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Bass.swimmer 01-07-2020 12:38 PM

Super treble tuning pegs
I'm starting to build a new harp guitar, and I was wondering: for those who play harp guitar with super treble strings, do you prefer zither tuning pins or tuning machines? And what are the benefits/drawbacks to each?

Teleplucker 01-09-2020 10:17 PM

If zither tuners require a special wrench, I would definitely prefer regular guitar tuners.

Bax Burgess 01-10-2020 10:52 AM

A point of interest would be the stability of the tuning pins compared to that of machines. If a pin's tapered hole becomes a problem, a reaming is probably necessary, alternately, if a machine goes bad, replace it/the whole set. A second point: Where did I put that tuning key?

Alan Carruth 03-27-2020 10:07 AM

John Doan's guitar uses banjo fifth string tuners for the supers. I made one like that, and they work well, although it's something of a layout issue getting them all in. You need to cut down the size of the buttons, for sure!. They're not light in weight, of course, and they're more expensive than most tuners.

They're designed to be driven into a tapered hole to hold them in place, with a raised 'ear' that keeps them from rotating. I worried about splitting the block they were mounted in doing that, and came up with an alternative. The taper part of the body casting is hollow, and I found I could tap it using a metric 7mm x 1 pitch tap. This allowed me to ream the hole out to a simple snug fit, with a filed groove for the ear, and bolt them in from underneath. Your local hardware store probably doesn't carry the Allen head metric setscrews you'll need, but I got them by mail order pretty easily. I also laminated a block up out of five layers of persimmon with the grain mis-aligned to resist splitting. Over kill, perhaps, but I hate seeing stuff come back.

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