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Nov 27, 2022 - 8:14:29 AM
3 posts since 11/27/2022

The primary benefit these tuners offer is a 10:1 tuning ratio but does anyone know why the fifth string peg included with each set doesn’t use the cycloidal gear system?

Nov 27, 2022 - 8:18:11 AM

ChunoTheDog

Canada

2038 posts since 8/9/2019

Why not ask the company

Nov 27, 2022 - 8:27:06 AM
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715 posts since 1/28/2011

The fifth string is a shorter string, tuned to a higher pitch (tighter string) and the spool on the tuner is a larger diameter than the other four tuners. It takes very little movement of the tuner to change the pitch of the fifth string.

Nov 27, 2022 - 8:31:39 AM

3 posts since 11/27/2022

quote:
Originally posted by ChunoTheDog

Why not ask the company


I have asked. Still waiting for reply. Just thought there might be an obvious explanation that hangout members might know of. I'm relatively new to banjo and thinking of upgrading my tuners

Nov 27, 2022 - 8:43:46 AM
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Players Union Member

Dlye

Canada

44 posts since 3/5/2018

I may well be wrong but my understanding is that Richard use a Gotoh tuner for the 5th string.

Nov 27, 2022 - 8:58:52 AM

martyjoe

Ireland

241 posts since 3/24/2020

I prefer the Steinbergers but that’s just me. They give a ratio of 40 to 1.

Nov 27, 2022 - 9:08:27 AM
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2017 posts since 2/9/2007

The same reason Gotoh, Five Star, etc. sets have 4 planetary pegs, and a worm-geared 5th peg.

If you've ever used a 5-Star planetary 5th peg, you'll know that an in-line thumb string peg with a cylindrical gearbox on it is no less clunky-looking than a worm-geared peg, more likely to break a string, and much trickier to re-string.

Nov 27, 2022 - 9:10:50 AM
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715 posts since 1/28/2011

quote:
Originally posted by latigo1

The fifth string is a shorter string, tuned to a higher pitch (tighter string) and the spool on the tuner is a larger diameter than the other four tuners.  Geared 5th string tuners are about 13 to one ratio. It takes very little movement of the tuner to change the pitch of the fifth string.


Nov 27, 2022 - 9:23:43 AM
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1020 posts since 3/23/2006

It's a Gotoh (confirmed to me by Rickard), so if you are changing tuners, you only need 4 if you have a Gotoh or other brand that you like for your 5th string. I have one banjo with a 5-star 5th string tuner. Unlike Dan, I think that it looks better -- no accounting of taste -- but it is a pain to change the string (long-nose pliers sometimes needed). I don't prefer its looks enough to have more than one.

Nov 27, 2022 - 10:02:36 AM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

26689 posts since 6/25/2005

Going back to the Kroll tuners, the worm-gear 5th tuner provides a similar high ratio to the Rickards, at distinctly lower cost. There was no need to develop an alternative—especially one that would not be price-competitive.

Nov 27, 2022 - 10:18 AM
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2702 posts since 9/18/2010

quote:
Originally posted by Gemyjo

The primary benefit these tuners offer is a 10:1 tuning ratio...


To me the primary benefit is quality and smoothness. I'm not a big fan of the 10:1 ratio. (I've used 4:1 tuners for 40 years and I like them just fine, thank you very much.)

Nov 27, 2022 - 10:19:59 AM
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ChunoTheDog

Canada

2038 posts since 8/9/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Gemyjo
quote:
Originally posted by ChunoTheDog

Why not ask the company


I have asked. Still waiting for reply. Just thought there might be an obvious explanation that hangout members might know of. I'm relatively new to banjo and thinking of upgrading my tuners


They're nice. Very accurate tuning. I had them on my Gold Star. 

Nov 27, 2022 - 11:35:09 AM
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236 posts since 12/7/2007

I recall another thread re the relative tuning ratios of various 5th string tuners. And, as mentioned above, it also indicated the Gotoh tuner that Rickard includes in the five tuner sets, already has a quite high tuning ratio. I, as Mr Rogers said, thus assumed that base was already covered.

Edited by - srrobertsiii on 11/27/2022 11:44:20

Nov 27, 2022 - 1:08:37 PM
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3221 posts since 2/18/2009

I have installed a couple of sets of the Rickard Cyclone tuners on custom banjos, and they seem very nice. There is not as much difference in tuning speed as I has expected, because the tuner post is larger in diameter than the ones on the Gotoh planetaries I normally use. Gotoh 5th tuners are used with these sets and 5 Star 5th tuners are also Gotohs with a decorative star added, or were last I knew.

Nov 27, 2022 - 2:49:24 PM

982 posts since 2/17/2005

5 stars have always been are made by Stewmac - they have a standard d shaft not the smaller shafts used on Asian made Gotohs

Nov 27, 2022 - 5:45:10 PM

RV6

USA

1479 posts since 2/3/2012

I ordered four Cyclone tuner's from Stew-Mac a few months ago.   Two of the four were defective.   One tuner was missing the spike on the body that keeps the tuner from turning in the headstock.   On the other one, the post was cocked over hard against the body.   IOW, it wasn't centered and the post would have had to be forced to center so the threaded nut on top could contact the bottom threads and be tightened down. 

