Using a geared peg only on the A string.

Edited: February 19, 2019, 9:15 PM · Hi, I recently went to the luthier for a peg refitting because my old pegs are worn out. The G D and E string pegs works like it should be but the A string is frustrating.

It does hold it's tuning but when it is time to tune it slips, so every time so i want to tune the A string I have to push it in very much.

I guess that the luthier messed up the A string peg so I that means I have to replace my it. I was thinking if I can use geared pegs on the A string so it would not slip and makes tuning easier due to an A pegs uncomfortable position. However I still consider using traditional wood pegs again on the A string but now I will go to a different luthier because he might messed it up again.

So can I use a geared peg only on the A string or should I just have have traditional wooden peg on the A string ?

PS: I don't want to use a fine tunes on the A string because my tailpiece made out of ebony and has already a hill style fine tuner which is already heavy.

Replies (12)

February 19, 2019, 9:25 PM · Sorry to hear, if that's what happened.

It's hard to match pegs. It's surprising this happened with an experienced luthier. Even all ebony pegs may not look alike, so it's better to have a new set redone, or possibly have him/her fix the issue one way or the other, if that's the problem (you shouldn't be charged extra, as this is not your fault.)

You can try applying some of the many products available to the peg first, so it stops slipping. But if it's bad, it's bad. Hope something can be done.

February 20, 2019, 2:08 AM · All luthier I know charge by the number of pegs you're fitting so surely you can do it back and forth. Aesthetically, pegheds match the best. Wittner peg is black but it's chubby and plasticky. Maybe you should change all four and remove the remaining hill tuner on your heavy ebony tailpiece.
February 20, 2019, 4:31 AM · It can be hard to get the pegs doped just right because of varying temperature and humidity levels in your home. Bring your violin back and he can fine tune your A string peg or if that is inconvenient you can take peg out and apply some chalk to the shiny areas of the peg that contact pegbox.
February 20, 2019, 6:13 AM · I'd just get a full set of Pegheds or Perfection pegs installed.
February 20, 2019, 8:42 AM · A geared peg just on the A string?

I think it would be nice if all four pegs worked the same way, particularly if anyone else ever plays your violin.

February 20, 2019, 9:55 AM · Yeah, switch all four, if that's what you want to do. Some here will cry foul about geared pegs, but honestly how many of us play on the original short neck, flat angle, short fingerboard setup anyway? It's not like you're routing out a pickup from the top plate. The Wittner are easier to remove down the line, although I doubt that happens often.

I like the function of the Wittner better, but the Peghed/Perfection look better. Having used both, I recommend the Wittner Finetunes.

Edited: February 20, 2019, 10:07 AM · Putting in one geared peg should not be necessary. No, it's not easy to fit a new peg well. But a good luthier should be able to do it. And while it may be uncomfortable to tune the A peg, that's not impossible either. Most kids are able to do it eventually. It's better to A. have a well-fitting peg installed that will turn easily, and B. simply learn to use it. We have to learn all manner of uncomfortable things in playing the violin--tuning among them. If you avoid it, it won't happen, just like playing double stops (and I'd say that playing double stops is much more difficult than turning a traditional peg...).

It's also a necessary skill if teaching is involved. I can grab a student's violin and have it tuned in about 8 seconds, even with stubborn pegs. I can imagine someone with geared pegs saying to a student "sorry, I can't tune your violin. I never learned to turn a peg."

Lastly, I simply prefer a simpler, proven technology when possible. A well-fit peg will work well for decades, especially with modern synthetic strings that don't need so much tuning. In a stable environment, modern strings drift very little.

Edited: February 21, 2019, 1:05 PM · You can have a geared peg on only the A string, but be aware that tuning a geared peg, and replacing a string on a geared peg, are both a little different than on a standard wood peg.
If the luthier messed up my A peg, I would go to a different luthier to have the A peg fixed rather than put a different kind of peg only on that string. I am a big fan of Pegheds (I have 8 of them--2 violins) but since your problem is only on one mis-fit peg, just fix that one with a standard wood peg so you don't have to remember to handle it differently than the others... Best of luck!!
February 20, 2019, 11:23 AM · Hi everyone thank you for advises! Both my teacher and Jeff Jetson recommends to put some chalk to prevent it from slipping so I did try putting chalk on the A string peg and by some miracle it worked! It did hold the tuning very well however the pegs seems to stick a bit too much but still smooth.

I am still testing the A string peg if it would work properly for long periods of time.However if there is still a problem I could consider changing them all to geared pegs. Again, thank you for all of your advice! !

February 20, 2019, 12:07 PM · If your peg is too sticky then wipe some of the chalk off and rub on some pencil graphite so it works just right for you.
February 21, 2019, 7:58 AM · If you want to match the head of your existing peg to a new geared peg, just call Chuck Herin (pegheds). He can put the head of your wood peg onto the shaft of a geared peg.

Why not just do 'em all though. Then you don't have to worry about this any more. Or you could try chalk and then soap and then diatomaceous earth and then graphite ...

February 21, 2019, 4:56 PM · After 3 months of slipping pegs geared pegs seems quite enticing...

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