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View Full Version : Koa tuners from Taisamlu



wickedwahine11
06-25-2012, 12:03 PM
I purchased a set of Waverly koa tuners for my Kanilea tenor (http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tuners/Ukulele_tuners/Waverly_Ukulele_Tuners.html?actn=100101&xst=3&xsr=277266), and when they arrived, the wood was a very light yellow blonde instead of the brown or reddish hue I was hoping for, so I returned them.

I'm still determined to replace the black tuners on my new uke, as I'm not a fan of them, so I then ordered some chrome Grover Sta-Tite, but it turns out they are not drop in replaceable and would require drilling new holes. I'm willing to do that for koa, but not sure I want to make that commitment for chrome.

So now I'm looking at getting some koa tuners from taisamlu's ebay store. I just wanted the koa buttons so I ordered this set in the hopes that I can just replace my grover buttons with these. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nice-Quality-2R2L-Gold-plated-Ukulele-machine-heads-hawaiian-koa-4pieces-NO227-/160826382877?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2571ffda1d#ht_3182wt_952

In the event they are not a fit though (probably likely are not), I'm looking at his other two options.

The first is this set, which would require replacing all four tuners and probably leave me with a bunch of unfilled holes on the back of my headstock.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Good-quality-ukulele-chrome-machine-heads-4pcs-327C-KOA-/360390931230?pt=Guitar_Accessories&hash=item53e8f9331e#ht_2895wt_952

Otherwise the other option is this plate style, but I'm not sure how heavy those would be, or whether I want something that wild: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ukulele-tuner-Chrome-surface-Koa-button-427C-Koa-/160601104190?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2564925f3e#ht_2580wt_952

I know it will probably take a while to get the first set that I ordered, and I don't want to order one of these yet (on the teeny tiny chance that the buttons are a match for my old ones -- doubtful, I know). But has anyone out there had any experience with either of these two tuners from taisamlu?

Also, can anyone tell me how long his shipping generally takes to the USA?

GKK
06-26-2012, 07:01 AM
The Taisamlu tuners don't have a Ferrel or Collar for the tuner post to pass through which might have a loose fit if the holes are not the exact same diameter and might not turn smoothy due to the friction of the hole, it can also have and unfinished look.

The Taisamlu tuners also, don't have a nut and washer to secure the tuners on top of the headstock which I like because the tiny screws on the bottom can loosen over time which has happened to one of my Kala ukes.

I would keep looking for the Koa tuners you like best and install those. You only want to do this once!...:)

mketom
06-26-2012, 07:32 AM
The Taisamlu tuners don't have a Ferrel or Collar for the tuner post to pass through

Actually they DO in two out of the three pics you posted and on all three types, see eBay ads for drawings showing them. And the sealed ones have a nut/ferrule and washer mounting hardware.

The ganged ones are a little Hollywood but the details are very nice (kinda pineappley pattern) and very nice plating quality, with upper ferrules. I got the ones with pearl buttons and as a set, they weigh 78 grams/2.7 oz with all the hardware. And the curly koa and ebony buttons are sweet!

They DO require a 35mm post spacing. Here's Taisamlu's drawing... And of the 4 times I have ordered from them it took ~9-10 days.
39526

uke42
06-26-2012, 09:21 AM
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ukulele-tuner-Chrome-surface-Koa-button-427C-Koa-/160601104190?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2564925f3e#ht_2580wt_952[/url]


In January I bought a Kanilea K1 Premium Concert directly from the Kanilea factory. It had just been put on the wall and it has the plate style machine head tuners with black buttons. They are much lighter then the open grover tuners that you usually find on Kanilea ukes. I like the way they look. I have yet to see another 4-string Kanilea that has these type of tuners. Not sure if it was a custom addition.

wickedwahine11
06-26-2012, 10:34 AM
In January I bought a Kanilea K1 Premium Concert directly from the Kanilea factory. It had just been put on the wall and it has the plate style machine head tuners with black buttons. They are much lighter then the open grover tuners that you usually find on Kanilea ukes. I like the way they look. I have yet to see another 4-string Kanilea that has these type of tuners. Not sure if it was a custom addition.

Would you mind showing a photo of the back of your uke's headstock? I'm really curious to see how the plate style looks.

Thanks for the feedback guys. I just put on some pearl buttons today -- they are not a perfect fit, and I have to tighten the screws a bit, but they will do until the koa ones come. I think it makes it look a bit better than the black, which I wasn't crazy about. These pearl buttons fit so-so, I find I'm retightening the A string tuner quite a bit even though the other three fit fine. I got these from Ukulele World and they didn't set me back too much (only $9) so it was a good quick fix until I get some koa options.

