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Thread: more accurate clip on tuner than Snark?

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    Default more accurate clip on tuner than Snark?

    After yeas of using a Snark, I'm in the market for a more accurate tuner. My snark has a new battery but yet it still will read a note other than the one one I'm playing. If I hit my G string, it will sometimes read D. Or, I have to wait until it clears before hitting the second A string to have it read true. Is there a clip on tuner that folks have used in the price range of a snark that seems to work better?
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    Default Re: more accurate clip on tuner than Snark?

    Unitune is the next best thing to a Peterson. It can be a regular tuner or a more accurate strobe tuner. They are also not too expensive, $28.99 at Sweetwater. The Polytune is more expensive and not really suited to mandolin as it has a guitar function that you won't be able to use or need. It will still work, but why spend more for something you can't use.

    Another plus is the long battery life with these. Usually I get more than a year using it every day.
    Last edited by pops1; Sep-16-2020 at 1:22pm.
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    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: more accurate clip on tuner than Snark?

    The most precise tuner is the Peterson strobe, but any tuner will sometimes display a different audible pitch. D is both a strong harmonic present when you pick the G, it is also the main body resonance. Not really the fault of the tuner, try clipping in a different spot, and picking differently when tuning.
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    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: more accurate clip on tuner than Snark?

    The 4th and 5th harmonics are pretty strong when we pluck a string, and often clip-on tuners will pick up one of them instead of the fundamental. For example, D is the 5th harmonic of G, so it is not unusual for the clip-on tuner to "hear" the D instead of the G. After all, it can only display one note at a time and all harmonics are present in the note. Moving the tuner and clipping it on somewhere else will sometimes help the situation, but usually damping the string and plucking it again will eventually get you the right note. Patience...
    The precision of the tuner doesn't really have much to do with the harmonics of the note. If we tune well within 3 cents, that's about the best we can do, so higher precision is esoteric anyway. Maybe there are tuners that reject harmonics better than others, but that is not added precision necessarily.

    Edit:
    Looks like I didn't fully read Tom's post before starting to type. Sorry for the redundant info.
    Another thing I forgot to mention. Plucking the string near it's center (12th fret area) can help. That tends to make the fundamental stronger and the harmonics weaker.

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    Default Re: more accurate clip on tuner than Snark?

    I bought a Snark tuner on a Black Friday sale and hated it. I did not like the size, shape and they seem very fragile where the arm and tuner connect. the worst part was it was not accurate from the get go.

    I used Korg tuners for my mandolin and my daughters violin/fiddles. I thought they were reliable and accurate.

    I have been using the D'Addario micro tuner for the past couple of years. I really like the size and ability to be out of the way and out of sight.
    https://www.daddario.com/products/ac...adstock-tuner/

    The one issue with the micro tuner is it will leave (at least on a really nice mandolin) about a nickel sized circle/ring from the rubber foot. They have come out with a version that mounts to the screw of you tuner to eliminate that issue. I just noticed this today. I maybe giving this a try.
    https://www.daddario.com/products/ac...ip-free-tuner/

    I was not familiar with the Unitune and in doing a quick search ran across a thread comparing the Unitune and Peterson. The Unitune seems like a nice tuner. The Unitune looks pretty large especially compared to the micro tuner, but the Peterson tuner is really big.
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...son-StroboClip

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    Default Re: more accurate clip on tuner than Snark?

    One thing that's helped me is too pluck the string very gently, almost as gently as I can. Seems to produce far fewer harmonics.

    I'm a big fan of the Unitune, and I've been using it solely in strobe mode for a while now. Very accurate. I also like the large display and that it is very visible in direct sunlight. That was one of my big complaints about the micro, can be hard to see in certain situations.
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    Registered User Scott Rucker's Avatar
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    Default Re: more accurate clip on tuner than Snark?

    I love my Peterson (haven't tried the Unitune). It's accurate every time. Downsides: it's big and the power switch isn't recessed so it can come on on it's own in a bag or case.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: more accurate clip on tuner than Snark?

    I find that with all tuners it works better when I pluck with my bare fingers vs. using a pick while also muting the other strings. In addition, on mandolin, I generally get one of each pair in tune and tune the other one by ear and listen carefully to the beats.
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    Default Re: more accurate clip on tuner than Snark?

    I've never found a clip-on tuner that I thought worked very well. Even when they read the note correctly, they allow for too much slop from the correct pitch, imho.
    I still use an old Seiko SAT500 (I know, not a clip-on), for one particular reason - it has a cents readout. I don't even look at the "needle" anymore, just the cents readout. It still tunes my instruments better than anything else.
    I'd love to see a clip-on that was like that - just a note name display up in the corner, but with the main display being a cents meter.

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    not a donut Kevin Winn's Avatar
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    Default Re: more accurate clip on tuner than Snark?

    I went through this a few months ago. Got really tired of the inaccuracies of the Snarks and settled on a Unitune. They are nearly impossible to find in stock. Ended up getting a Polytune, which was also hard to track down. I finally found one at a GC nearby. I've been much happier with the Polytune.

    They are quite a bit more expensive than a Snark, but you get what you pay for...
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    Default Re: more accurate clip on tuner than Snark?

    Another very happy Unitune user. I find its strobe mode very accurate and easier to use than the Peterson.

