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Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs

Murray MacLeod 27 Mar 09 - 06:32 AM
Sugwash 27 Mar 09 - 06:44 AM
maeve 27 Mar 09 - 06:54 AM
Jack Campin 27 Mar 09 - 07:05 AM
Will Fly 27 Mar 09 - 07:21 AM
Murray MacLeod 27 Mar 09 - 07:45 AM
meself 27 Mar 09 - 08:28 AM
GUEST,Gerry 27 Mar 09 - 06:19 PM
GUEST,iancarterb 27 Mar 09 - 09:40 PM
JohnInKansas 27 Mar 09 - 10:20 PM
JohnInKansas 27 Mar 09 - 10:55 PM
maeve 28 Mar 09 - 01:47 AM
Ross Campbell 28 Mar 09 - 01:49 AM
JohnInKansas 28 Mar 09 - 08:01 AM
Mark Ross 28 Mar 09 - 03:03 PM
GUEST,Ebor_fiddler 28 Mar 09 - 07:28 PM
Sorcha 28 Mar 09 - 07:31 PM
JohnInKansas 28 Mar 09 - 07:51 PM
JohnInKansas 28 Mar 09 - 08:04 PM
meself 28 Mar 09 - 08:28 PM
JohnInKansas 28 Mar 09 - 09:52 PM
meself 28 Mar 09 - 11:27 PM
JohnInKansas 29 Mar 09 - 12:44 AM
Murray MacLeod 29 Mar 09 - 04:18 AM
maeve 29 Mar 09 - 04:37 PM
BanjoRay 30 Mar 09 - 08:26 AM
Murray MacLeod 30 Mar 09 - 08:56 AM
Jacob B 30 Mar 09 - 11:08 AM
EBarnacle 30 Mar 09 - 12:46 PM
Murray MacLeod 30 Mar 09 - 12:51 PM
Murray MacLeod 30 Mar 09 - 01:15 PM
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Subject: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 06:32 AM

I am no fiddler, although I have accompanied plenty, and I am indebted to my erstwhile playing partner Elizabeth Crisfield for drawing my attention to these "PEGHED" tuning pegs.

I have searched several of the relevant threads here but cannot find any mention of them hitherto.

My question is, why, when these are available, would anybody want to retain the old-style pegs ?

( Unless of course they own a Stradivarius or Guarnerius where the value of the instrument is the overriding concern).


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Subject: RE: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: Sugwash
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 06:44 AM

They certainly look intriguing. Glen Titmus mentioned them in the latest edition of Fiddle On magazine, the way he was talking it sounds like the peg holes may have to be reamed out to fit the geared pegs. But if it did away with the tail adjusters, wow.


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Subject: RE: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: maeve
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 06:54 AM

This looks interesting. The website information claims that the PEGHEAD pegs can easily be replaced by regular wooden pegs if one doesn't like the new style.


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Subject: RE: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 07:05 AM

Are they anchored on both sides, or does one side of the head take all the tension?


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Subject: RE: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 07:21 AM

They look very interesting - and tempting - I'm just curious about the weight and whether they would make any appreciable difference to the balance of the instrument.

Must contact the Pehgeads people and find out...


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Subject: RE: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 07:45 AM

the "barrel" of the PEGHED is anchored on both sides of the head, so the tension is distributed equally as per a conventional peg.

the website doesn't go into excessive technical detail, but I would be surprised if most of the moving parts were not made of titanium, so the weight would be pretty much the same as standard ebony pegs.


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Subject: RE: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: meself
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 08:28 AM

These look like the pegs that came with my Knelling-made fiddle but I'm too lazy to get up and check. Same idea though, geared and all that. They are wonderful.


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Subject: RE: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 06:19 PM

He made fiddle pegs of her little finger bones
Oh the wind and rain
He made fiddle pegs of her little finger bones
Oh the dreadful wind and rain


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Subject: RE: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: GUEST,iancarterb
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 09:40 PM

When that verse was new there were no titanium joints, much less fingers!


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Subject: RE: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 10:20 PM

But does using banjo tuners on your fiddle make it sound like a banjo?

The geared tuner has been around for quite a long time, and I've heard several people talk about adapting it to other instruments; but with this exception - so far as I know - it's been just "talk."

Nicely done to preserve the look of traditional friction tuners.

They'd really be a nice touch on a lap dulcimer if they can stand the slightly higher string tension range. And are they available for other fiddle-family instruments like viola, cello, etc.? I don't see any indication of anything other than violin at the web site, although I didn't poke deeply.

John


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Subject: RE: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 10:55 PM

A posting at bach_bowed back in 2005 says:

When I bought these they were $159. (At a music conference in Knilling rep said the price increased to $179). Regardless, I don't need 5 extra sets so I will sell each set for only $100 plus $5 for shipping and I will accept PayPal or personal check. These are for 4/4 size cellos.

