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Thread: Hipshot Tuners - where's the love?

  1. #1
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    Default Hipshot Tuners - where's the love?

    I remember hearing Alex at SUS mention in one of his videos that he loves Hipshot tuners after trying them on a KoAloha red label and now SUS stocks them.

    I didn't think much of it until my red label arrived. Wow - these are the best tuners I have ever felt - they're silky smooth and with an 18:1 ratio, very precise.



    The A string tuner on my Kamaka HF3 was sticking a bit and instead of shipping the whole instrument back to Hawaii, I looked at Hipshots and bought a set from Amazon. I didn't really see the need for the locking function but these were the cheapest set of 3x3 chromes I could find (and also 15:1 ratio).

    They arrived today and I'm happy to report that they're a direct swap for the Kamaka Schaller tuners so no holes to fill or drill. I'm half way through replacing them. Sadly the snakewood buttons won't swap over as the hole is 0.2mm larger than the Hipshot shaft but I can live with that.





    So my question is, why aren't these tuners more widely talked about? They seem exceptional quality and readily available. And available on Amazon and eBay for pretty decent prices (3+3 for $55ish). It's taking all my willpower not to order replacements for all my other ukes!
    Last edited by Siv; 03-24-2021 at 12:31 PM.

  2. #2
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    Interestingly, the Hipshot are 5g heavier than the Schaller it replaces


    But this weight difference is almost entirely due to the metal button vs the wood


    So with a wood or plastic button, they would weigh the same. Admittedly, the Gotoh UPT is half the weight...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siv View Post
    I remember hearing Alex at SUS mention in one of his videos that he loves Hipshot tuners after trying them on a KoAloha red label and now SUS stocks them.

    I didn't think much of it until my red label arrived. Wow - these are the best tuners I have ever felt - they're silky smooth and with an 18:1 ratio, very precise.
    Nice job on the swap, and I agree 100% about the Hipshot tuners! I bought a Red Label Tenor a couple of years ago that came with Hipshots, and they are super smooth and precise. I wish more of my ukes had them, and I use a strap tied at the headstock, so it doesn't matter to me what they weigh.
    If music be the food of love, play on! -Bill Shakespeare

  4. #4
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    Steveston, B.C. Canada
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    Very cool to hear your positive experience with the Hipshot tuners. My brother, a electric guitar builder, is making me an electric solid body tenor uke for me and he recommended the hipshot tuners to me saying they were top notch and his choice for the uke build.
    Klos Tenor (carbon fibre)
    KoAloha Tenor (mango)
    Maui Music Tenor (koa)
    Lone Tree Tenor (driftwood red cedar, black cherry, western maple)
    Kamaka Long Neck Soprano Pineapple (koa)

  5. #5
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    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)
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    Default

    For steel strings, I could see it, but for nylon/flourocarbon the high gear ratio is more of a nuisance. I find the 4:1 ratio of UPTs (and Pegheads but I prefer UPTs) ideal.
    Ukulele:
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - A, WoU Clarity
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    Rogue bari
    Bonanza super tenor, cFAD SC LHU
    Kala KSLNG, Eb SC XLU
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Southern Cross concert GCEA
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127
    Pelem, B reentrant
    Jupiter #71, A, UG1

    !Flukutronic!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hanks View Post
    For steel strings, I could see it, but for nylon/flourocarbon the high gear ratio is more of a nuisance. I find the 4:1 ratio of UPTs (and Pegheads but I prefer UPTs) ideal.
    Jim, I honestly didn't realize they are 18:1 tuners, cause they don't feel like it to me. You know, like the ones where you have to turn and turn and turn to get the slightest change in pitch.
    If music be the food of love, play on! -Bill Shakespeare

  7. #7
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    There are probably more than just the tuner factors at play here.

    For one, I do notice many people playing instruments that I would consider out of tune. If if sounds fine to your ear then I can imagine that the need for more easy precise tuning control may seem superfluous.

    There's also a skill thing - for a beginner like me, I doubt I would have the skill to tune a uke using friction pegs. In my childhood, when learning the violin, I very rarely touched the pegs as 99% of the tuning was done with the fine tuners.

    And also the type of string matters. For a very stretchy strings like nylon, these high gear ratios may be annoying. I'm primarily using fluorocarbons and even with the 15:1 ratio, tuning may only require a 1/16th of a turn.

    Anyway, I've ordered another set to replace the tuners on my Tiny Tenor. For me, that Ko'Aloha use Hipshots on their best Tenor ukes tells me all I need to know.

  8. #8
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    Jan 2020
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    I've wondered if the 6GN0 could work on flea/fluke headstocks, the "baseplate" is only 14 mm wide and there are different length string posts. the styling would match fairly well
    6GN0-COVER_800x.jpg

  9. #9
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    Jun 2020
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    Be sure you stick with the shortest post length. These are intended to be guitar tuners meant for thicker headstocks than most ukes have, a post that's too long will mean less break angle over the nut and you could end up with issues because of that. The 6GNO is my default tuner on electric guitar builds, I don't use them on ukes mostly for style reasons. But they're an excellent tuner.

    Siv - the locking version you ended up with is a little heavier, if you're concerned about weight you'll lose about half an ounce by swapping to the non locking version. The open back non locking version (6GNO) is the lightest of all 4 configurations. The locking mechanism won't hurt anything on a uke, but it's also not really going to be functional, since it's intended to be used with no wraps around the post which isn't practical with stretchy nylon uke strings (but works great with steel strings!)

  10. #10
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    Jul 2018
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    Didn't like the schallers that were on my hf3. Replaced them with gotoh sg360-07. They're a 14:1 ratio, 2 grams heavier and stick out about 2 mm less then the schallers. They were a drop in fit. You can also buy them individually.

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