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    Unitune is the next best thing to a Peterson. It can be a regular tuner or a more accurate strobe tuner. They are also not too expensive, $28.99 at Sweetwater. The Polytune is more expensive and not really suited to mandolin as it has a guitar function that you won't be able to use or need. It will still work, but why spend more for something you can't use.

    Another plus is the long battery life with these. Usually I get more than a year using it every day.
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    Default Re: more accurate clip on tuner than Snark?

    I bought a Polytune a couple years ago and find it much more accurate than a Snark:

    https://www.musiciansfriend.com/acce...SABEgIPqvD_BwE

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    Default Re: more accurate clip on tuner than Snark?

    How crazy do we need to get on accuracy. The goal is to be in tune with the others you are playing with, and if it sounds in tune its in tune, and if a super accurate tuner calibrated by National Standards Bureau says its in tune but it doesn't sound like it, we still have to make it sound like it.

    I use the Snark, and I love it. Does everything that needs being done. I use the Peterson Strobe as well, and it is supposed to be 10X more accurate. I find it a little more finicky but fine. The strobe has an added feature that you can tune to a different nonstandard frequency. So when the concertmaster says hey we are playing this in A=442, it is easy to do it.

    But I have never had a tuner I trusted more than my ear to do the final fine tuning.
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    Default Re: more accurate clip on tuner than Snark?

    I love the Peterson Strobe with the individual mandolin setting. It is a little difficult to get used to the method, but worth the process as it allows much more accuracy. I use the Snark still for quick tuning, particularly with guitars. The Strobe is best for both applications, IMHO.
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    Default Re: more accurate clip on tuner than Snark?

    Quote Originally Posted by FrDNicholas View Post
    After yeas of using a Snark, I'm in the market for a more accurate tuner. My snark has a new battery but yet it still will read a note other than the one one I'm playing. If I hit my G string, it will sometimes read D. Or, I have to wait until it clears before hitting the second A string to have it read true. Is there a clip on tuner that folks have used in the price range of a snark that seems to work better?
    I NEVER use the tuner to tune the second string of a pair, only the first. I can find the unison by ear much better than the tuner can tune the second string the same as the first. Give it a try.

    I have the G/D problem with all of my clip on tuners as well. Where I clip the tuner seems to make a difference... often it I just move it a bit it gets over it.
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    Default Re: more accurate clip on tuner than Snark?

    Korg Sledgehammer Pro. Three sensitivity settings, display in simple mode to strobe. Adjustment of A up or down from 440 if that's an issue. You want to check that before you start
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    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: more accurate clip on tuner than Snark?

    I have a Polytune and a Peterson Strobo-clip. My go to tuner for mandolin and tenor banjo is the Polytune, very reliable - I keep the stroboclip in my acoustic guitar case because I find that it works best with guitar and is a little finicky with the mandolin, but YMMV.
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    Default Re: more accurate clip on tuner than Snark?

    I suspect that they all use the same chip. It is the display and clamping that varies. BTW, none of the clip on tuners are really strobe tuners. If you want real accuracy a real strobe is the way to do it. That said I have never needed more accuracy than my Snark gives.

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    Don Smith
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    Default Re: more accurate clip on tuner than Snark?

    I have been giving some thoughts on a tuner called Roadie 2 seems like it might be pretty good but they are expensive they can also be used as a string winder do not know if its permissible to put a link up with my reply or not so I did not

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    Default Re: more accurate clip on tuner than Snark?

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    How crazy do we need to get on accuracy.
    I have snark and notice that 'green - in tune' status remains while I make slight adjustments (by ear) to match the adjacent string on same course. I can hear the change but the tuner remains in the dead band of 'OK'. That drives me crazy.

    A tuner that indicates the slightest change is kinda useful imo.

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    Default Re: more accurate clip on tuner than Snark?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Wilson View Post
    I have snark and notice that 'green - in tune' status remains while I make slight adjustments (by ear) to match the adjacent string on same course. I can hear the change but the tuner remains in the dead band of 'OK'. That drives me crazy.

    A tuner that indicates the slightest change is kinda useful imo.
    One f the problems with greater sensetivity is that it can make the tuner hard to read.

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    not a donut Kevin Winn's Avatar
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    Default Re: more accurate clip on tuner than Snark?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Wilson View Post
    I have snark and notice that 'green - in tune' status remains while I make slight adjustments (by ear) to match the adjacent string on same course. I can hear the change but the tuner remains in the dead band of 'OK'. That drives me crazy.

    A tuner that indicates the slightest change is kinda useful imo.
    This is why I switched to the Polytune. The Snark would say a string is dead on, but I could hear the difference with the other string.
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    Default Re: more accurate clip on tuner than Snark?

    I’ve been happy with the BOSS TU-10. I believe Elderly keeps them in stock.
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    Default Re: more accurate clip on tuner than Snark?

    I got along just fine for many years with an A-440 tuning fork..
    once struck, ringing, I'd touched it's base to the bridge, then tuned the A string to it,
    tuned the others relative to the A ..
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    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: more accurate clip on tuner than Snark?

    Quote Originally Posted by mandroid View Post
    I got along just fine for many years with an A-440 tuning fork..
    once struck, ringing, I'd touched its base to the bridge, then tuned the A string to it,
    tuned the others relative to the A ..
    I'm with you. I still tune using a sounded pitch--my metronome will play the 440 A. I did find the Peterson effective for analyzing my fretboard, and determining it needed to be shortened between nut and first fret, on four out of five mandolins I own.
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