I wasn't sure where to post this, but it says it's collectible so chose collectors corner.
Just idle curiosity really as I have never come across one before. What advantage does it bring?
(Usual disclaimer, no connection etc)
Earl Scruggs used these to create that sound that he had on songs like Earls Breakdown and others. They are also called D-Tuners. Basically they have a stop in them to allow you to quickly turn it and change to a different note on that string. You then can go back to the original tuning very quickly.
Ah, that makes sense. Thanks.
They can be set to go up or down but most people use them to go down from G to D. There are several types of D-tuners and these need minimal re-setting after string changes. Others like Keith tuners have to start from scratch at a base line and set the stop from there. I find the Chear-a-keys the best for me with the least amount of effects on the visual of my peg head.
Cheat-a-Keys have several advantages for people who use D tuners.
1) They can be installed without making any permanent alteration to the peghead like cam style tuners.
2) They can easily be uninstalled and leave no trace behind.
3) They achieve their purpose by adjusting the length of stop.
4) You can change to other tunings outside the parameter of the stops without having to unlock stop screws like on Keith tuners.
5) They work smoothly.
6) They both turn the same direction.
The one downside that some people have with them is that they are rather clunky looking, and they can cover the fancy pearl inlay on the peghead. But it depends on whether you value form over function. Some people, me included, like them because they work well. The set in your ad lists them for 106 Lbs. Sterling. That is the equivalent of $128 U.S. Even though they are slightly used, that's not a bad price.
Edited by - Culloden on 07/03/2022 09:28:42
Slightly afield, but to my mind it's a treasure -- and the only slightly relevant part is from 0:06 to 0:12: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icWkyedURkM
I have heard of D tuners but never really knew what they were. I can see these make sense for a stage performer, saving time and faf. Thanks for the reply's.
Lots of hobbyist bluegrass picker use "D tuner" or "Scruggs tuners", to play the variety of tunes that were recorded using them. Earl's Breakdown, Flint Hill Special, Foggy Mt. Chimes, and several more. The McCormack Brothers recorded several original instruments using D tuners. Tony Trischka also some nice original tunes using Scruggs tuners.
Lots of people feel they're a must to get the full "feel" of Home Sweet Home in open D tuning (where you the tuners to go "up" to regular G tuning, then back "down" to D tuning.
One point of caution about buying a set of Cheat a Keys --- they come in two different widths, to fit different width pegheads. You have to check first!
I bought a banjo with a set of Cheat a Keys on it and I took them off and sold them. Replaced them with Keith-Scruggs tuners (the best).
Interesting, I took my Keith tuners off and sold them, then replaced them with a pair of Cheat-a-Keys.
Just for the fun of it, I added cheat-a-keys to one of my banjos that also sports Keith tuners (as do all my bluegrass banjos). I wanted to see what sort of pedal-steel weirdness I could come up with. After fooling around with the tuners for a while, I am removing them and reverting to the Keith tuners. As Dick said, they are the best. In my humble opinion, of course, your mileage may vary, and so on.
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