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My cellos and viola have geared pegs. I have issues with non-geared pegs. I was playing my violin the other day and was tuning it. It was either beyond what the fine tuners could do, or the fine tuner was down low, can’t remember why I had to use the tuning peg.
I always have issues with the tuning pegs, I will leave it at that. I am not asking for instructions on how to do it, compounds, etc. I just have issues, probably coordination related. Anyway, it dawned on me that I did not have the geared pegs installed on my Rudoulf Doetsch violin when I had them installed on my Rudoulf Doetsch viola.
I was wondering, I know they make the hole a little bigger for the geared pegs insertion. Given the violin is so small, will that weaken my pegbox on my violin if I have geared pegs installed? I don’t want to weaken my violin. I just so love the sound of my Doetsch violin and viola. It was fine when it was done in my viola. I got lucky and my cello already had them installed, but I don’t have them on my violin. It is just so much easier on my hands and wrist with the geared pegs.
@Fiddlerman Has your shop ever put geared pegs on your violins? Were the violin peg boxes weakened? Were the violins okay afterwards?
Thanks for any experience you can share.
My teacher has Wittner geared pegs on her 18th century viola, which is interesting, as there are threads on v.com which complain about how intrusive and destructive the process is.
Hidersine do an off the peg geared-pegged violin outfit.
I asked their main setter-upper why they don't do a viola too, and they said they'd do one specially for me, but I've read poor customer reviews about that particular luthier, so I don't want to risk it, as the quote was about £700.
I'm sure Fiddlershop would be great at this.
The luthier at the violin shop I go to has done two of my cellos and a viola. I trust him to be able to do my violin. I am just wondering, given the small pegbox, if the reaming out of the peg holes will weaken the violin. I don’t think there is a whole lot of wood reamed out, just shavings until the peg fits in properly. They are then stationary and the gears move.
What I was also wondering was, if you get a faulty peg or something happens to the gears, can the peg be replaced? It is in there permanently. I have not found anything on that. Again, I do not need specifics and how-to details, as interesting as they are, it will just fog up my mind to whatever responses I get here. I saw a video where there is a tool with small blades and it is inserted into the hole and shaves it just a bit, you check to see if the peg will go in all the way, if not, you shave a tad more. Then you adjust the length of the peg, if needed.
Now, the reamed hole cannot be made smaller and the peg is glued or something. What if you have to replace that peg?
Is the glue softened so the peg can be removed?
Is the reaming that is done so minute that it really won’t affect the strength of the violin’s small peg box?
The fact that Hidersine offer it as standard on a violin makes me feel it must be OK.
Or failing that, if it were so bad an idea, Wittner wouldn't be able to sell the pegs.
I doubt if geared pegs are glued in, and I suspect it's easy enough to reline a hole to reduce its diameter (or maybe you get peg blanks and make a peg with a slightly larger diameter). I guess you should email Pierre direct for confirmation. OK, you tagged him. Maybe he's busy and he'll respond in a while.
@cid - seriously, I wouldn't overly worry ( in fact not at all ) about installing geared pegs on the violin
I have NOT done that - but I HAVE used a peg-hole taper-reamer to fix seriously damaged peg-holes on an old fiddle I got from e-bay (along with a peg-shaver to reduce the new (intentionally) over-size pegs to fit)
I *believe* (could be wrong though) that one of the two main manufacturers of geared pegs suggest they are "glued" in - but - it will be a "breakable" bond I imagine - using appropriate glue should they ever need to be removed - probably (and I'm guessing) by a sharp tap on the far end of the peg - dunno for sure - so take this with a pinch of salt as they say....
As regards the widening of the peg holes by the reamer and possible weakening of the peg box again I wouldn't worry - (a) it is a TINY amount (much much less than the amount of material I had to remove on the old e-bay fiddle. (b) Peg holes that end up (eventually) oversize can be corrected by various means of bushing ( and re-drilling and taper-reaming where necessary depending on the type of bushing )
You appear to have confidence in your luthier - fire your same concerns at him, along with the feedback you get on the forum - I'm sure it would all be fine !!!
Good luck with the upgrade !
I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh -
Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)
Hi @cid and others. Wittner makes theirs for fractional sized violins and they do not recommend glue. I mainly use Knilling pegs and, although they recommend the use of urethane glue, I do not bother with it. The shavings from hole reaming is very small, about the same as a pencil sharpening on an already sharp pencil. Oversized peg holes resulting from years of use can easily be bushed.
But I detected another issue from your original post that others have not commented upon. You are not availing yourself of one of the major advantages of the use of geared pegs by not removing the fine tuners on the tail piece. The lengthening of after length and weight removed may have a significant acoustic effect. No benefit if you make use of a cello tailpiece like the acousticus.
Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible. —Frank Zappa
It is unpleasant to be thought so uncleverly unclean and capable of poisoning a whole city.—Sir Walter Scott
But I detected another issue from your original post that others have not commented upon. You are not availing yourself of one of the major advantages of the use of geared pegs by not removing the fine tuners on the tail piece. The lengthening of after length and weight removed may have a significant acoustic effect. No benefit if you make use of a cello tailpiece like the acoustics.
On my cellos, I have geared pegs and fine tuners. It is a pain to have to reach up to do any tweaking. I do have one cello, the first one, where the original owner put the guitar typed gears on. There are no fine tuners. It is a royal pain in the butt. I hate those gears, to begin with, but not having the fine tuners are the bottom is a pain. I would spend the money on fine tuners, can’t do anything about those hideous gears, but I am trying to sell it locally. I am not putting more money into it.
I do have geared tuning pegs on my viola, I think my luthier uses Whittner(?). The viola only came with a fine tuner on the A string. Gave it a shot. I could not fine tune the other strings with the wood pegs. I had the geared put onto it, and kept the one fine tuner in the A that it came with.
My good violin just has the original wood pegs and fine tuners. I am just going to get the geared tuning pegs. I am not performing for anyone. I am not that interested or worried about any improvements in acoustic removing them will do.
I don’t see where any difference in string length will occur by removing the fine tuners. They are not going beyond the tailpiece. They are built into the tailpiece. Again, I am not performing for anyone. I am not too concerned about, what I think will be, minute affects of keeping the fine tuners on my Rudoulf Doetsch violin after I get the geared pegs.
It would probably matter for a professional, but I am not. I also, do not, and will not ever, play with anyone. Good points for other people, but really not for me.