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Wittner Finetune and Knilling Perfection Pegs Compared
Installed a set of each, here are my thoughts.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (2 votes) 
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Ferenc Simon
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December 12, 2017 - 9:38 am
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Thanks Mandy!

I've been searching some more, but yea, only these two brands seem to come up and they pretty much look the same 🙂 

My violin has a simple set of dominants on it (including the E) and they're still stretching so that's why it's slightly annoying as every day they need just a slight nudge upwards. You're also right that once that phase is over they're pretty stable.. as I've just checked my cheap VSO and the tuning is perfect even though I haven't touched it for a week now and that too has a set of dominants..  I was merely thinking about future situations where I get a set of new strings and have to play this tuning game for a week all over again :)) 

But you're right... these pegs I have look really nice and are fitted pretty much perfectly... so no need to ruin it I guess 🙂 

pegs.jpgImage Enlarger

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damfino
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December 12, 2017 - 2:46 pm
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Not a problem 🙂 It's just one of those things you have to give some time before you decide you still hate tuning that way, or ends up not being a bother. My Ming has similar shaped pegs, except they are boxwood so the lighter brown with the black dot on the end 🙂 One of the black ends started falling out, I poked it back in place and it's been good so far, but I keep meaning to put a dab of glue on it to keep from losing it.

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zpilot
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December 12, 2017 - 8:29 pm
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I believe Pegheds tuners can be installed with those nice looking heads.  I believe that, unfortunately, they have to be installed by their shop which requires shipping your instrument unless live close to them.  Not an option for me.  I'll go with the standard Perfections.

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Charles
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December 14, 2017 - 9:05 am
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zpilot said
One more question.  The gear ratio of the Perfection pegs is 1:4.  Is that enough for steel-core strings, not counting the E which will probably still benefit from a fine tuner?  I have synth-core strings currently.  My next set will be Helicores.  I have 4 fine tuners now but I would like to go back the the original tailpiece that came with my Fiddlerman fiddle if practicable with steel-core strings.  

The Perfection Pegs should be good enough to let you tune the 3 low strings.  I prefer Wittners, myself. I usually use them to tune all 4 strings, although I do occasionally use the fine tuner on the E if it's already very close.  I do know of one or two people who do all four strings with the Perfection Pegs, no fine tuner even on the E.

You can tune all 4 strings with standard pegs (1:1). It's mainly a question of how many attempts at each string are you willing to do to get it right.

A word of warning on Perfection Pegs. They made them so that if you push in more, they become harder to turn, if you pull out some, they become easier. If you make them too easy to turn, they won't hold.

I got confused on that in the early stages of having them and thought I was supposed to pull them out and push them back in every time I wanted to change the tuning (like you normally do with standard pegs). That's incorrect. Get them set to a tension that will hold and that you're comfortable with, and leave them there.

Wittners don't do that - you put them in and they work. The 8:1 ratio means they're easy to turn, but don't slip.  (Makes putting on new strings something of a pain, though.)

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Fiddlerman
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December 14, 2017 - 11:03 am
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damfino said
@Ferenc Simon 

As far as I know, there are no pretty geared pegs............
 

I feel like the perfection pegs can look fairly nice on a violin. Especially the wood head pegs such as the Rosewood.

MG_0497-Edit.jpgImage Enlarger

zpilot said
One more question.  The gear ratio of the Perfection pegs is 1:4.  Is that enough for steel-core strings, not counting the E which will probably still benefit from a fine tuner?........

1:4 makes tuning very easy, including the E string. I was surprised. 🙂

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zpilot
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December 21, 2017 - 5:44 am
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I just installed the Perfection Pegs and I love them.  They work so well that I don't seem to even need a tailpiece fine-tuner for the E-string but I will probably leave one on anyway.  These things are REALLY smooth feeling.  I'm reassured that they will work fine with steel-core strings.

