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Tuner


Professor Monkey

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You do NOT want the headstock tuner unless it is imperative to tune without a cable. They're not as accurate but more importantly, are not particularly rugged and tend to slip off with moderate movement and vibration. Talking from experience. At least I already owned a pedal tuner and a handheld, both with mics as well as 1/4" instrument cable inputs.

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I think the StroboStomp is just way cool! :thu:

 

I already own the Peterson V-SAM strobe tuner...but for live gigging, I wouldn't hesitate to also get a StroboStomp.

 

http://www.petersontuners.com/index.cfm?category=2&sub=16

 

Then there is also the StroboFlip...if you prefer having it up on your mic stand...

 

http://www.petersontuners.com/index.cfm?category=37&sub=21

 

And if you have a guitar rack...then maybe the StroboRack is a better way to go:

 

http://www.petersontuners.com/index.cfm?category=73&sub=66

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Nah they are simple bro' you just tune til the thing stops moving....if it moves up it is sharp if it moves down it is flat and when it stays still it is perfect.

 

I have the Peterson software strobe and I love it. I have never used the floor one but I have heard it is really cool.

 

I have a Sabine rack tuner that is nice...there are many ways to go...I would check out the Strobostomp like miro says. Go try one in a store.

 

Headstock tuner...hmmm...live onstage with lot's of noise about....I'd want my guitar tuner in-line and wired so I can tune quietly.

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After looking at Michael Patrick's setup, is it possible to get a noncompact handheld tuner and just place it on the ground?

 

The little silver pedal right before the tuner is a true bypass A/B box, so that the tuner is out of my signal chain. Plus, it means I'm tuning silently, since signal flows to the tuner or the amp, but not both.

 

If you don't want to keep it on the floor, you can get a small piece of velcro and attach it to the top of your amp. When you want to tune, you pull the plug out of your amp and plug into the tuner. You can put the tuner in your guitar case during transport so that it stays safe...

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I'd go for the Strobostomp. Its by far and away the most accurate....even when it says you are slightly out of tune, you'll still be more in tune than with most other tuners.

 

It did take me a bit of time getting used to reading the strobes, but its not that hard once you get used to it.

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I'd like to check out the Peterson, but I haven't.

 

I've used my share of tuners and used to own a Korg but it got crushed. I replaced it with a Sabine stx 1100. I have another model sabine also, so one can stay in the gig box and one stays on the music stand. I really like them and they've both taken beatings.

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Back in the day I had Conn and Petersons, and I was really happy to move to digital quartz tuners when they became available, just for size reasons. My $150 Korg tuner fit in a guitar case....barely. Not too long ago I sold my Peterson 450R. I've got the Sabine rack mount tuner (7100?) an old Arion Stage Tuner floor pedal, two of those jobbies that clamp to the headstock (Intellituner? and a Korg) and a Strobstomp. I read a lot of stuff about tuners, and the Perterson gets a lot of really good press, and people claim that using it is the best ever.... I won't argue the point, I just suggest that anyone who can't get in tune from a $15 tuner can't do it from a $250 tuner either. I'm glad that I have the Peterson Strobostomp (sure, why not?), but I've always liked footpedal tuners. I mostly use the Intellituner, which stays clamped to one of my acoustics, which just happens to be the axe that I play the most.

 

Though I dislike multieffects pedals compared to individual pedals, one of the advantages to most multieffects units is that they have tuners built in.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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For basic tuning...as in, being in tune with the rest of the band...it probably matters not if you are off a few ticks...as long as everyone else if off too.

You pick a reference and everyone tunes to it.

But...if you have other instruments besides just guitars...or if the lead singer is REAL picky about tuning because of his/her singing range/style...or if you want to be absolutely sure that you are dead-on...

...then the strobe accuracy comes into play...IMO.

 

In the studio...if that strobe is moving up/down even a pinch...I can hear the difference, and SEE the difference...but with a less accurate digital or needle tuner, visually it would appear to be dead-on, and I so would not see that difference to be able to nail the tuning.

Yeah...ultimately we can say "use your ears"...but in reality, our ears can play tricks on us (thats why we use tuners :) ), and so the most accurate visual tuner will make a difference under some situations.

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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In 2005 Hank Walace wrote this explanation:

 

"The units of tuning accuracy are cents. A cent is one hundredth of a semitone. Since there are 12 semitones in an octave, there are 1200 cents in an octave.

