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Thread: D'Addario Micro Tuner - My Review.

  1. #1
    Slow your roll. greg_tsam's Avatar
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    Default D'Addario Micro Tuner - My Review.

    I had the Mini version of this tuner and hated it. It wouldn't lock on during a jam yet many people said their tuner worked fine. Maybe I had a dud. When the micro came out there was a newsfetcher post about it and, again, everyone raved. I was the only dissenter and as much as I want to jump on the bandwagon, it just didn't work for me and I didn't plan on buying another.

    Surprise to me, our friendly D'Addario rep pm'd me and offered to send one for me to try out and I accepted. Thank you for your generosity. I've used it in our weekly jam where it's loud and crowded and at a recent BG festival and used it enough to give a review.

    First, I LOVE the form factor; my favorite part. It's so tiny I clip it to the headstock on the underside, push the convenient button that flips the display, and it's ready. Beautiful, quick and easy. The clip works great.

    Second, readout and screen work well, red, yellow, green and can see it just fine. I didn't try it in sunlight but since I keep it under the deadstock I think it'd be OK.

    Third, and really the most important part, how does it tune. Unfortunately, not well. I can tune perfectly when I'm alone and/or it's quiet. But as soon as I get into a jam with a banjo on the left of me and a dobro on the right I can't get the darn thing to lock on. I've tried hard pick strokes, soft ones and standing on my head. Nothing works.

    Sometimes it locks on, sometimes it's two bars sharp, sometimes it fails to register. This happened, all three, at the same time. Every pick stroke read different. I so wanted this to work better than the mini and as well as my other tuners like the Snark. But, it didn't perform. Maybe the next go around might work better and I'd make it my daily driver.

    To be fair, I gave it a taste test against my Snark that I've had for almost 2 years. I went to a quiet room and put both the Micro and the Snark on the head stock. I also used both in jam situations. I varied the positions of each. Time after time it was the same result. The snark is capable of locking in consistently regardless of the situation and volume level. The Micro fares marginally better than the Mini but still can't cut it.

    I love everything about the Micro except that it can't tune my mando and I'd say that's a deal breaker.
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    Registered User artilleryo's Avatar
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    Default Re: D'Addario Micro Tuner - My Review.

    My wife has one she uses on her multitude of ukes (when she can find it, being so small and all). I tried it and didn't fancy it much. Also, I'm pretty rough on tuners. After breaking several snarks, she finally found one I have managed to not break.
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    Slow your roll. greg_tsam's Avatar
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    Default Re: D'Addario Micro Tuner - My Review.

    I'm curious why the ones I get can't seem to lock on yet there are so many positive reviews from other respected members that say otherwise and sing their praises. I guess I just want it to work so badly I'm willing to consider I'm doing it all wrong. haha..
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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: D'Addario Micro Tuner - My Review.

    You've given your own solution Greg - "The snark is capable of locking in consistently regardless of the situation and volume level." . Exactly what i've found with my Red Snark. Stick with what works. I know that we're all tempted to try out new things,hoping that they will be 'better' than what we have. Personally,i've been disappointed more times than not. The 'Snark' is the only tuner i've found that will lock onto a note on almost slack strings after re-stringing & i've no intention of buying another brand of tuner,
    Ivan
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    Default Re: D'Addario Micro Tuner - My Review.

    Well I still play the fire out of my D'Addario EXP's so there's that.
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    rock in rôle Paul Statman's Avatar
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    Question Re: D'Addario Micro Tuner - My Review.

    Quote Originally Posted by greg_tsam View Post
    Well I still play the fire out of my D'Addario EXP's so there's that.
    and I thought that the coating was there to keep the fire inside..silly me!
    - Which ones have tar and/or b'jayjus in them (or is that just the instruments)?

    Sorry for the thread interruption. As you were.

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    Default Re: D'Addario Micro Tuner - My Review.

    Thanks for the review Greg, I bought 2 of the micro tuners and one works great and the other about like you described

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    Default Re: D'Addario Micro Tuner - My Review.

