Luna Ukulele

What ukulele tuning mechanism is best?

I've been looking to get my first uku and I can't decide between a Lanikia Lu-21C and the Luna Tattoo Concert uku. The only notable thing I can see (other than the design on the luna) is the fact that the Lanikia has "geared tuners" and the Luna has "open tuners". I really don't know too much about ukus and this being my first one I really want to get it right so can someone please explain to me the difference between these two types of tuners and maybe what uku they prefer?

Geared tuners have a ratio of tuning adjustments. What this means, is that a quarter turn of the tuning peg results in much less than a quarter turn of the tuning post on which the string is wound. Therefore you have a much finer adjustment capability to ensure your strings are "in-tune".

There are two types or geared tuners -- open and sealed. The sealed tuner doesn't need lubrication and stays clean. (first picture).

http://www.specialtyguitars.com/mm5/graphics/lg/02-07002-lg.jpg

The open tuner has the gear exposed and will need periodic lubrication (second picture).

http://www.elderly.com/images/accessories/GAPT/H9718G.jpg

The old "friction" tuners (similar to standard violin tuners) are just wooden pegs inserted into a hole. The friction of the wood against wood holds the peg in place and a quarter turn of the tuning peg results in a quarter turn of the tuning post (since they are the same piece of wood). This makes it more difficult to fine tune the strings and sometimes the peg slips so the string goes out of tune. The advantage is they are simple to make and cost less. You'll find these on older ukulele or on very inexpensive ones.

Since both ukulele that you mention (Luna and Lanikai) have geared tuners, the difference is more a matter of style than function.

I have played many of the Lanikai LU-21C and they have been making ukulele for several years. I have not held or played a Luna ukulele so I have no opinion. Kala also makes a nice concert. Many of the ukulele players in our group find the Lanikai to be an exceptional value with good playability and nice tone -- a very good starter ukulele.

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