Strobe tuner to set intonation ?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner: Guitar & Bass Technical Discussi' started by Dr. Tweedbucket, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. Dr. Tweedbucket

    Dr. Tweedbucket Supporting Member

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    I've always done it with a regular tuner but it seems like a strobe would be more accurate. What is a good strobe tuner to get?
     
  2. GuitslingerTim

    GuitslingerTim Member

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    A real strobe tuner costs big bucks, but the digital Peterson models are pretty good. The VSII is the model to get unless you want the stompbox version.
     
  3. justonwo

    justonwo Supporting Member

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    I'd get the stomp box version of the Peterson Virtual Strobe. It has the same accuracy for intonation but added usefulness as a stomp box.
     
  4. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    i'm evangelizing for the sonic research turbo-tuner! its cheaper than the peterson stuff, and in certain ways is more accurate, because it's an analog, not virtual, strobe tuner.
     
  5. blueguitar

    blueguitar Member

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    For serious intonation work you need a real strobe tuner not the virtual ones. Why? Because with a real strobe tuner your eye is going to be the judge of when the guitar is in tune. With all other digital, virtual or whatever there still must be a decision made by the circuitry to say "in tune" or not. Even the needle types are divided so finely on their scale it would be hard to have great precsicion. Most of these digital tuners are only accurate within +/- 3 cents (hundreths of a semitone). A real strobe tuner is accurate to within .1 cent. I purchased a Peterson 490 last year and started using a real strobe tuner after thinking for years that a good digital one was accurate enough. Boy was I wrong.
     
  6. GuitslingerTim

    GuitslingerTim Member

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    The Peterson digital strobetuners are also accurate within .1 cent. My only complaint about the VS1 is the display jumps around so much sometimes that its hard to be sure if the string is intonated properly.
     
  7. Zelmo

    Zelmo Member

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    The human ear cannot distinguish absolute pitch differences of < a couple of cents, so I'm not so sure that having 0.1 cent accuracy is such a critical issue. And yes, I'd agree that the digital strobe tuners are considerably better than +/- 3 cents.
     
  8. blueguitar

    blueguitar Member

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    That's my point is that there is still a digital function trying to make a decision as to what is in tune and what is not. Not so with analog whirling disc and lights. Whether the ear is that good or not my customers seem to appreciate it and notice the difference.
     
  9. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    I love my Peterson VS-1.
     
  10. patpark

    patpark Member

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    i never have problems with my vs-1 needle jumping around. open or fretted notes. on electric i try to use neck pickup and roll the tone knob all the way off. once you go strobe you can't go back to a regular tuner. regular tuning gets better.

    intonation can't do it without a strobe tuner.
     
  11. Luke V

    Luke V Supporting Member

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    I've been using the Strobostomp for setting intonation. It works very well for me. That is one of the main reasons I bought it.
     
  12. illinimax

    illinimax Gold Supporting Member

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    The Peterson stuff is great, but I've found that using my ears works the best when setting intonation. Using some heavy distortion to bring out the harmonics gets me where I want to be. Doesn't need to be that loud actually.

    For a Gibson scale guitar, the fretted note at the 12th position should equal the pitch of the 5th fret harmonic. For a Fender scale guitar the harmonic and fretted note at the 7th fret should be in agreement. After that, tuning with the Strobostomp gives great results.

    As always, YMMV
     
  13. Fishin'Musician

    Fishin'Musician Supporting Member

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    I had problems with my Strobostomp "jumping around" while trying to set the intonation on certain guitars, until I realized my pickups were too close to the strings and were causing this. I lowered them whilst setting the intonation then it dawned on me it's probably best to leave them lowered, since having them so close to the strings was obviously affecting the vibration in a negative way. I love me my Strobostomp.
     
  14. Serious Poo

    Serious Poo Silver Supporting Member

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    +1 Same for me
     
  15. gtrmaker

    gtrmaker Member

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    I recently tried out the Turbo Tuner ST-122 (www.turbo-tuner.com) and this is the tuner to use. I had a VSII, but the display was just too unstable, especially on acoustic guitars, so I tried out the ST-122 because of their no-risk guarantee.

    With the Turbo Tuner, not only can I get a precise measurement of the note, I can see if there are problems with the harmonics, because it's a real strobe tuner. The Peterson virtual tuners filter out everything except the fundamental. A lot of times, intonation problems are caused by bad strings that have excessive inharmonicity. This is where the partials are not harmonic - they are usually somewhat sharp. This can fool your ear when setting intonation by ear, or with a tuner that filters out all the partials.

    Inharmonicity shows up quite clearly on the Turbo Tuner's display, and you would be surprised by how many strings exhibit this phenomenon.
     
  16. Fishin'Musician

    Fishin'Musician Supporting Member

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    Will the Turbo Tuner do Feiten?
     
  17. therealting

    therealting Member

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    I think the Turbo Tuner does customisable temperaments, so in theory you can program any temperament you want, BF included.
     
  18. The_Whale

    The_Whale Member

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    Any tuner will be way more accurate than any guitar.

    Any tuner will do. The skill of the intonater is much more important than the accuracy of the tuner....
     
  19. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    yes! this problem really shows up when you try to intonate down-tuned guitars, as the upper harmonics can be significantly off from the fundamental. the turbo-tuner lets you see the string as a vibrating system, rather than one isolated pitch, just like a mechanical strobe.

    you can also do true perfect-tempered open tunings on it by setting it to the tonic of the chord, as perfect thirds, fourths and fifths will show in the display.

    it's also easy to program BuzzF offsets into it.
     
  20. therealting

    therealting Member

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    Walter, what is the effect of the tuner on sound quality?
     

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