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pegheads/perfection planetary pegs -- experiences?


mthss
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I had pegheds installed in one of my violins last summer by my local luthier. Here in the MidWest I've always had terrible trouble with standard pegs -- they stick in the humid summers and slip in the dry winters. The pegheds have worked great -- they've never stuck or slipped no matter what the weather. The freedom from aggravation make them well worth the price in my opinion. In fact, I like them so well that I recently ordered another set for my other violin.

Here are a few observations about the pegheds:

* The black pegheds look very much like ebony pegs -- you have to get really close to tell they're not standard pegs. I don't know if they're offered in any other finish.

* The non-moving part of the pegheds gets glued and screwed (using shallow threads) into the pegbox, so you should think twice about installing them on an expensive investment-type instrument. The pegheds can be uninstalled, but the holes would probably have to be re-reamed or possibly even rebushed.

* When tuning, I find it works best to use fairly large rotations of the peg, similar to using standard pegs, and not micro-adjustments like when using a fine tuner. I think this is due to the amount of friction as the string goes over the nut.

* The movement of the pegs is not perfectly smooth -- there are some points where it moves slightly slower or slightly faster. However, I have never found this to interfere with tuning.

* Similar to normal pegs, the amount of friction can be increased or decreased by increasing or decreasing the amount that you push them in while turning.

* The main disadvantage is that they are slightly inconvenient when changing strings because you have to rotate the pegs many more times than normal and you cannot pull the peg out to get easier access to the string hole.

* The violin pegheds are available in either a "captive" or "non-captive" style. In the captive style, the external thumb part cannot be removed from the part that goes in the peghole -- I think this is mostly for schools and rental outfits to prevent loss. If you get the non-captive style, be careful to maintain light pressure inwards on the peg when changing strings so it stays properly seated. One time I failed to do this and one of the internal gears moved out of position. I had to contact the maker for instructions on how to reseat the gear -- fixing it was not a big deal, but I could not use my violin in the meantime.

* In a full set of pegheds, 2 have right-hand screws and 2 have left-hand screws. They have to be installed on the correct side for proper operation. The pegs did not come marked, so whoever does the installation has to have enough mechanical knowledge to tell the thread directions apart.

Hope this helps,

Paul

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