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Thread: Planet Waves NS Micro tuner - a review

  1. #1

    Default Planet Waves NS Micro tuner - a review

    I got my NS Micro tuner in the post today. As a satisfied user of the previous generation Mini model by the same company, I was looking forward to receiving it, and I'm not disappointed.

    The Micro housing is noticeably smaller than the Mini, but with a display that seems as large as, and is certainly as bright and as sharp as the one on the Mini.

    The size and clarity of the display is a real plus to folk like me who insist on tuning up without first reaching for the reading glasses. I can no longer do that with my other tuners - a Snark and an IMT - but can manage it easily with the Mini and the Micro.

    Like the Mini, the Micro has the huge advantage of being able to be attached just north of the nut, with only the small clasp showing on the front of the headstock and the tuner hiding behind the headstock. This means that, unlike the Snark and others that clamp to the top of the headstock, the Micro won't damage inlays/maker's name, can't get knocked off by mistake, won't scratch someone else's beloved instrument on a crowded stage, is almost invisible to anyone other than the person playing the mandolin - and doesn't require removal when the mandolin goes into its case. (I checked that last point: it goes straight into my TKL hard case and my Travelite, as if there is no tuner there). The clasp on the Micro is also an improvement over the one on the earlier model.

    My Snark and my IMT are now officially redundant.

    ron

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  3. #2
    Registered User Christian Flanagan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Planet Waves NS Micro tuner - a review

    I've had mine for a couple months now. It works fine, and I love the fact that it's nearly invisible and always attached.
    _____________________________________________
    I'm never lonely. My mandolin is always right there.

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  5. #3

    Default Re: Planet Waves NS Micro tuner - a review

    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Flanagan View Post
    I love the fact that it's nearly invisible and always attached.
    Yep, those are the two game-winning points so far as I'm concerned.

  6. #4
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    Default Re: Planet Waves NS Micro tuner - a review

    Nice review Ron. BTW what's the difference between the Mini and the Micro? Size? Buttons? I recently got a used one off the classifieds, and while it looks very similar to yours it does not have any of the hard buttons on the top. Also, when you clip the tuner just north of the nut, does it ever get in that way of your fretting hand?

    I've used it on and off for the past week or so. It's really nice how discretly it tugs behind the headstock, but I don't think I'm giving it enough time as I find myself going back to the Snark for its ease of tuning. The verdict is still out for me at least.

    P.S. Is that your LM400 in the photo?

  7. #5
    Slow your roll. greg_tsam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Planet Waves NS Micro tuner - a review

    http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/sh...uner-My-Review

    I agreed with your points except that I couldn't get it to lock on and tune correctly during a jam. Maybe I got a dud?
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    Constantly In Search Of.. Michael Bridges's Avatar
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    Default Re: Planet Waves NS Micro tuner - a review

    I've had mine on for about 6 weeks, and I love it. I actually have mine out on the end of my F5 headstock, with the clip following the angle of the top. Stays hidden, works great for me. Greg, I think you may have been sent a lemon.
    Music speaks to us all. And to each of us, she speaks with a different voice.

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  9. #7

    Default Re: Planet Waves NS Micro tuner - a review

    Quote Originally Posted by barrangatan View Post
    Nice review Ron. BTW what's the difference between the Mini and the Micro? Size? Buttons? I recently got a used one off the classifieds, and while it looks very similar to yours it does not have any of the hard buttons on the top. Also, when you clip the tuner just north of the nut, does it ever get in that way of your fretting hand?

    I've used it on and off for the past week or so. It's really nice how discretly it tugs behind the headstock, but I don't think I'm giving it enough time as I find myself going back to the Snark for its ease of tuning. The verdict is still out for me at least.

    P.S. Is that your LM400 in the photo?
    Hi Clement,

    The one you have with fewer buttons is the Mini, which is slightly larger in the housing. The newer Micro has the added function of a programmable flashing light metronome; I doubt if I'll be using that. One other function the new Micro has is the center button that inverts the display, meaning that if you have the display on either side of the headstock you can set the reading to remain upright - quite a worthwhile addition, I think.

    The photo from the back shows the unit almost flush against the nut. You're right - when it's so close to the nut it does sometimes get in the way of the left hand at first position. But by moving it closer to the tuner fixing plate, it is now completely out of the way of my left hand.

    That's my carbon-fibre Mix A4 in the photos.

    ron
    Last edited by Ron McMillan; Sep-21-2013 at 11:28pm. Reason: answered a missed question

  10. #8

    Default Re: Planet Waves NS Micro tuner - a review

    Quote Originally Posted by greg_tsam View Post
    http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/sh...uner-My-Review

    I agreed with your points except that I couldn't get it to lock on and tune correctly during a jam. Maybe I got a dud?
    I haven't used either my Mini or my Micro in a jam session, Greg, but it does seem likely to me that you got yourself a dud unit. The technology is surely the same as any other vibration-sensor tuner, and the whole point of this sort of tuner compared to an audio unit was that it was immune to other instruments around you.

    ron

  11. #9

    Default Re: Planet Waves NS Micro tuner - a review

    Quote Originally Posted by greg_tsam View Post
    http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/sh...uner-My-Review

    I agreed with your points except that I couldn't get it to lock on and tune correctly during a jam. Maybe I got a dud?
    Greg-

    Sorry you are having an issue with your tuner. Try moving it around to other points on your instrument. Headstocks can vary in where the vibrations are strongest. I find that a 12th fret harmonic can also help, as it seems to focus the fundamental, (especially in a loud environment where there may be sympathetic vibrations confusing the sensor) and the tuner can grab onto it. We try to walk the fine line between sensitive/quick and too sensitive, where ambient noises can interfere.

