Review Details

Gotoh UPT Tuner w/ Optional Install

Product Review (submitted on June 10, 2015):
RE: Gotoh UPTL Tuners, I ordered these to replace the original and troublesome Schaller guitar style tuners on my Kamaka Tenor (HF-3), manufactured in January 2012. I expected to have to ream the peg holes, but surprisingly, the holes are big enough without any additional widening. I did have to notch a tiny area of the hole for the very, VERY small gripping spike, but I used a narrow Xacto-type razor blade craft knife for that. There really should be TWO spikes on the tuners, in my opinion. However, everything fits, even though these UPTL tuners, the longer version, seem a bit short; my Kamaka's headstock is a half inch thick. One complaint I have is that the tuner post is rather small, and that means the hole that the string passes through is smaller than the hole on the guitar style tuners. Therefore, some heavier strings can not be run twice through the hole, as some of us like to do. As to tuning, so far, so good. Very quick (a little slower would be preferred, actually) and they seem to hold tune. I haven't had them long enough to describe durability. They look good, but as a retrofit they don't conceal the tiny screw holes left from removing the original tuners. One can fill the screw holes with filler or wood putty from a luthier supply shop, a toothpick, etc., or just leave them as is. The holes are barely noticeable. FWIW, my Kamaka has only one tiny screw hole per original tuner. The little washer-like trim rings that appear on the face of the headstock are smaller than the original items, so a change to these tuners may allow indentations from the original trim rings to show. Again, not a big concern and the indentations are noticeable only if you look for them. These are pricey compared to guitar style tuners, but, overall, they look good, fit, and seem to work, even if they are a bit quick. I considered the pricey Waverly friction tuners that use a loaded spring, and those are likely higher quality, but these are priced a bit less and have gears. I hope they last. FWIW, my Kamaka is a golden Koa, so I bought the gold tuned bodies with the white Pearloid buttons. The buttons are actually quite similar to the buttons on the original tuners. On another note, it took about an hour to remove the old tuners and install the Gotohs on my Kamaka, but I was slow and careful. I would have rated these tuners higher if the posts had been thicker, with more standard-sized (larger) holes, and if they'd had two spikes on the tuner bodies. I like them, but they could have been better. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of competitors manufacturing geared ukulele pegs. I wish Waverly would make some!