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Thread: Friction Tuners - seriously; why?

  1. #1
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    Default Friction Tuners - seriously; why?

    Is it just tradition? I've now played ukes from 30 to 200 or so with friction tuners, and all have the same problems to some extent - you're always walking the line between slippage and the peg being so tight that it won't move smoothly. On top of that, the direct drive makes fine tuning really really hard. Geared tuners work great and have no downsides that I'm aware of, so why all the friction tuners?

  2. #2

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    As far as I can tell, this is the answer...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRdfX7ut8gw

    (it's not a rickroll)

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamWise View Post
    Is it just tradition? I've now played ukes from 30 to 200 or so with friction tuners, and all have the same problems to some extent - you're always walking the line between slippage and the peg being so tight that it won't move smoothly. On top of that, the direct drive makes fine tuning really really hard. Geared tuners work great and have no downsides that I'm aware of, so why all the friction tuners?
    I agree with everything said here. I would never buy a uke with friction tuners. Tradition can kiss my ass.
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  4. #4
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    Tradition, preference, and weight.

    Geared tuners totally weigh down your headstock, and no one wants a top heavy uke.

    Plus, in my opinion, they makes sopranos look stupid, just like tie bar bridges on a soprano, which is why I'll never buy a Kala/Lanikai soprano.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by SinisterDom View Post
    Plus, in my opinion, they makes sopranos look stupid, just like tie bar bridges on a soprano, which is why I'll never buy a Kala/Lanikai soprano.
    So looks are more important than the sound?

  6. #6
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    The way I understand it, friction tuners and the ability to use them correctly and accurately is not only a necessary rite of passage for every ukulelist, it also brings you as close to the Holy Grail as any ukulele-related activity can. By performing the right moves and making your friction-pegged uke sing, your fingers will start to glow a faint pink and they will start running over the fretboard like Usain Bolt over the finish line.

    Not to mention they are the coolest thing since sliced bread and clip-on sunglasses.
    sigs disabled kthxbai

  7. #7
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    I've only got concerts and tenors here with geared tuners, but I'm not finding balance or weight a problem with them. Then again, my first instrument was my Dad's pre CBS Fender Jazz Bass; everything has seemed light as a feather since that.......

  8. #8
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    Looking around other boards, I now see that I might have hit on a bit of a sore point. My apologies - this wasn't intended as flamebait.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SinisterDom View Post
    Tradition, preference, and weight.

    Geared tuners totally weigh down your headstock, and no one wants a top heavy uke.

    Plus, in my opinion, they makes sopranos look stupid, just like tie bar bridges on a soprano, which is why I'll never buy a Kala/Lanikai soprano.
    That used to be the case but now you can get the geared peg heads that look like the original wooden pegs, work great and are light as a feather. The pic shows pegheads I installed on Hobbit's soprano.


    They are a little pricey at $80/set but they are well worth it if installed on a decent instrument. Probably wouldn't want them on a intonation deprived Hilo .
    Last edited by Dominator; 09-22-2008 at 04:47 AM.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by deach View Post
    So looks are more important than the sound?
    Not really. How do friction tuners affect sound?

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