Home Anatomy of Mandolin Tuners Hospital


  In order to deal with this issue, it may be useful to look at the anatomy of mandolin tuners. It is possible to clean tuners fairly easily, and also to repair some of the common problems, though this is much more problematic. Basically there are two main types; the Italian through-the-head tuners with side buttons, (left) and the German slotted head tuners with buttons at the back. (right)

Which Way Do Tuners Fit?

Which ever way the tuners are arranged, with the cog above or below the string barrel, (and I have found both, with only one set of screw holes, suggesting they are original), it is important that the base string posts turn anti-clockwise and the treble posts clockwise, (viewed from the front on side tuners and the side for back tuners), so that the strings can go up the centre and out to the posts, without interfering with the other string posts.


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   Whether German or Italian style, the anatomy of a traditional tuner is fairly similar. The German string barrel has an open end usually, whilst the Italian, because it is visible at the head front, is closed. Some tuners have the cog attached by a screw, French typically, but most not.

   In order to disassemble this type of tuner, the first thing to do is to knock out the retaining pin from the outer and inner barrels.