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Ukulele Eddie
12-29-2013, 03:08 PM
I'm having a custom tenor uke built and wanted to solicit feedback on tuners. I prefer the rearward facing tuners because of ease of tuning and the clean lines on the headstock.

So among those who build instruments, if you were building something special for yourself, what would you use?

Thanks in advance for any input.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
12-29-2013, 04:49 PM
If I were building for myself it would be slotted. But for what you want I'm digging the Gotoh UPTLs. They are a little bundle of marvelous design and engineering. Buttah smooth as well.
But ask your builder what he/she likes to work with.

Newportlocal
12-29-2013, 05:07 PM
What he said.:D

Macmuse
12-29-2013, 05:46 PM
If I were building for myself it would be slotted. But for what you want I'm digging the Gotoh UPTLs. They are a little bundle of marvelous design and engineering. Buttah smooth as well.
But ask your builder what he/she likes to work with.

How do these compare to the Pegheds? I'm about to specify details for a build myself and was leaning toward Peghed (one option offered) but "other tuners" is also an option listed. ;)

resoman
12-29-2013, 06:22 PM
I also like the Gotoh UPTL tuners over the Pegheads. The Gotoh's are a little heavier than the Pegheads but are really, really smooth and substantial feeling when you use them.

Ukulele Eddie
12-29-2013, 06:46 PM
Thanks, Chuck. And for the record, for a slotted headstock which tuners would you prefer for your own build?

BlackBearUkes
12-29-2013, 07:08 PM
I would use the Gotoh UPT tuners.

Kekani
12-29-2013, 08:02 PM
Probably use the Gotoh's if you like friction style tuning machines. I prefer geared, and used to used Gotoh's.

Now, its Hipshot. Made in America. Feels like Gilberts, at a fraction of the cost. Plus, there's only a handful (if that) of guys that I know of putting them on `ukulele - the builders at the last UGH exhibition liked them. They just came out with a Schaller style geared. I'll stick with their "open geared" since they work well.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
12-29-2013, 08:35 PM
Probably use the Gotoh's if you like friction style tuning machines. I prefer geared, and used to used Gotoh's.

Now, its Hipshot. Made in America. Feels like Gilberts, at a fraction of the cost. Plus, there's only a handful (if that) of guys that I know of putting them on `ukulele - the builders at the last UGH exhibition liked them. They just came out with a Schaller style geared. I'll stick with their "open geared" since they work well.

Aaron, your comment may be a little confusing to those unfamiliar with the new Gotoh tuners. They are indeed geared tuners. Planetary style, 4:1 ratio. I'll use Pegheds though when I don't want a lot of hardware showing on the head stock. It's a matter of personal preference though, I think Gilbert's and Schallers are both fugly. Again, ask your builder, his advice is part of he package.

Ukulele Eddie
12-30-2013, 05:34 AM
Thanks everyone for all the input!

Macmuse
12-30-2013, 06:10 AM
Thanks everyone for all the input!

+1

Very helpful prior to discussing options soon.

And a tip of the hat to luthiers who answer our questions to provide insight and guidance. It makes getting a custom from one of you so much more fun and meaningful in the long run.

rubber necker
12-30-2013, 06:50 AM
I would always go with what the builder recommends,you are paying and selecting your builder for that reason,just do your homework and pick the best builder for you

make your own decisions on which buiilder to use and then stay out of their way even something like the tuners may seem like a small part of the build, but you can see many different opinions on them

Ukulele Eddie
12-30-2013, 07:20 AM
I see it a bit differently. Rubber Necker. Tuners are one of the primary user interfaces that can affect the user experience. I have heard many comments from people who like a particular uke but hate the tuners. I have found I strongly prefer rearward facing tuners because I like the clean lines on the headstock and I know that I prefer geared tuners. I certainly won't tell him how to brace the uke or what type of gloss to use, but if I strongly prefer rear-facing, gear tuners, then my builder should (and is) willing to accommodate this. I came here just to get a variety of perspectives on which ones luthiers like themselves so that I can then have a more productive discussion with the luthier who is building my first custom uke. The more educated I am, the better collaboration we'll have and the greater likelihood I'll be ecstatic with my purchase (which is always the best outcome for the luthier).