The installation was not all that difficult but unless you have a fair amount of proficiency with instrument repair, or something similar, I feel it would be best to have it done by a skilled luthier.  I have read that some users did not need to use any adhesive.  I don't see how that is possible.  Follow the installation instructions EXACTLY.

My only beef with them is that the wood has some surfaces that are not polished and I had to hit those areas with progressively finer abrasive until they looked right to me.  I was a little disappointed that I had to do that.  

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Fiddlerman
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December 28, 2017 - 2:51 pm
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zpilot said ..............My only beef with them is that the wood has some surfaces that are not polished and I had to hit those areas with progressively finer abrasive until they looked right to me.  I was a little disappointed that I had to do that.    

Which wood are you referring to?

Happy to hear that you are satisfied with the pegs 🙂

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Charles
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December 29, 2017 - 1:10 pm
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Since this thread has been brought back to life, I thought I'd put my 2 cents in.

I've used both (Perfection Pegs on my first violin, Wittners on a viola and my good violin), and I definitely prefer the Wittners.

The Perfection Pegs have an odd setup. If you pull the peg out some (like you might to adjust a standard peg) they get looser. If you push the peg in, they get tighter and harder to turn.

I got confused on that at first, and thought I had to pull the peg out and push it in every time like a normal peg (which seemed rather pointless).  I eventually found out that, no, you only do that once in a while if the peg is too hard to turn or is slipping because it's too loose.

That second issue is one of the big reasons I prefer the Wittner pegs. It's fairly easy to accidently pull the peg out a hair when you're turning it (even though you're not planning to).  Do that several times, and the peg starts slipping.  It's easy enough to fix, but the Wittners just work. You don't need to adjust how hard the peg is to turn.

The Wittners have an 8:1 gear ratio, vs the Perfection Pegs 4:1.  The higher gear ratio means they'll hold while the the pegs are still easy to turn.  The Perfection Pegs require the pegs be a little hard to turn so that they'll not slip.

As people have commented, you can get rid of the fine tuners with the Perfection Pegs, in some cases even on the E string.  With a gear ratio twice as high, that statement is even more true of the Wittner pegs.

I still use the fine tuner on my E string, because it's 20:1, and an adjustment that requires 1/16th of a turn (or less) on the fine tuner would be a bit finicky with the peg.  (Doable, but more hassle than it's worth.)

To be fair, both the Perfection Pegs and standard pegs are easier to put the string into when you're changing strings. If you change strings once a month, that might be an issue (although the Wittners are not all that much harder).  And, of course, the higher gear ratio means you turn the pegs a lot more when you're tightening up the new string.  I change strings less than once per year, so the increased convenience in tuning is worth the very rare extra hassle when change strings.

That actually reminds me - the Wittners hold their tuning very well. I have to retune maybe once every 4 or 5 weeks, and that's usually a small adjustment.

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Ferenc Simon
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December 29, 2017 - 1:35 pm
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Oh, by the way, everyone keeps mentioning changing strings being a 'hassle' with geared pegs... Even though I haven't tried them... imo it's not the case, since the pegs are already fitted and you don't have them accidentally slip out like when you do that with regular pegs that aren't pushed in completely yet... Also, they invented string winders for a reason... guitar players have been using them for... forever.. when changing strings and it makes it a breeze. I've seen some sold specifically for violins, though judging by the size of the violin peg-heads I don't see why I couldn't use the one I got for my guitar on the violin if I had geared pegs 😛 

Just figured I'd drop this here, since no one ever mentioned string winders 🙂 They cost close to nothing... and apparently they come in fancy finishes as well (judging by this picture) that matches violins haha.. 

winder.jpg

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Fiddlerman
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December 29, 2017 - 2:42 pm
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@charles - I prefer the perfection planetary pegs for that reason. I guess I'm so use to automatically pushing in the pegs for more tension that this suits me better.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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zpilot
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Fiddlerman said

Which wood are you referring to?