    Very interesting, Joe. Thanks for sharing.
    Breedlove Quartz FF with K&K Twin - Weber Big Horn - Fender FM62SCE

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    Default Re: D'Addario Micro Tuner - My Review.

    Good review, honest and respectable.

    FWIW, re snarks breaking, an easy fix is a small zip tie around the base where they break to strengthen the weak point.

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    Default Re: D'Addario Micro Tuner - My Review.

    I use duck tape on my Snark tuner.......broke that sucker when closing my guitar case on it.

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    Default Re: D'Addario Micro Tuner - My Review.

    My Snark is still intact and holding strong. Knock on wood. Of course, now that I've jinxed it I better go get a zip tie.
    Breedlove Quartz FF with K&K Twin - Weber Big Horn - Fender FM62SCE

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    Default Re: D'Addario Micro Tuner - My Review.

    I'm also disappointed with the micro. Based on all the rave reviews here, I bought a two-pack of NS Mini tuners from Dietz music when they ran the offer. These were quickly swept up by my son and wife on the day they appeared. When I learned about the Micro, I figured the joke was on them and that I'd get the newer, better technology. I asked my son if he wanted to try one as well and he said, "No, I'm happy with the one I have now." (Ah, the wisdom of youth...) I ordered a single Micro when I saw a sale price, and it came to me on a card, with the battery dead (or so very nearly dead that it required a new battery immediately.) The new packaging, a simple card and zip-tie type arrangement made me raise one eyebrow, as the Mini came in an actual box.
    Like Greg, I'm finding that the micro has difficulty locking onto (capturing) a note. I did not have this problem with the mini. So on my "working mandolin", I have stolen back the mini from my wife, and that's what I use for performances where I'll be tuning frequently (sunlight, cold, etc.)
    All that said, I still prefer the Intellitouch PT-10. I put it on, tune up, then take it off. If I had to have only one, I'd have the PT-10. If I get to have two (like I do), I have the NS Mini and the PT-10. I'm still not comfortable with keeping one permanently on the headstock, and I *only* use the PT-10 for tuning on my more prized instruments. Tune up, then take it off.

    YMMV, NFI, etc.
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  19. #13

    Default Re: D'Addario Micro Tuner - My Review.

    I bought the NS Micro in April. I have two problems. One, it buzzes/hums at certain frequencies on my mandolin, no matter where I attached it. Second, it started flashing on start-up and I would have to restart. Now after five months, it will only flash and isn't working anymore as far as I can tell, even after replacing the battery.

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    Default Re: D'Addario Micro Tuner - My Review.

    I have the micro-tuners on all my fiddles and banjo uke and really like them, so I ordered one for my mandolin. The mandolin one rattles incessantly. It is simply unusable.

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    Registered User Roger Moss's Avatar
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    Default Re: D'Addario Micro Tuner - My Review.

    A decent little tuner if you need to leave it on constantly and you can read microfilm with your bare eyes. I've been using one for quite a while now and I've come to realize it's just too hard for me to read such a tiny display. I particularly have trouble seeing the sharp/flat symbol. It's tiny. That's just me though. Otherwise I liked it.
    When the sun beats down and I lie on the bench, I can always hear them talk.
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    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: D'Addario Micro Tuner - My Review.

    Quote Originally Posted by mandokismet View Post
    I bought the NS Micro in April. I have two problems. One, it buzzes/hums at certain frequencies on my mandolin, no matter where I attached it. Second, it started flashing on start-up and I would have to restart. Now after five months, it will only flash and isn't working anymore as far as I can tell, even after replacing the battery.
    Have you contacted D'Addario????
    Phil

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    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: D'Addario Micro Tuner - My Review.

    Quote Originally Posted by wormpicker View Post
    I have the micro-tuners on all my fiddles and banjo uke and really like them, so I ordered one for my mandolin. The mandolin one rattles incessantly. It is simply unusable.
    If the rattle is coming from the buttons, I've had success with similar problems in the past by putting a tiny drop of Rubber Cement in the groove beside each button. It stops the rattle but remains flexible so that the button still works.
    Phil

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    Default Re: D'Addario Micro Tuner - My Review.

