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Mar 3, 2024 - 10:31:38 AM
5 posts since 7/7/2020

I acquired an old Supertone Tenor Banjo. Having trouble tuning. Thinking of replacing tuning pegs. Any suggestions? Banjo is in pretty good condition. I tried tightening tension screws on pegs. Not having much success. Is this banjo worth fooling with?

Thank you

Mar 3, 2024 - 11:06:54 AM
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3300 posts since 3/30/2008

These are very decent intermediate instruments, made by Harmony, c. 1920-30's.  It's possible that the tuners have dug a bit into the wood & are bottoming out. Try putting a washer between the tuner & wood to give some room to tighten the screw.


Edited by - tdennis on 03/03/2024 11:11:21

Mar 3, 2024 - 1:27:20 PM

5 posts since 7/7/2020

Thank you for that tip

Mar 3, 2024 - 2:17:11 PM

782 posts since 5/29/2015

The washer trick involves putting a washer between the back of the tuner and the wood on the back side of the peghead. I use fiber (often red color) washers--usually two. If the washer is necessary you will see an indention in the wood from the metal base of the tuner around the hole on the back of the headstock. If there is no indentation, than installing a slightly longer screw may work as the problem may be due to a shrinking tuning button. Screw size is 4-40 typically but not always. I cant remember the washer size--I bought a lifetime supply and have forgotten the number. It should be the same outside diameter as the metal base of the tuner.

Mar 3, 2024 - 2:33:04 PM

5649 posts since 5/29/2011

Supertone was a store brand. The banjos were built by Harmony, Slingerland, Stromberg-Voisinet, Rettberg & Lange, and maybe others.
If the suggestions that have been made don't work, get in touch with Bob Smakula. He has old tuners from the Supertone era that will drop in place. Or you may be open to replacing the tuners with geared ones.

Edited by - Culloden on 03/03/2024 14:41:30

Mar 3, 2024 - 3:44:58 PM
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3524 posts since 4/7/2010

As tenor banjos use steel strings, I recommend upgrading to a set of planetary geared tuners. Tuning will be a lot less frustrating.

Bob Smakula

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