high tension Worth strings on my tenor Kiwaya, they stay in tune beautifully.

Anyone have any idea where I could get a set of these ? I did a search and cant find any info. I have a KTS-4 I would like to put a set on. I like the chrome button in the white , never saw those before. Do they come standard on all high end Kiwayas ?

The Big Kahuna
05-02-2012, 02:56 AM
I have Sperzel locking tuners on my Patrick Eggle guitar. Probably the best machine heads I've ever used, but I'm not sure if they'd be any use without a locking Nut and Floyd Rose Trem'. probably best to just pretend I never said anything.

As you were...

Cornfield
05-02-2012, 03:05 AM
I just ran across this thread. What a coincidence! I have my Regal resonator at the local luthiers right now. It's in line to get a schatten pickup. I told him I also wanted geared tuners as the stock friction tuners just don't cut it for me. I don't know what tuners he was ordering for me but I'll check in with him this afternoon.

resoman
05-02-2012, 04:34 AM
Anyone have any idea where I could get a set of these ? I did a search and cant find any info. I have a KTS-4 I would like to put a set on. I like the chrome button in the white , never saw those before. Do they come standard on all high end Kiwayas ?
I'm pretty sure Hana Lima Ia has them. I like them too. Don't know about the chrome on white buttons

MisterRios
05-02-2012, 06:01 AM
Anyone have any idea where I could get a set of these ? I did a search and cant find any info. I have a KTS-4 I would like to put a set on. I like the chrome button in the white , never saw those before. Do they come standard on all high end Kiwayas ?

I'd also like a set of these, but haven't found them anywhere except the Hana Lima site..

lancemanion
05-02-2012, 06:04 AM
I just ran across this thread. What a coincidence! I have my Regal resonator at the local luthiers right now. It's in line to get a schatten pickup. I told him I also wanted geared tuners as the stock friction tuners just don't cut it for me. I don't know what tuners he was ordering for me but I'll check in with him this afternoon.

The manufacturer recommends putting the pickup on the bridge but my bridge was too small and I would hve had to cut down into the biscuit to install it there (the pickup was designed to fit on a guitar bridge). I installed it directly on the biscuit and figured if it didn't sound good I would modify the biscuit to make it fit. It sounds great installed on biscuit with all four strings picked up loud and clear. Hope this is helpfull to you.

Cornfield
05-29-2012, 04:43 PM
I went with the Waverly's. They work great.
Now I'm looking for the correct strings for this uke. It's called a soprano but seems to nearly be a concert size. From biscuit to nut is 14.5 inches.
I've got concert aquilas on there now but they need to be changed out.

Any suggestions?

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
05-29-2012, 05:28 PM
Biscuit? Must be something new.

gyosh
05-29-2012, 05:30 PM
Biscuit? Must be something new.

Auto correct maybe?

Rick Turner
05-29-2012, 05:38 PM
Come on now, folks, get with the program:

http://www.rodgers-tuning-machines.co.uk/Gallery.html

http://www.rodgers-tuning-machines.co.uk/Prices_&_Order.html Those would only be about $417.00 USD!

I might just have to do this some day.

Cornfield
05-29-2012, 05:39 PM
I apologize, 14.5" from the bridge (mounted on the biscuit??) to the nut.