geared tuners

This topic contains 22 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by cricket cricket 1 week ago.

Viewing 23 posts - 1 through 23 (of 23 total)
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  • #54144

    jeffcraft1
    Participant

    does anyone know what i can do about my tuners on my fiddle i want to use geared tuners because it will be easer to tune that way. does anyone have any cheap solutions?

    #54148
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    I ordered the Knilling Perfection planetary geared tuners from Amazon quite a while back.  There are a few other brands out there too…not sure how they all compare.  My husband has enough machining and wood working experience that he said it was easy to install them…I about had a heart attack watching…lol…he had to buy a special luthier tool to bore the hole to fit the tuners…only took a few minutes and he got them put in.  I’ve heard people say they got their luthier to install them.  Anyway, I like mine because I tune back and forth all kinds of crazy ways all the time.  I thought I could do that easily on stage when I was in this little amateur band, but that didn’t really work…the band didn’t give me enough time and there was always too much noise, them fiddling with their instruments while I was trying to hear mine and hurry and tune, then, I found a weakness, I guess you could say, in that if you don’t get the tuners locked into place, they will slip…another reason you can’t really hurry up and do that on stage…I found that out the hard way and had to avoid my A string playing a tune…lol…not fun!  So even though I had the tuners installed, when I was in that band I still had to carry two fiddles and tube them up before we played…I also carried my guitar and my hundred pound banjo, so…the tuners make it easier to tune, but not necessarily in every situation.  I’ve also found that they go wacky on you in the mildest weather changes…worse than regular tuning pegs.  I mean, maybe it’s worse with me because we don’t have air conditioning or central heat…the rooms in the house are like going from one hemisphere to the next, sometimes, so….maybe that’s just my own situation….but weather changes seem to greatly affect my geared tuners.  With all that said, I do love mine, because even these days when I pick up the fiddle for messin around on the porch, or whatever, I tune it all over the place even if I only play for fifteen or twenty minutes…so…I spend more time playing than I do tuning.

    #54162
    rodger
    rodger
    Participant

    Jeff, there’s several threads that deal with these in a lot of detail here on the forum.  If you get good ones and get them in right they are the cat’s meow.  Just about everything is positive with the right ones and not really a downside.  International violin has the Wittner pegs for $18.00, but they are worth it…you get what you pay for.  They come in several sizes so you can get ones that fit different size holes, but you still may have to touch up the hole with a reamer just a little to get it round & clean so they seat good and don’t slip.  Depends on your fiddle.  Because you’re stretching the string from the nut end and not pulling the short end from the bridge, I notice that my bridge doesn’t warp & twist like it does with tail piece tuners, especially on the E string.  Tailpiece tuners are a little easier to use for a slight touch up, but then you’re always turning them back when they get maxed out & then you have to use the peg to bring the string back, & then since the pegs don’t get used they stick etc. etc.  etc.

    #54165
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    I never did like all that metal, all those fine tuners on there…my viola has them on each string, so, first string change, they go!  I tune it crazy all the time too, but I’ll stick with the tuners that came with it for now.  I don’t mind peg tuners that much…if you put some peg dope on them when you change strings they aren’t that bad, really.  But it is a lot quicker with the geared tuners.  I already took the chin rest off that viola too…I guess it’s just me, but I wasted a lot of money when I first started playing the fiddle, looking for a chinrest I could live with…I finally gave up and just don’t use chin rests.

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by cricket cricket.
    #54174

    John Cockman
    Keymaster
    #54194
    rodger
    rodger
    Participant

    Cricket, do you mean chin rests or shoulder rests?  My shoulder rest affects the sound of my fiddle, so I’ve been playing without it. I can play better with it, but I love the sound without it.  Never tried to play without the chin rest.  Without a shoulder rest I think I really need my chin rest more so.  We strongly advise against beginners playing without a shoulder rest though.  A well fitted shoulder rest makes it ‘much’ easier to learn.  As we know, some people can play with the fiddle behind their back or over their head, so anything can be learned, but at the beginning it’s best to have as much in your favor as possible.

    #54199
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    I can’t seem to use chin rests or shoulder rests either one, Rodger.  I just have the tendency to be more comfortable doing things my own way, right or wrong.  I did try several different makes of chin rests, big waste of money.  I tried variants of shoulder rests…nope.  I play it in its bare form.  It’s been almost 9 years, getting close to it, and I’m figuring I’ve passed up the time when I’d ever be comfortable with either a chin rest or shoulder rest by now. Same with my bow hold…I can’t do that the right way either…lol.  But I love to just feel free to play it in my own way.

    #54373
    rodger
    rodger
    Participant

    I found a picture of how the Wittner tuners are made. The gears are actually in the knob, not the shaft, which surprised me.  You have to click on this thumbprint to get the full picture.  I was scared to trim the end flush with the pegbox, but as this shows, there’s no danger to do that.  With these Wittners anyhow.  The only part of the shaft which actually turns, to wind the string, is that short middle segment with the holes in it.  The shaft on both sides of that is seated in the peg box and never moves…thus there is no wear on the pegbox holes.  These are hot items now with schools that have orchestra’s because it really speeds up tuning with the kids and much less maintenance on the instrument with the school kids.

