Knilling’s “Perfection” Pegs

I first came across these geared pegs at the CMEA Convention last weekend, and, after handling Knilling’s display violin, I was immediately impressed with the pegs’ fluidity and perfect outward appearance.

These aren’t your regular geared pegs that you find on guitars or string basses! The gears are all on the inside of the peg, and consequently do nothing to harm the instrument, practically or aesthetically. On all four strings, the pegs rotated smooth-like-a-dream (no need for any fine-tuners, not even the E!), and they stayed put: no slipping or sticking, and no need to push into the pegbox while tuning. This is definitely something I’m putting on my wishlist! =)

At, a thread on this very subject had the great pleasure of a visit from Gary Byers, a representative for Knilling’s Perfection Pegs at the manufacturing and marketing level, who answered many questions about these pegs. Click here to read that discussion. Also, you can click here to see Knilling’s own site and to view a trailer about these fantastic pegs.


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  1. Hi Sarah, I found you by googling the Planetary Pegs – as I have a problem in that this a.m. I found all my pegs (on 100 yr old cello) “frozen” and non-moving at all. They were installed about a month and 1/2 ago. I am thinking they are swollen by the new humidifier I have been using….. 🙁 and hope they will gradually get back to their normal state by discontinuing the humidifier.

    Have you any experience with this? Any ideas? Thanks for any help you can give.

    Nancy, student of cello in S CA

  2. Hi, Nancy!! I’m sorry to have taken soooo long to respond – forgive me, this is a really crazy semester for me right now… But thank you so much for your question. How are your pegs now? Has there been any change?

    Sometimes I find that my Knilling pegs stick a bit when the whether changes, like in especially hot or stormy days, or also if I’ve been tuning them in large directions (like switching between modern and Baroque tuning). I admit sometimes I can be a little rough on them, too. But I recently found if I’m careful to tune slowly, and, if they’re sticky, to tug outwards on the peg a little, it seems to help….[This is from a downloadable PDF from Knilling’s site: “Perfection Peg FAQ”:

    “It is possible to temporarily seize up the gear mechanism of a Perfection Peg by shoving the head inward
    with inappropriate force or from an impact on the peg’s head. If this should happen, the head should be
    grasped and gently wiggled outward, working it in an alternating clockwise and counter-clockwise manner.
    This should free the gears for normal operation.”]

    Mine haven’t completely frozen, though I do remember hearing of such things, so I’m not entirely sure…

    I’m sure you could try emailing or calling Knilling (you can use the link in my article above to go to their website and then click “Contact Us” toward the bottom of the page), or inquiring of your trusted luthier, and see what they might suggest. Good luck!! 🙂

  3. Here is Nancy’s response she just sent me:

    “Hello, Sarah; Thanks for your response to my query. The pegs are just fine now. It was the humidity (I think it 70% in the room!) I called my instrument shop (Cauer in LA). They called the man who invented these pegs and even now makes all the wooden head pegs – that’s what mine are. His suggestion was to use a hair dryer – carefully. That is exactly what I did, carefully and spaced out over several hours. That worked well enough that I was able to tune my cello, carefully! However, now they back to normal and working well. I do love them. An added attraction is that my instrument holds the tuning much better than with the old style pegs.

    Maybe my experience will be helpful to you or someone else in the future…

    Nancy K”

    Hooray! I’m so glad everything worked out! 🙂

  4. Sarah,

    I have an 8 year old daughter who wants to learn to play the violin. I was considering purchasing her a new or used viloin. She is about 4ft. 4 inches and 55 lbs. I know they come in different sizes. I was told that Knilling was a good brand. Do you have any suggestions?

    Thank You


  5. Hi, Marcus!! I don’t have personal knowledge of Knilling’s violins – neither myself nor any of my students own one. But I do love their planetary pegs, which are of high quality and ingenious design, and the company is very reputable and has been very kind in dealing with me, so I wouldn’t have any qualms about trying one of their violins.

    The main thing about purchasing a violin from anyone is to be sure to try it out with your daughter and her teacher for as long as you can before making a decision, and to compare several different brands if you can. Also, you can always step into a local luthier’s shop and ask to sample their instruments to see what kind of a sound and feel you like… And of course you want to be able to return the instrument if you try it and aren’t happy with it.

    Take time to experiment – it’s well worth it, especially as your daughter advances in her studies. 🙂

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