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Roth Caspari Pegs

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I am expecting an old Scherl & Roth violin in the mail. I am used to regular friction pegs and am wondering what I need to know about these Roth Caspari pegs -- the kind with the screw. Are you able to just slide these out a little when replacing strings, like I normally would do with friction pegs? Is peg dope applied to this type of peg? Will the pegs need to be adjusted with a screwdriver? And if so, how does this work exactly?

I guess these are known as "mechanical" pegs, and I'd like to know more about how they work, and how I should maintain them. I have three other violins, all with regular friction pegs, and can deal with these quite well.

Thank you kindly in advance.

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"Are you able to just slide these out a little when replacing strings, like I normally would do with friction pegs?"

No. The only way to make them turn easier is to loosen the screws.

"Is peg dope applied to this type of peg?"

No.

"Will the pegs need to be adjusted with a screwdriver?"

Only if they slip.

"And if so, how does this work exactly?"

Tighten the screws if the pegs are too loose (i.e., the strings go flat). Loosen the screws if the pegs seem to turn too hard. If you want to understand the mechanism, you can remove a screw and dis-assemble the peg. I think it works by friction, not gears. And I think this type mounts in a fiber bushing that is glued in the peg hole. Sometimes the bushing comes loose and needs to be reglued.

All though they are non-traditional, I think these pegs work pretty well. You will want to be sure to keep a screwdriver in your case, because the only way to fix slipping pegs is to tighten the screws. The slots in the screws require an unusually thin-bladed screwdriver.

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I have had my Roth with the pegs for 46 years. They have always worked great. I never have to adjust them...and have never abused them. I always wonder why people put up with friction pegs. When these pegs die, I will get one of the newer generations of mechanical pegs...eg. pegheads or perfection pegs. I have heard of the bushings needing to be re-glued.

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From day one, when new, It gets loose easily while I am playing the violin. Another problem is that the bushing wears out fast. Unfortunately it was my main violin for 35 years. I put up with it all this time.

Finally, I bought another violin of friction pegs as my main violin. The Caspar peg makes

the violin hard to play in tune. With the my new antique violin (friction pegs) my intonation

all the sudden improved.

The fact that we have not seen many "new violins" with Casperi pegs around speaks for itself.

It is hard to maintain it in working condition. Unless you have good knowledge of how to take care of it. My problem was that I did not. My local luthier did not want to look at it.

PS. Yes, I use a special Witner tailpiece in conjunction with friction pegs. (To answer the post below)

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I'm starting to have to replace them. Even the stuff from the 80's are wearing out. If it is a lower grade Roth, it's not really worth it to ream them out, bush the holes, and put new pegs in. I have enough old ones to provide "spare" parts for awhile, since there is usually one that is wretched, while the other three can be taken apart, cleaned and made to 'function'. You'll want a Wittner Ultra with 4-tuners, I am guessing...

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My workhorse/classroom violin is a 1960's MasterArt Juzek with Caspari pegs that I've had for twenty seven years with never a problem with slipping or sticking and I've never adjusted them, not once, never been near'em with a screwdriver at all. What two of them did do was break off, though, each time in the middle of a gig, right flush with the pegbox. I guess the resin/composite/whatever-it-is material gets fatigued with time? So now I've got two Caspari's and two mismatched "normal" pegs for people to sneer at...one of these days I'll get around to getting a matched set...but I guess I like the adrenaline rush of trying to get through a gig without bumping the violin, wondering if it'll hold the tuning until the last set...

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Brad Dorsey pretty much covers everything I've been able to find out about maintaining the Caspari pegs. I've had them on one of my violins for the past 30(ish) years. No real problems, the A peg is a little sticky but not too bad.

They came with this:

peg_adjuster.JPG

adjuster

Which I have made a point of saving... That's the old elastic from a rosin cake holding it

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It is easy to believe that just one turn the screw of the Caspari peg to adjust the peg, if too lose.

There is a trick there. It taks a genus to figure it out .

One has to use a pryer (?) to hold the peg, while turn the screw.

Otherwise, the peg turns with the screw at the same time that gives you the false

adjustment. When use use this kind of tool, the bushng break easily. A new problem.

If you use fingers to hold the peg, your fingers are in the mercy of the screw driver.

Usually your fingers lose or scratch the scroll.

