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Author Topic: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs  (Read 8051 times)

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Online Joe Gerardi

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Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« on: Jan 01, 2006, 04:26:25 AM »
Some of you read my recents events with FedEx in shipping my Marchelo Radoni violin to Steve Perry. One of the reasons was that it was starting to sound like trash, as the soundpost had moved as it broke in. While Steve cut and fitted a new sound post, and as it was there anyway, I asked him to install these also, as they are something that really appeals to me.

I'll admit: the reason I got them is pure vanity. I hate the idea of 4 fine tuners on a benchmade violin, and I'm not good enough at tuning the fiddle yet match the beats between the 5ths, so it was taking me forever to tune via a chromatic and the plain pegs. These solved that problem. I also liked the idea of *no* fine tuners at all. When Steve sets up the fiddle, there's no compromises between accomodating any fine tuners, and tuning the tailpiece.

THE PEG
I won't go into the mechanics of how they work- you can find that on the Knilling site. Suffice it to say that they're geared pegs, somewhat akin to machine heads on guitars, but they look like regular pegs as all the gearing is internal to them. They're made of plastic, and black. That's my only gripe: I wish they came in brown, so as to match the Almond fittings on the Radoni. (Vanity again!) One thing to be aware of is that it *might* be necessary to ream out the peg holes a little to get them to fit. This was my biggest concern- making structural changes to my fiddle. But it's not really an issue, as the amount of reaming is minimal Should you ever decide to go back to standard pegs, the worst case is that you will need new ones fitted, rather than the older ones, because now they're too small, but new ones will still fit.

OPERATION
They pegs. You turn them: that's how they operate! But, with a 4:1 reduction in gear ratio, there's considerably less turn of the peg body. So, bringing the instrument into tune is quite easy. However- one thing I have noticed: the response on the pegs is not immediate. Sometimes it takes a little more turn that you'd expect to get any response from the string. This sometimes causes the instrument to pass the tone you're looking for and go a little sharp or flat because the string "jumps." That said, readjusting back is relatively quick. I still haven't developed a "feel" for them, where I know just about how much to turn to get where I want to be. One thing can be said for them: they turn exceptionally easy. There's no resistance from the string. Very smooth, very easy turning pegs.

The only time you might experience some frustration is putting on a new string. The 4:1 ratio makes for a LOT of turns to get the string off or on. However, there's an easy fix for this: go to any music store and get a string winder for a guitar. They cost about 2 bucks, and they make short shrift of removing or replacing strings. In fact, it makes it easier and quicker than regular strings, as you needn't keep the pegs in the peg holes- they're set there with the Perfections.

CONCLUSION
They're keepers. I'm rapidly learning to tune to 5ths with them because I don't have to worry about the peg being tight enough in the peg hole to hold, and because they do turn so easily. I also like the idea that there is no change in mass to the tailpiece, and that all the strings are now the same length. That might improve response to someone that can hear and feel it, but at my level of playing, I'm just happy that tuning is no no longer a chore.

..Joe
"Some people are like a Slinky... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs"

Offline fiddlegirlLA

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #1 on: Jan 03, 2006, 08:51:58 PM »
I agree. They go out of tune about as often or slightly more than my regular pegs, but tuning them back in place is definitely easier!

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #2 on: Jan 05, 2006, 02:47:14 AM »
You are aware that by pushing in the head of the peg it goes into the body of the peg more right? Doing this allows you to increase or decrease the friction/holding power of the peghed.

I didnt notice this until a few years after i got the pegs.

Online Joe Gerardi

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #3 on: Jan 05, 2006, 02:55:53 AM »
No. I didn't know that. Thanks for the tip!

..Joe
"Some people are like a Slinky... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs"

Offline fiddlegirlLA

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #4 on: Jan 06, 2006, 07:57:53 PM »
I didn't know either-thanks!

Offline Nicole Federici

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #5 on: Jan 10, 2006, 05:00:03 AM »
So, basically, everybody loves these? How many have tried them?
HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THEM?
Nicole

Offline Joe_Maj

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #6 on: Jan 10, 2006, 05:28:37 AM »

HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THEM?
Nicole

Reading violin related web sites. 

I like mine. Only trouble is remembering to order e-strings with the ball end.

