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Thread: Stewmac Tuner sale

  1. #26
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    Default Re: Stewmac Tuner sale

    My Weber Yellowstone came with Grovers 309's and other than the A tuners they worked fine. My problem was one of the A tuners was really stiff and the other kept going out of tune (flat). I used tri-flow and the sticky one never loosen up. I had Bruce Weber look at them (the mandolin was 4 years old at this point) and he couldn't make the stiff one loosen up. I bought a set of Rubners two years ago and they work smoothly and stay in tune. I have set of Rubners for the two point Bruce is building for me. At a third of the cost of Waverley's makes them feel even better.

  2. #27
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Stewmac Tuner sale

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    If you got the replacements from Collings and they still had the problem I'd be on the phone with them again. They have a good reputation for resolving issues.

    Hopefully you don't have an issue with the holes the tuner is in. I'm assuming it was the problem was in the same spot.
    Sometimes the holes can be drilled prefectly but the screws holding tuners may be pushing them to side creating unwanted stresses. Especially when they were driven in withour pre-drilled holes like in case of an F-9 I restored. The tuners turned terribly (and evidenly the plastic spacers got completely worn and destoyed) but when I removed the screws they fit the holes just perfectly with the holes of mounting screws right at the edge of the holes in the tuners and thescrews were driven at slight angle as well. After tightening the screws the tuner plate was pushed almost 1/32" north on the headstock compared to freely inserted tuners. Other brand of tuners will require drilling new holes for screws or will be more tolarant to misalignment and folks think the original tuners were bad.
    I sometimes lap the tuner gears that turn tighter that I like (typically because they are plated after assembly and the thickness of chrome may be factor) using fine compound and handdrill (I found 12 or 13mm hex socket works well as string winder) to turn each one for 10 seconds and after cleaning and lubing they turn perfectly smooth.
    Adrian

  3. #28
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stewmac Tuner sale

    Hi Doc - My Ellis "A" style is the De Luxe model & it has a varnish finish,so that was one of Tom's top of the line "A" styles. However,it's had Gotohs' on it ever since it was made & as i say,they must have been good enough to satisfy TE's criteria,because they work superbly,
    Ivan
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  4. #29
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    Default Re: Stewmac Tuner sale

    I have both Waverly and Rubner tuners on my mandolins and favor the Rubner ! Wonderful tuners for nearly half the price of Waverly !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

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  6. #30
    Registered User Russ Donahue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stewmac Tuner sale

    Anyone know if the Waverly's fit a Collings MF without added drilling and filling?
    One watch by night, one watch by day...if you get confused, just listen to the music play.

  7. #31
    Registered User doc holiday's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stewmac Tuner sale

    Ivan, The point Mark Wilson & I have been trying to make, unsuccessfully it seems, is that Tom no longer offers a choice.... the tuners on Ellis are now all Waverly....
    Last edited by doc holiday; Sep-10-2018 at 12:03pm.

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  9. #32
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stewmac Tuner sale

    Quote Originally Posted by Russ Donahue View Post
    Anyone know if the Waverly's fit a Collings MF without added drilling and filling?
    The post hole spacing would be the same, the screw holes depends on the tuners that are on it now and the Waverly bushings might be different.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  11. #33
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stewmac Tuner sale

    Hi Doc - I understood that & wasn't calling into question yours & Mark's point. I was simply stating the fact that the Gotoh MA40 tuners on my Ellis are as good as i can imagine ANY make of tuner to be,so they must have been good enough for Tom to fit them in the first place. I'm sure that if asked politely,Tom would fit Gotoh's or any other tuners - after all,WE are the customers,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

  12. #34
    rock in rôle Paul Statman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stewmac Tuner sale

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb View Post
    I don’t doubt your experience, but I don’t doubt mine either. If my original tuners were installed incorrectly, it means Collings goofed up, and I find that highly unlikely. I installed the “replacement” set and they are terrible as well. One in particular is nearly impossible to turn. I think getting another replacement set would likely be a waste of my time. YMMV obviously.
    Caleb _ I have had exactly the same experience as you report here. There's a reason that Collings went back to using Gotoh after a short period of Stew-Mac tuners. I got a replacement set from Stew-Mac for the ones on my MF5 because they were so tight I could barely turn them. The replacement set is just as bad, and I, too have been eagerly awaiting the new Rubner sets.

