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Thread: Man I need a good tuner...

  1. #1
    Struggle Monkey B381's Avatar
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    Default Man I need a good tuner...

    Trying to find a good head stock tuner. I had a Snark, which was good but the arm attachment broke with use. Got a few D'addario's like in the picture I took. Also have the reverb, just pay shipping freebie.

    The D'addario's are about 6 months old and are developing issues and becoming unreliable. The freebie works but is inconsistent with readings.

    Recommend a good one for me.
    "It doesn't matter how much you invest in your instrument until you invest in you and your ability..."

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  2. #2
    Struggle Monkey B381's Avatar
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    Default Re: Man I need a good tuner...

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    "It doesn't matter how much you invest in your instrument until you invest in you and your ability..."

    Kentucky KM-150
    Eastman MD-404
    Morgan Monroe MFM-300
    Rover RM-75

  3. #3
    Struggle Monkey B381's Avatar
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    Default Re: Man I need a good tuner...

    Just found a good thread about these micro tuners...interesting.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...uner-My-Review
    "It doesn't matter how much you invest in your instrument until you invest in you and your ability..."

    Kentucky KM-150
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  4. #4
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Man I need a good tuner...

    My favorite so far. I also have the Strobo HD a great and versatile tuner metronome but for a headstock tuner, I have replaced all others with this one.
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    If space is an issue it fits nicely in my TKL case above the Oldwave A headstock.
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    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Man I need a good tuner...

    Get the TC Electronics Unitune, or the Polytune if you have a guitar also. I've been through a bunch of tuners, and it's the best one I've found. Accurate (especially in strobe mode), battery lasts a really long time, excellent build quality.
    the billyhawks http://thebillyhawks.bandcamp.com

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  7. #6
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Man I need a good tuner...

    For as long as I've been active here on the Cafe, a "what's a good tuner?" thread invariably turns into a long thread of posts about "What I like and What I use." Which has value, but unless you've tried every available tuner out there to make that comparison, it has to be taken with a grain of salt. Not every tuner is suited to every player.

    That's a problem with "strobe tuners" in particular, which requires some patience in working with them. Some players prefer a fast-acting digital needle tuner that may have a wider acceptance for "in tune," which is good for jams and gigs, at the cost of not being able to drill down into the fine tuning you might want for setting bridge intonation.

    So, since this will end up as a "what I use" thread anyway...

    What I use is the current model of the Peterson clip-on tuner. It's the best one I've ever used, including the previous model, but I've been in the Peterson camp for years, so take that with a grain of salt. I'm used to the display method. The clip angle is large enough to work on my mandolin, OM, and acoustic guitars, including a fairly large Classical guitar headstock. This new version is much smaller than the first one, easier to fold back and hide behind the headstock:

    https://www.petersontuners.com/products/stroboClipHD/

    FWIW, I also use the Peterson iStrobosoft tuner app on my Android phone for initial tuning of my "Irish" flute at a session. Once you get used to the display, it's easy to use on more than one device.

    Edit to add: I also own the TC Polytune, it's good, but I don't like the fixed angle. It's more difficult to adjust for a good readable angle behind the headstock.

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  9. #7

    Default Re: Man I need a good tuner...

    I just switched to the Unitune because my Snarks just didn't work as well as they did on guitar. As a forum member pointed out, Sweetwater has them for $30.
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  10. #8

    Default Re: Man I need a good tuner...

    If you are willing to use a hand held tuner instead of a headstock one, I would try the Korg Custom GA. Best tuner hands down for accuracy and low price, plus a great visual display. Otherwise, for a headstock tuner I like the Snark "tight" tuner as it seems to work better for mandolin, fiddle, and other treble instruments.

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  12. #9

    Default Re: Man I need a good tuner...

    I get best tuning results with a Korg CA1(or 2, similar to the GA mentioned above, but chromatic), a pickup, and plugged into the tuner. Mics and headstock tuners are less accurate for me. The Korg is so great because it has some lights for the quick touch-ups (semi-accurate), and a quick responding needle accurate to one cent. Because it has both a quick-fix and a super-accurate mode, I never need anything else. And they are dirt cheap, I have one in every case.

    At a gig I have been known to use pedal tuners for bass, but nobody cares about that here. :-)

    Frankly, the issue I have at gigs, is I tune one string of each course with the tuner, and the second string of each course by ear, which is still more accurate than the tuner, haha. In a noisy band-warmup situation I can't hear the second string, I have to go find a quiet place sometimes.
    Last edited by kurth83; May-22-2019 at 11:21pm.
    Trinity College TM325 Octave Mandolin (converted to 4-string tenor guitar).
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  14. #10
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Man I need a good tuner...

    I'm kind of a tuner junky and enjoy trying different ones. My current favorite is the Peterson Stoboclip HD. I also like the Peterson app on my iPhone but that doesn't work when I'm around other musicians who are all tuning or playing at the same time.
    Doug Brock
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  15. #11
    Confused... or?
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    Default Re: Man I need a good tuner...

    What I don't get is that many are impressed by tuners that "lock on" to a note easily, when all that really means is that the tuner has a wider tolerance of inaccuracy that a less-steady tuner might have. Sure, it's nice to see the green light, or the digital needle, sit there rock-steady, but that's often steady at a hypothetical range of, let's say, A = 439.9 to 440.1 (a range of +/- 10 cents), while a "less steady" tuner might only become steady w/in a range of, again just for example, 439.998 to 440.002 (a range of +/- 0.2 cents). Clearly, the "less-steady" tuner gives a more accurate result but it doesn't "feel" as rewarding to use - unless you listen crirically.
    - Ed

    "What our group lacks in musicianship is offset by our willingness to humiliate ourselves." - David Hochman

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  17. #12
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Man I need a good tuner...

