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Thread: Eastman MD305 Tuners

  1. #1
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Eastman MD305 Tuners

    Normally I'm very bullish about Eastman mandolins here on the Cafe... and why not? They make a very good line of mandolins at a nice price point. And yet after having several of my beginner students purchase an Eastman MD305, their entry level F-hole A-model mandolin, I've decided it was time to make a post regarding the tuners. As in THEY ARE WORTHLESS!
    I don't want to waste my time or anybody else's ranting about why these tuners are so bad; so instead I'll just make a suggestion to the good folks at Eastman - charge another twenty bucks or whatever for the mandolin and put on some good tuners. I mean it! Even the Pingwells would be a welcome upgrade!

    The MD305 is a great little mandolin with good tone, volume and playability. So why drag it down with inferior tuners? Tuning a mandolin is already a pain in the @$$ so why make it more painful with those "cheaper than cheapo tuners"? C'mon Eastman... get it together and do the right thing.

    OK, I'm done!

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Eastman MD305 Tuners

    I recently purchased an Eastman MD315. Overall, I really like the instrument. But, the tuners on it are pretty inconsistent. On one, the amount of tightening or loosening seems right. On another, the movement jumps. Plus, there is differing tightness in the turn of the tuners.

    Otherwise, great first instrument for me. When the instrument needs a string change (and when I can get to a luthier), I think I'll have him put new tuners on.

  4. #3
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman MD305 Tuners

    I agree with this and have seen the same issue with some guitar makers. In the minds of most, an instrument that will not hold tune is a bad instrument. I’d bet the average consumer (certainly beginner) doesn’t even know the tuners are the issue or need to be (or can be) changed. Years ago Larrivee was using cheap tuners on their 03 series. A friend bought one and it wouldn’t hold tune, so he thought it was a crappy guitar. As the OP suggests, the builder could charge $20-30 more and give the customer something that works.
    ...

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Eastman MD305 Tuners

    Grover 309's 18:1 tuners will make your day. Available for less than $60 on eBay. I upgraded them myself on a 315.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Eastman MD305 Tuners

    I have the Eastman octave mandolin. The tuners on it work just fine.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Eastman MD305 Tuners

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Buckingham View Post
    Grover 309's 18:1 tuners will make your day. Available for less than $60 on eBay. I upgraded them myself on a 315.
    Are those a drop in with no drilling involved and no holes leftover showing? I have an Eastman 505, which have the Pingwells I believe, but I'm still not crazy about them. Would the Grovers be an improvement over the Pingwells?

    Rob
    2020 Sawchyn Beavertail

  8. #7
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman MD305 Tuners

    I changed out the tuners on my MD315 with Grover 309’s. Drop in, but the lowest screw hole on each plate didn’t match. The old hole barely peeks out from the plate. I didn’t bother filling the old holes. I drilled a new hole for the bottom screw hole on each plate. I’ve heard some folks who just didn’t use the bottom hole.

    I’ve since put Rubners on my Silverangel and these Grovers seem very similar in quality and smoothness. Big improvement for my MD315.

    Those tuners in the package are the original MD315 tuners.

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    (I just saw that the original post was about MD305, not MD315. Some subsequent posts were about replacing tuners in MD315’s, so that got me off track. Sorry!)
    Last edited by Doug Brock; Apr-07-2020 at 3:14pm.
    Doug Brock
    2018 Kimble 2 point (#259), 2019 Silverangel Econo A (#446), Eastman MD315, 2020 Morris Oval Flattop A, Eastman MDA315
    Pisgah Wonder open back banjo, cheap old German fiddle, Martin HD28, Martin D18GE, CA Guitars Bluegrass Performer

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