Offline apollonike

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #7 on: Jan 10, 2006, 11:52:04 AM »
Read about them here.  Will try them when money permits.

Offline justme

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #8 on: Jan 15, 2006, 02:12:00 AM »
Have mine almost a year and love them. No worry of cracking the pegbox with stuck peg either. Easy on my CTS too.

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #9 on: Jan 15, 2006, 04:27:45 AM »
THey came with my violin. My FIRST violin. IMagine my suprise on how tuning was when I upgraded to a violin that didnt have them.

Offline meemtp

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #10 on: Jan 15, 2006, 03:44:40 PM »
Any noticable weight increase with these? Also, I wonder what the life span is with these. Might be more of a pain to have them rebuilt than getting regular pegs refitted.

Online Joe Gerardi

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #11 on: Jan 15, 2006, 04:32:42 PM »
No weight increase as far as I can tell.

Only had them a month. Can't tell how long they'll last. Maybe Go0bur will tell us how old his first fiddle is.

..Joe
"Some people are like a Slinky... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs"

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #12 on: Jan 16, 2006, 04:38:52 PM »
I had my other violin for a few years. I dont see why they would wear down. Wood would certainly wear down much faster.

The gears are steel and generally designed for continuous high-speed mechanical operation that is much more wearing than hand tuning every now and then.

Go0bur

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #13 on: Jan 16, 2006, 04:41:02 PM »
I think I should also add that (with synthetics) I barely ever had to tune my violin at all. Maybe once every few days. Sometimes once a week. THat contributes to their longevity which I am quite certain is already longer than regular pegs if you tune at the same frequency.

Offline PeterG

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #14 on: Jan 16, 2006, 05:01:39 PM »
    I would think they would last just fine. After all, it isn't a totally new concept. Banjos used to have friction pegs but they changed many many years ago to inline geared pegs. My banjo pegs are 22 years old and still work just like new. I must have tuned that banjo at least half a dozen times in the last 20 years. ;D

Offline beeswing

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #15 on: Jul 20, 2006, 05:09:40 PM »
Last week or so I fitted a set to my wife's favorite fiddle. She loves them. I like them too. After  two nylon A's and a D broke at the peg, I eased the holes with a mousetail file, just rounding off a little crescent of the edge where the string rides. We'll see how that goes. It looks like the manufacturer treated the hole edges with a countersink or a larger sized drill, but not very much. They show a little oval chamfer, with the oval pointing along the peg shaft.

Since the E is still a bit touchy, and since she has a fifty-year habit of reaching for the tailpiece screw on that one, I put one of those micro single-hook tuners there. Solves the ball-end-only problem too, but really not needed, since the gear reduction of the peg is enough. 
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Offline beeswing

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #16 on: Jul 29, 2006, 04:24:56 PM »
OK, it's been a week and no strings have broken, in about the same time it took three to break before. The attachment shows what you see when the hole has been eased with an oversize drill (longways oval,) with a mousetail file put crossways (crossways oval, of course,) and with a couple of knife cuts per side (crescent below.) Didn't want to try cutting the metal of the Knilling peg with a knife, so I got the same effect with a file. I like that last one because it looks a bit like what I've seen on pegs that have been in service for a while, and doesn't take any longer to do than the drill-twirling or cross-file methods.

So, to Steve's recommendation (to skip the Gorilla Glue) I'll add: treat the hole edges carefully with a needle file.

If you want to believe a bushy-eyebrowed grump with a plunger in his hand more often than a bow, that is. :D
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Offline Happy Camper

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #17 on: Jul 31, 2006, 03:18:08 AM »

I recently got a new fiddle and had the Perfection Planetary Pegs put on them.

Jury is still out on the new Pegs, as well as the fiddle.   I do like the pegs, but not real sure I don't still want the 4 fine tuners.  I can tune up pretty good with the pegs, but for fine tuning, seems to me I would still prefer the fine tuners in addition to the new type pegs.  Fine tuning in my opinion is still best done with the fine tuners.  I have changed strings on the new fiddle and I had no problem with the Perfection Pegs in the stringing up of the new strings, in fact I found it a lot easier.

