View Full Version : Geared tuners - is some 'slop' normal ?

10-03-2013, 06:31 AM
Hello guys. I have a Pono MB baritone uke with exposed gear tuners (its not a slot head model). They are marked 'Pono' on each of them. As I adjust tuning, I notice that if I tighten a string too far and it goes sharp, that when I turn the tuner knob to loosen the string there is often some 'slop' or freeplay where the tuner knob turns loosely/freely as though it had no string tension on it at all. The worm gear has to turn quite abit more before it engages the teeth of the spoked gear wheel, - as much as 90 degrees of rotation of the tuning knob. They feel like theyre not attached to anything when this happens. All the gear teeth are in new condition, none broken or worn. Is this normal ? I'm a new uker and the only other uke I have with gear tuners is a Makala Dolphin and it has no slop at all when any of the tuning machines are turned - tightening or loosening. And I don't have this much freeplay with my slothead guitar. I'm not trying to be picky about things that don't matter, my concern is that this be normal, and not cause potential problems in the future. Pono has a 3 day No Questions Asked return policy, which is one of the main reasons I chose to buy one of their ukes from an authorized dealer; I'm deciding what to do with this uke. The Pono MB was made 2 1/2 years ago and was one of the ones built for them in China, before they moved production to Java for logistics reasons. Thanks for your comments -

10-03-2013, 07:42 AM
Nope, shouldn't be any slop. You may have a loose button on the tuner, which would be easy to fix, or the string may be binding in the nut slot, causing it to get stuck when you detune. Or you may have bad tuners. If you like the uke otherwise, I wouldn't think it would be a big deal to ask Pono to address the problem; if your dealer does repairs, it can probably be handled locally without shipping it back.

10-03-2013, 03:30 PM
Thanks RichM. I'll try tightening the button on the tuner and if that doesn't improve things sufficiently, contact Pono about a replacement. Best regards, - - -

10-03-2013, 05:48 PM
Agree with Rich. No slop should be present.

10-03-2013, 09:47 PM
What you are feeling is not "slop" in the geared tuners. Your feeling the result of a sticky nut. The strings are not sliding through the nut properly. This is a fault but a fault that is rather common. Smooth the slots yourself or get someone to do it with very fine sandpaper.