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OldePhart
12-31-2013, 04:27 PM
I decided to put UPT tuners on the Pineapple Sunday I bought from Glenn. The KoAloha tuners that come on it are wonderful geared tuners but as much as I love this uke it does tend to be a bit headstock-heavy and I decided some UPT tuners were in order to lighten it up some.

The tuners came in today and I installed them. No reaming of the headstock was necessary so the whole job took maybe 15 minutes. Now, if you're the anal sort the original tuners have two large locating pins and there are holes in the back of the headstock for those pins (you can see this in one of the pictures). This doesn't bother me, and I decided not to fill them because if I ever decide to sell the uke (unlikely) it would be nice to be able to restore the original tuners (in fact I'll be keeping them in the accessory compartment in the case so they don't get lost).

The bottom line is the UPTs work great and they save almost half the weight (the set of four stock geared tuners are 4.5 ounces on my postal scale, the UPTs come in at 2.3). A couple of ounces may not seem significant but when you have a tenor-length neck on basically a soprano scale body it does make a definite improvement in balance. In practice it means the difference between my being willing to leave the NS micro headstock tuner (1 oz) in place when playing and being forced to remove it and still not being completely satisfied with the balance.

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In the first picture you see the front of the headstock with the new tuners in place. Note that the flash makes the ring where the larger original washer pressed into the finish more noticeable than it is in person. The original tuner washers will work fine with the UPT tuners, BTW (I tested it) but they are a flatter black and I decided I preferred the look of the smaller washers. The rings are not really visible in person unless you are looking for them and even then they are so even that they don't look bad at all.

In the second picture you see the front of the headstock with the new tuners before I clipped the strings. The extra string you see was wound on the original tuner and that brings up a point worth mentioning. The UPT tuners are available with two different shaft lengths, normal and long. I didn't think to ask HMS for the longer shafts so these are the standard. They fit the headstock but barely and they leave only enough room for about 4 turns of string on the capstan. I'm kind of glad about this happy accident because the tuners are lower on the headstock and very proportional to my eye. However, if you use stretchy strings, or are sloppy when replacing strings, the longer shafts would definitely be to your advantage.

Pictures 2 and 3 show the headstock from front and back with two UPT tuners and two stock tuners for comparison. The rear view also shows quite clearly the holes for the locating pins in the original tuners.

Finally, while this is a very easy (and easily reversible) modification if you are considering ordering a new Pineapple Sunday (or other high-end uke) and think that you will want the UPT tuners I'd recommend that you order it that way from HMS. Presumably they will either get one from KoAloha without the big holes in the back for the tuner locating pins or they will fill and refinish the back of the headstock. This might cost a little more money but then you've got professionally installed UPTs and the resale value should reflect that.

John

Olarte
12-31-2013, 04:50 PM
Thanks for sharing this info. I prefer the tuners that go to the back instead it the Mickey Mouse ears.

I love pegheds, but the need to taper the holed leaves that option for ukes that come with them...

So I like the idea of the UPT runners. Although I don't play my KoAlohas enough to warrant changing them at least not I the near future.

soupking
12-31-2013, 04:57 PM
Hey John, they look great. Those geared tuners are the newer ones that KoAloha uses for the tenor necks, too. I have a 2010 KoAloha tenor with the the full-on metal Grovers and it's like lifting a dead body out of the case… ya gotta cradle the headstock ever so gently and hoist the unit outta the coffin :rotfl: They're heavy but the KoAloha tenor I have, despite that fact, is still very light and balanced enough that it's still perfect for me to hold and play, even standing up... :rock:

OldePhart
01-01-2014, 05:01 AM
Hey John, they look great. Those geared tuners are the newer ones that KoAloha uses for the tenor necks, too. I have a 2010 KoAloha tenor with the the full-on metal Grovers and it's like lifting a dead body out of the case… ya gotta cradle the headstock ever so gently and hoist the unit outta the coffin :rotfl: They're heavy but the KoAloha tenor I have, despite that fact, is still very light and balanced enough that it's still perfect for me to hold and play, even standing up... :rock:

Yeah the KoAloha tuners are really nice; very, very smooth and they do seem to be lighter than the Grover-branded ones though I've not compared the two directly.

I don't really mind "ears" on tenors and usually the weight is not an issue, either, but with the small body this PS was not really well balanced. I have enough shelf out front that I can handle it :) but decided it would be better to lighten it a bit.

I think the smaller visible diameter up front just "works" better too (i.e. makes the headstock look less heavy), which is why I decided to use the smaller UPT washers even after noticing that doing so does leave a ring of compressed wood showing around each tuner. Actually, "showing" is probably a bit strong of a word, the rings don't show at all unless the light catches them just right.


John

Dan Uke
01-01-2014, 06:22 AM
looks really good with the UPT. I did the same with a long neck concert Kamaka and the balance is much better now. I talked to Chris Kamaka in Feb and Kamaka now makes the UPT standard. It would be great if Koaloha does the same. You should send an email to them and show the pics.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
01-01-2014, 07:24 AM
Yeah the KoAloha tuners are really nice; very, very smooth and they do seem to be lighter than the Grover-branded ones though I've not compared the two directly.

