Geared tuning for Violin, Viola, Cello, Gamba, Oud, Lute …

Perfection pegs are suitable for violin, viola and cello. They also fit the oud, many types and sizes of gamba and some lutes. Any string instrument that has a pegbox similar to the violin, a two-sided pegbox with pegs bridging the box, is a candidate. Perfection pegs come in several sizes, to suit different instrument sizes and peg hole diameters.

Head styles & materials

Cello pegs in ebony and rosewood, Swiss and Hill styles.
Cello pegs, ebony & rosewood, Hill & Swiss styles (Hill with the pin)

Swiss & Hill, in ebony, rosewood & ABS

Perfection pegs heads are made of ebony, rosewood, or ABS synthetic. The heads come in Swiss style (all curves, in ebony, rosewood and ABS), or the Hill style (with a pin on the top, in ebony and rosewood).

Other instruments

Gamba, Oud, Guitar, Ukulele, Lute & more

Perfection pegs for violin & cello were designed for use with a two-sided peg box and can also be used on instruments that are similarly configured. Most ouds can be fitted with the Perfection violin pegs, and many of the gamba family can use either the violin or cello pegs. Lutes with a violin-type peg box may also be suitable.

Perfection pegs for guitar and ukulele are designed to fit a single-piece headstock, they are otherwise the same, mechanically and functionally, as the pegs for violin or cello.

Extended-length Perfection pegs for the wider peg boxes of Gamba and similar instruments are available (luthiers please email for information).

Lute with Perfection ebony Hill style pegs
Viola d’amore with rosewood Swiss style
Perfection violin pegs installed

Lifetime Warranty

The mechanism of all Perfection pegs sold by Twofold Media carries a lifetime warranty.
If a peg fails under normal operation we will replace the peg.
The warranty does not cover the installation.

No maintenance required – ever

Perfection pegs require no maintenance throughout the life of the peg. The internal gear mechanism is packed with a high viscosity grease at manufacture and then permanently sealed.

DO NOT LUBRICATE your Perfection pegs as this will damage the mechanism. Lubricating a peg will void the Warranty.


Shape, weight & taper

Perfection pegs have a standard taper (violin 1:30, cello 1:25) and are designed to fit in the same holes as the standard wooden friction pegs currently on your instrument. They have the same profile and weight as a set of good ebony pegs.


The head of a Perfection peg is made either of ebony, rosewood, or ABS synthetic (the plastic often used in car bodies). The head is attached to the central sun gear, which runs down the centre of the shaft.


The section just below the head is the shank. Made of aircraft-grade aluminium, turned, polished and anodized, the shank encloses the gears and connects the head to the shaft. When the peg is installed the shank is fixed in the peg box and remains stationary.

Planetary gears

Inside the shank is a set of planetary gears, and the brake which holds the gears in position against the tension of the strings. The 4:1 geared reduction provides accuracy and control in tuning. The gears themselves are made of toughened high-tensile steel, they are immensely strong, permanently sealed and lubricated and never require maintenance.


The shaft is the section with the string hole. It sits below the shank and is made of anodised aluminium and industrial nylon. The shaft is driven by the gears and turns once with every four turns of the head.
See the Perfection pegs planetary gear diagram.


Perfection pegs work in much the same way as a conventional pegs, but more accurately and reliably.

  • Turn the peg head to change the pitch.
  • Press the head inwards to make the peg more firm and hold string tension.
  • Pull the head outwards to soften the peg action.
  • Whatever the “firmness” setting, the head can be turned without risk of damaging the mechanism.
  • When you are satisfied with the feel of the peg simply turn the head to tune sharp or flat.

When a string is tuned to pitch a variable-friction brake holds the gears in position against the tension of the string. The player controls the degree of friction by exerting a light inward pressure on the peg head as a string is tuned. Friction is increased by pressing the peg head inwards as it is turned, and can be released to let the peg turn more freely by pulling the peg head gently outwards during rotation.

To get a feel for the tuning action: back the peg off a couple of turns (so there’s no danger of breaking a string) and work the head backwards and forwards a few times, a half turn each way, as you apply gentle inward pressure to the head. Now do the same thing while gently pulling outwards on the head. You will quickly discover how to adjust the peg for ease of turning and optimal hold.

