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Jun 6, 2020 - 7:46:32 AM



4 posts since 6/6/2020

Hi all,

I have a gold tone banjo that I bought new. It came with those plasticy fake "pearl" buttons on the machine heads.

There are cracks now where those buttons are about to break off. The banjo is great for my current skill level (novice). I enjoy playing it and I really like the sound I get from it, but I'd like to get a new set of machine heads.

Ideally I'd like a pair of "Scruggs style" tuners and then 3 "regular" tuners. I'm wondering if I can get these with metal buttons? I'd like something solid that's not going to crack. The tuners I have on there currently are the straight-through type, not side-geared.

Thanks in advance for any advice.


Jun 6, 2020 - 9:06:06 AM

10727 posts since 10/27/2006

You can get better buttons that are less likely to crack with age. Solid wood buttons are also available.

I understand that Kluson reproductions may be available but I've not seen a matching geared 5th peg.

Grover makes metal button sets.


You can get a metal button geared 5th to match the side-geared Rotomatics that many long-necked players like. They did not make a Scruggs type tuner though you could buy some that required extra holes in the peghead.

Edited by - mikehalloran on 06/06/2020 09:09:45

Jun 6, 2020 - 9:06:20 AM

21 posts since 12/5/2015


Look at search banjo tuners. You will find they have some selections.

To find the 'buttons' for Scruggs Tuners, google search 'banjo buttons for Keith tuners'. BanjoBen had one selection. (I am presuming you are referring Keith Tuners....the tuners used for Randy Lynn Rag, Flinthill Spec....)

Metal buttons were hard to find. Good luck.

Jun 7, 2020 - 7:37:02 AM

2191 posts since 4/7/2010

There are no aftermarket knobs that will fit Gold Tone banjo tuners. The holes in the new, available knobs will either be too small or too big. So filing or shimming will be necessary.

Like the sun coming up every day, the knobs on Gold Tone banjo tuners will crack and need replacement.

Bob Smakula

Jun 8, 2020 - 7:55 AM



4 posts since 6/6/2020

This is really helpful all. Thanks very much.

Bob Smakula -- You say the holes in the aftermarket knobs won't fit the Gold Tone tuners. Do you know what diameter the tuners that come on an MM-150 are? (that's the model of Gold Tone that I have). I'm just wondering if I want to get a whole new set of machines themselves -- not just the buttons -- if the new machines would fig snug in the existing peg head holes.

I looked at the specs for the MM-150, but it doesn't say what the diameter of the machines are through the peg head holes.

Thanks again everyone. I really appreciate the input and advice.

All the best,

Jun 8, 2020 - 9:09:15 AM

2191 posts since 4/7/2010

Sorry, I can not help you with specs on Gold Tone products. You should ask them directly. I know they are different than industry standards as I have had customers try to fit the knobs I sell (mine fit Gotoh, ABM, 5-star, Waverly, and a few others) on their Gold Tone tuners and they have the issues I described in my first post on the thread.

Bob Smakula

Jun 8, 2020 - 1:51:27 PM

2509 posts since 4/16/2003

My opinion only, but might be easier to find a low-cost set of new tuners and replace them entirely...

Jun 8, 2020 - 5:28:26 PM

10727 posts since 10/27/2006

To the OP,

Although I posted links to metal-buttoned Grovers, that's not the same as recommending them.

I'd get a quality set of GOTOH from Bob Smakula. The stock plastic knobs are fine but he does have alternate knobs available such as the ones he supplied for a custom Recording King known as Green Thing



Jun 8, 2020 - 5:47:11 PM

10727 posts since 10/27/2006


As I got them from Bob. Couldn't find that picture the first time.

Edited by - mikehalloran on 06/08/2020 17:48:53

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