I don't really mind "ears" on tenors and usually the weight is not an issue, either, but with the small body this PS was not really well balanced. I have enough shelf out front that I can handle it :) but decided it would be better to lighten it a bit.

I think the smaller visible diameter up front just "works" better too (i.e. makes the headstock look less heavy), which is why I decided to use the smaller UPT washers even after noticing that doing so does leave a ring of compressed wood showing around each tuner. Actually, "showing" is probably a bit strong of a word, the rings don't show at all unless the light catches them just right.


John

From an artistic standpoint I too like the minimal hardware of the UPTs. I never cared for the clunky posts of most tuners I see. As far as sizes go I use a rule of thumb of if your headstock has a thickness of 7/16" or less use the UPTs, anything 1/2" or more choose the UPTLs. I don't care for the look of very thin head stocks (mine are 1/2") so I use the UPTLs. They're great tuners.

tigersister
01-01-2014, 07:38 AM
John, this is the first time I've seen a pic of the all black UPTs installed on a uke, and it looks fantastic!

Doc_J
01-01-2014, 07:50 AM
Very nice John. I like the UPT operation better than PEGHEDs, too. Although, I think PEGHEDs are lighter.

Got a set of UPTs on a Collings tenor and a Makapili tenor. Definitely my current favorite tuner.
Some say the small, short spindles on the UPT can break strings. But haven't had that problem.

wickedwahine11
01-01-2014, 08:38 AM
Wow, that looks really good on the Pineapple Sunday headstock.

cigarfan
01-01-2014, 08:56 AM
Thanks for posting this John. I have a set of UPTs I bought for a tenor but discovered the bore in the headstock was not big enough. I really want to try them and I have a KoAloha Pineapple Sunday as well. Appreciate the info.

Gmoney
01-01-2014, 11:00 AM
Wow, that looks really good on the Pineapple Sunday headstock.

Agree! Now I want them on my Crown-bridge Super Concert.

OldePhart
01-01-2014, 05:39 PM
Thanks everybody - I'd reply to each of you individually but it's past my pumpkin time... :)

John

coolkayaker1
01-02-2014, 01:45 AM
Nice share, John.

I have UPTs on my Asturias from HMS and they are exceptional, agreed. Nice to know they just pop right onto a PS.

It's amazing how UPTs have taken over a humongous portion of the previously monopolistic geared "friction style" tuner market within one year (the majority of that market...perhaps, yes). One reason, besides the fantastic looks, is as you discovered: the headstock holes don't require the taper necessary for the competitor's brand.

wickedwahine11
01-02-2014, 02:43 AM
Nice share, John.

I have UPTs on my Asturias from HMS and they are exceptional, agreed. Nice to know they just pop right onto a PS.

It's amazing how UPTs have taken over a humongous portion of the previously monopolistic geared "friction style" tuner market within one year (the majority of that market...perhaps, yes). One reason, besides the fantastic looks, is as you discovered: the headstock holes don't require the taper necessary for the competitor's brand.

Indeed. They seem incredibly popular. I think if I ever had a custom uke made I would opt for them, and now I am contemplating putting them on my Pineapple Sunday.

coolkayaker1
01-02-2014, 05:46 PM
If you do it, Staci, throw some pics on this thread. I think they're something like $80, and they sure are lightweight and look like a gazillion bucks. John makes them sound easy-peasy to put on, if no reaming. And you lose nothing, bc if you ever want to swap back, you can reinstall the original tuners and keep the UPTs for another uke.

I adore them on my Asturias. Smooth as a silkworm.

OldePhart
01-03-2014, 03:58 AM
HMS sells them for about 60 bucks a set. Remember to order the "L" (long) tuners if you are going to put them on a Pineapple Sunday or probably any other tenor-scale KoAloha. The short ones work but just barely and then you have to be really careful not to get too much slack when stringing. If you end up winding the string down where it gets pinched between the capstan and the mounting nut I can see where that might cut strings...

John

Olarte
01-13-2014, 02:27 AM
Hey John, I followed your thread when you purchased the. PS.

While this is not on topic, you should check out a Sceptre if you get a chance... Because of its shape, even though it has the original Mickey Mouse ear tuners... It feels very balanced and is very easy to hold on to. I was actually able to play a 6+ min piece without any straps etc. And move all over the fretboard as needed.

Besides your PS will be lonely without a Sceptre by her side... I have my PS with high g and my Sceptre low G. A perfect match....

Check out my latest video with the sceptre http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?92015-Hallelujah-my-rendition-of-Kimo-Hussey-s-Instrumental

OldePhart
01-13-2014, 03:17 AM
Heh, heh. Thanks for the "help." LOL

John

Olarte
01-13-2014, 04:29 AM
You're most welcome John :rolleyes::rock:

Heh, heh. Thanks for the "help." LOL

John