Black style:
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=38641&d=1338762148

Pearl buttons:
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=39535&d=1340742695

I also really appreciate the feedback on the weight of the plate style, I think I may go ahead and order those in case the koa buttons don't fit. I'm glad they don't make the uke headstock to heavy, even if they are a little "blingy."

uke42
06-26-2012, 11:02 AM
As soon as I get home I'll take a picture of my headstock and post it.

guitarsnrotts
06-26-2012, 02:27 PM
I'd be interested on the outcome as I have been thinking about ordering koa tuner buttons from taisamlu to replace the gold buttons on my KPK concert.

uke42
06-26-2012, 08:07 PM
Here are few pictures of the headstock on my Kanilea K1 Concert with the plate style machine head tuners. Sorry for the poor quality of the pictures. I was trying to light it as best as I could.

uke42
06-26-2012, 08:11 PM
A couple more pictures to show off the beautiful curly koa on this uke :)

wickedwahine11
06-27-2012, 07:20 AM
Here are few pictures of the headstock on my Kanilea K1 Concert with the plate style machine head tuners. Sorry for the poor quality of the pictures. I was trying to light it as best as I could.

Thanks a lot for posting those photos, those look really similar to the plate style from taisamlu -- which I did go ahead and order in case the koa buttons I previously ordered are not interchangeable with the current Grover tuners. So now I just have to try to be patient while they are shipped from Asia.

That is a beautiful uke by the way! :)

mds725
06-27-2012, 08:16 AM
Not to hijack the thread, but all these photos of Kanile'a ukuleles have pushed me to the brink! I've resolved that when I go to Hawai'i in the fall, I'm going to stop in O'ahu, take the Kanile'a tour, and buy myself (or order, depending on availability of what I'm looking for) a Kanile'a ukulele. I met Joe Sousa a few months ago at a Kanile'a workshop in SF, and he was the nicest guy. i'm sure the ukuleles they make, in addition to being breathtakingly gorgeous, are made with much aloha. I want!

On the thread topic of koa tuner buttons, I wanted to mention that I have a Big Island honu tenor that came with koa tuner buttons, and I always really liked the way the buttons match the uke's headplate and body. I happen to like the classic look of the pearly white buttons on my Kamakas, and while I think my Mya-Moes are stunning, I'm not a big fan of the tan (faux koa?) tuner buttons they came with. I think if I can only find a Kanile'a with black buttons this fall, I too would want to swap them out, either for white or koa buttons. I'm not really fond of the look of black tuner buttons.

Good luck, Staci, with the koa buttons and lkoa buttoned tuners you ordered, and thanks for posting about your search to replace your black tuner buttons. I may have to refer back to this thread after I become a Kanile'a owner.

Bill Mc
06-27-2012, 08:43 AM
They seem to measure up exactly from the specs provided. I ordered a set for my KPK.

Ronnie Aloha
06-27-2012, 08:56 AM
Would stew mac go through their stock of koa tuners and check to see if they have a set more in the shade you are looking for? There is so much variation in Koa color that they may have a set more to your liking.

wickedwahine11
06-27-2012, 09:01 AM
Not to hijack the thread, but all these photos of Kanile'a ukuleles have pushed me to the brink! I've resolved that when I go to Hawai'i in the fall, I'm going to stop in O'ahu, take the Kanile'a tour, and buy myself (or order, depending on availability of what I'm looking for) a Kanile'a ukulele. I met Joe Sousa a few months ago at a Kanile'a workshop in SF, and he was the nicest guy. i'm sure the ukuleles they make, in addition to being breathtakingly gorgeous, are made with much aloha. I want!

On the thread topic of koa tuner buttons, I wanted to mention that I have a Big Island honu tenor that came with koa tuner buttons, and I always really liked the way the buttons match the uke's headplate and body. I happen to like the classic look of the pearly white buttons on my Kamakas, and while I think my Mya-Moes are stunning, I'm not a big fan of the tan (faux koa?) tuner buttons they came with. I think if I can only find a Kanile'a with black buttons this fall, I too would want to swap them out, either for white or koa buttons. I'm not really fond of the look of black tuner buttons.

Good luck, Staci, with the koa buttons and lkoa buttoned tuners you ordered, and thanks for posting about your search to replace your black tuner buttons. I may have to refer back to this thread after I become a Kanile'a owner.

Yay, congrats on your future Kanilea! Yeah, I already really like the pearl much better than the black, and hope to like the koa even more.


They seem to measure up exactly from the specs provided. I ordered a set for my KPK.

Yeah, looks like we both get to try them out. If you get yours first, do you mind posting a photo?


Would stew mac go through their stock of koa tuners and check to see if they have a set more in the shade you are looking for? There is so much variation in Koa color that they may have a set more to your liking.

Nope, I asked. I wish. So looks like taisamlu is my best bet right now. I am stil super jealous of the lovely brown koa Waverlys that Drew Bear is rocking on his Kanilea. I wish the ones I oredered were like that, but they were really blonde. Not bad for my Kamoa maybe, but definitely they clashed with this uke.

Bill Mc
06-27-2012, 09:10 AM
Yeah, looks like we both get to try them out. If you get yours first, do you mind posting a photo ?


If I can figure out how to do that I surely will.