    #54397

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    Thanks Rodger! I had no idea what was inside these things…

    #55128
    Steve Srader
    Steve Srader
    Participant

    Rodger I should get my set of geared tuners in 11/6/2017 Monday from International violins . I am almost ready for new strings so I am looking forward to getting then on my violin , Thanks for sharing !

    #55136
    rodger
    rodger
    Participant

    They come in different diameters Steve.  Did you get the ones closest to the fit of your pegbox?

    #55138
    Steve Srader
    Steve Srader
    Participant

    Yes I have a electronic caliper I measured where they showed to measure at the ring . I had to order the larger ones . They only had two different sizes .

    #55140

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    Can’t wait to hear how they work for you!

    #55150
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    We talked about it before, but in case you didn’t see, don’t be freaked out if they slip some…they have the tendency under certain circumstances and you just push in the knob to lock them in, if that happens.  Hope you like them!  In my opinion they are a great advancement for fiddling.

    #55231
    Steve Srader
    Steve Srader
    Participant

    Rodger I messed up LOL they show their peg size measured at the ring of the wittier pegs , So I measured my pegs at the ring and mine was 9.21 mm which is larger than the largest size they sell so I ordered the large size 8.6 because mine measured larger than that , But when they arrived they were way to large so I checked my pegs size again 9.21 mm at ring and next to against the ring is 7.54 mm so their size 7.8mm at the ring is the real size I need they are swapping them out so somewhat deceiving where to measure the pegs . I hope this helps someone else to not make my mistake .

    #55258
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    Well it sounds like you discovered that before you started working on the fiddle, right?  Whew!

    #55259
    Steve Srader
    Steve Srader
    Participant

    Yes Cricket , I could tell the moment I saw them . I knew they were wrong . I did some measuring . I am a perfectionist a finish carpenter and cabinet maker I can and do luthier my own stuff .

    #55261
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    That’s a lucky thing.  Good you have those skills so you can do those things.  If I didn’t have Mike to work on these things for me, I’d never be able to afford it.  Luthiers are expensive.  We used one guy one time, when that fiddle came back Mike understood right away what was involved and even was able to improve it for me.  I guess I could learn to work on them, maybe, but I’m so scared of ruining a good instrument…I’d need some junk stuff to practice on.  I always wanted to make a fiddle.  I ordered the cigar box fiddle plans online almost 10 years ago now, figuring there’d be nothing like the calibration necessary to get the right curves, etc.  whatever you call it, in a regular fiddle, but I’ve never had the time to get into it and see if I could learn what-all is involved in those cigar box fiddles…actually I hope I had that backed up somewhere when our computer crashed a couple of years ago…lol..hope do, I should go look for that.  Anyway, there’s a lady who’s 100 years old now in Arkansas who’s been making regular, pocket knife fiddles, amazing work,  her entire life, teaches it and plays pretty good too…Violet Hensley.  That’s a real inspiration…I gotta get to where I can at least try…lol…but I have little time to concentrate on my own interests now…been taking care of too many people/situations during retirement…although that’s been slowing down, so…maybe it’s time to look for those cigar box fiddle plans and see if I can focus on that.

    #55265
    Steve Srader
    Steve Srader
    Participant

    I researched the violin for almost two months before repairing My dads old Hoff German violin to what kind of glue to use and why , to every thing I could find out from hundreds of articles and U-tube videos . For instance the violin bridge is a more or less personal like or dislike for each individual , from height of bridge , and lowness of the bridge and the arch of the bridge more arch or less , I think less arch is better for double stops , but higher arch if you don’t want accidental hitting other strings , right now for me I am kind of in between , I don’t like to have to drop the bow to much to play the E string . and I prefer a close action I am about 1/8 off the finger board close to the bridge and 3/16 on the G string . Lower action is easier to press the string with little effort to play .

    #55269
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    It’s great you can do that. Mike finally got my bridges like I like them, but now there’s the viola…I don’t like the action or the bridge height…but…well it might be a while before I’m ready to stop playing long enough to take the strings off and let him mess with it.

    #55289

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    Steve, you do sound like a perfectionist! I’m sorry they weren’t clear about where to measure. I hope you get them replaced quickly!

    #55305
    Steve Srader
    Steve Srader
    Participant

    I am sure theirs measures exactly where the picture shows , but my Pegs on my violin have large predominate rings  . I will have the replacements  Monday 13 of November only cost me 4 dollars to send them back . I was not quite ready to restring yet anyway . I was bummed I messed up that’s what I get for taking for granted . I should have called and got then to give me a measure against the ring and also the small end measurement .

    #55308
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    Ouch…4 dollars to return😖

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