Sunday, November 03, 2013

New Tuners or Not?

Ukulelia readers,

Looking for the wisdom of the uke crowd here. I just acquired a sweet mid-1920s Style 1 Martin Soprano.

It's in amazing condition and came with its original wooden tuning pegs.

So here's my dilemma: to replace the tuners or not. I bought the Martin as a player, so I'm inclined to replace the tuners (saving the originals, natch). But the wooden pegs actually work pretty well (they haven't slipped on me yet). But they do take some finesse, and I'm worried they may become an albatross during a performance.

So what to do? Replace or not?

And if replace, do I go whole hog and get Peghead tuners? Would they require any modification to the peg holes (which I kinda think I should avoid–right?).

Chime in on the comments. Love to hear your thoughts.

Gary

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am in the same quandry. I have a pre 1927, but the wooden pegs are not the original ones. If I change it will be for peheds to maintain esthetics- that and pegheds are great. The hole does require modification. Ukester Brown

Julien said...

I also have a 1920/30 Martin Style 0 with wooden pegs. I didn't change them and they work quite well.

If they slip too much or not enough, you can use chalk or drawing pencil to improve it. (check on google).

Violins have wooden pegs for some centuries, and they're happy with them ;)

karl said...

There isn't reallly an issue, if they still work well. And if they don't, just get them serviced. Wooden pegs aren't better or worse, just different. And it's part of the charm of any old instrument to get to know it and get to handle it.

Anonymous said...

Leave them. Why screw up a lovely uke by 'modifying it'. If you're worried about them slipping during a performance have a spare uke nearby.

Ron Hale said...

That uke was made for players, Gary. Those tuners worked well for players.

Who knows what raccoon coat hijinks
those tuners have been party to.

Speakeasy raids. Flappers. How many Madelines were they paddlin' home?

How many ukulele ladies were serenaded using those very tuners?

Those tuners have seen ups and downs for the instrument. Survived the '60s and the joke that the ukulele became.

And you're considering ripping them out? And replacing them with some ultra-modern George Jetson types?!?




Rob said...

The wooden tuning pegs work fine on my Martin and are easy enough to use. If you feel yours bind a bit there is a product called Hindersine Hinderpaste that can be used (very sparingly) to lubricate them. I think the old wood pegs look great. It would be a shame to loose them.

 
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