Tuner shootout... the debate continues

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Logan, Oct 18, 2005.


  1. Logan

    Logan Supporting Member

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    Just to stir the pot a bit in the long debate; is the Peterson worth it?

    I didn't answer the question for you but I've come close to a determination in my own mind after borrowing tuners last week. Here they are and some results (ymmv);

    Methodology; Retuned the guitar for each tuner and then matched them with the other three and my own ears. For example; Tuned up with the Seiko and then compared (without retuning) what the other three measured and how each sounded.

    Seiko ST727 –
    Seiko vs Strobo; Surprise! Low E, A and D when tuned matched perfectly with the Strobostomp. However, the G string seemed to always come up a bit flat. The high E and B strings were a bit off as well (generally tuned slightly flat).

    Seiko vs. Boss; the Boss couldn’t read a difference between the tunings on average. The Boss generally said the E was sharp though.

    Seiko vs. Korg; G string read a flat on the Korg.

    Boss TU2 –
    Boss vs Seiko; after a few iterations the Seiko generally read the boss was flat on the low E and G strings.

    Boss vs. Strobostomp; the largest difference as I could tell. Each iteration returned something different from the Boss, for example the low E sharp then slightly flat. Very hit and miss.

    Boss vs. Korg; on par, the Korg measured some differences on each iteration flat and sharp. The E string still giving troubles.

    Korg DT10 –
    Korg vs. Seiko; Seiko came up in tune.

    Korg vs. Boss; Boss came up in tune, no measurable differences.

    Korg vs. Strobostomp; Generally high E slightly flat, G very close… Low strings tracked well.

    Peterson Strobostomp (guitar tempered setting) – in short, each of the other three found the Peterson to ring up “green” and perfect the first time. No differences on their readings.

    Now, my overall thoughts about how long it took to tune and how sweet it sounded;

    Seiko ST727 – Great bang for your buck, pretty quick tune. If you tune twice through from a complete retune chords sounded sweet with very little noticeable dissidence. In a jam/stage session this would work for me. Slight tweaks on the G string were generally required.

    Boss TU2 – Never thought the low E and A stings sounded “right”. Overall it didn’t work for me out of the four. I would (and was) constantly be retuning by ear.

    Korg DT10 – Dig this tuner, sounded good, tracked well. Chords sounded clear and matched; would be my choice for stage/jam use on moderate budget.

    Strobostomp – Chords always sounded clear; never thought to go back and retune. Sometimes it took awhile to track the B and high E. I would think twice about recording without one. In a jam session at least you know it wouldn’t be you out of tune.


    Disclaimer – I don’t assume this is a scientific process. Just some musicians curious about how much “better” certain products are from others (and invariably the cost differential) in their own minds. It helped me decide what I needed in life and thought I would share for those on the cusp.

    If you must flame away, please, go easy.
     
  2. CharlieNC

    CharlieNC Member

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    cool post Logan. i haven't really scene a tuner "shootout" before. it makes me want to get a stobostomp though, damn you.
     
  3. Logan

    Logan Supporting Member

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    Thanks... maybe? I know this thread just screams, NERD!
    :cool:

    Tuners demonstrate the age old idea that all of us hear differently and with more or less discretion... fortunately or unfortunately that discretion will make a bee-line for your wallet!
     
  4. dividedsky

    dividedsky Member

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    I have only used a TU-2. It gets me real close and if I think it should be a little different I adjust to my liking. One thing I have noticed is that the tuner is pretty dead on with a fresh battery but as the battery gets run down it kinda jumps around a lot...YMMV.
     
  5. waxnsteel

    waxnsteel Member

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    This would be a pain in the ass... try this, take your ears out of the equation. You're testing stage tuners. Turn up your stereo with something unruly, I'll recommend Badmotorfinger, or something Ted Nugent. Now plug your guitar in, and tune by lights alone. Plug guitar into whatever you use for a recorder, or your amp, but either way record the output. Do the same with each tuner. I'd say that'd be a quite measurable test for a stage tuner.

    Since I've been using the Strobo, I've never questioned the display. It said I was in tune, I beleived it and went on. My Korgs, on the other hand, I usually had to "ear in" after I unmuted them.
    I made my decision to by the strobo by tuning up my 12 string with a Korg DT 10 like the one I was using at home, and then finishing the job with the strobo. The notes just held together better in chords after being tuned with the Strobo. Then, I screwed up the tuning and started from scratch with the strobo, and was amazed at how quickly I was able to get back in tune.

    I'm with you, though, Peterson wins. I love that thing.
     
  6. BillyK

    BillyK Supporting Member

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    +1 on the StroboStomp.

    Nothing comes close. Wouldn't be without it.
     
  7. Grun

    Grun Member

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    Thanks for your hard work! Very useful. Very interesting.

    I bit the bullet and ditched my TU2 for a Strobostomp about a year ago and would do the same again in an instant. My only complaint/caveat with the 'Stomp is that it does seem to have problems tracking high E, especially on acoustic GTR. I wonder sometimes if they are all like that.
     
  8. Brakhage

    Brakhage Member

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    On all my strings except high E i turn my tone control all the way down. I dont do that when tuning my high E and now have no trouble. It was recommended by someone else on aother thread and it solves the problem that the strobo has locking in on that high E.
     
  9. Marcello

    Marcello Member

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    was your TU2 a vintage model ? :D

    yes, it makes a difference
     
  10. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Nice job testing. I think I would agree though also, testing while not being able to hear the strings would have been the best test.

    I'm curious though, with the TU-2, did you use it in "strobe mode" or the other (where it is two yellow arrows and a green LED. When in tune both arrows lit, green LED also lit).

    I had suspicion the "strobe" mode (where the leds flash, and turn..you try and get them to stand still) might be more accurate, but I don't know.

    I have three tuners also (Tu-2, Fender, and a Korg) and think maybe I'll try it too and see what I get.
     
  11. DK207

    DK207 Member

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    I have a TU-2 and I found that it tracks much better if I put if after my AM Comprossor. The arrows don't jump around at all and I get a better tune. Maybe just me, but I'll keep it for a while.
     
  12. Logan

    Logan Supporting Member

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    I agree... better live test...
     
  13. Logan

    Logan Supporting Member

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    Both... I don't recall steady differences though.
     
  14. LavaMan

    LavaMan Gold Supporting Member

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    Excellent Post! Good to know info! Thanks!
     
  15. Richard Guy

    Richard Guy Member

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    A tip that you guys may know already, but here goes anyway;

    for multi pickup guitars, tune using the neck pickup and 'pluck' the string with your finger.

    Best regards,

    Rich

    www.guytronix.com
     
  16. Moe45673

    Moe45673 Member

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    you're welcome :D
     
  17. Brakhage

    Brakhage Member

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    Ahhh...Thanks.
     

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