 

It is commonly agreed that the human ear can notice a pitch change of about five cents.

 

How is it possible that even a $10 tuner can tune your instrument decently? The secret is the frequency reference, a quartz crystal. Such crystals can be made to vibrate at many different frequencies depending on the thickness of the quartz slab. These parts cost about 50 cents and have an accuracy of better than 0.01% (even the cheapest ones). That accuracy equates to only 0.173 cents pitch error. A 0.005% tolerance crystal breaks the 0.1 cent error barrier. The rest of the error in a guitar tuner is related to the software techniques used to detect and display the pitch.

 

Given the ear's limitations in discerning pitch differences (about five cents), and all the other contributors to pitch changes in a guitar as it is being played, it does not make a lot of sense to spend hundreds of dollars on an expensive tuner with accuracy of 0.1 cents. One cent accuracy is all a guitar player needs. But since one cent accuracy is so cheap (remember the quartz crystal), you can easily buy a very accurate tuner without breaking the bank. "

 

From the aPeterson StroboStomp2 specs...

"Accuracy: 0.1 Cent (1/10th Of One Cent)"

 

 

When the resolution limitation of the 'sampler' (the ear) is 5 cents, the difference between 1 cent and 1.73 cents should be rendered moot. Even the "golden Ear" guy who can hear twice as good as anyone else should not be able to detect a difference.

 

Just my opinion... but I've never seen much of a large difference among tuners. Some early models of electronic tuners drifted, and LED models obviously have a scale resolution limit (and I've never bought an LED tuner).

 

I'd say that this is why so many on the road guitar techs have dumped their big rack mount tuners for smaller, lighter, more portable models. Even Warren Hayes tech has a big hole in his rack where his Peterson 450R used to sit.

 

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Bill...I don't think it's so much a question of the internal accuracy of a digital tuner's crystal...but rather of the display accuracy.

Most have like +/- 3 cents display accuracy (some worse)...that +/- differnce is over the 5 cents that most people will hear...and some can hear or sense tuning differencs at even less.

 

With the strobe tuners..you CAN see those 1/10th differences.

 

You can not see those differences on a digital/needle/LED tuner.

 

Here is a bit more detail from Peterson about why 1/10th accuracy makes a difference....

 

http://www.petersontuners.com/index.cfm?category=85&sub=89

 

So, you don't believe our analogy? Then, let's get technical. Play two pure sine wave tones together, one at 440 Hz (440 cycles per second), one at 441 Hz. The clash you will hear is the one sound beating against (alternately reinforcing and canceling) the other. The repetition of this beating occurs at the difference in frequency of the original tones (441 - 440), which is 1.0 Hz or once every second. This level of out-of-tuneness is already plenty noticeable, but we don't want to be accused of stacking the deck in our favor, so let's use these numbers.

 

How does this relate to cents scaling? Actually it is a little complicated because the cents difference of the tones depends not only on the difference in frequency but on the size of the frequencies themselves. For this example, at 440 Hz, the cents difference is about 3.9 cents.

 

So, any tuner that can get you 4 cent (actually ±2 cent) accuracy should be fine, right? Well there's more to it. First, even though almost any tuner these days can have an internal accuracy at this level or greater, what is important to you is the accuracy you can reliably and quickly see on the display. Other tuning display systems generally do not give good results-or usually any results-within about ±3 cents.

 

But there is still more! Remember, cents scaling changes with the size of the frequencies themselves. If you are so picky that you need your High A (at 880 Hz) to be in tune with everything else (good musicians are funny that way!), any beat frequencies produced must still be below the 1 Hz-once a second-level. This already requires twice the cent accuracy as before or ±1 cents!!

 

Will it ever end? Not just yet!! We don't generally spend our time listening to laboratory-perfect sine waves (well, we have to sometimes, but we don't recommend it). Real musical tones include a unique and often extended series of overtones (additional sine waves at multiples of the pitch frequency) that gives each sound its timbre or character. Even a flute, which is considered to be relatively pure, has five or more overtones which are significant enough that, if any were to be artificially removed, would leave the tone noticeably wanting. In instruments ranging from guitar-especially with even a touch of over-drive distortion-to woodwinds and brass, overtones at 10 or 15 times the pitch frequency can be significant. This has a huge impact on the human ability to detect tuning.

