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Thread: friction tuners

  1. #1
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    Default friction tuners

    so, I really like friction tuners and I dont know why. I think I just like the vintage ukulele look, and not having big elephant ears sticking out of your headstock. so, how hard would it be for me to install some into my kala spruce top tenor? has anyone else done this?

  2. #2
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    Some people may think that replacing geared tuners with friction tuners is like putting a Geo Metro engine in a Corvette, but it's all a matter of preference.

    It's not a terribly difficult job. The biggest issue is finding out the size of the hole you're working with. Not sure what kind of tuners are on the Kala, but I'm sure some Googling would get you the manufacturer and the width. Then look for some friction tuners that will fit. You might not need to drill it out at all. If the existing holes in the headstock are too big, you might have to put a sleeve around the new tuners (this would likely be included) to get them to stay in right.

    Keep in mind that you'll still have screw holes in the back of the headstock after you change tuners. If this doesn't bother you, then go nuts.

  3. #3
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    I also love the look of friction tuners. It shouldn't be too hard, but you'll probably have to use the sleeve. Geared tuners are almost always bigger. As for finding the size of the hole, I reccomend using a gauge. It's like a little plastic sheet with labeled holes to help find the width of screws, drills bits, and stuff like that. I used one to gauge my Guitar tuners.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by uke142464 View Post
    so, I really like friction tuners and I dont know why. I think I just like the vintage ukulele look, and not having big elephant ears sticking out of your headstock. so, how hard would it be for me to install some into my kala spruce top tenor? has anyone else done this?

    If you like the looks of the knobs on the back of the headstock rather than the side you might consider banjo planetary tuners. They are geared, not the same ratio as guitar tuners, and they have the knobs on the back of the headstock. Sorta like the best of both worlds.


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaxManiac100 View Post
    If you like the looks of the knobs on the back of the headstock rather than the side you might consider banjo planetary tuners. They are geared, not the same ratio as guitar tuners, and they have the knobs on the back of the headstock. Sorta like the best of both worlds.

    Now those are sexy.

  6. #6
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    It's certainly a personal preference about the aesthetics of one's ukulele. I'm not fond of the "ears" of geared tuners either

    It's not very complicated to change to friction tuners. I did it with my Lanikai that had geared tuners. You just have to measure the hole diameter and the head stock thickness. I bought my friction tuners off ebay from a seller that clearly stated the dimensions. Spend a little bit more and get some decent ones that have good bearing surfaces.

    Installation is pretty easy. Just keep track of the parts and how they're assembled. You'll probably have holes to deal with from the geared tuner mounting plates on the back of your head stock. You could either leave them or get one of those moulding/trim fill crayons from a hardware store that matches your wood pretty closely.

    It did take some getting used to friction pegs after using geared tuners but I don't regret the change.

    Good luck!
    "hana ka hoe, pa`a ka waha!"

  7. #7
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    For the real trad look (and Sexier ) but without the hassles:

    http://www.lessonsinlutherie.com/PlanetaryPegs.html

    They too are geared but much lighter than those Gotohs

    Puttin' a set on my Kamaka soon!
    "hana ka hoe, pa`a ka waha!"

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by haole View Post
    Some people may think that replacing geared tuners with friction tuners is like putting a Geo Metro engine in a Corvette...
    ...and some may think replacing friction tuners with geared tuners is like putting training wheels on a Harley.

    Actually, I have a uke coming my way (soonish) that has the best of both worlds. Pegheds.

    (I think luthiers are using the violin size for ukes because I don't see any mention of ukulele size on their site.)
    Howlin' Hobbit -- Ukulele Ace
    Howlin' on Twitter, YouTube, Bandcamp

  9. #9
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    ^^^ Mike DaSilva uses Peghed geared tuners for some of his ukes. I'd recommend those as well.
    Last edited by SuperSecretBETA; 08-31-2008 at 07:22 PM.


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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howlin Hobbit View Post
    ...and some may think replacing friction tuners with geared tuners is like putting training wheels on a Harley.
    Gee, I always thought of it more like replacing spotty Lucas electrics on an old Triumph Bonnie with a reliable modern wiring harness...
    Ian
    -------------------------------------------
    “Errare humanum est, perseverare diabolicum, et tertium non datur. To err is human; to persevere in error is diabolical; there is no third option.”
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