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Thread: Schaller tuner replacement

  1. #1

    Default Schaller tuner replacement

    My Breedlove Cascade has a bent tuner. The originals are Schallers. I contacted Schaller, and they told me the Grand Tunes would drop in with no drilling, but I have researched this on the forum, and found that the bushings are different from the old style.

    I can find the old Schallers on eBay, but I would mind upgrading tuners. I always had trouble with the A string staying in tune. Does anyone know which tuner would be the best replacement with the least amount of reworking? Many thanks.

  2. #2
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Schaller tuner replacement

    Thanks for posting. I'm glad to hear the GrandTune are a drop-in replacement.

    My F-9's original Schaller set has what appears to be a longer knob-shaft for what would be the 1st string of the 3rd course (driver-side, 2nd knob from the top of the peghead). It should be a short shaft, and as it is it's hard to reach the tuners for the adjacent strings. It's been that way since before I acquired the mandolin about 8 years ago so I don't have any real history about this.

    Like you, I could just buy originals from eBay, but I've been wanting to upgrade and at the same time really fine-tune the setup of my tuners anyway. My OCD nature would also like to get Grand Tunes in the satin-pearl finish to match my satin nickle James tailpiece.

    Four questions (and some found answers):
    Are these available in the US yet (AllParts doesn't carry them anymore)?
    What is the difference with the bushing (size, may require reaming)?
    Can a person just use the older style of the Schaller bushings (possibly, but would be better with new bushings)?
    Are there any other interesting things to look out for (tightness when new)?

    (P.S. Reading old threads now. A little discouraged about availability, perhaps virus related. Not afraid of bushing changes but with that, it's not just a drop-in replacement... So may just go with Golden Age, which are easily available now, instead... Although just found the GrandTune sets on Amazon.)
    Last edited by dhergert; Aug-07-2020 at 11:35am.
    -- Don

    "Music: A minor auditory irritation occasionally characterized as pleasant."
    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."


    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug (plus many other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [7/29/2019 -- New Arrival!!!]

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Schaller tuner replacement

    Chances are you may have to redrill some of the screw holes. Hopefully the old holes are covered by the new plate. You're looking for worm-over A style tuners. You need to know the post hole spacing. In this case it should be the modern .906" (23.01 mm) center to center post spacing. If you go to Stewmac and most of the manufacturers page they will have the specifications shown somewhere for their tuners. Scroll to the bottom of this page for an example. You'll also see the size of the bushings. A set of digital calipers that can be switched from inch to mm are fairly inexpensive at places like Harbor Freight. If you get a pair you can check your measurements within reason. Then you simply have to find a set of tuners that fits your needs. Not all A style tuners are going to be standard. Beyond the vintage size that Stewmac sells for early Gibson type mandolins, there are new off sized tuners being used by people like Saga on the Kentucky KM-150. If the Schaller Grandtune tuners have the same size hole in the bushing you may not need to change the bushing. Beyond that the Waverly tuners are excellent but very expensive, Rubner, when they are available makes decent tuners, and Gotoh's nicer tuners are really decent and now you can get buttons for them in different finishes and colors from Northfield. Some people swear by Grover. Some of us were lucky enough to grab sets of the Gibson Grover tuners that were made in the early 2000's for Gibson. You have a lot of choices if you know what size you need.

    One last thought. If you can buy a set of the old style tuners cheap you can simply repair what you have. Schaller tuners come apart quite easily. Then you'd have spare everythings.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  5. #4
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Schaller tuner replacement

    Thank you Mike...

    Just to be clear, related to my questions, my 2002 F-9 uses old-style Schaller F-style worm-under tuners; probably everything else you mentioned still applies.

    And FWIW, I did find the Schaller GrandTune worm-under (reverse) satin-pearl F-style tuners I'm interested in on Amazon... They look beautiful. I still need to decide and pull the trigger, but they're there and available. It's just that while quirky, my old original Schallers do the job, so the big question is whether I'm ready to put out the money and do the work. Not sure yet.

    Did you end up getting GrandTune for any of your mandolins? If so, what are your impressions after using them for a while?
    -- Don

    "Music: A minor auditory irritation occasionally characterized as pleasant."
    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."


    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug (plus many other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [7/29/2019 -- New Arrival!!!]

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Schaller tuner replacement

    I haven't held any grandtune tuners yet.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  8. #6
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Schaller tuner replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by dhergert View Post
    Thank you Mike...

    Just to be clear, related to my questions, my 2002 F-9 uses old-style Schaller F-style worm-under tuners; probably everything else you mentioned still applies.

    And FWIW, I did find the Schaller GrandTune worm-under (reverse) satin-pearl F-style tuners I'm interested in on Amazon... They look beautiful. I still need to decide and pull the trigger, but they're there and available. It's just that while quirky, my old original Schallers do the job, so the big question is whether I'm ready to put out the money and do the work. Not sure yet.
    That must have been just prior to Gibson moving to the Gibson Grover tuners. Gibson had them made as direct drop in replacements so they didn't have to change any tooling if I recall correctly. Those were nice tuners as well. A set of those should be a drop in replacement, even the screw holes should line up.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Schaller tuner replacement

    Mike, does Grover still sell the Gibson-Grover tuners or any exact drop-in replacement tuners?
    -- Don

    "Music: A minor auditory irritation occasionally characterized as pleasant."
    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."


    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug (plus many other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [7/29/2019 -- New Arrival!!!]

  11. #8
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Schaller tuner replacement

    Gibson might still have some but I doubt Dave Harvey would give them up. They are occasionally available used. Grover's can be an issue. The shaft holding the buttons on the Schallers (and Gibson Grovers) are a little longer. You'd have to check the specs and I doubt the screw holes would be exact. Maybe someone has done a replacement with modern Grover tuners on an older F9. By the way, if your Schallers are doing the job they are decent tuners.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  13. #9
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Schaller tuner replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    ... By the way, if your Schallers are doing the job they are decent tuners.
    Thank you! That, by itself, is enough for me to hear... This is a good time to wait.
    -- Don

    "Music: A minor auditory irritation occasionally characterized as pleasant."
    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."


    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug (plus many other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [7/29/2019 -- New Arrival!!!]

  14. #10
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    Default Re: Schaller tuner replacement

    LMI sells Shallers. They had the gold plated tuners on sale, not sure if they still are. I bought 2 sets on sale, and it my hand, they are super smooth. I look forward to install them on my next build.

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