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    Caleb 

  14. #35
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Stewmac Tuner sale

    Quote Originally Posted by mandopixie View Post
    Caleb _ I have had exactly the same experience as you report here. There's a reason that Collings went back to using Gotoh after a short period of Stew-Mac tuners. I got a replacement set from Stew-Mac for the ones on my MF5 because they were so tight I could barely turn them. The replacement set is just as bad, and I, too have been eagerly awaiting the new Rubner sets.
    Anyone willing to send me the faulty set of S-M tuners (preferably someone in EU)? I'll pay for shipping... I bought 10 sets years ago and none was faulty, and I'm just about to order another batch and want to know if it's worth the risk if the quality dropped to unusable rubbish... (I'm in EU so shipping them back to US would cost a lot and after paying import taxes and duties I would be out of quite a change...)
    I would happily buy Rubners but I hate the look. I'm building mandolins styled after vintage Gibsons and those SM tuners are closest to the vintage style to my eye.
    Adrian

  15. #36

    Default Re: Stewmac Tuner sale

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb View Post
    If the Golden Age tuners were free they'd still be charging too much for them. I about have to get a pair of pliers to even tune my mandolin, and these are the "better" ones that replaced the ones my mandolin came with! I'll be getting a set of Rubners soon.
    Same here. A well-known American luthier whose name somehow still commands respect in these parts supplied me a replacement instrument that came with Golden Age instead of the Gotohs on the first faulty instrument (the faults were not tuner-related). Junk would be too kind a description of the Golden Age tuners. At my own expense I replaced them with wonderful custom items from Keith Robson in England.

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  17. #37
    rock in rôle Paul Statman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stewmac Tuner sale

    Quote Originally Posted by HoGo View Post
    ..I'm building mandolins styled after vintage Gibsons and those SM tuners are closest to the vintage style to my eye.
    You are right about that. If only they would function like string tuning machines. They look just like the old vintage design, right down to the shaft lengths and domed, slotted button screws and 3 mounting screws. What a shame it is that this is the only good thing I can find to say about them.

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Stewmac Tuner sale

    Quote Originally Posted by HoGo View Post
    I would happily buy Rubners but I hate the look.
    I agree with that but my only problem is the black worm and shaft and the bolt or faux bolt holding the buttons on. Beyond that they were OK for me. I was looking for a set of worm over tuners for my mandola and bought a set. I just couldn't get past the look. I would have bought the Golden Age for the look if they had been worm over. Now I've got three different options and can't decide either. I'm favoring these today. Gotoh with real mop buttons and all slotted screws.
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  20. #39
    rock in rôle Paul Statman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stewmac Tuner sale

    You can't go wrong with *Gotoh! You scored some with the flat head cog screws, too, I see. Beautiful and smooth, too, I'll warrant.
    *The shaft lengths are (aesthetically) a little long for some pegheads.

  21. #40
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Stewmac Tuner sale

    Quote Originally Posted by mandopixie View Post
    You can't go wrong with *Gotoh! You scored some with the flat head cog screws, too, I see. Beautiful and smooth, too, I'll warrant.
    *The shaft lengths are (aesthetically) a little long for some pegheads.
    I guess those slotted screws are not original to the tuners.
    Adrian

  22. #41
    rock in rôle Paul Statman's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Stewmac Tuner sale

    Not necessarily, Adrian. Kentucky have them like that (in vintage worm-under-cog configuration) on their KM-900/950. On the KM-1000 varnish, they are even silver plated.
    *I just realized that you are referring to the button screws! I was talking about the cog screw, which everywhere else, including on Collings, come with the domed Philips head screw in the cog. I have not been able to source 'correct' vintage button screws.
    With MOP, yet. They're beautiful, Mike!