If at some stage you find that the string is not holding, apply an inward pressure as you turn the head and this will make the action more firm. Or, if the peg becomes difficult to turn, gently pull the peg head away from the peg box as you turn and you will feel the action become easier.

Young cellist tuning single-handed

Measuring, selecting & installing

Perfection pegs are available in a range of shank diameters to suit different instruments and peg hole sizes.

Taking  measurements

Perfection pegs are available in sizes, styles and materials to fit any violin, viola or cello. To ensure you purchase the correct size peg for your instrument you must take measurements of your existing pegs.

  • Measure the diameter of all the peg holes.
  • Measurements should be made at the point where the peg enters the peg box on the peg head side (your luthier would take these measurements before ordering and fitting the pegs).
  • Use a set of calipers to measure the diameter of the existing pegs at the point where they enter the peg box on the head side.

Perfection peg dimensions

Peg dimensions: Perfection pegs ABS Swiss model for violin/viola set against a 1cm grid
Peg dimensions: Perfection pegs ABS Swiss model for cello set against a 1cm grid

Choosing the size

  • Select the Perfection peg that is just larger than your largest measurement.
  • The smaller Perfection pegs (7.8mm for violin, 12mm for cello) usually suit newer instruments.
  • Older instruments often have larger peg holes and may need the larger Perfection pegs (8.5 and 9mm for violin and viola. 13, 14 and 15mm for cello)


Fitting Perfection pegs does not harm an instrument and the process is fully reversible.

Installation is straightforward but involves removal and refit of the strings, bridge, pegs, and tailpiece, often the fine tuners are removed, and reaming of all four peg holes is necessary. As such it is a task best handled by a trained luthier.

A ‘standard taper’ reamer is used to prepare the peg box (Vn 1:30, Vc 1:25). It is the same tool that is used to install traditional pegs.

Complete installation instructions can be found on the Installation page.

Perfection peg types

Models, sizes, materials and styles

ModelDia (mm)Description
P1VN44 7.87.8Eb, Rw, ABSSw, Hiviolin 4/4, viola 14″ and larger
P1VN44 8.58.5Eb, Rw, ABSSw, Hiviolin 4/4, viola 14″ and larger
P1VN44 99.0Eb, Rw, ABSSw, Hiviolin 4/4, viola 14″ and larger
P1VN34 7.87.8ABSSwviolin 3/4-1/2, viola 12″-13″
P1UK44 7.87.8ABSSwukulele 4 peg, guitar 6 peg, for single piece headstock
P1VC44 1212.0Eb, Rw, ABSSw, Hicello 4/4
P1VC44 1313.0Eb, Rw, ABSSw, Hicello 4/4
P1VC44 1414.0Eb, Rw, ABSSw, Hicello 4/4
P1VC44 1515.0Eb, Rw, ABSSw, Hicello 4/4
P1VC34 1212.0ABSSwcello 3/4-1/2
Head types: Eb = ebony, Rw = Rosewood, ABS = synthetic
Head styles: Sw = Swiss, Hi = Hill

Understanding model names

Example model: P1VN44 8.5 EH
The model name indicates the peg, the instrument type it’s suited for, the instrument size, shaft diameter (and corresponding peg hole diameter and the head type. In this case, “P1VN44 8.5 EH” describes a Perfection peg suitable for a 4/4 (full size) violin with its largest existing peg hole at less than 8.5mm diameter. The peg has a head made of ebony carved in the Hill style.
P1Perfection peg
VNInstrument typeVN violin & viola, VA viola, VC cello
44Instrument size44 full size, 34 half to three-quarter size
8.5Shaft diameterin mm, at top of the threadNo number indicates
7.8mm for violin or 12.0mm for cello
EHHead style & materialE ebony, R rosewood,
H Hill style, S Swiss style
No style designation indicates
ABS synthetic in Swiss style


Perfection pegs for violin, viola and cello (instrument sizes 1/2, 3/4 and 4/4) are available by mailorder through the Sales page on this website, or from your luthier. Not all peg models and sizes may be in stock at the time of your order but they will be brought in to fulfil the order.

