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Tuner pedal vs clip on

Discussion in 'The Effect effect' started by Stormy Monday, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. GitBox Newbie

    GitBox Newbie Strat-Talk Member

    Dec 18, 2014
    Like the OP I usually either play at home or jam with friends. I use a clip on tuner. I can move it from one guitar to the next, it works with my acoustics and I’ve even lent it to a violin playing friend.

    When I travel to my friend’s place I take my Mustang amp because it’s the easiest to carry and it has a built in tuner.
  2. MarvinSmith

    MarvinSmith Strat-Talk Member

    May 24, 2011
    When you don't use pedalboard (playing acoustic or home) then clip-on is convenient.
    When I use pedalboard I plug polytune to volume pedal tuner out and leave it on at all times.
    Polytune in strobe mode is my favourite (probably Peterson's is better but more expensive).
  3. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Strat-O-Master

    Jun 30, 2016
    meridianam altum centralis
    There are good and bad pedal tuners. The good ones work better and faster than a clip-on.
    Bob the builder and Silvercrow like this.
  4. LeicaBoss

    LeicaBoss Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 4, 2015
    New Jersey
    Here is one practical difference. If you're playing with friends at any volume, and need to tune mid song... The clip-on tuners get real confused and dance around a bit.

    where I play the temperature can range quite a bit and tuning mid song is a reality
  5. Stormy Monday

    Stormy Monday Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 19, 2011
    anyone use a polyphonic tuner? Are they worth it?

    And what are good vs not-so-good tuners?
    Silvercrow likes this.
  6. Silvercrow

    Silvercrow Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 6, 2014
    Bucks County, Pa.
    Never tried or thought a poly-tuner would be a necessity. Opinions vary.

    For gigging / noisy environments, a "clip on" is out, IMO. There are great clip on's, don't get me wrong...

    As you research, just remember that "popular" and "best" are not necessarily synonymous.

    There are some great tuners out there- most within the $100.00 range. The Boss TU___ is probably on of the most popular or THE most popular and enjoys a great reputation for good reason. They are great pedals.

    Still, when I went to buy a pedal tuner, accuracy, speed, durability were factors. After my research, I chose Sonic Research ST-200. I got the regular sized box; there is a mini one now too. I got the standard as it has a nice wide screen. Features galore and as I said, fastest tuner Ive ever used or "auditioned". A true strobe tuner. The negative reviews (few-majority sing it's praises) are that it's difficult to read. I dunno...the note is displayed; there are a circle of led lights that spin; clockwise for pitch sharp; counter-clockwise for pitch flat. When the lights are still, or as still as possible, you are in tune. A few negative reviewers said "the lights never completely stop moving". When you are talking the accuracy of this thing, you can understand why. They DO move somewhat, but you can tune to the point where they are all but stopped...moving so slowly you're staring at the display as the lights CREEP, REALLY CREEP one direction of another.

    The thing is fast and accurate, robust, made in USA and at $125.00, only $25.00 more than the 'most popular" tuners (around $100 clams U.S.)

    YES, I'm a fanboy. And I'm picky. (BTW- buy direct from Sonic Research and save a few bucks. Possibly with shipping somewhere else may be cheaper, but with MF and others charging tax now...?)

    Here's a link that may be useful:

    BEST wishes whatever you decide!

    henderman likes this.
  7. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 10, 2014

    Those mini behind-the-headstock tuners are nice. They are small enough to be unobtrusive yet inexpensive enough to buy several for your regularly played guitars and leave them on.

    My home amp has a tuner built in and I often use that, there.


    Stratoskater likes this.
  8. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Strat-O-Master

    Jun 30, 2016
    meridianam altum centralis
    Just curious mostly, but how have you posted 8200+ posts, over 8 years, and just now contemplating your tuner preference?
  9. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Most Honored Senior Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Running with Scissors
    Those are great an no where near as susceptible to issues caused by other instruments being played like snarks are. I have a Snark I use at home with my acoustic but overall those things suck compared to the TC Polytune Clip on or the D'adarrio. Of course for getting really accurate with intonation and setup nothing beat a good (Sonic Research or Peterson) Strobe tuner.
  10. Stormy Monday

    Stormy Monday Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 19, 2011
    Nosy. ... i have been using clip ons. This year's project is to re-do my pedal board. And after not being able to check my tuning while the others were playing brought me to this point. Anything else?
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
    Thrup'ny Bit likes this.
  11. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Strat-O-Master

    Jun 30, 2016
    meridianam altum centralis
    No, that's sufficient, lol. I've got a built in on my multi-effects that works really well, as good as any of my tuner pedals, clip ons, cell phone, etc. TC Polytune is good, Boss is good, Hardwire is ok, but lasts about one gig on a battery, etc.
    Stormy Monday likes this.
  12. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 8, 2009
    Area 51
    Same here - I have Peterson Strobe Tuners for both, and the pedal and VS-1 versions are a bit more accurate (4 strobe lines vs just 2 on the clip version.)
    That said, there I times it is just way easier to throw the clip version on - especially when working on my guitars at home for quick and dirty tuning.
    I also use the clip on to help tune our one singer's acoustic guitar before gigs - it's got the Peterson Sweetened guitar setting that is a must-have for me.
  13. Bob the builder

    Bob the builder Senior Stratmaster

    May 2, 2016
    Cranston, Rhode Island
    I keep a clip on in every case. Pull it out at 11:00 at night for screwing around unplugged. When I'm plugged in there's a TU2 on the board.
    My acoustic has a built in
  14. ProSonicLive

    ProSonicLive Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 4, 2016
    I have a Poly-Tune clip which I really like, however, it has had the occasional problem when the bassist or drummer refuses to stop playing when you are tuning. But they are great for studio or solo work. In live situations I tend to lean towards my pedal.
  15. Jeffl

    Jeffl Strat-Talk Member

    Apr 19, 2017
    Pedal for gigs. A clip on takes a second or two longer to use and looks dumb to me. Fine for home use and rehearsals.
  16. tygr1

    tygr1 Strat-Talk Member

    May 4, 2016
    I have both a Pod X3 Live and a Mustang III amp, both have tuners, both match when Fender clip-on...not so much. It's always a few cents flat compared to the others. In tune but not at 440hz.
  17. The-Kid

    The-Kid Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 15, 2014
    Boss Waza tuner is probably the best for the price IMO.

    Id take that over a clip on but in general would use the clip on as adding another pedal looses more signal in the chain...why add more to the signal when you got a clip on that is pretty much as good as 95% of the tuner pedals out there.