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Continuing the clip on tuner discussion....

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Colo Springs E, Aug 25, 2017.

  1. Colo Springs E

    Colo Springs E Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Mar 4, 2003
    Colorado Springs
    .....PLEASE keep it civil.

    I am not crazy about the looks, partially because I like the headstock of a guitar, and like not having its features (looks) hidden at all. Purely visual.

    But my question is for an electric band: it would seem it wouldn't work that well with all the ambient noise up on a rock 'n roll stage? Does it work okay? Lots of people seem to use them. I find them sort of finicky even in the privacy of my living room--sometimes they seem to have trouble locking in (I have only used Snark--maybe there are better ones?).

    Discuss. Civilly.

  2. the_lyall

    the_lyall Telepathetic Ad Free + Supporter

    Jan 15, 2017
    Bedford, UK
    I prefer a pedal tuner - nice clear bright display, mutes your signal while tuning, isn't visible etc. I got a Mooer one cheap and it's been great.

    I've never had a clip on tuner as they never appealed to me regardless of how inexpensive they are. I've got nothing against other people using them though, and I can't imagine ambient noise being an issue unless it's got enough bass to make your guitar resonate and interfere with the tuning.
    Ripradiant likes this.

  3. Bob M

    Bob M Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    May 11, 2011
    North of Boston
    I use one. A Fishman. It works fine with a group. I flip it around so the display is on the back of the headstock. Looks a little less intrusive. When I set up guitars I use a pedal. It's easier to read and more immediate in response.

  4. Ironwolf

    Ironwolf Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Mar 11, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    I have a headstock tuner, but compared to my pedal tuner it always tunes about a quarter step sharp.

  5. tery

    tery Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Sep 21, 2012
    IMO they are better than nothing - unless you have super ears ?
    Toto'sDad likes this.

  6. rarebreed

    rarebreed Tele-Holic

    Jul 26, 2010
    Our band is a guitar band,drums ,bass, 2 lead guitars and me on acoustic rhythm,and we do have a tendency to get a bit too loud at times. Over the years I tried all kinds of tuners from several manufacturers,pedals as well as rack mounted. And like you said with all the ambient sound it was hard to tune my acoustic ,the needle/pointer on the tuner or the lights would jump all over the place due to the guitar body resonating. So for years I packed around an old Conn strobe tuner as it was the only thing I could find that did not go haywire to noise from the stage or room. Just to try it out, I borrowed a Snark clip on tuner from a buddy in another band to try. With it I was able to tune my acoustic guitar without the hassles I had experienced in the past. I bought a couple of them and that's all I use anymore.On a gig a while back I broke a string towards the end of a song,while the band played the next tune I changed the string and re-tuned my guitar with no problems from the Snark tuner.
    Just to add a bit of humor to this,several years ago when I was still using my old Conn tuner,a younger musician I knew vaguely came up to me while we were on break and asked me what that was sitting on top of my amplifier. He had never seen a Conn strobe tuner.
    El Tele Lobo likes this.

  7. LeicaBoss

    LeicaBoss Tele-Meister

    Oct 16, 2015
    New Jersey
    They work well. The very small ones, mounted with screen to rear of headstock are hardly visible and let me quickly check a note if it feels sour. You still need good ears but the tuner gets you real close.

    I personally use 23 clip on tuners simultaneously because my headstock looks like this:


  8. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

    Aug 23, 2014
    Which one is off? One of those tuners needs to go to the trash. :)

    A good clip-on works great for me.

    Ambient noise hasn't been a problem. I make sure my strings are stretched out properly and that my guitars are acclimated and tuned before a set starts. I don't use a whammy bar, nuts are cut correctly and don't stick with bending. I usually play a Strat with the vibrato decked or a Tele. They stay in tune for the whole set with no problem. I don't use a pedal board and just don't like extraneous stuff in the signal path in general. So that rules out the tuner pedal for me. I use a clip-on to tune between sets and then clip the tuner back onto the mic stand should I need it for a tweak between songs. I almost never do.
    JayFreddy, Piggy Stu and matrix like this.

