What a difference new tuners make!

mikelz777

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I'll start by trying to make a long story short.

Years ago I spent the better part of a year searching for a limited edition uke that was rare at the time. Found one and bought it expecting it to come with open geared tuners. My heart dropped when it came with boxy gold closed gear tuners with white buttons. I HATED them and planned on returning the uke despite its rarity at the time. In response the dealer sent me a free set of silver/nickel tuners/screws/grommets with ivory buttons which worked for me so I went to guitar shop to have them changed out. The next day they contacted me saying they didn't want to change the grommets for fear of chipping or damaging the finish so I ended up with silver/nickel tuners with gold grommets on the headstock. It worked for me fine, I thought it looked kinda cool and unique but I would have been happier with all one color.

Fast forward to several years later. Someone pointed out to me how crooked the attaching screws were on the tuners. Oddly, I hadn't really noticed it before. Looking at them closer, the tuners weren't even laying totally flat against the back of the headstock!! Once I was aware of it, it bothered me. For Father's day, I decided to treat myself and get the look of those tuners corrected. I bought a set of gold Grover open-geared tuners with black buttons. I also bought a black strap button to match the black tuner buttons since the old one was silver/nickel.

When I took off the silver tuners I discovered that the lazy guitar tech had used the same original holes as the original tuners even though the screw holes did not match up requiring him to put the screws in at an angle. I wanted this done right once and for all so I ended up having to glue round toothpicks into the original holes and re-drilling properly distanced holes for the screws of the new gold tuners. I took special care so as not to accidentally drill through the headstock and it turned out great!

What a difference new tuners makes! Now the gold tuner posts match the gold grommets and it looks so much better and much more cohesive. The gold hardware looks better with the tan/cream colored binding and the black buttons tie in with the black in the rope purfling as does the strap button. It really changes the overall look of the uke and I'm much happier with it!

(Pictures coming soon!)
 
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ripock

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You actually made me look. I didn't know what kind of tuners I had. My Kamaka and enclosed Grover tuners and my custom uke had Gotoh UPT's because I don't like the look of pegs sticking our like ears.
 

mikelz777

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This picture shows the crooked screws which inspired the change and the self-repair. It also shows the unfortunate footprint of the original hated tuners but they are really only noticeable if you are looking for them and the light and angle are just right.

IMG_3212 (2).jpg
 
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badhabits

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not a fan of gold bits, but it seems part of making a deluxe model is gold tuners. then again I don't like glossy finishes. hey, get off my lawn!
 

mikelz777

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You actually made me look. I didn't know what kind of tuners I had. My Kamaka and enclosed Grover tuners and my custom uke had Gotoh UPT's because I don't like the look of pegs sticking our like ears.

All three iterations of the tuners in this tale were Grovers. All of them performed as they should but it was the looks and substandard installation which were the issue.
 

mikelz777

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not a fan of gold bits, but it seems part of making a deluxe model is gold tuners. then again I don't like glossy finishes. hey, get off my lawn!

In general I'm not a fan of gold bits either but in this case, I think the gold (+black) pulls together a much better look than the silver (+ivory) did.
 

badhabits

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In general I'm not a fan of gold bits either but in this case, I think the gold (+black) pulls together a much better look than the silver (+ivory) did.

I agree, in this case it works w the tone of the wood used to edge the headstock. so it depends what you're looking at. in most cases frets are nickel so the gold bits will contrast to those...imo same with most logos, "pearl" or abalone inlays, etc.
 

LorenFL

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Someone pointed out to me how crooked the attaching screws were on the tuners.

I would be that someone. I sort of felt guilty pointing it out. Funny how we all notice different things. Some people see scratches and finish imperfections. I see crooked screws with mangled heads. :)

Looks like you did a great job of sorting it out! You clearly care more about your uke than your guitar repair tech did.
 

badhabits

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it's best not to look....tuners are usually never installed perfectly, symmetrical, whatever. if you look close enough, and there are a lot of parallel lines you could examine that will show you they are off, you will almost always find that something somewhere is not perfectly aligned
 

rustydusty

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I'm curious as to why you don't like enclosed tuners. I just received a Clearwater round back baritone ukulele that I ordered from England that showed closed tuners in the advertising, but arrived with open Grover tuners. I was under the impression that closed tuners were an upgrade on higher end ukuleles. I'm not disappointed as Grover tuners are very good, but the closed tuners shown were unnamed...
 

