Product Review: Wittner FineTune Pegs for String Instruments
You may have seen or heard of the Academy-award winning film, The Red Violin. It is said to have been inspired by the Red Mendelssohn Stradivarius of 1720. This very instrument set a world record price at Christie’s of London in 1990. It was quietly gifted to the 16-year-old American concert violinist Elizabeth Pitcairn by her grandfather. Today, Ms. Pitcairn performs in partnership with the Red Mendelssohn Stradivarius in the finest concert halls of the world.
Even on the finest instruments, artists such as Ms. Pitcairn have historically struggled with pegs that slip or stick during crucial moments in the performance. Pegs that are difficult to turn can also exacerbate the wrist and arm strain that eventually plagues many professional musicians. Orchestra musicians are under pressure to get their instruments in tune for both concerts and rehearsals in the short amount of time allotted.
With these concerns in mind, Ms. Pitcairn eventually spoke to the master luthier who cares for her instrument. He recommended the Wittner Finetune-Pegs. Here is what she had to say about her experience.
November 1, 2010
"Dear Mr. Wittner,
I am delighted by the opportunity to express to you and your company how incredibly pleased I am with your product.
Robert Cauer of Los Angeles, a longtime caretaker of my instrument, has installed them so far on my three violins – the 1720 Stradivarius, the Pressenda and the violin which I practice on during vacations in extreme humidity in places like the Caribbean and dry climates such as the mountains of Colorado.
This has solved my problems with pegs sticking and slipping which plagued me!
I also feel that your pegs are saving my arm from strain and the onset of physical problems caused by wrestling with sticking or slipping pegs.
It is so delightfully easy to tune my violin onstage before performing a major concerto with orchestra.
I am a huge fan and am spreading the word about this wonderful product wherever I go just because I like them so much.
Thank you for making them.
More about the pegs…
The Wittner Fine Tune pegs retain the traditional hardwood appearance demanded by professional musicians while offering a unique internal gearing system that makes them a revelation to use.
When fitted into the peg box, the shaft remains locked and stationary while the only parts that move are the button and the geared middle section of the shaft. Fine Tune pegs have an internal gear ratio of 8.5:1 for very precise tuning. The gear mechanism is also self-inhibiting, meaning that it cannot slip back once it is turned.
The taper on the violin pegs is 1:30 so that they will fit into the peg box as any traditional peg would.
As the peg shaft on the Fine Tune pegs doesn’t move once fitted, there is no wear on the peg box that is found using traditional pegs. There is also no risk of a split peg box because no inward pressure is exerted on the peg box during the tuning of the instrument.