Hardware Options

Tuning Machines

Perhaps the most important pieces of hardware on an instrument are the tuning machines. With the possible exceptions of a gut-bucket bass and a swinette, all stringed instruments have some mechanical means to alter the static tension of the strings. Tuning machines come in many descriptions from a plethora of manufacturers. Here are a few that I use and like.

Waverly tuners are without question my first choice in tuning machines. They're smooth, precise, and built to last the life of the instrument. They're not cheap, but well worth the cost. Waverly tuners are available as individual tuners or connected on a plate for nearly all instruments and with a multitude of options. Follow the information on omy Links page for more information.

If your budget won't stand the expense of Waverly, less-expensive but still-good-quality tuning machines are manufactured by Schaller, Grover, Gotoh and others.

Even violin-family instruments, though often thought of as having friction pegs, are sometimes equipped with geared, mechanical tuning machines. The double bass, at left, can be equipped with either individual tuners or two-on-a-plate machines. The violin at right appears to have traditional pegs, but is actually fitted with Perfection planetary tuning machines; these machines provide a traditional appearance while offering precise geared tuning that eliminates the need for individual fine tuners.


Although I equip a large percentage of my instruments with pickups, the wide and ever-changing range of both available devices and also customer preferences makes it impossible to list your options. Basically, tell me what you want, and I'll install it. If you're unsure, visit the suppliers' websites through my Links page or contact me and I'll share what I know about the subject.

Other Hardware

In addition to the tuning machines and pickups, hardware is found throughout most instruments in the form of end pins and strap buttons (left) and frets (right). These are available in various sizes and colors. Other hardware items are hidden, such as truss rods, but are still important considerations when designing your new instrument. Any hardware I install on a Skipper instrument will be of high quality; if you're looking for something special, you can visit the Links page for ideas or you can contact me with yours.

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