Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Cheat A Keys tuners vs schaller Keith tuners

If anyone has experience of both of these, what is your opinion?
I just purchased a second hand set of Cheat A keys tuners over here in the UK. In my own personal opinion, I find these work better already for me. My Schaller d tuners always go out of tune after a few string bends. (I expect the Keith’s may be better quality) but
I always set them up correctly and tune up to the note, lock it and then tune down to the next pitch and lock that black screw. However, Im always resetting them.
How do the rest of you find them? If anyone uses them that is.
Maybe the nut is causing some friction and that causes the schaller to go out of tune, I don’t know.
The cheat’As are working flawlessly.

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I’ve never used either, but I have seen Russ Carson using the cheat-a-key d-tuners and they seem to work well. I have heard that that other d-tuners are hard to keep tuned so it may be worth a try. Hopefully someone who has used it will chime in here.

The only drawback I can see is that it’s obvious to observers or audience members what you’re doing whereas keith d-tuners keep most observers in the dark. Cheat-a-key is probably the appropriate name, even though other d-tuners are cheating as well.

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Yes, I don’t know if @BanjoBen has used either/both of these, I’ve been reading about the Keith tuners which are a better version of the schaller, and opinions differ. Maybe depending on how attuned people’s ears are to pitch, but some say they have no problems with Keith’s and they are better quality although I did note that a lot who said this admitted they didn’t use them much. So that may explain their answer. I do like the fact that schaller and Keith’s don’t cover the head stock but a lot seem to use cheat-A-keys as they do seem more reliable on pitch.

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I have used the Keith tuners on two different banjos (neither one mine) but I’ve never used cheat a keys. The ones I used required some finagling to get the stop set to correct pitch, but once I did the banjo stayed in tune perfectly (an obvious lie, we all know it was never in tune in the first place :joy::joy::roll_eyes:) some thought could be given to the Audience’s impression, Miss Maggie made a good point about that. Also, my dad said that tuning strings back and forth all the time could cause them breaking from metal fatigue, and it seems like the cheats wouldn’t have the same level of fatigue. The cheats are a lot cheaper, too, so there is that. I have heard that the Keith tuners are a big improvement as tuners also. That’s all just my tuppence, hope some of it helps

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Thanks. I guess the only way to know is to try Keith’s which are pricey so maybe in the future. For now I will stick with the cheat-A-s I think. :+1:

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I don’t have tons of experience with all the brands, but I have Keith tuners on one banjo, and they worked great. I’ve heard that the Cheaters work just as well, but not as pretty.

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Yes, I think probably the Keith’s are better machined than the schaller copies. Will maybe look at those at a later date as they are expensive. As they say (in most cases) you get what you pay for. Thanks Ben. :wink:

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