Kekani
12-30-2013, 08:17 AM
Aaron, your comment may be a little confusing to those unfamiliar with the new Gotoh tuners. They are indeed geared tuners. Planetary style, 4:1 ratio. I'll use Pegheds though when I don't want a lot of hardware showing on the head stock. It's a matter of personal preference though, I think Gilbert's and Schallers are both fugly. Again, ask your builder, his advice is part of he package.

Damn, I reread my post and thought "what the heck did I just write?" Good call, Chuck.

My post defined - If you like Friction style tuning machines, go with the Gotoh UPTL's (geared planetary, which, knowing Gotoh, will be WAY better than actual frictions). I used Gotoh GEARED in the past, but have switched to Hipshot.

Yeah, not to fond of the look of Gilberts initially, but they grow on you once you start spinning the knobs. This is whay I like the Hipshots - smooth, accurate - got them on my Bass, of course. I haven't bought into Pegheads, especially since one "good" aspect is that they're light, and one instrument that my friend plays with Pegheads continually goes out of tune (of course, this is only ONE instrument). I've come to appreciate weight at the headstock, but one could argue the DragonPlate CF results in the same effect as weight at the headstock.

Bottom line, I absolutely agree with what the other builders have recommended - go with what your builder recommends.

Olarte
12-30-2013, 08:28 AM
Uhm, has your friend adjusted the pegheds? the tension can be adjusted on those.

I have them on 3 of my favorite ukes, and wish I could afford them for the rest of my herd...

Macmuse
12-30-2013, 08:32 AM
make your own decisions on which buiilder to use and then stay out of their way even something like the tuners may seem like a small part of the build, but you can see many different opinions on them

I agree with this to a point... I think it ultimately depends on the builder you choose and how they work. Some will be more opinionated on this or have reasons to use a specific tuner based on the look, feel and functionality they are aiming for in the instruments they create.

The builder I chose seems to be open to choice on this front, based on customer preference. I'm sure once I get into the details we will discuss what he feels will work best on the headstock he makes. His opinion/recommendation will certainly heavily influence the final decision. I get the sense that he'd be okay with Peghed OR Gotoh if I picked one over the other. Probably one of the reasons I happily ended up with the builder I did.

Builders also have specific opinions about wood, shapes, etc... Lots of details to consider when hoping a luthier will put you on their build list. :)

Tim Mullins
12-30-2013, 01:31 PM
I have Pegheds one one uke and the Gotoh UPTs on another. They are both big improvements over friction tuners. If I had to choose only one, it would be the Gotohs.

Dan Uke
12-30-2013, 03:11 PM
I have Pegheds one one uke and the Gotoh UPTs on another. They are both big improvements over friction tuners. If I had to choose only one, it would be the Gotohs.

I like the Gotohs over the Pegheds. I personally don't like the manual adjustment of pushing in the Peghed to make the turning harder and vice versa.

rudy
12-30-2013, 04:47 PM
Uhm, has your friend adjusted the pegheds? the tension can be adjusted on those.

I have them on 3 of my favorite ukes, and wish I could afford them for the rest of my herd...

I'm always amazed at the number of people I run across that don't know that the Pegheds work EXACTLY like a traditional violin peg. The tension is increased by pushing the peg inward and loosened by pulling slightly outward as they are turning. The only sets I've seen that slipped took about 5 seconds to "snug up" and this was greeted with the "I had no idea they were supposed to work that way" comment. Great tuner that gets much maligned because people don't know how to use them. Unfortunately the manufacturer isn't of much help in that department, either.

