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I'm a new cellist but a guitarist first and foremost. What frustrates me most about my cello is that the pegs seem to slip and the strings go slack - no matter how tightly I push the peg in. What can I do?

Also, has anyone tried any of those Pegheds (website: pegheds.com) that are supposed to prevent slippage and the need for fine tuners? I'm also curious to know what anyone thinks about converting the cello pegs to machine heads like a guitar or bass. Is that feasible?
When I first got my Cello I had the same problem. I used a little rosin dust on the pegs and it held it and has held ever since. I'm not sure that the 'proper' way to do it is..but this worked for me. I dont think I'd add machine tuners to it, it will change your sound, probably and add unecesary weight to the fiddlehead. I have found once the strings have been tuned and streched, they hardly go out of tune more than what the fine tuners will adjust. I'd definatly make sure you have the fine tuners on your tailpiece, then its easy to do the small amount needed to compensate for humidity and tempreture changes. I too am a converted guitarist, I love both, one is great for improv and adrenaline fun, the other is great for going way back and doing barouque..and ensemble things. Enjoy!
Strings has reviewed the Pegheads and found them quite interesting. The folks I know of who use them, swear by them. You might ask a luthier to take a look at your cello to make sure the pegs are seated correctly. A shop also can suggest whether you need peg dope or some other fix.
pegheads are the greatest thing since pickled ice cream, as a builder I would never go back to regular pegs unless I turn into a sadistic masochist.
M said:
I'm a new cellist but a guitarist first and foremost. What frustrates me most about my cello is that the pegs seem to slip and the strings go slack - no matter how tightly I push the peg in. What can I do?

Also, has anyone tried any of those Pegheds (website: pegheds.com) that are supposed to prevent slippage and the need for fine tuners? I'm also curious to know what anyone thinks about converting the cello pegs to machine heads like a guitar or bass. Is that feasible?
Wooden pegs in wooden holes could be considered a design flaw in an otherwise remarkably elegant system. When the pegs fit the holes perfectly they work beautifully, effortlesly. But with changes in humidity, the ebony pegs shrink and swell (and not symetrically!) as do the holes in the maple peg box--and not at the same rate as the ebony. So they wear each other out--the pegs get deformed and the holes get bigger, and it gets harder and harder to make them stay in place. Time to take it to the shop to have them re-fitted. It's simply part of the maintenance routine. Eventually you run out of new wood on the pegs and they have to be replaced, which can happen several times over the course of an instrument's life. In time, the holes may become too big and need to be re-lined with new wood, called bushings. Adding abrasives like chalk may seem like a good idea in the short run, but it really makes the surfaces wear out faster.

Pegheads or Planetary Pegs (same thing) work really well. When you turn the head, you're turning the gears inside the shaft, not the shaft itself, so there is no wear on the pegbox. The pegs work as accurately as fine tuners so there's no longer a need for those. I think there've been two drawbacks to acceptance: first, tradition. It's a change-resistant field. Second, appearance. They look pretty good but have still been made of plastic. I hear they're getting close to being able to manufacture them with wooden heads--maybe there're already there, now. Once they look like real pegs, nobody need be the wiser.
Thanks to everyone for your replies! I appreciate all your information.... especially those of you who like the alternative peg system. I guess I'll give them a try. Thanks again! Rock hard!!!!!!
I have the Pegheads on both of my cellos. One has the wooden pegs and the other the composite, which were added when climate changes were found to affect how wooden pegs worked. Both function fine on my instruments. The pegs do not slip due to the gears and I can use tailpieces that do not require tuners. This makes them lighter and more receptive to better sound. These pegs are a good investment.
Erin Shrader said:
Wooden pegs in wooden holes could be considered a design flaw in an otherwise remarkably elegant system. When the pegs fit the holes perfectly they work beautifully, effortlesly. But with changes in humidity, the ebony pegs shrink and swell (and not symetrically!) as do the holes in the maple peg box--and not at the same rate as the ebony. So they wear each other out--the pegs get deformed and the holes get bigger, and it gets harder and harder to make them stay in place. Time to take it to the shop to have them re-fitted. It's simply part of the maintenance routine. Eventually you run out of new wood on the pegs and they have to be replaced, which can happen several times over the course of an instrument's life. In time, the holes may become too big and need to be re-lined with new wood, called bushings. Adding abrasives like chalk may seem like a good idea in the short run, but it really makes the surfaces wear out faster.

Pegheads or Planetary Pegs (same thing) work really well. When you turn the head, you're turning the gears inside the shaft, not the shaft itself, so there is no wear on the pegbox. The pegs work as accurately as fine tuners so there's no longer a need for those. I think there've been two drawbacks to acceptance: first, tradition. It's a change-resistant field. Second, appearance. They look pretty good but have still been made of plastic. I hear they're getting close to being able to manufacture them with wooden heads--maybe there're already there, now. Once they look like real pegs, nobody need be the wiser.
whoops, my reply went out with nothing on it. Sorry.
Pegheds.
Your opinions seem to be very well-considered, so I'll ask this:
If Pegheds© remain forever stationary in their holes, is this good? I live in New England, and we have seasonal extremes of humidity. If I'm not daily turning my conventional pegs in the pegbox, it often happens that the pegs will really seize tight, or, conversely, let go, ka-boing, generally when I'm driving out in the cold (low humidity). Did I hear correctly that if pegs seize tooooooo tightly in the pegbox there is a slight risk of cracking the pegbox? Ouch. Or is this merely organological hypochondria, which is rife in our business.
So, can you give me a shoot-from-the-hip opinion about this?
My viola pegs work very well, actually; I'm interested in dispensing with the fine tuners on the tailpiece, and I think the Wittner tailpieces are colossally ugly. I'm too much of an aesthetic poseur to use them.
Jim Bump
You reeeally aren't suggesting some junk plastic in fine wooden fiddle are you? Then I could have some fiing line for stings and who's what bow? Moderinization is soooooo funny! hae he he he he ! Giimi a break!?
I can't imagine what it would be like to try to play in New England with all the humidity changes. Here in Colorado, the weather is so dry (especially worse during the winter). Would that contribute to peg slippage? Also, does anyone else from a dry state do anything special (eg use a humidifier) for their cello?
My first fiddle? 1971- ole Bulle Model - Sear & Roewbuck kit fiddle? - white violin - later varnish again. Sold for some unkown reason.
Such a loss.
Since then ther have been many and gone away to places unknown.

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