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Thread: Quality control on Waverly tuners

  1. #1

    Default Quality control on Waverly tuners

    Hello, curious if anyone else has noticed the lack of quality control on waverly tuners?
    Iíve contacted stewmac and they sent replacements, they sent the shiny ones instead of the satin but they also had the same lack of quality control. Still working with stewmac to get what I want. Functionality is fine. Itís mostly the engraving. Am I being too picky. They are $500Ö
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  2. #2
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quality control on Waverly tuners

    Sorry, mistaken post deleted.

  3. #3
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quality control on Waverly tuners

    For 500$ you should get what you want. But, are these cnc or hand carved or cast? Depending on the method I could see some small variations. I still think with stuff like Rubner out there that Waverlies are over priced. Are there other top end tuner makers you could look at?
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  4. #4
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quality control on Waverly tuners

    Years back they changed engraving methods. I have no idea what they are doing now but the older ones were really nice. Look at the worm under set. I believe those were hand engraved. The worm over set was the newer set. I should note that I bought both sets used so I don't have a clue as to when they were manufactured except to know that I was told the worm over set's engraving was newer.
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  6. #5
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quality control on Waverly tuners

    What a big difference, almost looks like a cast imprint on the newer ones. Hand engraving would account for the cost that is time-consuming but bean counters seem to run companies and if they can move a poor imprint for the same money without the cost of hand engraving they will.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

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  7. #6
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quality control on Waverly tuners

    I had an old set from about 01-02 on my old war horse and they were real nice hand engraved but after awhile they somehow wore out! I sent them back to Stew-Mac for a replacement set in 2010 or so and got back the new CNC machined set and was rather upset with the look! I contacted them and I wanted my old set back to change out gears and such to see if that helped but I'd have to buy them back at cost and well couldn't as I was sick and broke at the time! I was bummed! But honestly the new ones seem to work a whole heck of a load better.

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  9. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quality control on Waverly tuners

    The old ones were works of art, almost like jewelry. That's not to say the new one's aren't great tuners but they've lost a little of the cachet.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  10. #8
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    Default Re: Quality control on Waverly tuners

    They should have lost a little of their price along with the cachet.

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  12. #9

    Default Re: Quality control on Waverly tuners

    Dare not comment on the decorative or musical value, or IMHO absurd price, but might mention that all the photos show a bead blast finish, which, if even slightly overdone, will erase smaller details, as well as machining evidence. We always bead blasted our products, sometimes just to remove weld stains, and of course, that’s the job least liked in the shop. Not to say the CNC setup may also be sloppy and not deep enough. After that, brass that is to be plated (these are supposed to be brass of some sort), may also be wet etched as part of the cleanup for plating.
    Then there’s the plating itself, which, these days almost has to be sent out because of the environmental constraints, leaving another place to break the links of good quality.
    But I am curious about being able to wear out something like this, as Smith mentions. I would think the bearing surface in the plate is what gives out, steel on soft brass, but what actually happens?

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  14. #10

    Default Re: Quality control on Waverly tuners

    Probably just a broken engraving tool in the CNC tool changer. All the critical features were gauged, but there isn't a convenient way to gauge engraving. Stuff like this happens, even in medical device manufacturing. If it's not a feature which is gauged in the quality control process for a particular part or assembly, it will go right on by. Sometimes you don't find out until you also discover a fun new failure mode. Part of life, glad they made it right for you.

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  16. #11
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    Default Re: Quality control on Waverly tuners

    Iíve had a few knobs come loose on the A versions but had no idea how much the engraving had changed. What a bummer. The older ones were really something.

  17. #12
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quality control on Waverly tuners

    I have ones from the Bozeman production, and they are nice, I’ll try to get a photo up for comparison. I don’t know if the production was done in Bozeman, perhaps it was just the assembly of parts. They have moved Waverly to the Midwest, and perhaps have lost the details in the move…?
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    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quality control on Waverly tuners

    Can anyone post a picture of the older Waverlys with the sublime engraving? Apparently I've never seen them because I've always thought they looked stamped-out, manufactured and poorly finished considering the price.

  19. #14
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quality control on Waverly tuners

    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMatt View Post
    I have ones from the Bozeman production, and they are nice, I’ll try to get a photo up for comparison. I don’t know if the production was done in Bozeman, perhaps it was just the assembly of parts. They have moved Waverly to the Midwest, and perhaps have lost the details in the move…?
    It changed before they moved to Ohio. Perhaps not as much but it had changed.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  20. #15

    Default Re: Quality control on Waverly tuners

    Rubners. I think these were $160 when I bought them a few years back. Assuming they're made in Germany?

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  21. #16
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    Default Re: Quality control on Waverly tuners

    Quote Originally Posted by sunburst View Post
    Can anyone post a picture of the older Waverlys with the sublime engraving? Apparently I've never seen them because I've always thought they looked stamped-out, manufactured and poorly finished considering the price.
    Check out the photo MikeEdgerton posted above.
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  22. #17
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quality control on Waverly tuners

    Quote Originally Posted by ivancook View Post
    Check out the photo MikeEdgerton posted above.
    I saw that photo. I guess I'm just not as impressed as some.

  23. #18
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quality control on Waverly tuners

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Roy View Post
    Rubners. I think these were $160 when I bought them a few years back. Assuming they're made in Germany?

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    I bought two set of their best f style tuners and they are very nice but I understand the plain entry level ones are darn good as well. Just a bit of a waiting game sometimes to get them.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

  24. #19
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quality control on Waverly tuners

    Do any of you grumpy old geezers actually use them for tuning your mandolin or just yelling at kidz to get off your lawn?

    If you are not satisfied with the Waverly, then buy from Nicolo Alessi.

    He makes the finest performing, tuning and, most beautiful mandolin machines in the world; functional works of art.

    Every set is hand engraved and they cost less than Waverly. That is all I have used for the last ten years.

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  26. #20
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Quality control on Waverly tuners

    I was wondering when you were going to chime in James. Spot on as always.
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  28. #21
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quality control on Waverly tuners

    Hahhahaha get off my lawn! Hadn’t heard of these but I will check them out. Thanks!
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

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