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  1. #1

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    I have a Korg Chronomantic I have used for years but it is getting touchy. I have another one too as a back up similar but now I am thinking that maybe I should get a strobe tuner. When I finish tuning with a tuner I check with my ear that is a must and it has to ring my ears too. From all I gather the strobe tuners like Peterson are much better and more accurate. I don't want to fall prey to diminishing returns as we all know even the string pressure change on your finger will raise the pitch.

    What do most of you use and I need something that works both as a clip on and I can just set it down and use it. In fact I really don't need a clip on but do clip on tuners work without being clipped on headstock? Finally will a strobe tuner tell you how many cents you are actually off. When I set intonation I want to know how many cents things are off at the 12th fret as well as other fret positions. You would think repairing guitars I would know more about this stuff but I also know that I have never played a guitar that was perfectly in tune as the meter reads.


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    I just got a Korg GA Custom for my desk. It's running off the effects loop of my amp. I'm very pleased with the results. Excellent readability.

  4. #3

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    I just got the Peterson Strobo-Clip HD and couldn't be happier - this in combination with the software version on my phone has me covered in all situations, on- and off-stage, while teaching, doing set-up work etc. These things are lightning fast, accurate and tweakable beyond anybody's needs. h
    Highly recommended.

  5. #4

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    Hey Deacon,
    Not a clip on, but a great tuner (especially since you do setup work!) is the Sonic Research Turbo Tuner. I have the little one on my pedal board, and the larger one for just guitar and amp playing!

  6. #5

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    If you came up in the 60’s concert band world Peterson strobo tuners are imprinted in your musical psyche… the old mechanical ones.
    The iPhone software version, the clip on version and the big Strobo Plus all are rated the same in accurately. I have all three, the clip on I just got the StronoPlus is maybe. 6 years old.
    personally I find the iPhone version a little flakey compared to the dedicated ones. It does shift a bit while the string settles. I got the StroboPlus for carefull (read compulsive) tuning on my classical and in that role it is a seriously great tuner.
    However….. I have to say the newest clip on seems to be right there with the Plus. I’ve done my a/b/c compares and I can see a difference with the software version but I would unhesitatingly recommend the clip on.

    Unless of course you repair/work on instruments in which case the Plus is a sweet tuner!


  7. #6

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    I'm still using an old Peterson strobe tuner. A flip-up box, a little bulky. But I like it a lot.

    But I also downloaded their iPhone app for $10. Seems pretty sweet too.

    iStroboSoft | Peterson Strobe Tuners

  8. #7

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    IMHO, you need at least four tuners.

    - Strobotuner for adjusting intonation
    - Pedalboard tuner for quick adjustments
    - Cheap clip-on for quick adjustments (back up 2032 batteries in you case)
    - Phone app (I like TE tuner) for something in between precision and quick. And for when you forget your clip on.

  9. #8

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    I also have a Peterson Stroboclip HD and it's the best tuner I've ever tried, and I have a bunch lying around. It's the fastest, most accurate, and easiest to use tuner I know of. There are dozens of 'sweetened' tunings available if you want them. I also have the Peterson Strobosoft app on my phone. It does show cents, or other parameters as desired. The Stroboclip does not, but I haven't really missed it. If the strobe is moving the string is out of tune, and the slower it moves the closer you are to being in tune. For some strings on some instruments it won't sit absolutely still, but bounce just a little in both directions because the string vibration changes as the energy decays. You can also buy a lead from Peterson that connects to your phone's mic input, the other end clips to the guitar, and works as a clip-on. The advantage is that extraneous room noise doesn't affect the tuning, the disadvantage is a wire between the guitar and the phone. I like it for setting intonation, but it's not that great for tuning in a band situation. For that you need a clipon, because the phone app, or any other tuner that relies on sound, gets confused by everyone else tuning or just fiddling around. Clipons are necessary for tuning outside the home. Therefore I have both. Plus a bunch of other clipons lying around gathering dust.

  10. #9

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    Consider a Tc electronic clip on tuner? Has a ‘strobe’ mode and a great deal cheaper. Do you have a need for sweetened tunings? If not why pay for features you are not likely to use? Boss TU-3 is ok, and doubles as a good kill switch as many pedal options do. Also has strobe mode.
    snarks can be ok but a bit flimsy over time.

  11. #10

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    Another Peterson Stroboclip user. Got mine about a decade ago and long out of production, but still works great. If it ever breaks or wears out, I will replace it with the current model.

  12. #11

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    Man, I've been using the same tuner for 35 years or more... maybe I need to get out more.

  13. #12

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    Just Korg Pitchblacks @ home and on gigs. A 6" patch cable and it sits on top of my amp. I just need to turn around and hit the button. I don't know if there are more accurate tuners out there but these are close enough for jazz and indestructible.
    Snark @ home for acoustic archies

  14. #13

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    Another Peterson Stroboclip user here. I have had Boss, Seiko, Korg, Snark and TC. The TC is the only one that comes close to the Peterson but the Peterson seems more consistent.

  15. #14

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    I use simple clip on tuners. Works good enough, both at home and in the practise/gig situations. Being early at a location, I allways open the guitar cases first in order to let the guitars breath and adapt to the ambiant situation. Tuning is not the problem. I play in a couple of bigbands. Some conducters think that I should tune to A=442, mostly if they have a horn background. I kind of object against that. Most of the horns drop in tune a little as they get warmed up after 1 or 2 songs. I wouldn't mind all being in 442, I do mind some in the band being out of tune, whatever the initial pitch

  16. #15

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    Some guitars are more stable in terms of holding the tuning than others, regardless of the quality of the various parts involved - has to do with the wood I guess ... anyway, even if I come to a gig early for setting up in peace and quiet, letting the guitar warm up to the place I still have to touch up the tuning in the course of the gig and normally I don't have much time to do so - consequently the tuner has to be easy to handle and fast in response, both of which the Peterson Clip handles with ease. It's the most expensive tuner I ever bought but well worth it for me , no buyers remorse here !

