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Thread: Pure Blasphemy!Geared Tuners-Fluke & Flea-installed-photos & explanations

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by hendulele View Post
    Reviving this thread: I finally decided to swap tuners on my three MFC ukes. I bought Grover 6’s because they SHOULD just drop in and go, right? Not so fast. The first set went in the Fluke like a charm. The other two did not. The shafts are infinitesimally too big for the holes on the Flea and the Firefly. I’m baffled. I have a tapered reamer that could widen the holes from the outside of the headstock, but how could I get it to fit squarely to widen the holes from the inside? Any advice? I would hate to use a drill, because I’m afraid I’ll make a major mistake and ruin the neck.
    You could try using a 1/4" hex-drive step-bit, aka "UniBit' with a male-to-female 1/4" hex extension and put the step-bit cutting the hole from the INSIDE of the headstock and then you put the extension into that (via the opposing tuner hole), and then with a hex-driver (female) meant to accept hex screwdriver bits, cut the hole by hand, with a similar method to using a reamer.

    (Computer tool kits have these hex-driver handles as do many of the $5 multi-tip screwdriver kits from Lowes and Home Depot in the USA.)

    Similar to what I showed here, which is actually friction-fit and NOT hex on the UniBit nor the 'socket wrench' head I used (note: I hammered this together and it is nearly impossible to take apart without a bench vise):



    I too would NOT use a drill.

    Once you cut the hole wider, you will have very little wood on the face and back of the headstock and string tension on the tuner can tear the Fluke/Flea headstock in half over time because of the tension.

    I had installed the Goto UPT-L tuners on my concert Flea, and that was a mistake because there was VERY little wood left on the front and back of the headstock after widening the hole from about 6mm to about 11mm. I have since removed the Gotoh tuners and replaced them with the Grover 9NB geared tuners (~$15 everywhere), hoping that the metal plate of the tuner serves to reinforce that part of the headstock.

    This is not reversible really, nor is the Gotoh UPT-L tuner installation, but I refuse to be tormented by friction tuners and nowadays the PegHeds stick out too far to the side for my liking, for it makes the Fluke/Flea headstock look like the neck bolts on the Frankenstein monster to me.
    Guinea proverb: "A cow that has no tail should not try to chase away flies."

  2. #52
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    Booli,

    Thanks for your insights. I do worry about the integrity of the headstock. What I may do is get a pack of o-rings or washers and keep the 2’s. At least the tuners should adjust more smoothly. I have an Ohana soprano with basic friction tuners that would be awesome with an upgrade to 6’s. And I can always sell the spare set on eBay.
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  3. #53
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    Thanks! I like the idea of the Grover 9NB tuners, for the DIY aspect, the geared tuning, and the "out of site" buttons.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    Thanks! I like the idea of the Grover 9NB tuners, for the DIY aspect, the geared tuning, and the "out of site" buttons.
    Sure thing! Glad to help. I've got the Grover 9NB geared tuners installed now on a LAVA black concert Fluke, Mango orange tenor Fluke and also a Hibiscus red tenor Flea.

    The walnut with birch rosette tenor Flea was sold to another UU member about 1 yr ago, since it was redundant for me to have both tenor Fleas.

    My LAVA black concert Flea has the Gotoh UPT-L installed and my Koa tenor Fluke cam with Pegheds, which are very nice as well.

    (yes I have quite a few instuments from Magic Fluke Company)

    I'll try to post an updated photo later on.
    Guinea proverb: "A cow that has no tail should not try to chase away flies."

  5. #55
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    I thought I'd be doing this up grade when I first got my Fluke, and maybe I will eventually.
    But so far the stock frictions have been without issue for me.
    Though I am less fussy about the perfect pitch than real musicians.
    Playing my Magic Fluke and grinning like a fool!

  6. #56
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    Lazarus thread! Here's another video of someone installing Grover 9B style geared tuners on a Fluke. He disassembled them, and filed the sides of the plates down so they wouldn't overhang the headstock edges, and also cut down one end, and moved a screw hole. Not sure that would be necessary if flipping the orientation, as Bill Sheehan did.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlDgZDmgPX0
    John

  7. #57
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    Feb 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ukecaster View Post
    Lazarus thread! Here's another video of someone installing Grover 9B style geared tuners on a Fluke. He disassembled them, and filed the sides of the plates down so they wouldn't overhang the headstock edges, and also cut down one end, and moved a screw hole. Not sure that would be necessary if flipping the orientation, as Bill Sheehan did.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlDgZDmgPX0
    Hi John and all! Just to clarify, after awhile I realized that flipping the orientation of two of the geared tuners (the first and the fourth, to allow them to fit without physical modification) was a big mistake, as the "reverse pull" on those two tuners eventually caused them to malfunction badly! So, even though I was proud of my idea at the time, I came to conclude that it was NOT wise! Just want to make sure I'm no longer on record as recommending that course of action!
    Here's what it looked like...
    IMG_20170204_1534094_rewind.jpg
    Last edited by Bill Sheehan; 02-05-2020 at 02:50 PM.

  8. #58
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    Jun 2013
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    Anybody try Gotoh stealth tuners? Would they fit? I put pegheds on my walnut fluke a month after I got it. I bought the reamer and was, careful, and it worked out fine. It made the fluke playable as I need to have ukulele in tune and stay in tune. Pegheds did the job. That said, I’m really not that big a fan of pegheds. I’d rather had UPTL but think they look funny hanging over the edge. Saw, this thread and wondered about stealth tuners?

    I’m really surprised that MFC have not addressed the tuner situation years ago. First, the stock friction tuner are junk. Much better ones out there if you are inclined. Much easier and cheaper to do from factory standpoint. But, can’t help but think there is still a better solution. For the price and on a USA made instrument

    Given Booli has tried so many options and is still trying to find the best solution tells me, more people want a better set of tuners , even for the laminate, basic version of fluke and flea. .... just curious.......

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