 

To take an easy example, an electric guitar string usually has plenty of power in its fourth overtone (and beyond). In our previous example, tuning two strings-one at 440 Hz, one at 441 Hz would sound much worse than the sine wave case. This is because the audible overtones also beat and the frequency of these beats increase along with the frequencies of the overtones. To take a conservative example, the 4th overtone of the 440 Hz tone would be at approximately 2200 Hz and that of the 441 Hz tone would be at 2205 Hz. This makes a beat frequency of 5 Hz or 5 times a second: HORRID! To make these tones sound even reasonably good together, we should make sure that these overtones beat at less than the original "once every second". This will require the fundamental pitches to be tuned to 440 and 440.2 Hz. What's the cents accuracy required now? It's 0.78 cents or ±0.39 cents!

And what about the fact that the 1 Hz beat level that we used in the calculations is really much worse than what anyone with fleshy ears (as opposed to the tin type) would consider to be "in tune"?

And what about accounting for even higher overtones?

And playing higher notes?

 

And the fact that your tuning will drift with the pressure changes of your thumb in different guitar chord positions or the warmth of your breath into your horn as you play?

 

At least if you start at "real" 0.1 cent accuracy, you will be able to maintain satisfactory tuning through a few songs!

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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I've read all this before (though thanks for posting it in the interest of keeping the thread going and accurate...) and have used the harmonic method of tuning my own guitars for years.

 

And I don't dispute what they say particularly (heck, I've owned several of their products, I must think that they have something to offer!) I just stand on what I said above: "Just my opinion... but I've never seen much of a large difference among tuners." I've played on many stages, done sound on many more. I've seen every kind of tuner out there used on pro stages, and no one seemed to suffer from their choices. I'm a tweaky guy about many sound-related things, (as you guys know...) but I just can't get my knickers in a twist about this one.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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I haven't read any Harony Central reviews, but let me say that a lot of people have trouble reading and understanding strobe tuners, so -it is possible- that there is a fair amount of operator error being expressed. Also, Peterson came out with a version two, so it is also possible that there was an issue with version one. My reason for writing this is not a reversal in my position, but a defense of Peterson, which is a quality company that is also musician-friendly.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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For your typical "rock band"...I will agree with you Bill, there are any number of decent, small tuners that will cut it.

I guess I'm looking a little beyond the two guitars & bass tuning requirements of a live stage gig.

Yeah...on stage, small tuning anomalies will go by unnoticed.

 

The one thing I always hated about older digital/LED tuners of the past (haven't tired one in several years)...is that "jumping" you get with the displays.

The strobe tuners have the continuous floating display, which I prefer. I also liked using the needle tuners because of their "floating" style...but they were not all very accurate.

 

Now that I'm used to the strobe display...I guess if I bought a smaller stage/stomp tuner...it would still be a Peterson strobe....

 

:/ Well, Ive been reading some reviews, and some people are actually saying the Boss TU-2 can strobe tune better than the Peterson.

 

On Harmony Central, the Peterson Strobostomp seemed to be a hit or miss pedal. It looks like a Boss TU-2 would be a lot more reliable on stage.

 

The Boss TU-2 is not a strobe tuner from what I've read. Where did you see it referred to as a strobe tuner...maybe I missed that?

 

AFA Harmony Central reviews...well...you always have to take them with a grain of salt, unless like, 100 guys or more are saying exactly the same thing about a product. :)

 

I couldn't even find the TU-2 listed in the Korg section on HC....?

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Don't get a headstock tuner! They are very inaccurate. I'll recommend this boss one, which is $100 but will probably last longer than you:

 

http://www.zzounds.com/item--BOSTU2

 

I've got two that work quite well on my acoustic guitars. The Korg is not my favorite, but I don't have an accuracy issue with it, it just is not ergonomically very friendly.

 

I've always been partial to floor tuners, like footpedals. That is probably why I bought the Strobostomp after selling off the Peterson 450R.

 

Oh, and I guess that I have bought an LED tuner... I have the Sabine rack-mount jobbie in the studio rack. Those are probably LEDs. But in my defense, I was talking about the little hand-held jobs with like, 7 or 10 LEDs.

 

 

You are right though... save your money, pick carefully, buy once, buy right, and never buy another one. The Korg was an impulse buy...dumb move. I have multiples because I have multiple setups. I surely could have dragged a single tuner around but I found it easier to have stands, cables, tuners, bags, etc for each rig.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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