Mystery pegs, and what kind of pegs could I use to replace them...?

March 7, 2014 at 05:59 PM · Hello everyone. I have had my current violin for almost a year now and the pegs drive me crazy. They keep slipping in hot weather conditions, and it is a nightmare to wind strings on them, particularly on the G string, where I have to entirely remove the D and G before installing a new G. The hole is completely misaligned and I have to wind the silk at least twice on the wrong side before crossing over so that it catches properly on the peg wall. In short I've had enough and need to replace them.

The problem is that the peg bore is so wide that it suggests to me that I would only be able to select from a very small range of pegs to replace what I have already. I can't identify what sort I have; would someone be able to tell me what they are? You can see a picture of the violin here: http://www.bromptons.co/auction/catalogue/28th-march-2013/95-an-italian-violin-possibly-by-giovanni-dollenz.html

If anybody knows what they are, would you be able to tell me how easy it would be to replace them with something of a comparable gauge/bore size? Or, if there is nothing comparable in size, is it possible to get the peg holes bushed so that standard pegs would fit?

Thanks in advance.

Aditya

Replies (21)

March 7, 2014 at 06:21 PM · at risk of sounding simplistic...ask your luthier! they be able to select/adjust/even make pegs that will work correctly for your instrument!

March 7, 2014 at 06:21 PM · double post, sorry, and n.a. mohr's answer is better anyway! :)

March 7, 2014 at 06:52 PM · Pegs have to be fit. You can`t just buy a set and jam them in.

However, if you like you can buy some to take to your luthier (different woods, different qualities, hence different price points)...but it`s not a DIY project.

If the existing holes are too big they can be bushed...this is a common repair. The old holes are made smaller with a wood filler (of various sorts)...and then are shaped to fit the pegs that will be used.

Alternately, while it's not an option I`d be interested in...you could consider geared pegs. Geared pegs are less likely to slip and if you live in a climate where it`s always damp or very hot (or both) they might actually be a good choice. However, if your violin is very expensive (and you are concerned about resale value, etc.), I`d avoid geared pegs.

March 7, 2014 at 06:53 PM · Best (but potentially relatively costly) approach would be to get the peg holes bushed and have ordinary pegs installed so that your problems will come to an end.

March 7, 2014 at 06:58 PM · Okay. I just took a look at your violin.

Everything I said is correct, but I`d take it to a luthier and go on his|her recommendation. I haven`t seen that sort of peg before, and your pegholes have already been bushed, so may need more attention, etc.

March 7, 2014 at 08:14 PM · The winding on the A peg looks odd. The angle the string is making to the peg from the nut will tend to pull the peg out of its holes - something you certainly don't want with a relatively high tension string that you tune from the peg. The large angle shown of the A-string coming from the nut into the pegbox is likely to cause wear on the string at that point, and the added friction will cause the string to stick and jump when tuning. My guess is that the string hole in the A peg is located too close to the tapered end of the peg.

March 7, 2014 at 10:31 PM · Those are funky-looking pegs, and much wider that normal. One would think that a wider diameter would, due to its higher touching surface areas, hold better. It doesn't work that way in practice though.

March 8, 2014 at 01:06 AM · Thank you for your responses. The pegbox has already been bushed which is why I'm not sure whether it would be a good idea to get them bushed again. I'm going to take my violin to a luthier soon to get them looked at. I rewound the A string so that the angle is no longer a problem. That particular peg has a crack in it as well which concerns me somewhat! I'm going to get the pegs changed to some boxwood ones I think; I swapped the fittings for boxwood on the tailpiece and chin rest anyway.

March 8, 2014 at 06:22 PM ·

You appear to have some special considerations to deal with in replacing those pegs. You might try posting your dilemma over at Maestronet.com where many luthiers hang out and one may have had to deal with replacing that type of peg. I'm not a person who has to deal with fitting pegs, I just make them, and I do recall seeing these pegs before, but there are more qualified luthiers to give you advice. They don't look like wood to my eye and the holes look very large which will require some thought, since there are previous bushings. Whoever installed these certainly did the instrument no favors.

I hope you saved the rosewood tailpiece, it looks like it was well made.

March 8, 2014 at 08:06 PM · I was also thinking they do not look like wood. I do not see any problem with re-bushing the holes, but it's hard to see from here whether it is necessary. Probably desirable, though. It may be possible to remove all of the old bushings for a little neater look, but functionally it doesn't matter.

March 9, 2014 at 03:39 PM · The pegs are definitely ebony; they've just been polished a lot. I saved the rosewood tailpiece - I put it on another instrument I own.

March 10, 2014 at 03:25 AM · I respectfully recommend that you replace your current pegs with Pegheds (gear pegs). I have them on my violin (a modern Polish-made violin that has approximately the same value as yours) and they are wonderful. I have another violin with Knilling pegs and they are great too but I give Pegheds a slight edge.

Interesting scroll on that fiddle ...

March 10, 2014 at 08:27 AM · Aditya, As many people have suggested above, it looks like the peg holes need bushing. It's a routine procedure on a violin (regardless of whether the pegs have been rebushed previously or not) and will allow to fit new standard pegs. I'm a luthier based in west London and could do this for you - don't hesitate to contact me if you wish to discuss further (marcbutterlin@btinternet.com).

March 15, 2014 at 02:13 AM · Ugh. I do hate these. They aren't wood, but Aluminum, and the only fix is to have someone competent remove them, bush the holes, and put in new pegs.

The resulting holes are too large for Perfection pegs, even the large ones.

They are press fit, and one can do damage removing them if you aren't careful. Usually, one slips and falls out, and the other 3 won't budge.

I removed a set last summer, and they are becoming less and less common.

Remove. Bush. No other choice.

March 15, 2014 at 11:41 AM · It would be a lot cheaper if you could find a way to repair the existing pegs so they don't slip, given the comment above.

March 16, 2014 at 07:08 PM · Duane, didn't you either talk to me about these pegs or post about them om Maestronet? Know who made them or where they came from? Did you save them?

March 16, 2014 at 07:48 PM · I did, and I did. I've been looking for them. I do recall a name on them in itty-bitty letters. They are German, I think.

When I bushed the last instrument that I removed them from, I had to use the cello reamer to fit the bushings!

When I find them, I'll post the info.

March 17, 2014 at 12:36 AM · Oh hell... This is gonna be one expensive job. Interestingly they have stopped slipping because the thread on the Infeld Red strings I use is so long that it creates some friction on the pegbox wall and now the pegs never move. The E string slips now and then. In any case this is something I am going to get fixed as soon as I have the funds to do so. I can't carry on any longer like this!

March 17, 2014 at 10:26 PM · It won't be any more expensive than any other violin needing bushings and pegs.

They do leave big holes, though.

And...on the plus side of things, you'll never need bushings again, provided you keep this violin!

March 19, 2014 at 01:21 AM · At what point does it make more sense to graft a new scroll?

And Duane, I didn't understand your comment ... what's aluminum?

March 19, 2014 at 01:35 AM · Ok, I finally dug out the old set that I replaced last summer.

The head, after filing on it, is Bakelite, not Aluminum. Sorry...The shaft is Aluminum. The ends are large, and it has been turned small in the middle. The distal ends are between 8.8 and 9.2 mm in diameter. The head side of the pegs are between 9.9 and 10mm. Each has "germany" on the small part of the shaft, and a number at the end-21,22,24,25 for this set. All are 5.5-5.6mm in the center section where the string winds.

No need to graft the scroll or replace the neck! Just bushings. It's a normal sort of repair.

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