Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
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Stephen Faulk
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Re: Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Post by Stephen Faulk » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:06 pm

Philipp Lerche wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:39 am
I asked exactly the thing but reversed and about different instruments: why not using mechanical tuners



Take a look at bow instrument players that are hugely split into two fractions.
One is taking the traditional approach on pegs and the other is focused on modern development and is using fine tuners etc.
Not exactly true. There is not a split in the violin business over wood vs. mechanical pegs that is two large factions. I was trained in the violin/cello world as a player and repairer. The mechanical pegs are a great innovation, but the players are still even more conservative than classical guitarists in that they predominantly choose wood pegs. I studied the cello first as a teenager and had instruments with wood pegs, when I saw flamenco guitars with wood pegs it seemed natural to me to buy one. I'm obviously in the minority as a consumer.
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rojarosguitar
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Re: Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Post by rojarosguitar » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:26 pm

I had a flamenca with wooden pegs (José Llopez Bellido) and quite liked it. But I'm not really missing them. On my three ouds I have replaced them by Perfection Pegs or Wittner geared pegs. I had Perfections pegs on my five stringed cello as well (as long as I played and owned it). My experience with pegs in general, even if well fitted, is that the tuning is more cumbersome, (though not really that difficult) and that they sometimes suddenly yield and let the string unwind. For the last not to happen one needs a lot of care and good maintenance.

But I think it's also a convention or habit; with classical guitars I just don't see pegs, I see nice precise geared tuners... I have seen also quite a few flamencas that were fitted with wooden pegs and now are fitted with Wittners. Wittner came up with dedicated flamenco guitar pegs not so long ago.
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Stephen Faulk
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Re: Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Post by Stephen Faulk » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:27 pm

Michael.N. wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:12 am
A set of wooden friction pegs weigh around 25 grams. A set of Pegheds come in at around 45 g, A set of mechanical tuners around 120 g.
Personally I would never make a modern classical with friction pegs, at least not one to be sold 'off the shelf'. It's not that no one in the entire world would ever buy it but you really are limiting your market. That's just the reality. Guitars are hard enough to sell without imposing further obstacles. A better idea might be to go with the friction pegs but offer Pegheds as an option. Converting one to the other is a 20 minute job. Same guitar, a touch more expensive, weighs all of 20 grams more.
As for tuning with friction pegs. There's a technique to it but it also relies on a good ear. It's not difficult once you learn although it's true to say that you can't tune in the middle of a piece, at least not without stopping. As for violinists, the vast majority of classical violinists do not use fine tuners (apart from the E string). In fact it's very rare. Believe me, it's much harder to tune a violin than a guitar.
Funny however three times in the last year and half I sent out guitar I had made with mechanical pegs or tuners and the customer mentioned in retrospect they wish they had ordered wood pegs.
Patience at the bending iron pays in rounded dividends!

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Post by rojarosguitar » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:27 pm

Sorry, double post due to some slippage of my internet connection...
Last edited by rojarosguitar on Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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SteveL123
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Re: Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Post by SteveL123 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:03 pm

Michael.N. wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:12 am
.............. Believe me, it's much harder to tune a violin than a guitar.
Is this for a guitar with pegs? Violin has 4 strings vs 6 for the guitar so 2 less to tune. Violin strings are tuned to 5th's which would make it much easier to tune than a guitar. While I have never tuned a guitar with pegs but have tuned a violin, based on the above alone, I'd think it's easier to tune a violin.

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Michael.N.
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Re: Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Post by Michael.N. » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:20 pm

No I was referring to the physical aspect of turning the pegs. A violinist has to hold the scroll and turn the peg with the same hand, it's tricky. Harder than tuning a guitar fitted with friction pegs.
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Michael.N.
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Re: Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Post by Michael.N. » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:20 pm

