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Thread: Tuner adjustment or replacement advice

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    Question Tuner adjustment or replacement advice

    Hi All, I recently received a new Eastman MD305. This is my first mandolin and I am really happy with it's nice sweet tone. Unfortunately I have some arthritis problems with my left hand, so to help the situation, I changed the strings to J73's. What I discovered is that the tuners as supplied are very stiff to turn even with no string tension on them. Is there any adjustment for this? Or, what would you recommend as a reasonably priced replacement. $400.00 Waverly's are not an option. Thanks, Jim

  2. #2
    Registered User bennyb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tuner adjustment or replacement advice

    Howdy MB,
    What I'd do in your situation is take them off the instrument, mix up some toothpaste(medium) and baking soda(polishing compound), smudge it into the gears, spin the machines(with a string winder) fore and aft 20 times each, rinse it out with warm water, spinning while rinsing. Then let them dry and lube. If they don't spin like butter, it didn't work, but I've actually done this and had it work. For lube directions, and more on this subject see Paul Hostetter's tuner maintenance page.

    Good luck, benny

    My string winder cost a couple bucks, has both guitar size and mando size slots.
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    Last edited by bennyb; Jan-10-2016 at 1:46am.

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    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tuner adjustment or replacement advice

    Tri Flow bike lubricant is often recommended around here for tight tuners.
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    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tuner adjustment or replacement advice

    When you have the tuners off,check the holes they go through for signs that the posts may be binding. Some of that teflon bike lube can help that as well as lubing the gears themselves.
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  6. #5

    Default Re: Tuner adjustment or replacement advice

    Bennyb, Thanks for your very helpfull advise. I'll do what you suggested next time I change strings. Jim

  7. #6
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tuner adjustment or replacement advice

    +1, the accuracy of the spacing of the 8 holes in the peg head can cause the shafts to bind..

    $4~500 Waverlys are really needing the holes to be spot on. lesser precise tuners less of an Issue..

    But the tuners should drop in the holes without any resistance ..
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    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Tuner adjustment or replacement advice

    Quote Originally Posted by mandroid View Post
    But the tuners should drop in the holes without any resistance ..
    Often they do go into holes without much resistance even when there is slight misalignment or angled holes and after string tension is in place the binding occurs. For me the final test in hole spacing is dropping tuners in from the front of the headstock if the spacing is off they just won't drop in right to the bushings. Of course you have to do check left side holes with right side tuners and vice versa on the other side on f style so the shafts are not in the way.
    Adrian

  10. #8
    Lost my boots in transit terzinator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tuner adjustment or replacement advice

    Would some powdered graphite in the shaft holes help? (Knowing that you wouldn't want to put anything liquid against the wood.)

  11. #9
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Tuner adjustment or replacement advice

    Quote Originally Posted by terzinator View Post
    Would some powdered graphite in the shaft holes help? (Knowing that you wouldn't want to put anything liquid against the wood.)
    In most cases not at all. Much of the tightness comes from between the cog wheel and baseplate of tuners which is result of improperly placed hole pushing the post away from its natural position. On old worn tuners that area is often very damaged.
    Adrian

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    Registered User Mike Arakelian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tuner adjustment or replacement advice

    The Eastman 3 series instruments are not known for having great tuners. My old 315 tuners were very tight and difficult to turn. I applied Tri-Flo to each tuner when I changed strings and turned the knobs multiple times to work the Tri-Flo in. It will help some, but won't totally resolve the problem. If you do decide to get new tuners, the Grover 309's will supposedly drop right in, and are a much better tuner for around $80-90. Good luck.

  14. #11
    Lost my boots in transit terzinator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tuner adjustment or replacement advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Arakelian View Post
    If you do decide to get new tuners, the Grover 309's will supposedly drop right in, and are a much better tuner for around $80-90. Good luck.
    +1 to that. I replaced the Elite tuners on my Collings MT with Grover 309s a few years back. Much better.

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