    Spot on.
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  18. #13

    Default Re: Man I need a good tuner...

    I think Ed nailed it, it takes some getting used to a more accurate tuner. The good ones, with a little practice, will let you dial in as accurate a tune as you have time for. My snark tight would say everything was fine, my ears and the Korg disagreed. I once posted a thread on that subject and was met with some skepticism. I guess in the end whatever works for you is best, but some of us can hear instruments that were tuned with a more 'tolerant' tuner...

    Strings when plucked will start sharp, and drop in pitch as they drop in volume (more noticeable on the lower strings). An accurate tuner will let you see that. If it says your string is in tune for the duration of a note, then it isn't a very accurate tuner. But now you can see why it is harder to use them. You have to tune for the range of each string, pluck at the same force for each string, so it is harder to use a less forgiving tuner. But the rewards of hearing the instrument sing in tune with itself (and others) is worth it. It's also good ear training, to learn to hear those subtle differences after you tune up.

    When I was younger, and my ears weren't as trained, I couldn't hear out-of-tune hardly at all. But after years of practice and training, now I hear things that others miss.

    FYI, the most accurate tuner I own is actually in my Helix multipedal, but nobody is going to buy that just for a tuner. :-)
    Trinity College TM325 Octave Mandolin (converted to 4-string tenor guitar).
    Eastman MD-605SB, MD-604SB, MD-305, all with Grover 309 tuners.
    Eastwood 4 string electric mandostang, 2x Airline e-mandola (4-string) one strung as an e-OM.
    DSP's: Helix HX Stomp, various Zooms.
    Amps: QSC-K10, DBR-10, THR-10, Sony XB-20.

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  20. #14
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    Default Re: Man I need a good tuner...

    I used to be a Snark fan, and for single course instruments they’re fine. But I made the “mistake” of downloading the Strobotune phone app, and now I can see and hear the tolerance differences with a Snark. Since I haven’t yet decided on another headstock tuner I still use the Snark in noisier environments, but usually have to do fine tuning by ear to get the courses in unison.

    The Snarks are very good for for tuning in noisy environments on guitar, uke, bass, and banjo, though.
    Chuck

  21. #15
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    Default Re: Man I need a good tuner...

    I'm also a fan of the Unitune these days, especially in strobe mode. It's got me thinking about getting the new iteration of the Stroboclip.
    Mitch Russell

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    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
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    Default Re: Man I need a good tuner...

    For my 2-cents, I love my Super Snark . . . .

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  24. #17
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Man I need a good tuner...

    the Peterson strobe is better than the Snark.

    Yes, these threads go on and on, but you do see a lot of Peterson strobe comments, 'cause they are great!

    I do like the red snark; however - they are cheap and work!

    f-d
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  26. #18
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    Default Re: Man I need a good tuner...

    I found a square Snark that fits on the headstock and fits into the case just fine. Never have to take it off and it seems to work great.

  27. #19
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Man I need a good tuner...

    Yep Peterson Strobe-clips! I love mine, I've had many different over the years and Peterson is tops if you want perfect tuning! IMHO anyway. Their new clip on design is smaller than the older silver ones. Still nothing wrong with the older silver models! Worth every penny.

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  29. #20
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    Default Re: Man I need a good tuner...

    Yeah …. tuners. What works for you, your music and your budget is what's best. Keep an extra battery in your case and play on. I fiddle so even when the tuner says I'm good I play the fifths in pairs and adjust by ear. B strings on guitars are another place I tweak what a tuner reads as good. I use Cleartune on my phone, a Sabine at my workstations, Snark tuners stay in my guitar and mandolin cases and a D'Addario micro is attached to my most played fiddles. R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

  30. #21
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    Default Re: Man I need a good tuner...

    Peterson StroboPlus HD is the one for me. Have used it on all the instruments for over 6 years now, including calibrating the key tracking for synths and tuning the spinet piano. I genuinely credit its accuracy for improvements in my own pitch recognition over the years; never being out of tune means learning what always in tune sounds like.

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  32. #22
    man about town Markus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Man I need a good tuner...

    For those who used the older StroboClip ... is the HD one any significant improvement or just a better form factor/display/etc?




    The longer I play mandolin, the more I appreciate what the StroboClip does [or my strobe pedal tuner, the TurboTuner ST300]. The amount of pair-matching I need to do when using one of these is minimal compared to where a Snark leaves me, and when performing I don't want to spend my time worrying about how I sound like a mandolin orchestra due to the snark leaving each string slightly off it's pair while telling me it's perfectly in tune.

    When I'm at a chaotic jam with people who sound like they last tuned their mandolin in 1983, any tuner will do.
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  33. #23
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Man I need a good tuner...

    I had the older Stroboclip, but it died on me a couple of years ago, so it's difficult for me to compare performance with my current Stroboclip HD. My feeling is that the new version works better than the old version, but then I've been happy with most of my Peterson products over the years. I do greatly prefer the current form factor, though. I have it behind the mandolin head and it is much more discrete, with the rectangular tuner body up pretty close to the wood.
    Doug Brock
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  35. #24
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Man I need a good tuner...

    I use a D'Addario for quite a long time now and have learned to avoid what will throw off any tuner:
    - flat battery (after 6 months? was this the original battery? was the tuner switched off after tuning or did it have to run along with the whole jam/session/practise?
    - other instruments playing loudly? just as the mandolin is made for projecting out, it's good at catching sound from the outside and resonate along.c
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

  36. #25

    Default Re: Man I need a good tuner...

    I've used many tuners over the years and this might sound like a strange suggestion but the best headstock tuner I've used is super inexpensive. It's very good at picking up string vibration on mandolin and is very accurate with fine gradation.
    $6 + shipping from monoprice
    https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_...06&p_id=611210
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    Best, Stevo

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