Am I the only one that likes friction tuners best?

ichadwick

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Am I missing something or am I just crazy? :p
Not at all. Some people like old technology and resist modern advancements as dangerously new and thus suspect.

Friction tuners are quaint, like rotary-dial phones, wind-up clocks, and cork stoppers on beer bottles. We like to be reminded of our heritage by having these things around.

Don't listen to those people who grumble about the greater efficiency, speed and better hold of geared tuners. Technological and engineering advantages such as these are mere peccadilloes. Nor would I hearken to those who point out that not a single commercial guitar, bass, or bazouki or manufacturer uses them, and all of them sprinted to geared tuners as quickly as their little legs could carry them, and dropped friction tuners in the dust.

In fact, to be truly authentic, you need to discard those flurocarbon strings and replace them with gut. They pair wonderfully with friction tuners.

;-)
 

Tootler

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Nor would I hearken to those who point out that not a single commercial guitar, bass, or bazouki or manufacturer uses them, and all of them sprinted to geared tuners as quickly as their little legs could carry them, and dropped friction tuners in the dust.

But notice that the violin family and banjos have stayed with friction tuners.
 

Flyinby

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But notice that the violin family and banjos have stayed with friction tuners.

My violin does have friction tuners; however, it also has fine tuners on each string that tighten a screw against the string...because getting correct tuning otherwise would probably make the few that do stick with learning the violin give up...
 

Flyinby

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I talked with James Hill a couple of weeks ago. He's so fed up with geared tuners he's switched to friction pegs. Wooden ones yet! I gave him a set of Gotoh UPTs hoping he'd some to his senses. :)

This puzzles me too. I don't recall ever having an issue with geared tuners, other than wishing the ones on my old Gibson had a higher gear ratio for more precise tuning. Cheap ones, old ones, whatever, I can't imagine what would cause someone to be "fed up" with them, unless they change strings on a whim and don't like having to turn the knob so many times (for which there's an easy and cheap solution). Having used geared tuners on various instruments for a good 40 years, it's hard to imagine someone who probably uses expensive instruments with expensive hardware having so much difficulty with them.
 

TheCraftedCow

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Pegheds

Go to Tim Szerlong's www.ukeeku.com to read his review.
I openly acknowledge a preference for them over ANY OTHER GEARED TUNER, because they are the ONLY reliable geared tuner that looks like a wooden peg. They are anodized aluminum for the outer case, hardened steel for the main shaft and the hypoid gears. They have a warranty which says they will work, if installed properly and not outrageously abused, or they will be repaired or replaced. They have been on concert grade instruments for about fifteen years with no problems. They now come in a model Tim has not reviewed. The ones he tested had a 27.7mm shaft. That means if your headstock is 12mm, there will be 15.5mm of shaft out the back side, and then the button. The newest ones are only 19mm shafts. the 12mm head stock will only have 7mm of shaft exposed before the same size button as is on the longer model.
Price? $ 54.00 for a set of 2L2R, and in the USA 5.80 for priority mail.
The price will go up to $55 in January. www.pegheds.net
 

HBolte

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My next ukulele will have Pegheds. Modern geared, vintage look. Best of both worlds. :)
 

Tootler

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Not to split hairs, but I don't know of any modern banjos that use friction tuners.

Banjos I've seen recently had planetary tuners. Yes, they are geared but they still rely on friction to hold the strings in tune as the gearing is insufficient in itself to hold the strings in tune unlike conventional guitar tuners where the gear & wormwheel mechanism is sufficient in itself to hold the strings in tune.
 

RichM

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Banjos I've seen recently had planetary tuners. Yes, they are geared but they still rely on friction to hold the strings in tune as the gearing is insufficient in itself to hold the strings in tune unlike conventional guitar tuners where the gear & wormwheel mechanism is sufficient in itself to hold the strings in tune.

Here's a good site that explains in detail how planetary gear tuners work. They are most definitely geared tuners, using a different type of gearing pattern:

http://savethebanjos.com/Planetary%20tuners%20article.htm

Here's another interesting perspective, from Frank Ford:

http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Musician/Banjo/BanjoPegs/pegs01.html
 

Tootler

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I was aware that planetary tuners included gearing and I knew how planetary gearing systems work. Thanks for posting the links, though. They were very useful for seeing the actual mechanism in some planetary tuners.

My point is that while the gearing helps to make fine adjustments easier, the low ratio means that the gearing will not hold against the tension in the strings and so the tuners still rely on friction in the same way as standard friction tuners do to hold the strings in tune. For this reason I see planetary geared tuners essentially as friction tuners though with geared assistance.

I have had to adjust the tuners both on my Risa and my banjo uke, both of which are fitted with planetary tuners to prevent the tuners slipping and the strings going out of tune and this was done in exactly the same way as with standard friction tuners.

On the other hand, the worm and gear mechanism normally used in guitars is of itself able to hold the strings in tune against the tension in the strings. In fact it will be necessary to anchor the tuners in the headstock mount to prevent the pull from the strings causing them to rotate whereas friction tuners have to be able to rotate in their headstock mount albeit not too easily.
 
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LOVEAGOODUKE

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I prefer friction tuners and have had no problems using them.I am interested in a mainland cedar tenor but,like most tenors come only with sealed geared tuners.I could change them to frictions and Eagle music in the UK sell the Carnelian friction tuners Mainland uses but screw holes will be left and will always be noticeable.I'll probably stick with the sealed geared tuners if I decide to buy.
 

strumsilly

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friction tuners work fine, but are fiddly, like pin bridges, especially in places where humidity and temperature vary wildly . I only play tenor and baritone now and prefer a good gear.
 

buddhuu

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I prefer decent friction tuners above any other kind. I only have one uke now, but when I had more I got to the point where I was removing all the geared tuners fron the ukes that had them and putting frictions on instead.

Not keen on Pegheds personally.
 

Mivo

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I had my first encounter with friction tuners just last week. They are KoAloha's, so I assume they're good quality. Aesthetically, I prefer them to geared tuners, but their user-friendliness isn't all that great, I feel. Very fiddly, and fine tuning takes me more time. I'll get used to them, though. It's a lovely instrument that would probably look less streamlined with geared tuners, and become headstock-heavy.
 

chuck in ny

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what with all the issues and attributes it becomes harder to vocalize your inner feelings.
what i have found is many like friction tuners from their grace, their beauty on an instrument, and their ease of function, on many of them.
now that i am setting out to build instruments it's hard to ignore this issue of grace.
 

Nickie

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This isn't the first time I've read a dialogue about these things. And I know it's not gonna be the last.
My Kala (a little on the heavy side) has geared tuners, and is well balanced, and I love em. It tunes dead solid perfect, real easy.
My Ohana, a lighter uke, has friction tuners. I don't love em, and I don't hate em. It was a b---- to learn to tune with them. I'd replace em with planetarys, but the uke has a buzz that can't be fixed, so I don't wanna spend any money on it.
The friction tuners do look a lot better.....
 

Andy Chen

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If ukuleles came only with friction tuners, I'd never have picked up the instrument.