Michael N.
12-31-2013, 06:24 AM
I use a lot of pegheads and it's true that many users are not aware of the 'adjustment' aspect.
As for 1:1 wooden friction pegs I disagree that geared tuners are 'way better'. Learn to tune (especially by ear) and a wooden friction peg is both quick, easy and reliable. It DOES take a certain amount of training, perhaps a few minutes per day over a period of a few months. In fact it was using friction Pegs that forced me to tune harmonically. 30 years of using geared Pegs and I could not tune without reference pitches. Less than 1 year of using friction Pegs and I could tune harmonically. They improved my ear by a huge margin. It may seem odd but in a way they force one to actually listen, at least that was my experience of them. I think part of the problem is that most people think them too difficult, unreliable and inaccurate.
Nothing could be further from the truth, as thousands of professional orchestral Violin players will tell you.

Pegasus Guitars
12-31-2013, 06:40 AM
I played a tenor with UPTL tuners on it for a little over a month and the G and C strings never stopped slipping unless I continually kept tightening the screw, which was easy but annoying. Could have been a bad set I guess, but that made me decide to only use them on smaller ukes. They look nice and are very smooth in operation.

Doug
12-31-2013, 07:55 AM
Welcome to the board Pegasus. I just ordered some baritone uke plans from you.

rudy
01-01-2014, 04:01 AM
I use a lot of pegheads and it's true that many users are not aware of the 'adjustment' aspect.
As for 1:1 wooden friction pegs I disagree that geared tuners are 'way better'. Learn to tune (especially by ear) and a wooden friction peg is both quick, easy and reliable. It DOES take a certain amount of training, perhaps a few minutes per day over a period of a few months. In fact it was using friction Pegs that forced me to tune harmonically. 30 years of using geared Pegs and I could not tune without reference pitches. Less than 1 year of using friction Pegs and I could tune harmonically. They improved my ear by a huge margin. It may seem odd but in a way they force one to actually listen, at least that was my experience of them. I think part of the problem is that most people think them too difficult, unreliable and inaccurate.
Nothing could be further from the truth, as thousands of professional orchestral Violin players will tell you.

It's not so much that 1:1 wood friction pegs are difficult to use; IMHO it's more about the need to spend over $100 to purchase the two tools that are necessary to fit them properly for most small builders. If you're going to make a bunch of ukes it's not a problem, but if you're doing only a few it's tough to justify the cash outlay.

Well fitting wood pegs are a joy to use.

BlackBearUkes
01-01-2014, 08:35 AM
I use a lot of pegheads and it's true that many users are not aware of the 'adjustment' aspect.
As for 1:1 wooden friction pegs I disagree that geared tuners are 'way better'. Learn to tune (especially by ear) and a wooden friction peg is both quick, easy and reliable. It DOES take a certain amount of training, perhaps a few minutes per day over a period of a few months. In fact it was using friction Pegs that forced me to tune harmonically. 30 years of using geared Pegs and I could not tune without reference pitches. Less than 1 year of using friction Pegs and I could tune harmonically. They improved my ear by a huge margin. It may seem odd but in a way they force one to actually listen, at least that was my experience of them. I think part of the problem is that most people think them too difficult, unreliable and inaccurate.
Nothing could be further from the truth, as thousands of professional orchestral Violin players will tell you.

I agree 100% with Michael on this. Couldn't have said it better myself.

Skinny Money McGee
01-01-2014, 01:04 PM
Nothing could be further from the truth, as thousands of professional orchestral Violin players will tell you.

Very true, but thousands of violin and viola players have also switched to pegheds which is what the tuner was originally designed for.

BlackBearUkes
01-01-2014, 01:50 PM
Very true, but thousands of violin and viola players have also switched to pegheds which is what the tuner was originally designed for.

Not so. I have removed more than I have installed. The main reason, and I do ask, is trust. They (the professionals) just don't trust the things when they get worn or old and they don't want anything to go wrong if they are in the middle of a perfomance. The standard wooden violin peg is a beautiful thing if it is set up well and maintained. That has been my experience with those who play the violin family of instruments, your experience may be different.

mm stan
01-01-2014, 02:55 PM
Personally I like the 510....