Stephen Faulk wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:27 pm
Michael.N. wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:12 am
A set of wooden friction pegs weigh around 25 grams. A set of Pegheds come in at around 45 g, A set of mechanical tuners around 120 g.
Personally I would never make a modern classical with friction pegs, at least not one to be sold 'off the shelf'. It's not that no one in the entire world would ever buy it but you really are limiting your market. That's just the reality. Guitars are hard enough to sell without imposing further obstacles. A better idea might be to go with the friction pegs but offer Pegheds as an option. Converting one to the other is a 20 minute job. Same guitar, a touch more expensive, weighs all of 20 grams more.
As for tuning with friction pegs. There's a technique to it but it also relies on a good ear. It's not difficult once you learn although it's true to say that you can't tune in the middle of a piece, at least not without stopping. As for violinists, the vast majority of classical violinists do not use fine tuners (apart from the E string). In fact it's very rare. Believe me, it's much harder to tune a violin than a guitar.
Funny however three times in the last year and half I sent out guitar I had made with mechanical pegs or tuners and the customer mentioned in retrospect they wish they had ordered wood pegs.
Did they say why?
Historicalguitars.

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Stephen Faulk
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Re: Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Post by Stephen Faulk » Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:32 am

They saw this and other pegs heads I made. My pegs don't take two hands to tune, once the strings settle in the pegs work smoothly. Sometimes you have to reach over with the right hand to steady the headstock to set the peg in, but they can be turned with one hand. The cello is the same, even with good pegs you sometimes have to two hand it.
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es335
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Re: Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Post by es335 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:20 am

Michael.N. wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:12 am
A set of wooden friction pegs weigh around 25 grams. A set of Pegheds come in at around 45 g, A set of mechanical tuners around 120 g...
That light?! All mechanical tuners I came across (Schaller, Rubner, Gotoh, van Gent, der Jung etc.) were in the more than 150 grams category!? :wink:

Beautiful headstock with such a puristic and clear design language, Stephen!
Makes it quite easy to understand the regrets of your customers. :bravo:

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Michael.N.
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Re: Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Post by Michael.N. » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:54 am

Well that was a bit of a guess, probably based on weighing a set of tuners 10 years ago!
Sometimes you have to separate aesthetics from function. Perhaps they are just expressing a preference for the former. I really have nothing against wooden friction pegs, I like them. Over the years I've fitted dozens and dozens of them on all manner of different instrument types. I'm just giving my experience of modern guitar players views on wooden friction pegs. The distinct lack of wooden friction pegs on modern classical guitars tells us what they think. In this respect the geared pegheds are a compromise, the look of friction pegs but with gearing. From a very short distance most people would have trouble differentiating between them.
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Stephen Faulk
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Re: Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Post by Stephen Faulk » Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:04 pm

Michael.N. wrote:
Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:54 am
The distinct lack of wooden friction pegs on modern classical guitars tells us what they think. I
I'm thinking the reason is lack of exposure, received wisdom that is not all that wise and some irrational fear heaped on top.
Pegs are not that difficult to use.
Patience at the bending iron pays in rounded dividends!

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Stephen Faulk
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Re: Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Post by Stephen Faulk » Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:05 pm

es335 wrote:
Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:20 am
Michael.N. wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:12 am
A set of wooden friction pegs weigh around 25 grams. A set of Pegheds come in at around 45 g, A set of mechanical tuners around 120 g...
That light?! All mechanical tuners I came across (Schaller, Rubner, Gotoh, van Gent, der Jung etc.) were in the more than 150 grams category!? :wink:

Beautiful headstock with such a puristic and clear design language, Stephen!
Makes it quite easy to understand the regrets of your customers. :bravo:
Thank you.
Patience at the bending iron pays in rounded dividends!

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Philipp Lerche
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Re: Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Post by Philipp Lerche » Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:39 am

That head stock looks gorgeous Stephen.
It almost convices me to try to build one, too. :D
"If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done."
Bruce Lee

Best regards
Phil

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Stephen Faulk
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Re: Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Post by Stephen Faulk » Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:45 am

You should, we should start a peg head movement.
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Philipp Lerche
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Re: Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Post by Philipp Lerche » Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:11 am

Nice idea ! I like the pure look & the fact that there's no metal on the guitar.
But when I think about tuning... man I really don't know. :D
I will defo try it, maybe even on my next build.
"If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done."
Bruce Lee

Best regards
Phil

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