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Thread: Friction or Geared tuners? What's the difference?

  1. #1
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    Default Friction or Geared tuners? What's the difference?

    Hey all UUker's! What is the difference between friction and geared tuners? I was planning to change my friction tuners... Any iinput will be helpful. There was one recommendation which was Gotoph tuners. Anyone used this before?

  2. #2

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    Geared tuners tune the strings at a lesser ratio per rotation compared to friction.
    This makes them easier to tune, and stay better in tune.

    The only real advantage of friction tuners is that they reduce the weight of the ukulele's head.
    But I never found this an issue. Others like the more traditional look of friction tuners.

    I don't know much about tuner brands, but I do know that Gotoh are high quality stuff.

    Here's an article that explained stuff really well
    http://ukulelereview.com/2008/02/09/...do-you-prefer/

  3. #3
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    Friction tuners will drive you insane

    Geared tuners will make you happy

    at least that is my experieince

  4. #4
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    Geared tuners are slightly heavier but make sense. They do the job and do it well.

    Friction tuners are so you can act superior about people whose ukuleles have "ears," and spew crap about how that's "not a real uke."

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tad View Post
    Friction tuners are so you can act superior about people whose ukuleles have "ears," and spew crap about how that's "not a real uke."
    Thats right. And all you need to do so are some average fine motor skills. Join the friction elite today! Itīs easy!


    Just kidding. All quality tuners do the job. If you want the best from both worlds (good lookin and higher ratio) you should go for the pegheads. They are amazing!
    This is a .44 Martin, the most powerful handgun in the world

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiianmusiclover06 View Post
    Hey all UUker's! What is the difference between friction and geared tuners? I was planning to change my friction tuners... Any iinput will be helpful. There was one recommendation which was Gotoph tuners. Anyone used this before?
    This question has been asked on more than one occassion. Here are some links . . .
    http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/fo...read.php?16423
    http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/fo...hread.php?1751
    http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/fo...hread.php?5757
    http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/fo...read.php?18741
    http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/fo...read.php?11023

    Nana ka maka; ho`olohe ka pepeiao;
    pa`a ka waha.

    Observe with the eyes; listen with the ears; shut the mouth.
    Thus one learns.


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tad View Post

    Friction tuners are so you can act superior about people whose ukuleles have "ears," and spew crap about how that's "not a real uke."
    You know, if you actually spent some time to working with some friction tuners and learned how to work with a 1:1 gear ratio (ie. one turn of the knob equals one turn of the peg vs. the usual 14:1 of gears) you'd have a lot less angst about them. Chances are good that after a short amount of actual practice you'd end up wondering why you used to make such a fuss over it. I've seen it time and again. Make it part of your learning process like playing a proper E chord. You'll surprise yourself. It's a pinch not a twist.

    It's really not that difficult.

    (Friction tuners are also really nice when it comes to restringing because you don't need a string winder. 4 or 5 turns on the peg vs. 56 or 70)

  8. #8
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    I disagree strongly.

    I have friction tuner on two of my ukes and geared on one. The one with geared tuners is joy and tends to be pretty much in tune when I pick it up. The friction tuners are much harder to zero in and the slip more out of tune while waiting to be played. I recently got an Ohana Zebrawood and it sounds and plays great, the friction tuners make me nuts. It also makes me nuts the Ohana has not repsonded to my email about getting geared tuners for the Zebra, but that's another tread.

  9. #9

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    I'm siding with iDavid on this one.

    I had a uke with friction tuners, a Risa electric ukulele.
    They were good quality tuners, Grover tuners or something.

    I owned it for many months, trying to be patient and learning how to use friction tuners.
    But they drove me up the wall. There was too much stress when tuning up, and I could not tune them up quickly when I had to play on-the-go.
    Eventually that was one of the reasons for selling it. Never going to buy a uke with friction tuners again.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    I've got three ukes. My first is a cheap colored Mahalo soprano with geared tuners. They work fine, but they make the head noticeably heavy. Granted these are probably the cheapest tuners made.

    My next uke was a concert Flea with friction tuners. I like them just fine and haven't had any problems. In the beginning I had to slightly tighten the screws a time or two, but it's been fine for a couple of years now. They stay in tune great. There have been a few times where I've let that uke sit unplayed for a few months at a time and when I came back to it, it was still in tune or very close. No complaints.

    My third uke is a Mainland concert and I opted for friction tuners. They work great and I've never had a problem tuning, or staying in tune. It really is just a matter of a pinch rather than a twist. Feel the slight "tick" of the peg moving and it's all good.

    I just don't like the way geared tuners look on sopranos, and I'm not a big fan of them on concerts either (though it's not terrible). For tenors and baritones gears makes more sense of course, and it doesn't look as odd to me. And though I've only changed strings once or twice, I don't like winding and winding with geared tuners.

    But, to each his own.

    Jason

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