Nickie

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Good job, it looks like a new ukulele!
Too bad that some people are so lazy that they put out bad work.
But your work looks excellent!
 

Dohle

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Sometimes even the smallest things can make a huge difference. I'm somewhat of a perfectionist myself when it comes to ukes. I'm not that bothered by tuners but rather things like decoration or finish. I gasped when I saw a tiny bubble in the finish of my Kiwaya KTS-7. I thought that a high-end uke costing over a grand shouldn't have finishing flaws like that, and maybe they shouldn't, but I've learned to live with it. I was also very perplexed when I saw similar flaws in my Kanile'a SUS-C since Kanile'a finishes are usually completely flawless, although admittedly that was a case of a sunken finish rather than a bubble. I've since learned to not be as unforgiving as I was but I still check any new uke meticulously when I receive one.

The upgrade on your Ohana is excellent. It looks way more classy now with the new tuners. Nice job!
 

mikelz777

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I'm curious as to why you don't like enclosed tuners. I just received a Clearwater round back baritone ukulele that I ordered from England that showed closed tuners in the advertising, but arrived with open Grover tuners. I was under the impression that closed tuners were an upgrade on higher end ukuleles. I'm not disappointed as Grover tuners are very good, but the closed tuners shown were unnamed...

It's not that I don't like closed tuners, I have them on some of my other ukes and they're great. I don't know that one is any better than other, it's just a different look. It's just that at the time (years ago), the Ohana site had this uke only pictured with silver open geared tuners and that is what I was expecting and it was a look that I liked. What I was expecting and what I ended up getting could hardly be more different - closed instead of open geared tuners and gold instead of silver. And while some may like them, I thought the boxy look of the tuners with white buttons was hideous!! This is what they looked like:

Ohana_ukuleles_all_solid_sinker_redwood_and_rosewood_tenor_back_TK-42_2000x_66ba40de-219e-466c-b.jpg

These are so big and boxy they seem more suitable for a guitar. I think they were modeled after some tuners that probably originally appeared on an old Fender or Gibson Guitar. In any event, I was 150% certain it wasn't a look that I would get used to or come to like with the passage of time.
 

Kenn2018

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This picture shows the crooked screws which inspired the change and the self-repair. It also shows the unfortunate footprint of the original hated tuners but they are really only noticeable if you are looking for them and the light and angle are just right.

View attachment 134495

Those crooked screws would have driven me crazy and I am not OCD. Especially if I paid someone to install them.

The new tuners look great. I really had to look at the photos to see the old holes. Nice job of replacing them. I like the look of the gold tuners, they look like they belong. The black knobs makes them more subtle visually and work nicely with the black in the binding. (Purfling?)

All-in-all, I much prefer your new tuners. They compliment the look of your Ohana very well.
 

mikelz777

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The new ones look really good. Nice job!

Looks great, nice job! That luthier should be ashamed of him/her self!

Good job, it looks like a new ukulele!
Too bad that some people are so lazy that they put out bad work.
But your work looks excellent!

Thanks to all! It's what the tech should have done in the first place (filling in the old holes and re-drilling new) but it turned out to be kind of a fun project. I was a bit nervous re-drilling the holes with just a hand drill but it turned out great and it made me feel pretty good having done it myself.

This was only my 2nd uke back in the day so I still didn't really know what was going on and I trusted that the guitar repair tech would know what to do. I assumed that the old holes would line up with what would be needed for the new tuners or I assumed if they didn't, they'd do what they needed to do to properly make it work out the way it should. But you know what happens when you ass-u-me.....

:D
 
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Kenn2018

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It's not that I don't like closed tuners, I have them on some of my other ukes and they're great. I don't know that one is any better than other, it's just a different look. It's just that at the time (years ago), the Ohana site had this uke only pictured with silver open geared tuners and that is what I was expecting and it was a look that I liked. What I was expecting and what I ended up getting could hardly be more different - closed instead of open geared tuners and gold instead of silver. And while some may like them, I thought the boxy look of the tuners with white buttons was hideous!! This is what they looked like:

View attachment 134512

These are so big and boxy they seem more suitable for a guitar. I think they were modeled after some tuners that probably originally appeared on an old Fender or Gibson Guitar. In any event, I was 150% certain it wasn't a look that I would get used to or come to like with the passage of time.

Oh yeah! I agree, those boxy tuners were ugly.

I prefer open geared tuners probably with the mistaken idea that I can fix them if they start to freeze up or grind. Plus, I like the simplicity and design of the open gear.