Unless they've come down some since, the price is twice the price of my fiddle, and 1/3 of a very good lap dulcie; but they might be worthwhile if you really wanted them. (And they may be much cheaper now.)

There's a link to "Installation" at the Peghead site that shows the innards of the things (although the picture is low-res). IMO - based on abstracts of the patent only - this should not have been granted a patent, as it's just a not-too-original application of 300 year old (patented and expired) gear designs; but there's a lot of that goin' round, and patents are the province of lawyers, not mechanics.

John


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Subject: RE: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: maeve
Date: 28 Mar 09 - 01:47 AM

JohnInKansas- FYI
"And are they available for other fiddle-family instruments like viola, cello, etc.? I don't see any indication of anything other than violin at the web site, although I didn't poke deeply."
********************************
From the Peghead site:

Coming soon...
You will soon be able to download detailed installation instructions in PDF format below:

13mm CELLO (PDF file not yet available)
11mm CELLO (PDF file not yet available)
9mm VIOLA (PDF file not yet available)
7mm VIOLIN (PDF file not yet available)
7mm GUITAR (PDF file not yet available)


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Subject: RE: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 28 Mar 09 - 01:49 AM

Neil Brook, hurdy-gurdy maker of Preston, Lancashire, can supply these in the UK. £12.50 each plus postage. Can't find any USA prices.

http://www.hurdy-gurdy.org.uk/pegheds.html

Ross


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Subject: RE: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Mar 09 - 08:01 AM

maeve - Thanks for the note. I saw the "coming soon" section a little after I posted wondering if the other sizes are available. Also note that the ones for sale in the next post are cello size.

I'm not sure what the exchange rate is now but a package of four @ £12.50 would be £50 ~ probably not far from the $100(US) the guy at back_bowed was offering them for in 2005, and not far from a typical set of banjo tuners(?).

John


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Subject: RE: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: Mark Ross
Date: 28 Mar 09 - 03:03 PM

David Gusset here in Eugene, Oregon installed a set of geared pegs on my fiddle when he restored it after I bought at the flea market for 55 bucks. I love them, It makes using other tunings so damn simple. Higholy recommended.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: GUEST,Ebor_fiddler
Date: 28 Mar 09 - 07:28 PM

But why bother, when tried and tested work Ok? "As is" is also considerably cheaper (I am a Yorkshireman after all)!


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Subject: RE: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: Sorcha
Date: 28 Mar 09 - 07:31 PM

I am pretty sure these were around when I was in High Scool, or thereabouts. Say, 40 years ago? I don't think they are all that 'new'.


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Subject: RE: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Mar 09 - 07:51 PM

Sorcha -

The patent is dated 1999, I believe, and the post at back_bowed indicates that the poster bought several sets of "Knilling's Perfection Pegs" that appear to be identical sometime prior to 2005 ("too long ago to return them").

Geared banjo pegs, using the identical "theory" but with bulky, clumsy, ugly design more appropriate to banjos, have been around since at least the 1930s I believe, although I haven't done any research to find when they first became common.

I've seen a few guitars using "banjo tuners" and of course they're on quite a few lap dulicimers. The "fiddle style" would be a nice touch on a dulcie; but I don't think I've seen any using them. It would be difficult to tell from a distance if a dulcimer with "fiddle style pegs" had the geared ones.

The "gearing" is essentially the same as is found in the "nose" of most electric hand drills, if someone would like to take one of those apart to see just how simple the construction can be.

You can also disassemble your sewing machine if you'd like to see how the rotor pitch control on a helicopter works - it's the same "mechanism" that controls the width of a zig-zag stitch, at least in older style sewing machines. (There are no "modern" helicopters with digital controls that I've heard of.)

John


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Subject: RE: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Mar 09 - 08:04 PM

Knilling's Perfection Pegs.

Apparently the same design, although the "patent" isn't mentioned.

Autorun videos at the site, and you'll have to enable popups to get to the price list, but an "add $60" for violin or viola, and "add $100" for cello indicates that the price is a little cheaper than in 2005, perhaps, alhtough that may be a "factory discount" for getting them as original equipment on a new instrument.

John


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Subject: RE: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: meself
Date: 28 Mar 09 - 08:28 PM

I have an old fiddle that had old geared pegs when I bought it. I don't know what the difference is between the old ones and the Knillings - other than that the Knillings look like ordinary everyday pegs, while the old ones have little metal doo-hickey thingamajigs (perhaps they are widgets?) sticking out. And the Knillings are smoother and easier to use - but that may simply be because they ARE newer.


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Subject: RE: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Mar 09 - 09:52 PM

meself -

Are they perhaps just banjo tuners that someone added?

I have seen quite a variety of instruments "converted" to use them. The usual objection for fiddles is that they're a bit heavier than the traditional friction pegs, so they throw the balance off a bit.

Banjo string tension may be a little higher than for a fiddle, and the longer strings need a little more room for "windup" so they tend to be larger than other designs.

