Please Help Me Find a FINE TUNER!

Edited: May 28, 2018, 6:37 PM · Here is a picture of a similar violin to mine:

I currently only have the original, gold E-fine tuner, and NEED AN A FINE TUNER, however don't want the bulky and amateurish-looking fine tuner seen here:


What are my options?

Replies (14)

May 28, 2018, 5:05 PM · Most ball end strings can be made into loop end strings by popping out the ball with a thumbtack or clothespin
Edited: May 28, 2018, 7:02 PM · You have an EPG A string? Your best option is to learn to tune using the peg. Everything else represents a tonal compromise, especially if you're not willing to use a tailpiece designed for people who need an A fine tuner (like people using steel strings).
May 28, 2018, 7:30 PM · Ms. Lydia, Could I remove the ball and use a gold Hill Tuner?
May 28, 2018, 7:30 PM · Ms. Lydia, Could I remove the ball and use a gold Hill Tuner?
Edited: May 29, 2018, 12:00 AM · NOPE! That's a no go!
EPGs have a core made of synthetic fibres. Synthetic fibres can bear tremendous loads in longitudinal direction. But they react very delicately to a force in transversal direction to the fibres. Especially when that force is transferred to the fibre by a sharp edge, which will be the case at the hook of a hill style fine tuner, the fibre will break. That's why strings with a core made of synthetic fibres allways have a ball end and never a loop end.
Hill style tuners are intended only for strings with a steel core.

An appropriate solution for you will be a "Bogaro and Clemente" type tuner. These are available in 2 flavours: the original one made out of carbon fibre and a copy of this one made out of titanium alloy by stradpet.

Sometimes the hole in the ball of a ball end string is big enough that the ball can be hooked up on a hill style tuner by this hole. But not every ball has a hole big enough to fit the hook. So if you are willing to experiment you can try that.

May 28, 2018, 10:18 PM · I would just learn to use the peg to tune.
May 28, 2018, 10:23 PM · Use one of these.

Edited: May 29, 2018, 12:10 PM · Wittner makes a type which is a little like the Hill-style, but has a forked end which will hold a ball. (Looks like this, although the photo doesn't make the forked end very clear.)

Many shops carry them, or should be able to get them. (my wholesaler carries them) so even a shop that doesn't keep them in stock should be able to have one in within a few days.

Edited: May 29, 2018, 1:05 PM · @ David Burgess
As you write this "Midget" type of fine tuner is similar to the "wittner uni string adjuster". Both can be seen in the recent thread:

There is an experience report about that device in this thread:

posted by Brian Lee at April 19, 2011 at 03:06 AM as a followup to a question of Robson Alfieri. (The photos which where placed in that two posts showing exactly these two fine tuners had disappeared meanwhile.)
That experience report by Brian Lee is not exactly a positive one.

Personally I recall a discussion with my luthier about different types of fine tuners where we both came to a similar conclusion in respect to the wittner uni string adjuster as Brian Lee does.

That's why I didn't dare to recommend this type of fine tuner.

Edited: May 29, 2018, 1:53 PM · Jose, sorry, but as a full-time professional luthier for over 40 years, I guess I'm not comprehending what some purported major issue is with this fine-tuner, unless someone doesn't like the appearance. If you could state it more directly and in a less covert manner, I'd be in a better position to respond.
May 29, 2018, 5:14 PM · Sorry, no harm was intended. Please give me some space to become explicit:

What I coutiously want to call attention to is, that this type of string adjuster can cause trouble when it's used thoughtlessly. That's true for most devices, especially for string adjusters, but for this special adjuster the cause for the trouble is less obvious as I will show.

The problem is design related. When you start turning in the adjusting screw with the lever at surface level of the tailpiece and continue to turn in the adjusting screw as far as possible, the lever of this adjuster rises the end of the attached string by several millimeters above the surface of the tailpiece.
Marginal note:
The hill style adjusters also do that, but the difference between the lowest and the highest point of the string end is smaller. The same is true even more for stable type tuners. Goetz type adjusters avoid that problem completely by keeping the string in contact with the saddle of the tailpiece.
End of marginal note.
The lifting of the end of the string results in a component of the overall force that pushes downwards on the tailpiece. The higher the string end is above the surface of the tailpiece, the bigger is the force pushing down on the tailpiece. Since the adjuster is never in the center of the tailpiece this force causes a torque. That torque must be counteracted by an equal torque in the opposite direction which only can be generated by the other strings.
Now that is the salient point: tuning a string by this adjuster with the lever in a high position has an influence on the other strings.
It depends on the magnitude of several parameters if this influence is mentionable. But as I learnd by example it >IS< possible to find a combination of parameter values so that this influence makes effect. In that case it's impossible to tune the fiddle properly by the fine tuner.

Up to now nothing severe has happend. Just bring down the lever of the tuner to the surface level of the tailpiece and tune the corresponding string with the peg and everything is fine again. You in fact can use the string adjuster for tuning again. But to be able doing that you have at first to understand what's going on. So a human factor rules the central question: "Has every violinist properly done his physics to get to the bottom of that particularised problem when it strucks him?"

I leave the answer to the more as 40 years of your experience.

May 29, 2018, 5:39 PM · Change the tailpiece to one with built-in tuners.
May 29, 2018, 5:39 PM · Change the tailpiece to one with built-in tuners.
May 30, 2018, 3:03 AM · Thanks for the description, Jose. I generally don't find variations in the height of a string over the tailpiece to be problematic. The net force of the four strings over the bridge (downforce) remains about the same.

What I've found to be more significant are the variations in afterlenth which will occur with most fine tuners. For best sound and playability, there is typically an optimal position for the fine tuner, where adjusting the tuner in either direction will take the afterlength out of the "sweet spot".

As you mentioned, the Goetz type adjusters don't vary the afterlength much, but because of that, they also don't allow easy experimentation to find that sweet spot, or easy adjustment to get it back if it is lost.

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