My problem now is finding decent fine tuners to put on this fiddle.  Any suggestions for really good fine tuners to get would be appreciated.  Mostly all I find on the Internet are cheapos which are readily available about anywhere.  I would like some really good ones.

Offline giannaviolins

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #18 on: Jul 31, 2006, 02:09:27 PM »
Wittners are available widely at shops.  I have gobs.  Wittner tailpieces with the built in are very good.

I don't have any trouble tuning w/Perfection.  But I don't have any trouble tuning with wood pegs, either!

Offline foose4string

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #19 on: Jul 31, 2006, 09:02:29 PM »
Quote
I don't have any trouble tuning w/Perfection.  But I don't have any trouble tuning with wood pegs, either!

Nor do I with wooden pegs. But I must say, for quick tuning in the middle of a tune/performance, I sure do like fine tuners.  I don't like waiting until the end of a song when it's already too late.  I've gotten pretty good at making split second adjustments with the fine tuners during a song.  One can adjust finger positioning to compensate, but I'd rather the intrument be in tune with itself, especially for fiddle styles that tend to utilize open strings more often than not.  Never tried perfection pegs or even seen them in person. Still don't like the idea of taking away perfectly good wood to install them, but I suppose on a student level fiddle it doesn't make too much difference, and is a good invention for that.   

Offline beeswing

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #20 on: Jul 31, 2006, 09:45:23 PM »
Not much wood had to come off. I don't remember exactly, but I think I only had to sink them 6 or 8 mm.

You can tell the ones who are used to tuning with pegs by the way they handle them. No biggie, once you get the hang of it.
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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #21 on: Jul 31, 2006, 10:15:26 PM »
Still don't like the idea of taking away perfectly good wood to install them, but I suppose on a student level fiddle it doesn't make too much difference, and is a good invention for that.   

I had them installed on my benchmade. Doesn't worry me a bit.

..Joe
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Offline foose4string

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #22 on: Jul 31, 2006, 10:27:59 PM »
This may have already been covered in this thread, if so I appologize(too lazy to go back and read the entire thread again), but if you wanted to go back to regular pegs, could that be done without rebushing? How much work would be involved reverting to standard pegs?

Offline apollonike

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #23 on: Jul 31, 2006, 10:47:38 PM »
Pegs are oversize and have to be fitted anyway.  So I expect you'd have no problems putting traditional pegs on your instrument.

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #24 on: Aug 01, 2006, 01:37:31 AM »
How much work would be involved reverting to standard pegs?

Very little. You would have to start with new pegs- the old won't fit if the holes have indeed been reamed (not all peg holes require it) but they can easily be reinstalled.

That was my big concern too, and it wasn't until Steve assured me that I could go back to regular pegs any time I wanted to that I made the plunge. My peg holes did need to be enlarged a little, but the pegs that came with the Radoni were on the thin side to begin with, so it didn't really concern me.

..Joe
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Offline beeswing

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #25 on: Aug 01, 2006, 02:59:55 PM »
I've been waiting for somebody like Steve to chime in here... I suspect it depends on your tolerance for "fat" pegs. I don't know what the canonical limit is, (where you need to put bushings and start skinnier,) but looking at the pegs installed, and remembering that the threads are nowhere near as coarse as a pipe thread, I suspect that things would still be OK after you cleaned up the holes...

Just for reference, the diameter of the G peg on the nearest fiddle with planetary pegs, right at the pegbox cheek, is 8,30 mm or a skosh less, not as small as 8,27 mm. To my (only slightly educated) eye that says you could put in one more set of wooden pegs or so, before a bushing job. I'll go searching to see what the heavy hitters have to say about peg diameter...
« Last Edit: Aug 01, 2006, 05:30:47 PM by beeswing »
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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #26 on: Aug 01, 2006, 06:57:50 PM »
Other than for vanity's sake, are there any advantages over say, a Wittner tailpiece that I'm just not seeing?  Better tone, easier to tune?  Just seems to me, changing the tailpiece would be cheaper, require less work to install, and yield the same(or better) results.  I like the idea, but not sure I could justify the cost for marginal or no improvement.  Pretty certain I'd be more open minded after trying them for myself, just not sold yet.   Rehairs and string replacement seem to come all too frequently and are much higher up on the priority list.