The screw is made of soft matel. The screwdriver has to fit exactly to prevent

blurring the slot, or rendering the peg useless.

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"It is easy to believe that just one turn the screw of the Caspari peg to adjust the peg, if too lose."

It will generally take much less than one full turn. I tighten the screw maybe one sixteenth of a turn and try it. That is often enough, but if not I try another sixteenth.

"If you use fingers to hold the peg, your fingers are in the mercy of the screw driver."

I've never had a problem holding the peg with my fingers.

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I'm working on a very ordinary school violin. It has Kaspari pegs. Composition bushing glued into head-side of hole. The two ends of the peg tighten down on the bushing when you tighten the screw.

Three of the four pegs work fine ... they ooze around nicely. The fourth chatters - that's the best I can describe it. Tried lots of things - opened it up, smeared on peg dope, added mylar washers, etc, etc. No change. Any suggestions?

Taking it out? Hah! The holes are 9 mm! Not a fiddle worth the labor/money of bushing the holes or hole ...

Dave Golber

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You can get 9mm mechanical pegs from Knilling or Wittner. Don't know about pegheds.

Putting in paper spiral bushings is pretty easy, and works well, looks good.

My experience with Caspari Pegs is that they work pretty well for decades if not abused, but when they're done, they're done.

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I'm working on a very ordinary school violin. It has Kaspari pegs. Composition bushing glued into head-side of hole. The two ends of the peg tighten down on the bushing when you tighten the screw.

Three of the four pegs work fine ... they ooze around nicely. The fourth chatters - that's the best I can describe it. Tried lots of things - opened it up, smeared on peg dope, added mylar washers, etc, etc. No change. Any suggestions?

Taking it out? Hah! The holes are 9 mm! Not a fiddle worth the labor/money of bushing the holes or hole ...

Dave Golber

To add to Brads info: An 'ignition' screwdriver (adjusting carburators)is a perfect fit for the screw slot. The problems I see with these pegs are:

1. someone buggers up the screw slot;

2. someone cranks down on the screw when that isn't the problem

Most of the problems I have with these are that the bushings come loose, like Brad said. Just glue it. Problem is, most people crank down on the screw not realizing that the whole thing is spinning, bushing and all. This cranking down on the mech creates other problems. So, EZH, I would check out your fiber bushing. I use parafin or the like to lube the pegs when I take them apart. jeff

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I am expecting an old Scherl & Roth violin in the mail. I am used to regular friction pegs and am wondering what I need to know about these Roth Caspari pegs -- the kind with the screw. Are you able to just slide these out a little when replacing strings, like I normally would do with friction pegs? Is peg dope applied to this type of peg? Will the pegs need to be adjusted with a screwdriver? And if so, how does this work exactly?

I guess these are known as "mechanical" pegs, and I'd like to know more about how they work, and how I should maintain them. I have three other violins, all with regular friction pegs, and can deal with these quite well.

Thank you kindly in advance.

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Try a set of "perfection pegs" about $100 , to see how well it works. The idea is revolutionary. Its appearance like ordinary friction pegs and the gears

are hiden inside of the shifts. You need to turn 8 times to get one turn of the peg. So, it won't get loose that easy. That is exactly what everybody wants.

You can turn the string tight without loosing it back easily.

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The Caspar peg makes

the violin hard to play in tune. With the my new antique violin (friction pegs) my intonation

all the sudden improved.

I wonder if they know about this secret at Juilliard...

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It is easy to believe that just one turn the screw of the Caspari peg to adjust the peg, if too lose.

There is a trick there. It taks a genus to figure it out .

One has to use a pryer (?) to hold the peg, while turn the screw.

Otherwise, the peg turns with the screw at the same time that gives you the false

adjustment. When use use this kind of tool, the bushng break easily. A new problem.

If you use fingers to hold the peg, your fingers are in the mercy of the screw driver.

Usually your fingers lose or scratch the scroll.

The screw is made of soft matel. The screwdriver has to fit exactly to prevent

blurring the slot, or rendering the peg useless.

Hi Fellow,

 

Are you used to be yuan?  Your posts remind me of him.

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I am in need of a set of working 4/4 cello Caspari pegs...really only need one, but would like others for spares. Can anyone direct me to a source? As much as they are hated,mi would think there would be plenty in a repair shops junk box?

Thank you,

Greg

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