Der Jung Tuner Review

Der Jung Tuning MachinesDuring the Guitar Foundation Convention in June 2013 I had the good fortune to meet a new dealer getting started in the classical guitar world - Jonathan Marshall. Jon is guy about my age and while I normally like to keep control of the marketing of my guitars, I have made a few guitars for him since that time. 

I took his advice a little skeptically on the Der Jung tuners because it was hard to believe that paying half the price of the Shallers I was using at the time could get me a much better set, but after I received the first set of Der Jung's work in the mail, I was sold.

They sell a wide variety of designs that range in price from about $15 to $70. I decided to purchase the tuners priced in the middle - about $35. The tuners I received are half the price of the Shaller tuners I buy and an even small fraction of the price of some Rubner tuners I have recently acquired for a new project; however, the Der Jungs perform equally with them, if not actually better.

Although some of their designs are a bit eccentric, they are fresh and this Taiwan-based company is certainly challenging the market's traditional price point for their quality.

About a year after first sampling the first set I bought I reached out to the company using the contact form on their website and had a back and forth email conversation with "Joe" (I am sure that's not his traditional name). They had a minimum order of 100 machines and they had just started selling the sets with roller bearings, so I decided to move forward with buying some sets in bulk. Although I have started advertising Sloane or Gilbert tuners as the go to option, I used the sets I ordered for about three or four years and they work wonderfully. The set pictured can easily be taken apart for parts replacement or adjustments and none of the guitars I made that use them have been reported to have any issues.

The only drawback - In my estimation, the basic design of these tuning machines are essentially copies of Gotoh tuners. Dealing with anything made in China bears a possible lack of respect for intellectual property. This might not be the case, but this possibility has made me more hesitant to use them on my latest guitars.

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