There's no real reason for the Peghead or Knilling geared pegs to be significantly heavier than an "ebony" friction peg, since the center "rack" pin is the only thing that really (probably) needs to be metal, and it's only a couple of millimeters in diameter - about an 8-penny nail size, perhaps. Even if the "planets" are made of metal, they're only about the size of a healthy toe-nail clipping.

While the 4 to 1 gear ratio is about right for accurate tuning, that's also about the minimum ratio that's effective for resisting "back-driving" of the gears, so that the strings should stay in tune without significant help from other "sticky features."

The (usually) smaller banjo 5th string geared pegs are available at 7 or 8 to 1 ratios, which might fit better into a fiddle but require "a whole lot of winding" to get the slack out.

I've seen an advertisement (more like a brag) about a "shiftable" geared peg. When you push in on the knob, the string shaft is engaged directly to give you a 1 to 1 ratio for quick windup, but when you release it, a little spring pushes it out of direct engagement and the torque goes through a planetary at something like 4 or 5 to 1. (So far I haven't seen a turboglide or dynaflow one - only the manual shift kind.)

Too fancy for me, but they were advertised for banjos and those guys are all nutty anyway (at least the one(s) in my family).

John


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Subject: RE: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: meself
Date: 28 Mar 09 - 11:27 PM

Well, they could be banjo tuners - I don't see anything in those pics that look exactly like them, but they're similar. That fiddle is in another city, and I haven't looked at it in quite a while ...


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Subject: RE: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 29 Mar 09 - 12:44 AM

I don't suppose it matters what name you give them, as long as they work well enough to stay in tune. Appearance could be deceptive even with them at hand, since the knobs/buttons can be of about any color and shape you want; although banjo players all seem to favor white MoT (mother of toilet seat) Mother of Pearl(?).

John


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Subject: RE: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 29 Mar 09 - 04:18 AM

From the PEGHEDS Website ...

"PEGHEDS? have a brake mechanism with variable friction. Push in to increase resistance, pull out to decrease; exactly like a traditional wood peg."

IMHO, the guy deserves his patent just for having been able to incorporate all this technology into something which actually looks like a violin peg rather than resembling a high-tech prosthetic limb.


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Subject: RE: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: maeve
Date: 29 Mar 09 - 04:37 PM

I agree. These are different from any of the geared violin tuners I've seen. I'd love to have a closer look.

maeve


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Subject: RE: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: BanjoRay
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 08:26 AM

I've tried a fiddle with a set of these in Mount Airy festival. They are superb. They don't make the fiddle unbalanced - I could detect no difference, but the ease of retuning the fiddle was wonderful.
Ray


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Subject: RE: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 08:56 AM

... "Subject: RE: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: GUEST,Ebor_fiddler - PM
Date: 28 Mar 09 - 07:28 PM

But why bother, when tried and tested work Ok? "As is" is also considerably cheaper (I am a Yorkshireman after all)!
...

That's right.

And what about these newfangled round wheels they use on carts nowadays ?

Nowt wrong with the old square ones, at least you could stop on hills with them.

Eh ba goom.


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Subject: RE: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: Jacob B
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 11:08 AM

When I saw the title of this thread, I thought someone was asking what kind of fiddle tuning pegs would have been used during the Revolutionary War!

And that answers the question of why some people would want old style tuning pegs: to be period correct.


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Subject: RE: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: EBarnacle
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 12:46 PM

John, I have spent most of the last three months researching a patent to avoid potential infringements. I find it interesting to observe how many variations there are on a given theme.

The principle behind patents is based upon several factors.

First, a new device; as you have stated, planetary gears are old news. On the other hand, if the specific application has not occurred it is potentially patentable.

Second, the device or idea must no already be being sold by someone else: This is why if I told you about my patent, I would have to kill you to prevent you from putting it on the market before I do.

Third, it must not be obvious: Even if the idea has been around for centuries, if no one else has actually done it, down to the details such as the brake or variable gearing] the application is patentable.

One of the principles of patent writing is to make the application as broad as possible in order to cover as many variations of the idea as possible. This will create as much of a field as one application can. The classic example is the Edison movie camera. Edison patented the movie camera around 1900 and tried to monopolize the industry by patenting every detail of the device. For quite a while everyone had to rent cameras from him if they wished to make a movie. Edison drove a lot of people out of business. Finally, someone came up with a variation that allowed him to break the patent and allow the film industry to grow into what we know today.

Had Edison been really smart, he would have licensed his idea to potential competitors.


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Subject: RE: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 12:51 PM

you've lost me there, Jacob.

you mean like some kind of historical re-enactment, dressing up in wigs and costumes and stuff ?


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Subject: RE: Revolutionary fiddle tuning pegs
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 01:15 PM

The Shubb capo is also an example of an invention which derives from a centuries old principle (that of the toggle clamp, which was in existence in Greek and Roman times) but it took the innovative genius of Rick Shubb to translate it into a capo, for which he was deservedly granted a patent.


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