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How does the effect of Hill peg soap compare with the peg soap from other brand (e.g. Conrad Götz)?


cardi

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Some sources on Internet say that one should use the peg compound from only Hill (https://www.musikhaus-korn.de/de/hill-wirbelseife-peg-soap/pd/124196) to treat slippery pegs before taking the violin to a luthier. 

What I have is this product from Conrad Götz: https://www.conrad-goetz.com/products/wirbelseife-fur-violine-viola-cello-zw-96

How do they compare to each other in terms of fixing slippery pegs?

Is it necessary for me to buy the peg compound from Hill when I already have the peg compound from Conrad Götz?

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  • 1 month later...
On 1/12/2023 at 5:53 AM, cardi said:

Some sources on Internet say that one should use the peg compound from only Hill (https://www.musikhaus-korn.de/de/hill-wirbelseife-peg-soap/pd/124196) to treat slippery pegs before taking the violin to a luthier. 

What I have is this product from Conrad Götz: https://www.conrad-goetz.com/products/wirbelseife-fur-violine-viola-cello-zw-96

How do they compare to each other in terms of fixing slippery pegs?

Is it necessary for me to buy the peg compound from Hill when I already have the peg compound from Conrad Götz?

I no longer use nor recommend any brand of peg dope.  I recommend the product described and explained below instead.  :D

https://wittner-gmbh.de/feinstimmwirbel_e.html

https://wittner-gmbh.de/wittner_finetune_peg_service.html

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Fit is very important, but sometimes not practical if the instrument is not worth very much. An experienced luthier could, assuming most things somewhat normal and the instrument was previously played regularly, cut/ make adjustments quickly to slipping pegs

With some instruments some overly enthusiastic persons, for the lack of a string staying in tune or past impact on the scroll, can easily break the pegbox with too much force. In a classroom situation, where I was coaching, a right handed student was trying to tighten and secure an a- string unsupported by the left hand and snapped the whole scroll off. 

The Gotz is harder, and might hold better if the fit is newer and properly done. But when there might be micro gaps, the softness and the darkness of the Hill makes it easier to see where the lack of "fit" might be a problem. For school instruments the Hill has been around for decades. The Hill appears to be more forgiving on application and use on violins and leave the paste/ stick for some reliable teachers.

But there are many solutions including the changing of pegs. Tried making my own paste/ wax many times. Recently saw a hybrid of normal pegs on the lower strings with geared pegs on the upper strings. But try not to use peg "drops" or liquid solutions that do not harden. 

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I have to agree with I33tplaya.

I fought with friction pegs from the time of my first violin lesson in 1939. It got even worse after my first cello lesson in 1949. And so it went until I discovered the "new" internally-geared pegs of Pegheds and later Knilling Planetary pegs and finally Wittners (probably here on Maestronet - and unfortunately after I had installed Bois d'Harmonie tailpieces on all 9 of my own instruments).

After that I bought a violin peg-hole reamer for about $20 and a digital micrometer for $10 on Amazon and was all set to go. My first conquest was with Knillings on a $300 fiddle I had bought for my son about 15 years ago. This was followed with the purchase of a cello reamer and a mix of Pegheds and Knillings for my 3 cellos, 4 more Pegheds & Knillings for my violins, one Peghed set and one  Wittner set for my violas. I also installed Knillings and one Wittner set for other family members - a total of 14 instruments.

I have found it somewhat easier  to install the Pegheds/Knillings, but only because the Wittners have a small protrusion that must indent the side of the pegbox when installed and that takes significant force to dent the wood. AND YOU CAN NOT BE COMPLETELY SURE WHETHER THE REAMED HOLE IS STILL  TOO NARROW OR IF IT IS TRULEY TIME TO REALLY "PUSH." Or you can pay your luthier to do the work (which will be more expensive than buying the necessary tools).

The only downside I have found with using the Peghed/Knillings is that I have to tune UP from flat of the desired pitch, whereas with the Wittners tuning up or down work equally well. The Wittners tune in fixed intervals, however they seem to be short enough to tune well. The Pegheds/Knillings tune smoothly and exactly - at least to within 1 Hz.

