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Thread: Tuners - replace or repair advice

  1. #1
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Tuners - replace or repair advice

    First off, yes, I know this has been discussed many, many times on this list. Just wasn't able to find the threads on my Google searches for some reason.

    Trying to decide how to deal with the tuners on my 2008 Weber Gallatin. When I got it one of the tuner buttons had been replaced. It's not bad, but there are times when I feel the button has a slight bit of play to it which makes me wonder if it might eventually break. It's dark pearl as opposed to the regular fake pearl color of the others.

    This is where it gets strange. From what I can tell, these stock tuners are the same ones sold on eBay as "high grade nickel mandolin F style machineheads". And are probably the fake Gotohs of other threads. 2 flat sides approximately .145" or 9/64" and 2 rounded sides approximately .160" or 10/64".

    So, is it worth trying to hunt down a replacement button? Or just live with it until it cracks and then replace the set? And if so, what are popular options? Obviously Waverly is the best, then Grand Schaller, but which one after that? Regular Schaller, Gotoh, Grover? What else am I missing?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
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    Default Re: Tuners - replace or repair advice

    I like the Rubner machines, fair cost. nice smooth tuners. Not sure they have the F style in stock yet as they were reworking them a while ago. In the meantime I would put a drop of super glue on the loose tuner button.
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    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tuners - replace or repair advice

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    I like the Rubner machines, fair cost. nice smooth tuners. Not sure they have the F style in stock yet as they were reworking them a while ago. In the meantime I would put a drop of super glue on the loose tuner button.
    +1 for the Rubners. Nicest tuners I have had and not bad price-wise.
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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tuners - replace or repair advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Platt View Post
    First off, yes, I know this has been discussed many, many times on this list. Just wasn't able to find the threads on my Google searches for some reason.

    Trying to decide how to deal with the tuners on my 2008 Weber Gallatin. When I got it one of the tuner buttons had been replaced. It's not bad, but there are times when I feel the button has a slight bit of play to it which makes me wonder if it might eventually break. It's dark pearl as opposed to the regular fake pearl color of the others.

    This is where it gets strange. From what I can tell, these stock tuners are the same ones sold on eBay as "high grade nickel mandolin F style machineheads". And are probably the fake Gotohs of other threads. 2 flat sides approximately .145" or 9/64" and 2 rounded sides approximately .160" or 10/64".

    So, is it worth trying to hunt down a replacement button? Or just live with it until it cracks and then replace the set? And if so, what are popular options? Obviously Waverly is the best, then Grand Schaller, but which one after that? Regular Schaller, Gotoh, Grover? What else am I missing?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
    I've never seen the fake Gotoh's on a Weber but I guess it's possible. I have a few of each button if you can get those dimensions on a digital caliper. I don't want to send you the wrong one. Beyond that it's the tuner du jour.

    Could you post a picture of the tuners?
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tuners - replace or repair advice

    The fake Gotoh (Saga) button stems measure somewhere near .148 round to round and .115 flat to flat. There my be a very slight variation in size.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tuners - replace or repair advice

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here's a photo of the tuners. Of course, if I just took them off, could see if they are stamped on the inside or not. Unfortunately my calipers are not digital, hence the regular numbers. This is why I'm the person who even measuring twice and cutting once usually means, swearing then buying more wood then trying it again.
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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tuners - replace or repair advice

    Eric, those are Grover tuners. You've entered an entirely new world.

    You have a few options as Grover buttons may or may not be available as sets. Chances are someone might have extras of those. The Gibson Grovers of the same era actually have different buttons as well.

    The good news is that are worm under so you have some real options.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tuners - replace or repair advice

    I bought the ebony buttons for mini Grover tuners here earlier this year. They fit a set of F style Grovers on an octave mandolin perfectly.

    These are sold in sets of 6, so you'll need two sets with 4 left over.

  13. #9
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tuners - replace or repair advice

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Eric, those are Grover tuners. You've entered an entirely new world.

    You have a few options as Grover buttons may or may not be available as sets. Chances are someone might have extras of those. The Gibson Grovers of the same era actually have different buttons as well.

    The good news is that are worm under so you have some real options.
    Well, that's better news. And at least I know what to look for at this point. And thankfully there is no rush on this. As I doubt it will be easy to get a single button. And even mandolin sets might be thin on the ground at present.

    Yes, knew there were multiple good options for worm under, hence my initial question. Just wondering if there was a hierarchy below Waverly.
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    Default Re: Tuners - replace or repair advice

    I have never had a loose button on any of the Schaller tuners I Have , this is their Main line product ,
    Not the higher end Grand Tune..

    A deluxe version shapes a veneer of MOP and molds it on the shaft within the plastic , (no tiny end screws to lose)
    the Pearlescent regular buttons are doing fine, I use several A type on the various instruments..
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    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tuners - replace or repair advice

    I have the Rubners as they're stock on Girouard mandolins and really like them - super smooth and hold tune well. That said I had the tuners on my old MT-O replaced with Rubners and they didn't feel as nice as they do on my Girouard but I'm pretty sure that's because the luthier used the old bushings rather than removing them and replacing with the ones that came with the Rubners so the tuning posts seemed to "grab" a wee bit as a result.
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    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tuners - replace or repair advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Jill McAuley View Post
    ..... I'm pretty sure that's because the luthier used the old bushings rather than removing them and replacing with the ones that came with the Rubners so the tuning posts seemed to "grab" a wee bit as a result.
    Not a good practice. I've found in my tuner replacement jobs that sometimes 1/4" is .218 and sometimes it's .229. Use the bushings made for the tuners.

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  19. #13
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tuners - replace or repair advice

    The only problem is Rubners aren't available in F style right now. Not sure what the status is or when they will be available again. Otherwise might have purchased them. Have the A style on my OM and a friend has been using them on his F for years.
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    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tuners - replace or repair advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
    Not a good practice. I've found in my tuner replacement jobs that sometimes 1/4" is .218 and sometimes it's .229. Use the bushings made for the tuners.
    Yeah, I was pretty annoyed when I got the mandolin back and found a wee plastic bag in the storage compartment with the new bushings still in it, and then realized that the luthier hadn't swapped them out - grrr....
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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Question Re: Tuners - replace or repair advice

    Bought a Mix A5 used (Undisclosed by seller of course) It had a Bodged "upgrade" retrofit
    on a headstock with some peg head hole drilled spacing inaccuracy,
    I replaced damaged in the force fitting Waverly tuners with , lesser tuners from Stew Mac..

    Proved to be OK with the minor spacing error, and they have worked fine for many years.
    Left the Waverly grommet bushing there .. Black Buttons Molded On, Plastic Rather than Ebony FWIW..

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