    If that does not help, PM me your address and I will send you a new one.

    Thanks,

    Tom Spaulding
    D'Addario And Co.

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    Default Re: Planet Waves NS Micro tuner - a review

    How does the accuracy compare with a Petersen Strobo-clip? I'm always having trouble getting pairs exactly in tune and the Petersen does about the best job with that. Is the micro as accurate?

    Larry
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  13. #11

    Default Re: Planet Waves NS Micro tuner - a review

    Quote Originally Posted by lklose View Post
    How does the accuracy compare with a Petersen Strobo-clip? I'm always having trouble getting pairs exactly in tune and the Petersen does about the best job with that. Is the micro as accurate?

    Larry
    I can't answer that one, Larry, but I have found that tunings on the Micro and Mini are dead-on identical to my Snark and IMT.

  14. #12
    Registered User houseworker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Planet Waves NS Micro tuner - a review

    Quote Originally Posted by lklose View Post
    How does the accuracy compare with a Petersen Strobo-clip?
    Not even close. You get what you pay for.

  15. #13

    Default Re: Planet Waves NS Micro tuner - a review

    Quote Originally Posted by houseworker View Post
    Not even close. You get what you pay for.
    Yep,I can't get a thing on anything but the Peterson.

  16. #14
    Registered User Chip Booth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Planet Waves NS Micro tuner - a review

    Glad to see someone finally mentioned whether it tunes well or not. I have not found an in production clip on tuner that is anywhere near accurate, though I have not tried the Peterson. With most of the clip on tuners my ears clearly tell me that pairs of strings are not tuned to each other, and often I can make noticeable changes in tuning without the meter even reacting. Though I gave him an accurate tuner to use in performance, a bandmate of mine still uses these things at times, and it drives me crazy. I can tell immediately without looking when he isn't using the accurate tuner.

    Also note that my bandmate left his mini tuner on his varnished mandolin for a few weeks and it now has a square mark on the headstock that will require at least a french polish to remove. I use the long discontinued Korg AW-1 clip on, a very accurate tuner, and it leaves some scuff marks as well, though I do not leave it on all the time. The trade off is worth it to me IF the tuner actually gets me in tune.

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  18. #15
    AKA Billgrass
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    Default Re: Planet Waves NS Micro tuner - a review

    I got the two pack and have used on both an F and an A and had no problems regardless of ambient noise. As a matter of fact my biggest problem is that my band-mates want to borrow and then conveniently forget when it comes to packing up. Fortunately I know where they live...

  19. #16

    Default Re: Planet Waves NS Micro tuner - a review

    It seems that if you want super accuracy, you have to pay $70. At under $15, clip-ons like the Micro (and the Snark and the IMT) are easily good enough for me - and for most of us, it would seem.

  20. #17
    Professional Cat Herder Phil Vinyard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Planet Waves NS Micro tuner - a review

    I have one of the micros on my Gibson Jam Master and it works great. Also just put one on my new Clearwater Mandocello and it does fine with the lower pitches. I'm happy and not switching back to my other bigger tuners.
    Phil Vinyard
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  21. #18
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Planet Waves NS Micro tuner - a review

    I bought one on Friday. I loved the low-profile, out-of-the way, always-there concept, but I wasn't too thrilled with accuracy (seemed pretty close but not quite as accurate as other tuners I use), and it had difficulties with the e strings. I tried different locations on the head stock, but it really wouldn't fit correctly at the top unless I put it on top of the tuner hardware and I had limited options toward the nut. I also found that it was in the way when I wanted to put my mandolin on my wall hanger. I passed the tuner on to my son, who is trying to learn the banjo.
    Doug Brock
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  22. #19
    Registered User craigmurray's Avatar
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    Default Re: Planet Waves NS Micro tuner - a review

    I bought a two pack of these. I love the size, the design and function... but it left a cloudy haze in the varnish where the rubber pads touch the finish of my mandolin (both front and back). I was hoping to simply leave it on the headstock indefinately... but after the first night noticed the marks. No issues on my guitar though.
    Craig Murray

  23. #20
    Registered User Earl Gamage's Avatar
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    Default Re: Planet Waves NS Micro tuner - a review

    I bought two. Accuracy does not seem as good as the mini is (or was). Can't see it very well or at all in sun. I'll probably give them away.

  24. #21

    Default Re: Planet Waves NS Micro tuner - a review

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    Last edited by Scott Tichenor; Dec-14-2014 at 9:56pm.

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