I recommend that anyone who plans to install their own geared pegs follow this advice:

1. Use a digital micrometer to measure all of your peg diameters at the surface of the pegbox to determine the smallest diameter pegs to purchase. No new peg can be smaller than your smallest current peg - a tiny b1t larger is better. "MEASURE TWICE BEFORE CUTTING" the carpenters' rule.

2. Read the installation instructions carefully and enough times to commit every step to memory and do mental "dry runs." before picking up any tool to cut wood.

3. Take your time.

Every time I think about this I recall that sometime over 20 years ago my luthier charged me $500 to rebush and install (cheap) new pegs in my 1877 cello. If I had known what I know now I could have had top-of-the-line new Pegheds and all the tools necessary for 60% less. - minus the $200 cost of the now unnecessary Bois d'Harmonie tailpiece - a total saving, all told, of over 70%.

 

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6 hours ago, Andrew Victor said:

I have to agree with I33tplaya.

I fought with friction pegs from the time of my first violin lesson in 1939. It got even worse after my first cello lesson in 1949. And so it went until I discovered the "new" internally-geared pegs of Pegheds and later Knilling Planetary pegs and finally Wittners (probably here on Maestronet - and unfortunately after I had installed Bois d'Harmonie tailpieces on all 9 of my own instruments).

After that I bought a violin peg-hole reamer for about $20 and a digital micrometer for $10 on Amazon and was all set to go. My first conquest was with Knillings on a $300 fiddle I had bought for my son about 15 years ago. This was followed with the purchase of a cello reamer and a mix of Pegheds and Knillings for my 3 cellos, 4 more Pegheds & Knillings for my violins, one Peghed set and one  Wittner set for my violas. I also installed Knillings and one Wittner set for other family members - a total of 14 instruments.

I have found it somewhat easier  to install the Pegheds/Knillings, but only because the Wittners have a small protrusion that must indent the side of the pegbox when installed and that takes significant force to dent the wood. AND YOU CAN NOT BE COMPLETELY SURE WHETHER THE REAMED HOLE IS STILL  TOO NARROW OR IF IT IS TRULEY TIME TO REALLY "PUSH." Or you can pay your luthier to do the work (which will be more expensive than buying the necessary tools).

The only downside I have found with using the Peghed/Knillings is that I have to tune UP from flat of the desired pitch, whereas with the Wittners tuning up or down work equally well. The Wittners tune in fixed intervals, however they seem to be short enough to tune well. The Pegheds/Knillings tune smoothly and exactly - at least to within 1 Hz.

I recommend that anyone who plans to install their own geared pegs follow this advice:

1. Use a digital micrometer to measure all of your peg diameters at the surface of the pegbox to determine the smallest diameter pegs to purchase. No new peg can be smaller than your smallest current peg - a tiny b1t larger is better. "MEASURE TWICE BEFORE CUTTING" the carpenters' rule.

2. Read the installation instructions carefully and enough times to commit every step to memory and do mental "dry runs." before picking up any tool to cut wood.

3. Take your time.

Every time I think about this I recall that sometime over 20 years ago my luthier charged me $500 to rebush and install (cheap) new pegs in my 1877 cello. If I had known what I know now I could have had top-of-the-line new Pegheds and all the tools necessary for 60% less. - minus the $200 cost of the now unnecessary Bois d'Harmonie tailpiece - a total saving, all told, of over 70%.

 

Yup.  :D

All I'll add is that while you're only addressing doing this for your own use, I have to make sure that any installation that leaves here, whether on mine, on a sold violin, or on a peg job, is flawless, because it becomes an advertisement of my skill.  I'll continue to spiral bush. :)

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I'm not as religious as some folks in this regard--I have a selection of peg dopes in stock and know how each works differently, using what's appropriate to the situation, plus I've got a few I've brewed up myself, including one where I tried to duplicate an old discontinued brand which IMO was the best ever (one ingredient, obvious under the microscope, was ground up Crayola brand Crayons, paper and all, all colors, and I later discovered that the person who made it was married to a woman who worked in a daycare center).

