Gotoh UK700 Tuners Review


October 14, 2012 by Tim

Choosing tuners for a ukulele is not something that people do all the time. For the most part we live with what it came with, at least I do…..sometimes.

What makes a good tuner? Weight? Gear ratio? Does it stick out the back (Friction or PegHed)? or does it stick out the side? Button color/material? Open gear or does it have a cover? Did you know that some tuners have sealed insides with a lubricant? It is enough to make you lay awake at night, at least me when I had a custom uke made.

Just know that people have opinions, I have an opinion; they should stick out the back of the headstock. But I do not think geared tuners are stupid, they are just another option.

What we have here are some tuners that a friend wanted to try out on a build he was going to do. He thought the way that the adjustable height post was pretty cool and wanted to see them. Also he wanted a light tuner. The Gotoh UK700 fits that bill, so I asked the distributor to send me a set, and he did.

These tuners are very cool. the post height can be adjusted at anytime. if you start with the post at its lowest position, all you have to do is unscrew the post to the proper height, then tighten the inter screw to lock it in place. There are two left and two right tuners, meaning that one side goes left to loosen, while the other goes right to loosen. Making it so the constant pressure of the strings keeps it tight. Proof that the Japanese are really smart.

Gear Ratio: 1:15
Finish: Nickel
Button: White Plastic
Full Specs:


First look: (4) When you look at the, they look like ordinary run of the mill tuners with plastic buttons. You want a sexy look, get the ST31.

Fit and Finish: (5) I will start with one little negative. I wish I could not see the ridge on the plastic button. that is my only issue. They seem to be built out of nice materials and finished well. many small parts and they are all flawless (Besides the buttons).

One thing I like are the collars are not screwed on, they are just tapped into place and the post floats freely.


Tuning: (Unknown) I have not been able to try them out on a ukulele, but when I played with them they move like butter.

Comfort: (Unknown) The buttons are nice size and since they are geared there will be no pressure to real work to tighten strings.

Final Thoughts.

With so many tuners out there, it can be hard to choose the “right” ones. These are well made nice tuners made for the ukulele, and not for guitars or other instruments then adapted for the uke. Go with what you feel is right for you. I would use these if I had a super thick headstock and it seemed the posts were below where they should be (Like this uke).

All Rating on a scale of 1-5
Click here for an explanation of reviews

First Look 4
Fit and Finish 5
Tuning Unknown
Comfort Unknown

Places to buy on the web: Not Super easy to find online

You can find them from a few places, but the best place for consumer and dealers to get them would be talk to Scott Ando at DoMo International



3 thoughts on “Gotoh UK700 Tuners Review

  1. P. Boyer says:

    I repair and restore a lot of ukuleles. For me to justify these tuners (I found UK700s for around $70) I would have to specifically need an adjustible height tuner for a thick headstock. Otherwise, for the money, there are probably some better choices. Funny, on Gotoh’s own website, they do no have the ridge on the tuner button visible in their photographs.

  2. Jim Sober says:

    I have installed these on several ukes. Best of all is the ability to adjust the post height for varying headstock thicknessess. They look and perform great. I got mine from Luthiers Mercantile International.

  3. Monty Thayer says:

    Are they drop in replacements for the open gear Grovers? I’ve read good things about these tuners on other posts and forums.

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