Offline sreizes

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #27 on: Aug 01, 2006, 07:07:29 PM »
Tailpiece weight will affect the tone and response of an instrument. 

Offline davet

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #28 on: Aug 01, 2006, 08:12:45 PM »
I recently installed the Perfection pegs on both my violin and my sons.  It was a fairly straightforward job.  The two reason I installed them were the string afterlength and the tailpiece weight.

I measured the weight of a regular tailpiece (15 g), a rather cheap integrated (Wittner type) tailpiece (27 g) and one fine tuner (7 g).

Not too long ago there was a lengthy discussion on the this board about the string afterlength (bridge to tailpiece distance).  I measured my violin and, with the fine tuner(s) in place there did not seem to be any reasonable way to obtain the 1/6 distance specified as normal (1/6 of the string distance from the nut to bridge) with fine tuners in place.  The integrated (Wittner type) tailpiece does solve this problem but the added weight (10-12 g, a little less the double the weight of a regular tailpiece) did not seem desirable.  Therefore the Prefection pegs did offer a reasonable solution.

I ask Gary Byers, the Knilling/Prefection Pegs representative, what the weight of the Prefection pegs were.  He indicated that they were about the same as regular pegs.  In reality my regular pegs weighed in at about 5 g each and the Prefection pegs weighed in at 7 g each.  So the Prefection pegs are heavier but this weight is somewhat static weight on the scroll versus what I would call dynamic weight on the tailpiece.

In terms of tuning, the Prefection pegs work just fine -- as do fine tuners and regular pegs -- when you get accustomed to any of them.

Offline foose4string

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #29 on: Aug 01, 2006, 08:38:58 PM »
What about the composite Wittner tailpiece with ingrated tuners? Any idea what that weighs in comparison to a standard tailpiece?  They make two versions, the metal one being cheaper and more common, and not as lightweight. 

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #30 on: Aug 01, 2006, 08:51:04 PM »
If someone else has a composite Wittner to weigh, that would be interesting. 

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #31 on: Aug 02, 2006, 01:34:01 AM »
Composite Wittner is just right usually.  I might remember to weigh one.  Removing a tiny bit of material in just the right spot makes it work very very well on most violins.

I don't see any advantage of the Perfection Pegs for those who like the Wittner tailpiece and maintain their pegs perfectly.  I rarely see well maintained pegs coming in.


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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #32 on: Aug 02, 2006, 05:15:27 AM »
How do you maintain pegs?

Offline foose4string

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #33 on: Aug 02, 2006, 01:27:38 PM »
Lube and oil change every 3000 miles? :)

Offline giannaviolins

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #34 on: Aug 02, 2006, 05:46:12 PM »
How do you maintain pegs?

Fit.  Lubrication.  Trimming ends as they come out.  Often go out of round a little or get too tight at one end or the other.  No biggie, but generally gets neglected.  Best thing is to twiddle them regularly.  A problem with steel strings and fine tuners. Pegs don't get used enough, go out of round, stick in the holes.

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #35 on: Aug 04, 2006, 12:31:52 AM »
Hmm, no problem with pegs getting out of round on my main fiddle then.

I was changing tunings 3-5 times a day or more at Swannanoa last week :).

- Ray

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #36 on: Aug 07, 2006, 05:39:22 PM »
Just re-stocked Wittner ultra 4-tuner tailpieces... brand new out of the box, one weighs four nickels, three paper clips. The nylon adjuster with its little brass barrels add another three paper clips, or about a gram. (Tailpiece alone weighs about 21 g.)

Feel free not to answer, Steve, (OT after all) but in general do you like to raise or lower the TP's tap tone?
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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #37 on: Aug 07, 2006, 08:24:14 PM »
Depends on the relationship to other things, not an absolute.

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Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #38 on: Aug 07, 2006, 09:05:13 PM »
What about the composite Wittner tailpiece with ingrated tuners?
I'm grateful for ANY tuners, integrated or otherwise... :)
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Offline Guff

Re: Review: Perfection Planetary Pegs
« Reply #39 on: Aug 16, 2006, 04:32:14 PM »
If we're still talking about planetary pegs, I highly recommend them. It's a no brainer. Note, they need to be installed by a luthier, so that adds to the cost, of course.

 




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