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>> Ukulele Hints >> Tuners for a slotted headstock?

Message started by Dave Higham on Jul 14th, 2009 at 11:50am

Title: Tuners for a slotted headstock?
Post by Dave Higham on Jul 14th, 2009 at 11:50am
Hello, I'm new around here and this is my first post.

I'll be starting on a tenor ukulele after the summer holidays and I fancy having a go at a slotted headstock.

Can anyone recommend tuners for a slotted headstock on a tenor? I realise that they'd probably have to be guitar tuners and that I might have to shorten the barrels. Any opinions?

Thanks in advance,
Dave (in S W France)

Title: Re: Tuners for a slotted headstock?
Post by Matt Blacka on Jul 15th, 2009 at 1:51am
Hi Dave, welcome to the forum.

If you're building a uke, than this is the best place to do your research. There's plenty of useful information available in the pages of this forum.

I went through the process of trying to find slot head uke tuners about a year ago. As far as I could tell, they don't exist. Instead the best I could come up with was Gotoh SEP700 tuners - intended for guitar headstocks. I have a headstock design drawn up in CAD that uses these tuners, and have two ukes in the process that will have this headstock. Message me if you would like more info.

I think most slot head tenor ukes that you see will have these tuners, or a Waverly equivalent. I know William King does or at least did use these tuners on his beautiful slot head tenors:

Your headstock will have to be about 18 mm thick to accomodate the tuners, and it takes a little bit of work to modify the standard design (with headstock thickness of about 11 mm) to do this. However, I think the end result can be nice.

I discussed these tuners with Asa Chock from Hana Lima 'Ia, and I think he said they were ordering some, but I haven't seen them on their shop store site, so you might have to email him. I also think that I read somewhere that Gotoh were stopping the manufacture of them. Stewart Mcdonald have some Grover Sta-Tite tuners for slot head guitars that look very similar, and they also have Waverly ones that would let you have a slightly thinner headstock (16 mm), but they would cost about the same as the entire rest of your uke.

Hope this helps,


Title: Re: Tuners for a slotted headstock?
Post by jack on Jul 16th, 2009 at 12:38am
If you have ever seen Jake S. play you will note that he plays ukes with slotted head stocks.  Jake let me look at them and they are made by a guy named Gilbert, and he does have a web site.  They are really expensive, but are small and made from aircraft aluminum.  

I make slotted head guitars, and most guitar tuners require headstock thickness of about 5/8" and the string holes are 5/8" from the side.  I think that that would require such a large headstock that the uke would be terribly head-heavy. I use waverly or gotoh for slotted head guitars.

Title: Re: Tuners for a slotted headstock?
Post by Dave Higham on Jul 16th, 2009 at 4:56am
Thanks for your replies Matt and Jack. I don't think I'll be using Waverleys or Gilberts until I'm getting commissions at $4000 a time, and that ain't gonna be tomorrow! ;) I think it will be Grovers for a first attempt.

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