Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Help with Cheat-a-keys

So, y’all know I just got some of these dtuners for my birthday, and I love them, but I’ve had a couple issues, not big problems but still.
So, first, can they be lubricated? Sometimes they stick and they’re not as easy to turn as they should be.
Second, what’s the best way to set them? I’ve been having some trouble trying to set them where they’ll come back in tune.

Anyone? The lower side one is very hard to turn, can it be lubricated?

I’ve never seen Cheat a Keys in person, but from pics I just looked at, it looks like there are screws in the ivory buttons/knobs. When I got my Keith tuners, I had to spend a lot of time finding the exact tension for those screws. Too tight and they’d stick, like you say. Too loose and the tuners wouldn’t stay in tune.

Play with those screws and see if it helps. I don’t know about lubrication.


Ok I’ll try that. It didn’t seem like that was the problem due to the design, but I’ll check again

Here is an issue I had with my Keith tuners. The knurling on the tension screw was gripping the tuner button. When I turned the tuner counter clockwise, the tension would decrease. Then the tuner would not hold. I removed the tension screw and button and spun the screw in the button until it was free. The knurling on the screw cut out the button until there was clearance. There is a YouTube video that demonstrates this adjustment.

I’ve not seen exactly how the cheat-a-keys work, but since I diagnosed my issue I check this clearance on all Banjo tuners.

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Ok, these are definitely nothing like Keith tuners. I’m not really sure what to do about it but I’ll try a few things. I also want to make a video about them, cuz there’s none online

Ok I just went to disassemble them to check something, and I couldn’t undo the part under the tuner button, so I put the button on without the screw and it turned super easily, so I put the screw in with light tension and it works great thanks


Glad to hear it. That’s exactly what I had to do with my Keiths.

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I have some cheat A’s it is a matter of tensioning them just right, but they are brilliant. I had some schallers originally based on the keith design. They were useless to me. they always went out of tune as soon as you bent a string and would not hold pitch. Cant speak for Keiths, but I think they are made of better materials, thats why they are a lot more expensive and probably work better. :wink::+1:

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What have you found to be the best way to set them?

I set mine so the screw in the button is tight enough just so they turn smooth and the shaft piece that you screw up to hold the cheats on to the peg head only just firm enough to hold. I found on mine that if too tight, the whole button and the long shaft nut will turn back and forth which is not how it should turn. If too loose the gear will just keep springing back and not hold. Also the little spring buttons are there to set the fine tuning on pitch.
Also make sure you have them on the correct way around. There is a little dot punched near the little shaft pin that moves the string on one side. This side needs to be on the second string side. :+1:

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Ok thanks, and do you tune up to pitch and then tune the low note going down? (With the fine tune stop adjusters)

Yeah, that’s what I do as I recall. I hardly ever have to fine tune them only after string changes.
I used mine on this track.

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Ok thanks. And nice picking!