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Thread: Can anyone ID these tuners, please.

  1. #1
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    Default Can anyone ID these tuners, please.

    These are on my ‘87 Flatiron F-5 Artist. I don’t know if they’re original to it or not. Anyone know for sure what they are?

    Thanks in advance,
    B

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    Mandolingerer Bazz Jass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone ID these tuners, please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian B View Post
    These are on my ‘87 Flatiron F-5 Artist. I don’t know if they’re original to it or not. Anyone know for sure what they are?

    Thanks in advance,
    B

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Yep, these: https://www.stewmac.com/parts-and-ha...in-tuners.html

    You can see the imprint of the originals on yours which would have been different. I believe they came with these originally:

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    Default Re: Can anyone ID these tuners, please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bazz Jass View Post
    Yep, these: https://www.stewmac.com/parts-and-ha...in-tuners.html

    You can see the imprint of the originals on yours which would have been different. I believe they came with these originally:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    There they are. Thank you. They’re very bad tuners and as I seek a new set I wanted to avoid whoever made them.

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    Mandolingerer Bazz Jass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone ID these tuners, please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian B View Post
    There they are. Thank you. They’re very bad tuners and as I seek a new set I wanted to avoid whoever made them.
    That's surprising. I haven't tried them, but they have almost 5-star reviews from all users. Whoever put them on your Flatiron would have considered them an upgrade I'm sure. I wonder what went wrong?

    Here are the original ones it would have come with. Make sure you get the version with the worm connecting under the cog:

    https://www.stewmac.com/parts-and-ha...-machines.html

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    Default Re: Can anyone ID these tuners, please.

    Yes, I’ve seen that they get good reviews. Mine are awful. They are extremely hard to tune precisely and don’t stay in tune. I’m leaning to trying a set of Schaller GrandTunes. I like Rubners, but the cost of the F-style are more than double the set I have on my A. I’m hoping the Schallers will be good, though I’ll probably need a luthier to install them and I’m out in the sticks.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone ID these tuners, please.

    A while back, if I recall, there were complaints about these and they were replaced by Stewmac. I have no idea if these are part of that batch. I seriously doubt there would be any way to know but there have been bad ones.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Can anyone ID these tuners, please.

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    A while back, if I recall, there were complaints about these and they were replaced by Stewmac. I have no idea if these are part of that batch. I seriously doubt there would be any way to know but there have been bad ones.
    Interesting. They are so bad, and on all the machines, not just one or two, that it wouldn’t surprise me. And if they’re not part of a bad batch that would be an even worse testament to the manufacturer. Last summer I took the mando to visit a fine luthier who radiused the fretboard and he - way too kind a gentleman to look down his nose at anyone’s instrument - even felt it necessary to comment on how awful they are. It’s such a good sounding and playing mando, but every time I tune it I dig in for a long, tedious exercise.

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    Registered User jd.panko's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone ID these tuners, please.

    You might try backing out the cog screws a bit. See if it frees them up.
    Last edited by jd.panko; Apr-01-2021 at 6:37pm. Reason: More

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  13. #9

    Default Re: Can anyone ID these tuners, please.

    All my experience with these Golden Age tuners have also been bad. I gave away several pairs to customers who were thrilled because they had altogether non-functional tuners missing buttons or shafts, etc. I mean, they work. I think I paid $30/ea for them so I shouldn't complain. But they're not good tuners. I'd prefer Ping to the ones I've had.
    They are better than most vintage tuners (they don't slip, and they stay in tune). But that's about all you can say for them. Even with precisely drilled holes, they require a pretty unpleasant amount of force to use.
    I heard some luthiers (maybe the late great Paul Hostetter) recommend chucking up a string winder in a drill press to loosen them up.
    Backing out screws on these machines doesn't seem to make them loosen up, just makes them wobbly.

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    Default Re: Can anyone ID these tuners, please.

    The GA tuners which came on my GBOM were easy to sort. I simply took them off and threw them in the bin. Keith Robson made me a great replacement set but I don’t think he produces mandolin tuners these days.

    The originals look like Schallers. They are OK but the buttons are moulded onto the shafts and I had one snap off - Stwemac used to sell replacement buttons for them but I epoxied it back on and, 18 years later, it’s still going strong.

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    Default Re: Can anyone ID these tuners, please.

    Quote Originally Posted by jd.panko View Post
    You might try backing out the cog screws a bit. See if it frees them up.
    Tried that, but I couldn’t improve them. I’ve also tried cleaning them, lubing them, all the usual stuff, but they seem to insist on being the way they are.

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    Default Re: Can anyone ID these tuners, please.

    After you’ve replaced them and assuming you’re in the US, you might like to send them back to Stewmac and see what they say - it clearly wasn’t worth it from this side of the pond.

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