  23. #42
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stewmac Tuner sale

    I went to great lengths to size the Gotoh screws a few years ago. The cog screws are stainless. The button screws are a round head slotted stainless with a stainless washer and they look great. I honestly wish I could buy them without the engraving on the plates. I also have the cog screws in black.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  25. #43
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    Default Re: Stewmac Tuner sale

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    I went to great lengths to size the Gotoh screws a few years ago. The cog screws are stainless. The button screws are a round head slotted stainless with a stainless washer and they look great. I honestly wish I could buy them without the engraving on the plates. I also have the cog screws in black.
    Consider my hat doffed, sir. Well done sourcing those. Finding screws with metric thread with slotted screws was my hurdle!

  26. #44
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    Default Re: Stewmac Tuner sale

    Quote Originally Posted by mandopixie View Post
    Consider my hat doffed, sir. Well done sourcing those. Finding screws with metric thread with slotted screws was my hurdle!
    That's where you made your mistake. You'll never find the metric size but there is an SAE size that's so close that the die for the Gotoh thread size runs right down it. I contacted Gotoh to make sure I had the size and then went looking. When I couldn't find them I started looking at SAE equivalents and I found them. The size is #2-64. The only place I could find them was Fastenal and they aren't cheap. Here's the thread. The button screw answer is at the end.

    I could buy the right size die (M2.3). I couldn't buy the screws. The #2-64 go through the die with about the same ease as the M2.3. held up they look to be exactly the same.

    Some of the sources listed in the previous thread may not work anymore. One of my metric suppliers went out of business.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  28. #45
    Registered User Eldon Dennis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stewmac Tuner sale

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb View Post
    Collings and StewMac were great about getting me a replacement set: but I just ended up with more lousy tuners, so I figured it would end up a fruitless endeavor. The first set was worse than the replacements, but not by much, and not in the same hole. I was dealing with it for a couple years but one tuner in particular is so bad now I’ve used a stringwinder while tuning. Ha! Other than the tuners, the Collings is perfect. At this point I don’t want any Golden Age tuners, even if they work. I want the Rubners. I’ll try to deal with it till Santa Claus comes to town.
    Agree that Collings and StewMac were great about providing replacements for my Collings MT mandola. However, after receiving and installing the second replacement set from StewMac and still having very stiff tuners, I ordered a set of Rubners and had them installed. The Rubners are definitely an improvement but did require filling and drilling due to different screw hole spacing. Love the Collings and now that the frustration of stiff tuners is no longer an issue it's just pure joy to spend time with it.
    1992 Flatiron Master model
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  30. #46
    rock in rôle Paul Statman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stewmac Tuner sale

    Thanks, Mike. The slotted pan head screw link is the only one still 'live'. I don't believe that's one that you used, though, is it?

  31. #47
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stewmac Tuner sale

    The button screws are:

    Item # 0174264 Description: #2-64 x 3/8" Slotted Drive Round Head Grade 18-8 Stainless Steel Machine Screw

    Available from Fastenal

    https://www.fastenal.com/products/details/0174264
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  33. #48
    rock in rôle Paul Statman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stewmac Tuner sale

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    The button screws are:

    Item # 0174264 Description: #2-64 x 3/8" Slotted Drive Round Head Grade 18-8 Stainless Steel Machine Screw

    Available from Fastenal

    https://www.fastenal.com/products/details/0174264
    Thanks, Mike. Are these a straight drop in replacement for the Gotoh button screw?

  34. #49
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stewmac Tuner sale

    Quote Originally Posted by mandopixie View Post
    Thanks, Mike. Are these a straight drop in replacement for the Gotoh button screw?
    Yes they are. I buy M2 stainless washers to use with them just because.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  36. #50
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stewmac Tuner sale

    You should be able to Google the stainless screws for the cogs. You can also check on eBay. I bought some black slot head screws for the cogs on eBay a while back.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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