FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

How do I install my tuners?


1. Remove the 2nd and 3rd strings and tuning pegs from your banjo. Then compare your two Keith Tuners. and you’ll notice that the spools on which the strings wind are of different sizes.

2. The Keith Tuner with the larger spool is for the second string. Remove the nut and washer and insert it through the headstock, positioning it so that the two side thumbscrews can be conveniently reached while tuning. Put the flat washer and the nut back on, and tighten securely.

3. Similarly, install the Keith Tuner with the smaller spool for the third string.

* PLEASE NOTE: When tightening down the nuts, use a smooth-jawed adjustable wrench. Pliers will scar the metal, and may slip off and damage the headstock. If the holes in your banjo’s headstock are too small for the Keith Tuners, we recommend having them drilled out by a qualified instrument repairman.


1. Loosen all four side thumbscrews one-half a turn. The Keith Tuners will operate like standard tuning pegs. Now put on the second and third strings.

2. Tune the banjo to the open G tuning (second string – B. third string – G). Firmly tighten the black side thumbscrews, which will set the high stops. Now, tune the second string down to A and the third string down to F# (put the banjo into open D tuning) and firmly tighten the uncolored side thumbscrews. This will set the low stops. The tuners will now operate as “D-tuners”. and will not turn past the high or low stops.

3. If the pearlescent buttons are not at a convenient angle to turn while playing, simply unscrew the end thumbscrew that holds the button in place and pull the button free of the shaft. Since the button will fit on the shaft in six different positions, you can install it at the angle that suits you best. Push it back on the shaft and screw in the end thumbscrew.

Tuner button Placement

Tuner Button Placement

Tuner Button Placement (looking at back of peghead)

Experience has shown that placement of the tuner buttons affects the ease and speed of playing. Keith Tuners are designed with this in mind. The shaft of the peg is splined, enabling you to remove the button and place it to your liking.

The above drawing illustrates the recommended placement of the four tuner buttons when the banjo is tuned gDGBD.

1st string tuner button should be placed diagonally toward the center of the peghead.

2nd string tuner button should be placed parallel with the strings.

3rd string tuner button should be placed perpendicular to the strings.

4th string tuner button should be placed diagonally toward the center of the peghead.

* NOTE: These directions assume that the strings are wound on the spools in the normal manner; that is, the pitch of the second string is raised by turning its tuner counterclockwise, and the pitch of the third string is raised by turning its tuner clockwise. If you prefer to wind one or both of your strings in the opposite direction, just swap the black and uncolored thumbscrews on the appropriate tuner.


* When setting the stops, always tune up to the high note and down to the low note. Set the high stops with both strings raised, and the low stops with both strings lowered.

* Other tunings may be used besides the one described. Just remember that the stop for the higher note is set with the black thumbscrew.

* If the high note seems to come up a little flat, check to see if the string is binding in the nut or the bridge. It may be necessary to reshape the string groove, using a small knife or file. so that the string slides freely in it. It may also help to shave a little pencil lead into the grooves of the nut for lubrication.

* If the tuners have a tendency to slip when both stops are set, tighten the end thumbscrew which holds the button in place and which also adjusts the friction.

* A little grease may ooze from the tuners, particularly when they are new. This is not a sign of trouble– they are packed with grease at the factory, and it is normal that some will work its way out. Just wipe it off.

* Don’t force the tuners past the stops. This could result in internal damage. Tighten the side thumbscrews firmly (by hand – don’t use pliers) to prevent the stops from slipping.

* Don’t attempt to take the tuners apart. The guarantee is void if they have been abused or disassembled.

* If this pair of tuners is for the first and fourth strings, they will both have large spools, and will be labeled “1st” and “4th”.



* After several years of use, the grease may begin to dry out and the tuners become hard to turn. This can be corrected by removing the side thumbscrews and adding a little light oil such as 3-in-1 oil, sewing machine oil, or penetrating oil. Remember: these tuners are precision-made, and require lubrication. If you continue to use them when they are dry and hard to turn, you may cause internal damage. 

* If the tuners are still hard to turn after oiling, they may need to be serviced.  Beacon Banjo offers a full servicing and relubrication for $18 + $7 shipping ($25 total).  This process takes 1-3 weeks depending on the condition of the tuners.

To send your tuners in for service, please mail them to:

Beacon Banjo

PO Box 597

Woodstock, NY 12498

Please include a check for $25, along with a letter indicating your preferred return mailing address.  NOTE: Please do not disassemble your tuners before mailing them, as this can easily result in missing parts.  If parts are missing, we will replace them at additional cost.

* Don’t forget to fill out your guarantee card and mail it in.