Gear Head vs Tuning Pegs


Hi there everyone.

I’m trying to build a kankara sanshin out of some old stuff I have laying around the house. I also have a smashed up guitar laying around that still has functional gear heads.
Could I just take them off and put them on the head of the sanshin instead of trying to create traditional tuning pegs? Because i’m not yet confident enough in my carpentry skills to try making them myself and I don’t see any reasons not to use them, asides from losing the traditional aesthetics.
What are your thoughts on it? Are there more downsides to using gear heads vs normal tuning pegs?


Hey there!
Gearhead based sanshin do exist, I ran into them while looking on asoviva recently haha. If anything they’re more precise and due to not being friction based will go out of tune less, and sonically won’t make a difference. But like you said that traditional aesthetic visually is the only thing you’d be missing out on.


I can’t name any examples but I think I’ve seen sanshin with gear heads that look traditional.


Or you could hide the gear heads behind the tuning pegs, that way it’ll look traditional in the front, modernized on the back.


Just try it, they won’t sound exactly like wood pegs but… who cares?

Try them and see how you like them.