Please contact us by email at if you would like to check the availability of a particular type of peg or if you have other questions.

Trade discounts are available for luthiers.

Perfection pegs vs. wooden friction pegs

“Efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things.”

– Peter Drucker

All string players know an instrument that’s difficult to tune wastes a lot of time, time they would rather spend playing, or practising.

Perfection pegs eliminate string tuning problems, boosting a player’s efficiency and effectiveness.

Students using Perfection pegs are able to tune on their own instruments at a far earlier stage in their learning, often years earlier, and their sense of agency is greatly enhanced because of this. Every lesson is made more effective, while at home they practise on an instrument that is in tune, one that they have tuned themselves.

Teachers with young orchestras that are equipped with Perfection pegs consistently report time savings in lessons and onstage of around 30%.

A violin, viola or cello fitted with Perfection pegs has a longer and more useful working life. Maintenance spending on instrument repairs associated with pegs and fine tuners is reduced almost to zero, as are those ‘incidents’ with friction pegs that are the most common cause of broken strings.


Ancient pegs

In centuries past all stringed instruments had strings made from processed gut and were tuned with wooden friction pegs. Wooden tuning pegs pre-date all modern string instruments and their first use is lost in prehistory.

Traditional friction pegs are problematic

  • Friction pegs are the major cause of wear on a string instrument,
  • A player can take years before they feel competent in their use, and requires strength and skill to use them properly. The difficulty is extreme for young players and all beginners, and older players, and anyone with arthritis-affected hands.
  • The performance of wooden pegs is unpredictable and is particularly affected by the weather. Changes in temperature and humidity cause the wood of the peg and the box to expand and contract, this can make pegs jam or let go unexpectedly.

The difficulties associated with friction pegs increase as the wood of the peg and the peg box wears. Held in place by friction, exerting pressure against the wood of the peg box, wooden pegs are designed to wear with use. This is simply the way they work, the friction of wood-on-wood resists the tension of the string, and each turn of the wooden peg creates wear on both peg and pegbox. The pattern of wear is uneven, and as the pegs and holes change shape using them becomes more and more challenging, until the peg holes need to be reamed to a larger size and the pegs are replaced. The peg holes eventually become too large and they must be re-bushed, and the process starts again.

New strings

Over the years, from around the end of the 19th century, alternatives to gut strings became available. Different materials were used to create strings with bigger and brighter sounds and better projection. Fashioned from steel, aluminium and synthetic fibres, the new strings needed higher tensions and this further aggravated the problems of friction pegs, making them more difficult to use. With the new strings, friction pegs reached the limits of their capabilities, the pressure was literally on. To regain control of the process fine tuners were attached to the tailpiece. Fine tuners allow more accurate tuning than friction pegs unassisted but they also compromise the sound.

First gears

In time, geared tuners were developed to handle the higher string tensions. The geared devices were easier to use and more stable than friction pegs and the design and construction of the string bass, guitar, mandolin and several others, changed to allow them to adopt the geared tuners.

Finding a suitable replacement for the traditional wooden pegs for violin, viola and cello proved more difficult. With these instruments, the weight of the pegs has a bearing on the sound, and there are strong aesthetic requirements to be satisfied. The development of an acceptable alternative, a geared peg that performed properly and looked good on the instrument, had to wait another 100 years for the development of new metals, synthetics and computer-aided manufacturing methods.

Perfection takes time

Chuck Herin is a cellist and an engineer who became intrigued by the problems caused by string instruments’ archaic method of tuning and realised that there must be a better way. While all string players are aware of the difficulties caused by conventional pegs, Chuck was the only one who felt he could actually do something about it. He got busy and in 2000, after 20 years of research and development, released the first PegHed precision planetary geared tuning peg. The PegHed technology was then licensed and the Perfection planetary pegs for violin, viola and cello were developed.

Perfection pegs maintain the appearance and the character of the instrument, to the extent that the most obvious indication they have been fitted is an absence of fine tuners on the tailpiece. Perfection pegs provide string instruments with a geared tuning action that is precise, reliable and stable under all weather conditions. They will never wear out and once fitted you will never again need to have your pegs maintained or repaired.

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