DELTA, BRITISH COLUMBIA — With Graph Tech’s new Ratio Tune-A-Lele ukulele tuners, players will finally enjoy a tuning experience that’s as easygoing as the instrument itself. These innovative tuners are not only the lightest machine heads in the world, but offer a patent-pending gear-tuning technology made exclusively for the ukulele. With Ratio Tune-A-Lele, tuning the uke is as easy as a summer breeze, and the instrument is lighter and more balanced for a better playing experience.
Based on size alone, the ukulele and acoustic guitar are two completely different instruments. The ukulele is lightweight, has nylon strings and a short scale, while the acoustic guitar is up to five times heavier with steel strings and a long scale. Technically and practically, guitar tuners don’t work as well on the ukulele; the proof is in the tuning ratios. When the design team at Graph Tech set out to create tuners exclusively for the ukulele, they determined that the optimum tuning ratio for the uke is 6:1. That’s the number of full rotations of the tuning button it takes to advance the gear post one full turn. Meanwhile, the standard gear-and-worm-style tuner on a regular acoustic guitar has a tuning ratio of 16:1, which is way too high for the ukulele. Furthermore, the traditional gear-and-worm tuner made to a 6:1 ratio won’t hold the string tension and will spin back causing back drive.
After researching and prototyping, the Graph Tech team came up with a new patent-pending concept in tuning technology that utilizes a straight shaft and an eccentrical bearing to drive rollers at the optimal 6:1 gear ratio to maintain pitch and eliminated the dreaded back drive. Because the tension of the nylon strings on the uke is low, they able to use a super lightweight, strong, high-density material that’s much lighter (just 5 g per tuner) than metal. The low weight of the tuners also helps to center gravity in the middle of the instrument, making the ukulele more ergonomically balanced rather than headstock-heavy.
Ratio Tune-A-Lele tuners will be available on new ukuleles from popular brands as well as at local music stores across the U.S. At MSRP $29.95 for a four-pack, players can affordably retrofit Ratio Tune-A-Lele tuners to their favorite ukulele.
To learn more, visit www.graphtech.com or visit our booth #3520 in Hall D during the NAMM Show.