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
01-01-2014, 03:33 PM
James Hill recently told me that he switched out the Pegheds on one of his ukes with wooden friction pegs. Said he got tired of breaking them. How he does that I have no idea. I used to make all of my own friction pegs. I prefer geared tuners though. Of any kind.

Skinny Money McGee
01-01-2014, 05:25 PM
Very true, but thousands of violin and viola players have also switched to pegheds which is what the tuner was originally designed for.


Not so. I have removed more than I have installed. The main reason, and I do ask, is trust. They (the professionals) just don't trust the things when they get worn or old and they don't want anything to go wrong if they are in the middle of a perfomance. The standard wooden violin peg is a beautiful thing if it is set up well and maintained. That has been my experience with those who play the violin family of instruments, your experience may be different.

Yes so, the tuner was designed for violins and violas. ask Chuck Herin, and there has been thousands installed on those instruments. I'm not saying the wooden peg is a thing of the past, I'm just saying many are discovering them and love them. The few violinists I personally know that play in an orchestra, including my wife, swear by them. I had Chuck install a set on my daughter's 1/2 size violin, and it's been a blessing. She has actually learned how to tune the violin on her own.

Timbuck
01-01-2014, 08:03 PM
Most old string instruments have friction tuners..Lutes, Harps, Zithers, Pianos, harpsichords, etc: and modern violins mostly have fine tuners fitted on the tailpiece....it's whatever works best for you.

Michael N.
01-02-2014, 10:05 AM
Modern Violins do not have fine tuners. They normally have a fine tuner fitted to the E string, simply because it's a plain steel string. The other 3 strings are tuned by a wooden friction Peg without the use of any fine tuner. When you see a full set of fine tuners on a Violin it's almost certainly a beginners instrument. I've never seen a fine tuner on a Baroque (Gut) Violin.
Pegheads are seldom fitted to professional orchestral Violins. Not never but it's rare. I'm referring to the big symphony orchestras, not your local amateur orchestra. I've never heard a set being fitted to a Strad, Amati or a Guarneri but who knows, it may have been done. Not being able to tune a Violin with friction pegs would probably be a bit embarrassing for a pro orchestral player!

stevepetergal
01-02-2014, 04:21 PM
Karl Mohler, Joseph Kupiszewski.

rudy
01-03-2014, 10:35 AM
Modern Violins do not have fine tuners. They normally have a fine tuner fitted to the E string, simply because it's a plain steel string. The other 3 strings are tuned by a wooden friction Peg without the use of any fine tuner. When you see a full set of fine tuners on a Violin it's almost certainly a beginners instrument. I've never seen a fine tuner on a Baroque (Gut) Violin.
Pegheads are seldom fitted to professional orchestral Violins. Not never but it's rare. I'm referring to the big symphony orchestras, not your local amateur orchestra. I've never heard a set being fitted to a Strad, Amati or a Guarneri but who knows, it may have been done. Not being able to tune a Violin with friction pegs would probably be a bit embarrassing for a pro orchestral player!

Yes and no.

Orchestral violin players I'd totally agree with. I know a few that refuse to even have a fine tuner on the E string.

I know of many GREAT fiddle players who use four tuners on the tailpiece as a convenience for tuning easily and quickly. These folks use alternate and cross tunings frequently and fine tuners are helpful. I've installed Pegheds for a few of them who subsequently removed the fine tuners to improve their tone. Nobody wants to go back that I'm aware of. They are playing "modern violins" with the exception of bridge arching which has been flattened somewhat to facilitate quick bowing of double stop string combinations.

jessesouza
02-12-2014, 04:45 AM
why do you prefer slotted, I would also like to get a tenor model but I like the traditional headstock based on my lack of knowledge