Bill

Bill Mc
07-12-2012, 07:57 PM
I received taisamlu's koa tuners and put them on my KPK pineapple today. The fit was almost perfect but not quite. I chose the best screw hole in the head stock to keep the tuners adjacent from each other on the same plane. I secured that screw then used an awl to create/alter the second screw hole. The second screw hole was about 1 mm off center and adjusting with the awl was no problem in the hard acacia headstock. The result is an improvement over the stock KPK tuners that are both oversized and a bit garish in my opinion. Since the screw hole alignment is not perfect you must be able to work carefully so as not to botch up the job. It may seem like a simple task to some but I never underestimate the difficulty of any job as even a simple task can turn into a disaster. I have no idea how to post pictures so sorry about the lack thereof.

wickedwahine11
07-13-2012, 05:36 AM
I received taisamlu's koa tuners and put them on my KPK pineapple today. The fit was almost perfect but not quite. I chose the best screw hole in the head stock to keep the tuners adjacent from each other on the same plane. I secured that screw then used an awl to create/alter the second screw hole. The second screw hole was about 1 mm off center and adjusting with the awl was no problem in the hard acacia headstock. The result is an improvement over the stock KPK tuners that are both oversized and a bit garish in my opinion. Since the screw hole alignment is not perfect you must be able to work carefully so as not to botch up the job. It may seem like a simple task to some but I never underestimate the difficulty of any job as even a simple task can turn into a disaster. I have no idea how to post pictures so sorry about the lack thereof.

Hey Bill, glad to see you liked them. I did notice that I had two swap out two of the tuners as they ended up spinning on the tuning mechanism -- perhaps the wood loosened up around the device. Luckily I had purchased two sets. I actually ended up just ordering two more sets from him, to get some more spare buttons in case the others loosen up as well. It isn't a flawless fit, but I did get them to work and definitely much prefer them to the black stock buttons I had.

Bill Mc
07-13-2012, 07:56 AM
Hey Bill, glad to see you liked them. I did notice that I had two swap out two of the tuners as they ended up spinning on the tuning mechanism -- perhaps the wood loosened up around the device. Luckily I had purchased two sets. I actually ended up just ordering two more sets from him, to get some more spare buttons in case the others loosen up as well. It isn't a flawless fit, but I did get them to work and definitely much prefer them to the black stock buttons I had.

The turning shaft is flattened on my tuners. That should give a secure hold to the buttons after tightening up the screw. Of course the wood can degrade. If I experience any loosening of the buttons I can't correct by tightening the screw I'll try a dab of loc tite.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
07-13-2012, 08:12 AM
The turning shaft is flattened on my tuners. That should give a secure hold to the buttons after tightening up the screw. Of course the wood can degrade. If I experience any loosening of the buttons I can't correct by tightening the screw I'll try a dab of loc tite.

Changing tuner knobs can be tricky. Wood (especially koa) is not the best material for tuner buttons unless they are made right. If the hole is not machined perfectly to match the shaft I believe you will have problems down the road. Some of the best buttons will have a composite insert that the shaft fits into. BTW, Locktite won't do anything to resolve the slipping problem. You might have a better shot using medium ca glue when swapping out the knobs but that may fail eventually as well. You may want to post the problem in the Luthier's Lounge. There's someone there who makes wood tuner knobs.

Bill Mc
07-13-2012, 08:46 AM
Changing tuner knobs can be tricky. Wood (especially koa) is not the best material for tuner buttons unless they are made right. If the hole is not machined perfectly to match the shaft I believe you will have problems down the road. Some of the best buttons will have a composite insert that the shaft fits into. BTW, Locktite won't do anything to resolve the slipping problem. You might have a better shot using medium ca glue when swapping out the knobs but that may fail eventually as well. You may want to post the problem in the Luthier's Lounge. There's someone there who makes wood tuner knobs.

Thanks for your input Chuck. I appreciate it and will remember your suggestion in case of a problem.

Bill Mc Gowan

PhilUSAFRet
07-13-2012, 12:45 PM
I bought a used KPK concert from a guy who removed the geared tuners, did a so-so job of filling the holes, and replaced them with amber buttons from Mainland. I'd sure like to use those on my Lehua soprano long neck acacia and put some black geared tuners on the KPK...let me know if you want to unload those black button Kanilea tuners.

the.ronin
07-01-2015, 05:03 AM
Sorry for reviving an old thread but I'm finding myself in the same position looking to upgrade the tuners that came on a K-1 C SF that I just bought (big thanks to Island Bazaar and Dan in HB).

Thank you to the OP for sharing the taisamlu find. I'd bought guitar tuners from them before. Well it turns out they still carry those tuners the OP mentioned ... http://www.ebay.com/itm/391026501779?ru=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fsch%2F i.html%3F_from%3DR40%26_sacat%3D0%26_nkw%3D3910265 01779%26_rdc%3D1

But I'm going to try and see if Rubner can make some of these specs (there are specs in the ebay listing and they match perfectly the tuners on my K-1).

As an aside, I am a little put off by the tuning machines and bridge pins on this Kanilea. Sorry, I just don't buy into them being "ok generics" ... they are hardly fit for this ukulele. Sure, they work. But so will a couple paper clips and some duct tape right?

Will report back on Rubner when I hear from them. The ones they have now are awesome (and I have a set of Hauser style and straights for my classical guitars they work great and are good quality). But the ones they have are just slightly off from these measurements. The spacing is big enough so you can't share the same holes but small enough that it might be problematic.