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Thread: Northfield F5 tuners

  1. #1
    Registered User Lane Pryce's Avatar
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    Default Northfield F5 tuners

    Have any of you replaced the stock tuners on a NF5s? I assume the stock tuners are Schallers. My mandolin is roughly 3 years old. The tuners have gotten loose and don’t hold tension so well. I was considering replacing them with Rubners. Seems like I remember reading the post spacing and bushing sizes were identical. Lp
    J.Lane Pryce

  2. #2

    Default Re: Northfield F5 tuners

    I've no answer for you except to be skeptical of three year old tuners having any problems, even the cheapest ones. Are all the various screws tight?
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    Michael Kelly LSFTB

  3. #3
    Registered User Lane Pryce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield F5 tuners

    They sure are. I tightened up the posts months ago and the screws remain tight. I’ve never had to replace tuners on any mandolin I’ve owned, I’ve had quite a few. To my knowledge I’m the second owner of this mandolin. Don’t know if the previous owner made any modifications to the tuners, they appear untouched. Lp
    J.Lane Pryce

  4. #4

    Default Re: Northfield F5 tuners

    Quote Originally Posted by Lane Pryce View Post
    I assume the stock tuners are Schallers.
    According to specs they're Gotoh: https://www.northfieldinstruments.com/s-series

    Mine are in great shape so I can't be of much help otherwise.

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  5. #5
    Registered User Lane Pryce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield F5 tuners

    I saw that too. Somewhere I read that Northfield had used Schallers early on. I could be wrong. The tuners on this mandolin don’t look like any Gotoh tuner I’ve had before, the plates are different. However the posts are 23mm ctr to ctr. Maybe the Rubners will drop in if the post and bushings are right. Lp
    J.Lane Pryce

  6. #6
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield F5 tuners

    I can't speak about Gotohs, but I dropped in some Rubners to replace some Schallers in one of my mandolins without any modification other than the screw holes for the plates.
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” ≠ “Accidentals”

  7. #7
    Registered User Lane Pryce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield F5 tuners

    It’s gonna be a couple of months before Rubner has anymore nickel plate with black button tuners. Something related to an improvement with the gearing is forth coming. Guess I could coax the current tuners along or go for the Shaller Grand Tune with 18:1 and potentially a drop in with no new holes in the head stock. Hummm. Lp
    J.Lane Pryce

  8. #8

    Default Re: Northfield F5 tuners

    They used Gotoh's or Schallers depending on sourcing. Could be either.

    Rubners would be a good step up, you just need to make sure the hole patterns are the same. If memory serves, the post centers are the same, but the bushing OD's are not, and the screw holes are different. i.e., you need a luthier to do the conversion.

  9. #9
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Northfield F5 tuners

    Quote Originally Posted by dschonbrun View Post
    They used Gotoh's or Schallers depending on sourcing. Could be either.

    Rubners would be a good step up, you just need to make sure the hole patterns are the same. If memory serves, the post centers are the same, but the bushing OD's are not, and the screw holes are different. i.e., you need a luthier to do the conversion.
    Any tuners with standard post spacing (23mm) will make replacement for you. Schaller recommends swapping bushings but there's no real need to do that unless the post won't go through the holes freely which is very unlikely as diameter of posts is quite close on most makes. You woulld likely have to drill new holes for the screws, though.
    You wouldn't want to drill headstock of your valuable mandolin (like Loar or Gil or whatever) that has nice small vintage bushings for those large (IMO ugly) Schaller bushings anyway....

    BUT, as first advice I would suggest checking the tuners or their installation on your mandolin ... I seriously doubt Schallers would wear so fast... My old Krishot had them for almost 20 years of my active playing and I never even had to lube them. If the holes are well aligned and spacing is right and screws are not pushing the tuner plate to side then I think you need just some cleaning, lubing and close inspection.
    Adrian

  10. #10

    Default Re: Northfield F5 tuners

    I'd call Northfield and see what they have to say and what they would recommend. I find customer service at small outfits to be really good, and they might know about maybe a bad batch of tuners that they might be dealing with on a case by case basis. Be respectful and non demanding and see what happens. Your tuners should have about thirty years left in them.

    Of course, if you want a set of those nice Rubners, I'm not telling you no.
    Silverangel Econo
    Michael Kelly LSFTB

  11. #11
    Registered User Lane Pryce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield F5 tuners

    "I find customer service at small outfits to be really good" Was just the opposite for me. 3 phone calls with unanswered messages and 2 unanswered emails re tuners. My perception of Northfield's customer service service is not positive. Ill keep nursing the Schaller tuners along and patiently wait on the new Rubner tuners. I inquired by email to Rubner and received a reply within 10 minutes. Lp
    Last edited by Lane Pryce; Mar-25-2018 at 11:03am.
    J.Lane Pryce

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