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Paul December
06-05-2012, 04:56 PM
How difficult is it to upgrade friction tuners on contemporary ukes?
I have a new uke with ugly friction tuners and would like something more attractive. Do most recently-made ukes use the same size tuners? I do know people run into trouble when working with vintage instruments.
Also, how difficult is it to actually swap-out the tuners?

gyosh
06-05-2012, 05:25 PM
How difficult is it to upgrade friction tuners on contemporary ukes?
I have a new uke with ugly friction tuners and would like something more attractive. Do most recently-made ukes use the same size tuners? I do know people run into trouble when working with vintage instruments.
Also, how difficult is it to actually swap-out the tuners?

You'll have to remove one and measure the post, also depth might have to be taken in to consideration.

Paul December
06-05-2012, 05:30 PM
You'll have to remove one and measure the post, also depth might have to be taken in to consideration.

:( That's too much effort for me...
...I was hoping most companies were using some sort of standard size.

gyosh
06-05-2012, 05:33 PM
:( That's too much effort for me...
...I was hoping most companies were using some sort of standard size.

It's pretty simple to do. It's just one screw that holds them in/together on most.

Paul December
06-05-2012, 05:38 PM
It's pretty simple to do. It's just one screw that holds them in/together on most.

:o Don't underestimate just how lazy I am!
I was hoping to avoid measuring and just screw-in the replacements when I change the strings.

gyosh
06-05-2012, 05:41 PM
:o Don't underestimate just how lazy I am!
I was hoping to avoid measuring and just screw-in the replacements when I change the strings.

Wait . . . you're supposed to change strings?! ;)

coolkayaker1
06-05-2012, 05:42 PM
Uke brand and size?

Paul December
06-05-2012, 05:46 PM
Uke brand and size?

Recording King Resonator, Concert size...
...I had one before, then sold it because of its irritating sound. Recently I've fallen in love with the sound of banjoleles, especially my Gold Tone and the Reso somehow now sounds better!
The 1st one had ugly tuners that slipped, this 2nd one's tuners are just ugly.

808boy
06-05-2012, 06:12 PM
Aloha Paul,
I swapped out my ugly Koalana tuners for genuine Koaloha tuners and the only difference was the hole on the face part of the headstock was too small to accomodate the Koaloha's tuner bushings (press fit). I called a local Luthier to see what it would cost to open up the holes. He said $40.00, I said you're crazy and hung up.
I went to Sears and purchased a 3/8" hand reamer and carefully opened up the holes checking the fit as I go. As I said, these were press fit(they had ridges to lock themselves in). 5 mins. later, the bushings were all in (tapped in with a rubber mallet laying the headstock flat on a table). Cost of the reamer, $12.00.
When you disassemble the tuners, just pay attention to the order of pieces removed, especially the metal and teflon washers.
It's not as hard as you think. Good luck,..........................BO................. ......

Paul December
06-05-2012, 06:22 PM
Aloha Paul,
I swapped out my ugly Koalana tuners for genuine Koaloha tuners and the only difference was the hole on the face part of the headstock was too small to accomodate the Koaloha's tuner bushings (press fit). I called a local Luthier to see what it would cost to open up the holes. He said $40.00, I said you're crazy and hung up.
I went to Sears and purchased a 3/8" hand reamer and carefully opened up the holes checking the fit as I go. As I said, these were press fit(they had ridges to lock themselves in). 5 mins. later, the bushings were all in (tapped in with a rubber mallet laying the headstock flat on a table). Cost of the reamer, $12.00.
When you disassemble the tuners, just pay attention to the order of pieces removed, especially the metal and teflon washers.
It's not as hard as you think. Good luck,..........................BO................. ......

Thanks, that doesn't sound too bad. My only concern now would be...
...what if it went the other way and the replacement tuners required a smaller hole?

gyosh
06-05-2012, 06:24 PM
Thanks, that doesn't sound too bad. My only concern now would be...
...what if it went the other way and the replacement tuners required a smaller hole?

You measure your old tuner posts and don't buy a smaller size.

gyosh
06-05-2012, 06:25 PM
You measure your old tuner posts and don't buy a smaller size.


Check StewMac and/or LMI or Hana Lima. They all carry tuners.

bazmaz
06-05-2012, 08:37 PM
I've changed several - some swap without adjustment, some require drilling for the post, som require the post hold drilling and deepening the recess for the front collar. Depends on instrument, but not hard to do

TheCraftedCow
06-05-2012, 09:37 PM
Life is a matter of trade-offs. What are you willing to give up for what you want to get? It is true for tuners as well. It is rumored that alchoholism in Hawaii is directly caused by friction tuners. The more one drinks, the better their uke sounds. One can keep their sobriety by replacing friction tuners with geared tuners which look like friction tuners. See what Tim Szerlong says about them at www.ukeeku.com . If you have questions about them, send me an email and look at some at www.pegheds.net.

guitarsnrotts
06-06-2012, 07:47 AM
Here's a page that contain a number of popular tuners. If you click on a specfic tuner, it shows you the size hole it takes and some other important dimensions:

http://www.ukuleleworld.com/home.php?cat=34

haole
06-06-2012, 02:57 PM
Thanks, that doesn't sound too bad. My only concern now would be...
...what if it went the other way and the replacement tuners required a smaller hole?

Did something similar when swapping out some Kamaka-style Schallers for KoAloha-style Gotohs. Getting the old bushings out wasn't too hard. I measured the width of the bushings, drilled some holes slightly bigger than that into a piece of scrap wood, placed the headstock flat against the wood with the bushings lined up inside the holes (so the bushings would have somewhere to go), and knocked each bushing out with a dowel and a rubber mallet. Boom. No direct contact with the headstock, so no damage done. The Gotoh bushings were a little smaller and did not press-fit properly, so I coated each hole in the headstock with a thin layer of wood filler. They fit fine after that!

OldePhart
06-06-2012, 03:01 PM
Gotoh makes two styles of tuners, (type A and type B), and they use very slightly different size holes. The difference is just enough that you will probably crack a headstock if you force the large ones into a hole drilled for the small ones - but also small enough that you can easily enlarge the holes enough with a bit of sandpaper wrapped around a pencil.

I suspect that one or the other of the Gotoh tuners will probably fit most ukes - especially since many less expensive tuners are basically knockoffs of the Gotoh design.

John

coolkayaker1
06-06-2012, 03:44 PM
PD, just buy a new uke, will ya. lol

One slip with the reamer and it's raining cats@!

MisterRios
06-08-2012, 04:01 AM
This site has drawings of various Grover Tuners. http://pohakushop.com/?product_cat=tuning

Also, when I was researching upgrading the tuners on my SK-35, I found out that the tuners on there are Gotoh Standard, which are 7,6mm- I was looking at upgrading to Gotoh Deluxe, which need 8mm holes, but then I just changed from Worth to Martin strings, and the tuning stiffness disappeared...

I was also going to go the ol' sandpaper on a pencil route for making the holes bigger...