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The banjo reviews database is here to help educate people before they purchase an instrument. Of course, this is not meant to be a substitute for playing the instrument yourself!

7071 reviews in the archive.

Tuners  McPeake Grover-style "pancake" tuners Banjo Part/Accessory Reviews

Submitted by Pickin furry paws (see all reviews from this person) on 11/27/2011

Where Purchased: Seller on the Hangout

Overall Comments

These are very good tuning machines. Not only do they look exactly like the old Grovers on which they're based (with, of course, the exception of the "McPeake" logo on the gear housing), but they operate better than only a few other kinds of tuner I've tried.

The only tuners that beat it as far as mechanics and tuning efficiency are the Keith tuners (both the D-tuners and regular tuners), Ptacek tuners, and Deering tuners.

I purchased the gold-plated versions used, and have been very happy with the plating quality, which not only matched the other plated parts on my banjo, but seem very close to the look of the gold on the old Grovers.

The buttons are ivoroid on square shafts, but other buttons can fit just as easily. Some minor fitting is required. The shafts turn beautifully, and require very little screw pressure on the respective knob to hold the string from slipping. The result is impressively smooth tuning with minimal effort.

In addition, the gear ratio of 3.5 (in reality, it is around 3.47 and change) actually makes tuning easier, as the knob can be turned less to achieve the desired pitch.

The internal gears seem much finer than other tuners I have tried. This shows up big time in the difference between the tuner's "up-turn" and "down-turn", i.e., regardless of how you tune, be it up or down in pitch, there is almost no delay between the user input and the string post's reaction. This makes them a particular joy to use, as there is less re-tuning. If there is any needed adjustment, the required effort is minimal and the result is fast.

I also like the fact that housings contain two brads. This ensures the tuning case digs into two parts of the peghead, making sure the tuner doesn't slip or slosh around in the hole. This allows you to use less pressure on the hex head bushings, leaving your peghead intact with less chance of chipping.

I highly recommend these tuners, not only for reproduction work, but for any banjo in need of better tuning performance.

Overall Rating: 9

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