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Upright Tuning Machines (Pegs)

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by alohajoy123, Apr 4, 2009.


  1. There might have been a post on this, but I haven't found what I'm looking for...I want to switch out my tuning machines on my bass...My problem is I live in Hawaii. Yes...living in Hawaii does have its shares of problems. I perform at a few hotels, outside, near the ocean. The tuning machines on my upright has lost its plating (flaking off).

    I'm looking for something solid. A few of the solid brass ones I saw (Krutz) were nice. Searching the internet, not a lot out there at the various store sites. I need something durable, and if its solid brass, I know I can polish it up when it needs it, but not worry about it flaking off.

    Can anyone point me in a good direction for a few good tuning machines? I'm looking to pay $300 to $400 for a set...yes, willing to spend a little, so I don't have to worry for a LONG time...Brand names? Great craftmanship? Good looking tuning machines?:help:
     
  2. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    I have been using these

    2994143651_b0176f4aee.

    2994983912_7318a5ff30.

    from Michael Abarientos, royal_euphony (at) yahoo.com

    They are very solid, quite heavy, well priced, and Michael is really good to do business with via mail. He has several models, including a more conventional oval handle.
     
  3. I will inquire at the email address you posted for those tuning machines. One other question I have is that there is one part of the mechanism that is chrome or nickel plated. Is there anyone out there that makes a solid stain-less steel part for that, where it won't rust or flake? I've found that is the first part of the mechanism to flake (quite possible because it is grinding with the gear) and its all downhill from there.

    Currently I have the two-plated tuning machine, one on each side. If I go with this particular model, I know I'll have to do some work and drill out holes, patch holes, etc. Looking to see if a nice, solid brass-plated one is out there first.

    MAHALO!:ninja:
     
  4. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    Well if you want to have machines mounted on a plate, you'll have to post some pictures and/or measurements for anyone to be able to help. You could just buy a set from Lemur or any other DB specialist, but the peg-spacing isn't standard and you'll have a job just slotting in a new set. That is probably a job for a luthier, as you may have to plug the existing holes and drill new ones, or bush the existing holes. If you must do it yourself then take the tuners off and make a tracing of the plate outline and the hole centres, then photocopy or scan it to an image file so that when shopping for a replacement you can make sure the supplier is sending you ones that will fit.
     
  5. Thanks Matthew for your advice. I have decided to take it to a luthier rather than try do the work myself. I do not want to ruin a good bass! Attached are a few pics of the peg's chorme flaking off, and the rust underneath. Not a pretty site, which is why I'm looking for something like solid brass.

    I was reading that a higher gear ratio is a smoother tuning mechanism? Does that mean that a tuning machine with a 1:36 gear ratio is a better tuning mechanism than a one with a 1:24 gear ratio? What is the highest gear ratio out there?

    :confused:
     

    Attached Files:

  6. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    I think that the Sloans win at 50:1.
     
  7. The Sloans are really nice but a bit over your price range. They have aluminum shafts and brass elsewhere.
     
  8. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    The downside of a really high ratio is it will give your luthier RSI when unstringing and re-stringing. And if you're putting Evahs or Oblis on, you'll be twisting forever ...

    Your pics show that other than the plating, your tuners are in good nick. You CAN get things re-chromed. Car enthusiasts do it all the time. Just an idea.
     
  9. zeytoun

    zeytoun

    Dec 19, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    or even just dismantle the machines, remove the rest of the plating from the actual tuner pieces, and polish the metal underneath? (or is the metal underneath rust-prone?)
     
  10. 50:1 ratio! Yeah, I'll be turning forever! Found a pic of that here on another thread, Irving Sloane Bass Machines:
    http://www.davidgage.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=22&products_id=33

    On my tuning gears, The "D" tuning seems to be going out on me, as it looser than the other gears. I've tried tightening the gear, but to no avail. The tuning mechanism is from 2003 or so...do normal tuning machines last as long?

    Yes, I can get it re-chromed, but I would like to change to brass. Brass seems so classy to me. I perform in the humid weather here in Hawaii, and metal rusts FAST. I rather buy something solid, not plated, that I can polish and not worry about flaking in a few years.

    This is another thread I've found on this forum about tuning machines:
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=516421&highlight=tuning+gears

    There seems to be sealed and open gears...just to get it straight, I got an open gear tuning mechanism, right?

    What do you use to lubricate the gear? And this might be a dumb question, but what do you lubricate, the place where the gear teeth comes in contact with the tuning key? Or the place where the key comes in contact with the machine?

    Sorry if it seems I don't know too much...I DON'T! But this is facisnating, and good learning. I want to get a good set ONCE and not have to worry for a LONG TIME. But I do understand some maintenence is required, such as cleaning and lubricating.

    Hey, can you guys post some pics of awesome looking tuning machines? What are some of the great tuning machines you've seen?
     
  11. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    Oh, Paul...
     
  12. Thanks Eric...
    Aloha, these here one's ain't too shabby. My 1888 Joseph Bohmann fiver stringer. Cast iron plates/brass/more cast iron.
    By the way, I like your thread/posts. Many people come here demanding answers without bothering to search around for themselves. You do your homework and come back with clear, concise questions that give us the energy we need to respond. Right on.
    If I were to have a bass made for me, I would demand the Sloane's. (with the cello handles).
     
  13. CPike

    CPike

    May 28, 2005
    Dallas, TX
    Lemur has some Rubners in their catalog, Kolstein has very nice ones as well, but installation requires a qualified luthier to do the labor. Mine are Rubners, ca. mid '70s, chrome plated steel - some wear but still quite functional. I sometimes desire brass to match my extension but hey they still work. A friend of mine just had Krutz machines installed and he loves them. I've heard reports that Sloanes are somewhat fragile and can be easily knocked bent out of alignment.

    Does anyone know who manufactures the Sloanes? Sloane classical guitar machines used to be the "it" production tuners, but after Waverly took over making them I hear the quality has gone downhill. I have fabulous Gilbert machines on my guitar and I wonder what he would come up with if he made some DB machines...

    Chris
     
  14. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I've been using these

    Pegboxrepair.

    Ed-colorformside.

    JefeJeff Bollbach got these from Jacques Gagnon prior to his self immolation and had somebody tweak the gears for better response.

    I LIKE'M...
     
  15. HA!
    Yers and yerownself...
    Mine and myownself...
     
  16. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    :D

    Miss Tearious...
     
  17. :D
     
  18. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    Ed, I think your gears are basically the same as the ones I post up top. Just a different model of handle.

    Alohajoy, ALL double bass tuners are open-gear. Sealed tuners are only for bass guitars, that thread you referenced was in the BG forums.

    Its hard to go past this range at Gallery Strings:

    http://www.gallerystrings.com/accessories/machine_heads/index.htm

    but they are not cheap. Also, note that if you want a choice of tuners, the biggest choice is in individual tuners, not ones mounted on a plate.
     
  19. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Yes, but my model of handle rules hell with an iron fist...
     
  20. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    Well, mine are lurv-handles ... [​IMG]
     

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