BANJO Cheat-a-Keys
only $149.95 
plus shipping and handling

picture of Cheat a Keys installed on Gibson banjo

First produced in 1952, the unique sound of the banjo D-tuners has captured the fancy of banjo lovers across the world. Often called Cheaters, a multitude of variations on the original design have been tried. The strongest objection to most of them is that installation requires drilling the peghead with two additional holes. The models which do not require drilling the peghead can be cumbersome and non-intuitive in their operation.

The revolutionary design of the Famous Old Time Music Company BANJO CHEAT-A-KEYS surmounts each and every one of these objections plus providing flawless performance no matter the tempo of the tune.

NOTE:  the postage included in the Buy Now button price is for USPS 2 Day Priority small Flat Rate box within the continental US only.  For other shipping destinations or methods, please contact me at or 513-607-1874.  Thanks!

Sorry to say the regular width keys are not currently available.  Hopefully this is a temporary situation.



WIDE CheataKeys (up to 2.5″ wide)


  • The CHEAT-A-KEYS clamp onto the peghead and require NO DRILLING. Collectible banjos need not be de-valued with extra holes in the peghead.
  • CHEAT-A-KEYS are easy to install. No special tools or training is required.
  • CHEAT-A-KEYS require little or no maintenance. Made of durable metal, the keys are designed to give years of trouble free service with only periodic application of grease.
  • The CHEAT-A-KEYS are easy to use.
  • The CHEAT-A-KEYS do not replace or change the operation of the regular tuning machines at all. Tuning of the open strings is accomplished in the same manner whether the CHEAT-A-KEYS are in place or not.
  • Unlike previous designs, setting the stop points on the CHEAT-A-KEYS is quick and easy. One setscrew sets the tuning for D, Dm, C or any other key you might need.
  • The shaft is longer than the regular tuning machines, so the buttons are easy to grab and twist at any tempo.
  • Operation of the CHEAT-A-KEYS is more intuitive than other brands; clockwise always flats the note and counter-clockwise always sharps it.
  • The action of the CHEAT-A-KEY is smooth and effortless which produces a faster, snappier change of pitch.
  • CHEAT-A-KEYS are available in Regular and Extra Wide. Regular will fit any headstock up to 1 and 7/8 inches wide. The Extra Wide will fit headstocks up to 2 and 1/2 inches wide. Either size sells for $149.95 plus tax and shipping. Call Famous Old Time Music Company at 513-607-1874 or email to order.


This is the second set of Cheatakeys for me.  I love them.  By far superior to the Scruggs/Keither tuners in my opinion.  Very easy to install and very precise.
Jack Stauffer
Wasepi Bluegrass Gospel Singers

Centreville, MI

Have to tell you…these things are so much fun! They actually work…I love them!! Haven’t played with tuners for decades. Got reacquainted with Foggy Mountain Chimes real quick. The thing stays in tune. Wow.
Rod Johnston
Village Productions
a 501 (c) 3 non-profit
Weaverville, NC 28787

Hi Kitty,
I’ve got your mail today and I tried to put it on my Banjo. It’s vey easy and smooth. i beleve my costomer love it. And I’m thinking to put it on my banjo.Thank you very much,
Toshio Watanabe

Kitty & Vernon,
After years and years of adjusting and readjusting Scruggs-Keith tuners I saw the Cheat-a-Keys on Chris Warner’s banjo and bought my own set. These are the most easiest trouble free tuners I’ve ever had. Clamp them on and go, quick easy adjustment, they work just fine on my Gibson RB3! Thanks for a wonderful product!
Tommy Neal (2/10)

Hi. I picked up the D-tuners Friday, got them on the banjo okay.THESE ARE THE BEST D-tuners I have ever used….!!!!
Larry Wisse
Marysville, Ohio

Just a note to say that I’m very pleased with the tuners!
Gordon Johnston
Lancaster, England

Hi guys!
Roger Matthews here. I bought a set of your Cheat-a-keys at a festival a few weekends ago and they’re terrific! Best I ever saw anywhere! They actually work! The installation of the tuners enhanced the bass response of my banjo and added just a tiny bit of sustain. Just made the banjo sound better as far as I’m concerned. The thing I like about them is that you can set them on the stage between tunes, I used the Keith tuners for years but they really weren’t a stage worthy device. Took too much time to get them set. The cheata tuners can be set from D to the Randy Lynn setting in seconds! I guess you already know that, but I just wanted to brag on you guys a little! Thanks for your wonderful product!
Roger Matthews with Midnight Flight

Hello, Kitty.
I got the tuners on Monday and have been giving them a good road test since. I am extremely pleased with the way these tuners work. It took me a little while to get used to the direction the G-string tuner turns, but not long. Having used a friend of mine’s set (on his banjo) for a few songs some time ago, I already knew that the tuners would hold the tuning well and accurately; but I wasn’t aware of just how easy it is to get the tuners into new and different tunings. The versatility and accuracy of these tuners is amazing and they have dramatically increased my interest in tuner tunes. I am one super happy customer. Thanks so much for making these, and I will advise every one of my banjo-playing friends to buy a set. Please tell the guy who made these things, “great job.”

Another nice thing about the Cheat-a-Key unit is that I can transfer it to any of my other banjos. I’ll never have to buy anymore Schallers or Keith Tuners. Great product. You ever need a testimonial, don’t hesitate to ask me.
Andy M.
Eau Claire, WI