I returned them.    Stew-Mac wouldn't pay return shipping so I paid the $10.00.   Not a large amount of money but pretty danged chintzy.     They said that, had I sent the defective ones back and traded them for a new set, that the shipping would be free.   I told them that I didn't really want to take a chance on getting more defective tuners and having to pay more dollars to ship some more tuners back.   A 50% failure rate is just not acceptable.   I put the Gotoh's back on.   I forgot the old adage,  "If it's not broke, don't fix it."

Nov 28, 2022 - 4:40:09 AM
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3186 posts since 4/7/2010
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I installed a set of Rickard Cyclone tuners on a guitar banjo a few months ago. One of the 6 was defective. As I purchased them from Stew-Mac, I contacted the Athens, Ohio firm and one new matching tuning peg was mailed promptly. They did not want the defective one returned.

Bob Smakula

Nov 28, 2022 - 6:48:19 AM
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Players Union Member

thor363

USA

102 posts since 12/12/2021

quote:
Originally posted by Bob Smakula

I installed a set of Rickard Cyclone tuners on a guitar banjo a few months ago. One of the 6 was defective. As I purchased them from Stew-Mac, I contacted the Athens, Ohio firm and one new matching tuning peg was mailed promptly. They did not want the defective one returned.

Bob Smakula


Agreed that their customer service is impeccable.

I have a similar story, but the cosmetic damage I caused was fixed quickly and free which blew me away.

Of course, I can say the same about you Bob. Amazing service!

Nov 28, 2022 - 8:04:54 AM
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47 posts since 11/28/2017

I've had a set of Rickard tuners on my main banjo for about two years now, and for me the real advantage has been that I can go smoothly to whatever note I'm aiming for, without having to tune flat and then inch up bit by bit until the right note is in place. This has been a decades-long problem for me with several different brands of tuners, but with the Rickard tuners I'm getting the right notes dialed in quickly. It's made it more comfortable for me to switch tunings in the middle of a jam.

I was interested to hear that some folks prefer 4:1 tuners rather than the 10:1 tuners. I haven't perceived any significant difference in tuning with these tuners. Maybe I've just gotten used to them, but if that's the case the adjustment time was really minimal.

Nov 28, 2022 - 4:24:59 PM

RV6

USA

1479 posts since 2/3/2012

quote:
Originally posted by Bob Smakula

I installed a set of Rickard Cyclone tuners on a guitar banjo a few months ago. One of the 6 was defective. As I purchased them from Stew-Mac, I contacted the Athens, Ohio firm and one new matching tuning peg was mailed promptly. They did not want the defective one returned.

Bob Smakula


The story of two different "Bob's"smiley

I've done very little business with S-M over the last 10 years.  No big deal to me one way or another.  I might be the only person they've every handled in this manner.   Pretty poor business practices, IMO.

Funny thing is, I didn't need the tuners.   I've spent most of my time playing the fiddle over the last three years.  The Gotoh's I bought from you, Bob, work just fine on my two banjos.  I'd read a lot about the development of the Rickard tuners and respected Bill's efforts and thought I'd give an (unknown to him) thumbs up for his innovation and hard work.  

Nov 29, 2022 - 6:09:15 AM

15095 posts since 6/29/2005

I've installed several sets of them, always with a Gotoh or similar 5th tuner.  Never any problems, and people seem to really like the slow ratio of the cyclone tuners.

Stewmac, though, has now become impossible to order from unless you do it online—and you simply can't call them on the phone or order anything from their site unless you have a user name and password—you can't order on their site as a "guest".  I don't know what their strategy is.

Nov 29, 2022 - 8:47:21 AM

2702 posts since 9/18/2010

Yes, I've had to nearly abandon business with Stewmac also, although I still occasionally order through someone I know who has an account when I can't find what I need elsewhere.

Dec 9, 2022 - 1:58:21 PM

Fathand

Canada

12090 posts since 2/7/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Gitfiddle Emporium

5 stars have always been are made by Stewmac - they have a standard d shaft not the smaller shafts used on Asian made Gotohs


My 5 Star inline 5th tuner shaft is only about 1/8" diameter and is a bit fussy to change.

Dec 9, 2022 - 4:42:24 PM

26 posts since 7/23/2016

I recently received my second set of Rickard high ratio tuners. I like the smoothness of them, the fine adjustment and that you can tune down with them to get the right pitch of a note.
I believe they are developing their own high ratio 5th string tuner at this time.

Dec 11, 2022 - 7:32:47 AM
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234 posts since 1/7/2019

I tried them and really couldn't tell enough of a difference in tuning speed or accuracy to justify the price over standard tuners. I ended up selling them. They are quality tuners but so are many others.

YMMV.

Jeff

Dec 14, 2022 - 10:06:23 PM

12477 posts since 10/27/2006

quote:
Originally posted by lowerstackmac

I recently received my second set of Rickard high ratio tuners. I like the smoothness of them, the fine adjustment and that you can tune down with them to get the right pitch of a note.
I believe they are developing their own high ratio 5th string tuner at this time.


No reason why they should.

Gotoh 5th string gears are 8:1 last I checked. So are most others.

I have a set of the Rickard on my left handed mystery long neck. The 5th is a Schaller that I ordered from Bob Smakula that he changed to lefty for me. Tuners are probably worth more than the rest of the banjo but they work great for me.

Edited by - mikehalloran on 12/14/2022 22:07:02

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