We use geared pegs on cellos and they love them, but have had a mixed response from violinists, so I don't usually put them in unless requested.

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On 2/26/2023 at 11:29 AM, Michael Darnton said:

I'm not as religious as some folks in this regard--I have a selection of peg dopes in stock and know how each works differently, using what's appropriate to the situation,

Yes, there is no one-size-fits-all peg compound. Even though I make and market my own compounds, I won't bash Hill. It's a quality, middle-of-the-road product, consistent from season to season as it's petroleum based. However if you have cello (or other instrument) pegs slipping in the winter time, it likely isn't going to do a thing for you. Beyond traditional, well-fitted pegs I'd recommend the Wittner Finetune Pegs as well. They don't require screwing and glueing, and they work like a charm. Our shop has installed about a hundred sets of the Wittner cello pegs for a local school district, and the teachers love them. They don't have to waste half the class period retuning. As far as school cellos go, the Wittner Finetune pegs should be a law!

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On 1/12/2023 at 5:53 AM, cardi said:

... to treat slippery pegs before taking the violin to a luthier. 

I got a violin that had pegs so slippery they would just turn backward when the string got tight.  I took one peg out at a time and turned the contact areas inside a paper towel and black stuff came off.  I turned the pegs in the hole and then the towel until there was no more black stuff.  They were still too slick.  I got some chalk from a nearby classroom and rubbed it on the contact parts of the pegs and then they became normal.  I read now not to use chalk, but pretty sure they mean not repeatedly....  I never had to do anything again, and note the pegs fit well, were just gooped up

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  • 2 weeks later...

Peg "soap" isn't exclusively soap, at least mine aren't. The soap serves as the base (or medium) to provide a certain amount of lubrication. The gripping action comes from the additional ingredients, typically plant resins and/or natural minerals. I vary the amount of additives based on the formula I'm making, a higher percentage of adjuncts for the firmer, "grippier" compound I make, and less for summer, lubricating compound.

 

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4 hours ago, Bill Merkel said:

Why are you saying peg soap instead of peg dope?  Do you like to think they would rather take a bath than get wasted?

Hadn't thought of it like that, but I definitely think soap is a better word than dope, however like the English I prefer compound. Whenever I write up a customer invoice I can't bring myself to write the word "dope" on the sales slip, I just write "adjust pegs" and leave it at that.

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  • 5 months later...

After this discussion I ordered some of the Woodland Strings peg compound on Etsy, the three-pack kit--but only got around to trying it today. It is BY FAR the best peg compound I have ever used.

My first test was a violin with slipping pegs and just a tiny dab of the hard version made them turn like they were floating in thick, sticky grease. So perfect.

The second violin had clean white bare pegholes and the pegs were sticking and rough. A tiny dab of the medium mix and they worked exactly the same as the other violin: perfectly.

Honestly, the stuff is a miracle. I'm done using anything else. You can't buy it right now. I just bought the last two full sets. I'm sure more will show up eventually. :-)

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Thanks for your orders and support everyone! I don’t have any plans to make the compounds available at wholesale to dealers or overseas customers. I prefer to keep the batches small to make it easier to control the quality and sell them directly to the client. I’ve updated the quantities on the listing and am making more this weekend…

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On 8/20/2023 at 12:27 PM, duane88 said:

Another vote for the peg compounds. I have two sets that I ordered when first mentioned in this thread. Best thing i have used aside from old Hill compound that you occasionally find in the aluminum tubes in old cases. A little goes a long way.

 

Bravo! Thank you.

Thanks Duane, I'm glad they worked for you. You folks kept me busy all weekend cooking and pouring compounds, so far I've managed to keep up with the demand. An update to all international customers: eBay now automatically forwards all international purchases, so they're now available internationally on eBay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/314786647845

Jay

 

IMG_8452.JPG

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