Happy to hear that you are satisfied with the pegs 🙂  

I have the Swiss style ebony heads.  If I wasn't used to polishing things and already had the fine grades of sandpaper handy it would be a PIA.  What made it so obvious was that SOME of the surfaces ARE polished so there was a contrast between them.

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Irv
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I was reading a cook book by George Lang, read a quote, and immediately thought of this thread.  "Tradition is often a form of conspiracy to keep the future from happening." 

Cranks make revolutions.  JBS Haldane

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bocaholly
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Another revival of this thread:

Besides all of the other "lost in paradise" moments at my very first orchestra rehearsal last week, there was the inevitable tune up moment. Luckily my handy
9pAAAA9kAAMBxbW1vZAAAAAAAAAYQAACgLgAAAADQ5e4AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA==
was in place and blinking squarely on the A 440 which seemed to match the general pandemonium. I checked the other strings with the tuner and they were OK too  (heaven forbid I'd actually have to tune by listening for quints.) But I know that some day, I'll actually have to make some quick tuning adjustments. 

My friction pegs are well reamed and get an occasional schmeer of peg compound but I still wind up tuning back-and-forth, back-and-forth while sitting with the violin on my lap most of the time. 

So... I went down to Fiddlershop this afternoon to see how I liked the feel of mechanical pegs. What an easy fix. I tucked a demo Glasser carbon fiber violin with Perfection Planetary geared pegs under my chin and was able to tune it up in seconds, even without a chinrest.

Do I love the look of my current Hill style rosewood pegs? Definitely. But I will happily trade those pretty little white pearls on the peg knobs for the feeling that I can quickly and competently make tuning adjustments with the "Perfections". I ordered the rosewood version and hope they look as natural in real life as they do in the photos. 

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Irv
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November 7, 2018 - 9:57 pm
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I have several Knilling peg sets with the plastic heads and a few more with the ebony heads, but none with rosewood.  I really like mine.  I also think that the sound is better with the removal of the fine tuners on the tail piece.

Now you will be able to really turn your titanium fine tuner into an ear ring.

Cranks make revolutions.  JBS Haldane

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bocaholly
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@Irv I may soon have a titanium ear ring but you have a memory like a steel trap!

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Irv
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Bocaholly, try to hold off putting on the Knilling Perfection pegs on your violin until after the weekend.  I think that if Teflon plumbing tape is applied to the small end of the peg as it is placed in the peg box, it should act to resist string back off and reduce wear in the peg.

I used Teflon tape on the bolts holding my rowing rig together on the advise of the inventor (an MIT engineering graduate) several years ago and it works great.

I am going to try it on my “new” CVN 600 this weekend and will tell you how it worked out.

It is very nice that you are equipping you violin on a rational basis based on your requirements.

Cranks make revolutions.  JBS Haldane

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bocaholly
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Irv, as you know better than almost anyone here, fiddling around with violin improvements can be as much fun as fiddling itself ...

vampire18

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bocaholly
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Irv said
...  I also think that the sound is better with the removal of the fine tuners on the tail piece...

I was actually planning on leaving the titanium E string tuner in place. "Es frisst ja kein Brot."

Maybe I'd go without it if I had chosen the 1:8 ratio Wittners but the Perfections are 1:4 and my E string adjustments are usually miniscule anyway. Maybe because they're steel, they're less susceptible to Florida air conditioners kicking in and out?

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Irv
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The piccolo fine tuner does not affect string length and the titanium is so light that I see no reason for removal.  Just be careful when changing strings to avoid scratching the top plate.  

Cranks make revolutions.  JBS Haldane

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bocaholly
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As promised, a pic of the Perfection 1:4 ratio pegs on my Sima Traian.
Glad I got the rosewood version and pleasantly surprised to notice that the metal "shafts" match. I got it back restrung so I don't yet know how that will go when I change strings (have to wind 4 times more than with normal pegs, I guess) but now I can at least pretend to be a pro when I tune (NOT... still use the d'Addario tuner on all 4 strings 🙂