    I have one on most every instrument I own. I just leave them on and have no issues with case fit. They generally pickup the vibe well but on some instruments and on some strings they have lower sensitivity. For those I just use octave harmonics.

    One guitar will not take them, it's an Applause with the shaped head.

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    Default Re: D'Addario Micro Tuner - My Review.

    I have one that I prefer over the Snark just for the smaller footprint, which allows keeping it mounted even while in the case. I too noticed the rattle and determined it is between the mount and the tuner body. A few small pieces of tape to put pressure between the two solved that problem.
    Being right is overrated. Doing right is what matters.

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    Registered User Bunnyf's Avatar
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    Default Re: D'Addario Micro Tuner - My Review.

    My snark walked away long ago (I had it for 5 years and despite its kinda crazy alien-looking design with the tuner head sitting on top of that seemingly fragile long stalk, it never broke). So as long as I had to get a new tuner, I thought I’d shop around a bit rather then just get another snark. When I saw micro tuners, I thought I’d give them a try. I liked that they are so unobtrusive (especially attached to the underside of the headstock) that you can leave them on the instrument all the time (not something I would ever do with a snark). While the display is not super easy to see, for me it's adequate and I’m fortunate that I don’t have a problem with button rattle or not locking on to the note. The disappointment to me is that the tab that controls the clasping arm is the positioned on the outside edge when it’s on the headstock. This tab gets depressed in order to loosen/tighten the tuner. If you have a snug fitting case or actually even if your instrument just moves a bit in the case, then this tab gets pressed and the tuner can loosen up and wind up falling off. I’ve lost several. Overall, I still would buy them again. But I wouldn't mind having one snark and leave it in my main instrument case and keep the micros for the less played instruments.

  28. #21
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    Default Re: D'Addario Micro Tuner - My Review.

    Firstly I didn't read every single post. Whenever I am having trouble tuning a fretted instrument in a group situation I use a twelfth fret harmonic. That seems to do the trick no matter what tuner I am using. The only Mini D'Addario I use regularly is on my fiddle. The first version with the cam lock sits on the "G" string side of the neck on the body. It works great there no matter who is playing what or where. R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: D'Addario Micro Tuner - My Review.

    I have a D'Addario micro tuner and I do not like it at all. Instead, I use a Rowin LT-32 that was recommended to me by my local guitar shop at the time. It is small, accurate and not fussy. Also it costs about five bucks.
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    Default Re: D'Addario Micro Tuner - My Review.

    I'll jump on the bandwagon of non-fandom. Besides the difficulty in locking on the signal, I also have a terrible time trying to see the display in sunlight. Too small and dim. I've switched to the TC Unitune. Nice bright display, not as huge and ungainly as a Snark. If I clip it on at a certain angle, it can stay on in the case (although I typically take it off). And a slight celeb endorsement - I noticed in a recent video that Sarah Jarosz was using one on her Brock octave
    Mitch Russell

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    Default Re: D'Addario Micro Tuner - My Review.

    I bought a 2-pack of the D'Addario micro tuners and had problems with both. Not only would they not lock onto certain notes, they both produced a vibrational buzz/rattle when left on during playing. I tried to see if any parts were loose, but couldn't see anything that I could change to stop it. I thought maybe I just got a couple bad ones, since I've seen lots of folks using them. I'll soon be looking for something better. In the meantime, I'm using my now more that 20-year-old, non-clip-on ST-1100 Sabine that still works great and is the best tuner I've had. It's very accurate, but not good for using in a noisy environment.

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    Default Re: D'Addario Micro Tuner - My Review.

    Quote Originally Posted by Philphool View Post
    If the rattle is coming from the buttons, I've had success with similar problems in the past by putting a tiny drop of Rubber Cement in the groove beside each button. It stops the rattle but remains flexible so that the button still works.
    Thanks, Phil. I’ll give that a try!

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