  17. #16

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    Peterson Stroboclip, D'Addario Soundhole tuner for flattops and classical guitars and and Sonic Research Turbo Tuner for intonation or for tuning my True Temperament guitar. I honestly only use the Peterson and D'Addario to give me a A440 reference after that I tune by ear. The best tuner in my opinion is the Sonic Research, very fast, and very accurate. It is the only one I use for intonation purposes or if I would use if I was playing in a band environment.

  18. #17

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    TC Electronic Polytune clip is the only clip tuner I had that works on loud stages. I never use the poly feature so when it needs replacement I would save a little and get Monotune.

  19. #18

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    Brick - size Peterson VS-! since they came out decades ago. Dead accurate and I've changed the batteries like, twice. Best two hundred bucks I ever borrowed.

  20. #19

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    I bought a 3 pack of clip-on D’Addario Micro Tuners on sale several months ago from Amazon. I used to use Snarks, carrying one in the pouch on each gig bag with my slides, spare parts and small tools. It seemed like the on-off button was being pressed by other items in there, because they were often on when I took them out even though I carefully checked that each was off when I put it away. So the batteries ran down really fast. The Micros power down after 10 minutes, and I haven’t had a dead battery yet.

    They’re accurate enough for gigging, although they won’t tell you how close you are in cents. There’s a strip of LEDs above and below the note indicator that says you’re in tune when the blue-green ones above and below the note letter are both lit steadily. The only thing I don’t like about them is that they come off too easily if you brush them against the gig bag when taking the guitar out or putting it away with the tuner on the headstock. I’ve had to find one on the stage floor a few times during a gig. So I take them off and put them in the pouch. The on-off button requires a firm press, so they don’t respond to brushing against another item.

    They’re very nice low profile tuners - I like them.

  21. #20

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    yes I use daddario too
    but these more conventional clip-ons

    Eclipse Tuner | Accessories | D'Addario

    i used to use snarks then snark hz1
    but found these are cheaper and better
    tuning stability , the clip is stronger
    and the auto off works well too

    recommended ....

    (i tried the micro tuners like yours but
    found they fell off too easily)

  22. #21

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    I had some Snarks given to me as gifts. They're ok, but they mostly sat on the shelf. As they aged (a couple of years) the tabs holding the clip just started falling off. They're worthless now. I have a couple of the D'Addario low-profile tuners that screw onto the headstock through one of the screws holding a tuner in place. They're secure, and work okay, but the Peterson is orders of magnitude better in tuning speed and accuracy. If you want a non-intrusive, discreet tuner for quick tuning on the gig, they're great. If you need high accuracy, Peterson is the way to go. I have a Korg Hammerhead that works okay, but inferior to the Peterson in every way. And an Intellitouch, same. Cheap Reverb clip-ons, pretty much the same as the Snark, just lower cost. All I use now is the Peterson. Do not confuse the Stroboclip with the Stroboclip HD. They're not the same. Get the HD, without question.

  23. #22

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    My A440 tuning fork, purchased about 1965, still works fine and I have never had to change the batteries. But in my increasingly lazy old age I use the Peterson mostly.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcjazz
    My A440 tuning fork, purchased about 1965, still works fine and I have never had to change the batteries. But in my increasingly lazy old age I use the Peterson mostly.

    I still have mine, too, from when I played classical -- and yep, no battery changes!

    In noisy jazz venues, though, some kind of "silent" system works better for me.

  25. #24

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    Good thread guys. I just ordered the Peterson clip on HD based on the praise that many of you have presented here. I do not like pedals and find that a stand alone tuner requires too much fiddling on a gig and makes me lazy about checking tuning. I have had two clip ons and both failed after a time. My first one, a USA made Intellitouch gave me about 15 years of solid service and my second one, an Asian made Korg failed after about a year (just long enough to get past the warranty it seems).

    At $65, I am hoping that the Peterson gives me at least a few years of solid service. My tuning fork has given me about 45 years of solid service, but has never been very useful in a noisy gig environment. Nor has my pitch pipe.

    I do take the clip on tuner off after tuning (and leave it on my amp). Why hide a beautiful headstock? For me, that would be like putting a bag over the face of a beautiful girl during lovemaking.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    My tuning fork has given me about 45 years of solid service, but has never been very useful in a noisy gig environment.
    I used a high quality chromed steel tuning fork before good, affordable tuners came along and still carry it in the tool kit. To use it on a gig, just gently tap it against your knee or other firm padded surface, hand mute your strings, and hold it over a pickup just above the strings. The vibrations of the tines are no different from those of a steel string to the guitar. Many forks you’ll see today are aluminum, which will work acoustically (see below) but not through a magnetic pickup. A good steel fork is the same price, smaller, more accurate and more useful - you can get one for $10 or less, and some come with a soft case and/or cleaning cloth (useful - see below).

    For acoustic guitars, you can just press the stem against any sound conducting part on the top - bridge pin or stud, etc. You can also put a piece of self adhesive Teflon or firm thin felt on the end of the stem (or use a cloth, the case flap, or something similar) to protect the wood from marring), and hold the stem gently against the top. You’ll hear the tone just as you would a plucked string, and it will be sensed & amplified by piezo and mic capsule pickup systems.

    EDIT: I just tried plucking an open A and holding the vibrating fork over the pickup. This does produce the difference wavering that many use for fine tuning between strings.
    Last edited by nevershouldhavesoldit; 10-29-2021 at 12:04 PM.