PDA

View Full Version : geared tuners on a vintage Martin tenor?



strumsilly
03-04-2014, 08:53 AM
I've got a vintage ['56] Martin tenor that I really like and plan on keeping. I got it kinda cheap[for a Martin] because it has issues. a badly repaired back crack, cleated inside and glue smeared around the inside back and sides, and it has been nicely refinished with the Martin logo sanded off! It has the original Grover champion tuners, the ones with the flat fiber washers. I've already taken them apart, flipped the washer but they are just so fiddly and so hard to dial in.

SO: thinking of changing the tuners. The new Gotoh planetary tuners look nice and would keep the vintage look , but are kind of pricy $60{HMS] and I'm not sure they will fit. the headstock needs to be at least 10mm, and since mine has been sanded it looks about 9mm. my hole size is now 21/64 ", so I'll have to expand the hole a little too to 10mm, I'm at 8.23 now.
maybe I could use an extra washer? has anyone used these on a Martin?

my other option is to go with the Grover geared [$14 stewmac] I wouldn't have to expand the hole, but It would have the screw holes. I have these on my Kanilea and they work fine. It will change the look, but since this has been rerfinished it's already not "collectable". it is , however, a fine player, and I really like the Martin neck.

suggestions?

PhilUSAFRet
03-05-2014, 02:22 AM
A "practical" solution, but still "heresy." LOL Some quality Grover Champion friction tuners aren't planetary tuners, but they work great and would still maintain the integrity of that Martin.

ichadwick
03-05-2014, 03:20 AM
Go with what works best. Geared tuners are generally lighter (esp. open tuners) and an easy retrofit. Friction tuners may be more likely to slip. Me, I look on it as an issue of technology: if you like fixing old cars and bikes, like tinkering with clock works, and still have a tube-based hifi system, by all means use friction tuners. But if you like electronics, modern equipment and vehicles, choose geared.

RichM
03-05-2014, 03:24 AM
I recently got my first set of UPTs and I have to say I love them. As others have said, if you are a purist, nothing but friction will do. But if you're okay with a little "modern" technology, UPTs are a wonderful option.

Pukulele Pete
03-05-2014, 03:27 AM
I would go with the Grover friction tuners. My friction tuners slip very rarely , if at all. Then again , it is a tenor and the planetary tuners wont look out of place .

Olarte
03-05-2014, 03:28 AM
I would recommend pegheds yes they are expensive but well worth it and certainly have the vintage look

Skinny Money McGee
03-05-2014, 03:40 AM
Here's another option Strum. You could go with the Banjo tuner. This particular one is a 4:1 Gotoh SPBJ-4, but there are a few other brands like 5 Star that Stew Mac sells, Grover and Schaller. Almost the same install specs as the Gotoh UTP's (10mm). The one I have pictured is a 9.5mm and the 5 Star is 10mm.

The nice thing about these is the string hole is bigger to accommodate a larger diameter string. I think these would look nice on a larger instrument like a tenor.

Tim Mullins
03-05-2014, 07:00 AM
I think if it were mine, in the condition it is in, I'd go for the Gotoh UPTs, with a washer, if necessary. Your uke sounds to be more of a player than collectable and the UPTs are a huge improvement in ease of use while still looking traditional. I love 'em.

TheCraftedCow
03-05-2014, 07:01 AM
PEGHEDS look like the original wooden peg found on vintage ukuleles but offer an internally geared 4:1 tuning ratio. A set of four weighs as much as one of most of the other choices. There are two shaft lengths; 27.5 mm; if the headstock is thicker than 15mm, it's your only choice. The 19mm length decreases the amount sticking out the back. When lightly sanded with 1500 or 1800 wet/dry, and buffed, will look like ebony, but still with a smaller button than genuine wood. They are $55 set of 2L/2R and $5.80 for priority in the USA.(where they are made)
www.pegheds.net Tim did a review, and we didn't send him a free set to get him to say good things. www.ukeeku.com

strumsilly
03-05-2014, 07:16 AM
PEGHEDS look like the original wooden peg found on vintage ukuleles but offer an internally geared 4:1 tuning ratio. A set of four weighs as much as one of most of the other choices. There are two shaft lengths; 27.5 mm; if the headstock is thicker than 15mm, it's your only choice. The 19mm length decreases the amount sticking out the back. When lightly sanded with 1500 or 1800 wet/dry, and buffed, will look like ebony, but still with a smaller button than genuine wood. They are $55 set of 2L/2R and $5.80 for priority in the USA.(where they are made)
www.pegheds.net (http://www.pegheds.net) Tim did a review, and we didn't send him a free set to get him to say good things. www.ukeeku.com (http://www.ukeeku.com)

hmm, I kind of forgot about these as an option. these are supposed to be trickier to install. where with the UPT's I just need to enlarge the hole a little, and with the grover geared, just 2 tiny pilot holes / tuner. I'm thinking that the Grovers make the most sense. they work fine and are cheaper. If they are good enough for Kanilea and many customs, what the heck. and if I ever sell it and the new owner wants to put the originals back on[ I can't imagine why], then they can fill the screw holes. One thing ,I really don't usually have a problem with most friction tuners. The ones on my Koaloha concert are smooth as sillk. And my 2 vintage bari's, a Martin and Favilla both have them, but not this model. I have one last thing to try, replacing the fiber washers, as this model relies on just the screw tension and fiber washer for resistance. I have to have the screws so tight on this one that they are really hard to adjust,I like the ones with the springs better.