I searched high & low for a suitable, vintage-looking 5th tuner for an 1890 banjo. This is the best I found (e.g., with relatively thin, untapered plug, although I can't find a "vintage" tightening screw). The four other tuners will go on my next cigarbox project.
The StewMac ivoroid knob ($0.88) can be made to fit perfectly with a few strokes of a file. (File the plastic, not the brass if possible.)
These are "guitar style" 14:1 ratio tuners with a 5th string friction tuner. I used these on an Old Vega folk style banjo that had been retrofitted with friction tuners that were budget grade, hard to tune and didn't stay in tune. I could tell by the back of the headstock that the original tuners where similar to the #5017's.
The install was easy. I had to dowel the 5th string hole and re-bore.
The spec sheet on this website helped with the proper drill bit size for the re-bore. I added a drop or two of "crazy glue" to the 5th string tuner and it set up fast and functions perfect.
Tuned up the banjo and it stays in tune very nicely. Why did I go with 14:1 guitar style tuners? Quick answer, I don't change tunings much or change tunings on the fly so I don't require 4:1 ratio's.
The 14:1's come up to tune at increments allowing for very precise tuning and stay there. These are nicely finished and are functioning very well indeed. Thanks StewMac for a good quality tuner set at a great price! It is the perfect refreshment project and brings this old Vega back to the original configuration.
I use a lot of these for my cigar box banjos. Overall, a great product, particularly the 5th string peg, with its no-reaming-required straight sides. Also, for a friction peg, it's smoother in operation than others I've used. The four geared tuners work smoothly, too, and have held up well for years. I only wish they'd replace those big, ugly plastic bushings with simple metal ones, which I currently have to buy separately (Stew-Mac #0733).
I wasn't expecting a whole lot with these. They are "economy" after all. For the most part they work fine but on one of them the actual peg doesn't always catch with the gear and so that makes it a bit tricky. It's nothing you can't live with, shoot the whole instrument is "economy" anyway but I probably wouldn't put them on anything special.
I needed a set of tuners for an old budget banjo. The client was just trying to restore it to playable condition without spending much money. The original tuners were completely shot. After installing the "economy" tuners the banjo stays in tune and the pearl buttons added a nice touch.
Thanks for a quality replacement part that doesn't break the bank.
Inexpensive. Fit perfectly. Work fine. Saved me a bundle and did the same job. They are not for Stellings or Gibsons, but for Asian trading stock banjos, PERFECT.
They sure were cheap, and they work just fine.
Great alternative to pricey tuners, that work great
I like these a lot, they surely got me Banjo back on track from wore out ones fer sher.
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