  9. Junkyard Dog

    Junkyard Dog Tele-Holic

    Mar 7, 2016
    I use a D'Addario NS Micro tuner. It's fairly unobstrusive, not too visually distracting to the audience, etc. I'm not 100% sure that is what KV has on his guitar here, but this is pretty much what they look like on a Telecaster.


    I'm not in a band playing heavy metal at bone crushing volume levels or anything, but they do work fine for me in typical electric band situations...and apparently for KV as well.
    tery and Colo Springs E like this.

  10. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003
    TC Electronic Polytune clip is awesome

  11. Colo Springs E

    Colo Springs E Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Mar 4, 2003
    Colorado Springs
    I'm with you there. When I was in a band, I would typically only tune between sets or if there was a 15-20 second spot where we weren't playing ("please be sure and tip your wait staff!" etc) I would just put the pedal in the path then, and take it back out right after tuning. I hate having ANYthing in the signal path, didn't like distortion/boost pedals either.
    Chicago Matt likes this.

  12. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 10, 2003
    Near Milwaukee
    Clip-ons are better than nothing but I find them to be not as accurate as a pedal.

    I have the Peterson Strobo Tuner app in my phone and when I find myself getting frustrated with poor accuracy from my clip on Snarks I double check with my phone to find that the Snarks are way off.

    In the band I used TC Polytune pedals so that I could strum open strings between songs and instantly see what or which strings were off.
    Toto'sDad and tery like this.

  13. Wallo Tweed

    Wallo Tweed Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 6, 2011
    Eastern PA, USofA
    I don't want anything between my guitar and amp so I've been using clip ons. I tried a snark, and a another 10 dollar tuner, but couldn't see them in sunlight.

    I've been using a Korg SH Pro, for about a year and it works fine. It doesn't pick up other instruments in vibration mode. I put it on backwards.

    I've heard the comments about not looking professional and I am not a pro, so no offence taken. Some of the best players I have seen don't use any tuners.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017
    william tele and Chicago Matt like this.

  14. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

    Jan 14, 2013
    DC Burbs
    Good grief. I'm sure the bumched shrit and the cargo shorts take away from the beauty of the headstock more than the clip on tuner does.

    I played a series of summer time shows this year. My pitchblack pedal was washed out by the sun, so it was pretty useless. So I used it as a mute while I tuned with my clip on Korg (which I had already). I have a clip on in every case I have.

    I wish my bandmate would learn to tune before taking the stage or at least mute out before tuning. I have a nice :rolleyes: recording of him live tuning.

  15. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's

    Oct 14, 2015
    IL, USA
    Home use only for me and rarely then. Nothing against them, I just have and prefer the pedal at home.

    I don't mind the look when seeing live bands. I do get annoyed when my band mates tune out loud while we are waiting to start a song. I can mute, tune, and be ready quicker with the pedal.

  16. jhundt

    jhundt Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 23, 2003
    I admit that I'm the guy who fired up the clip-on tuner war on that other post. It was only a joke but it sure got some people hot!

    I remember back in 72, I had a Norton 750 Combat Commando Roadster. It was very beautiful. One day I got a deal on a luggage rack made for the Norton. I put it on there so I could carry stuff when I went to work. It looked so doofus, just totally ruined the look of my fine motor-scooter. That's kind of how I feel about clip-on tuners.

    Don't get me wrong - I love them! I have 5 or 6 laying strategically around the house, and I wonder how I even lived before these things came around. My favorites are the little Planet Waves/D'Addario ones like the one Kenny is using in the picture above. Especially with my black-painted headstock.

    The best one I have is that TC Electronics Clip. It is a very fine piece of equipment.

    I just think that they look a bit tacky stuck on the head of the guitar and left there during performance. But hey, I'm on-the-record here at TDPRI saying that the way you look is way more important than the tone of your guitar/amp.

  17. jhundt

    jhundt Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 23, 2003
    Rare Breed said: "So for years I packed around an old Conn strobe tuner..."

    and it reminded me of my time as a guitar tech for some SF Bay Area bands. One band had the most modern 1975-model Conn tuner, silver and black, state-of-the-art. The other band had an older model, tube-driven I think, sort of coppery-colored in a tin case. It worked, but it was not easy to use! But the main thing is - there WERE no other electronic tuners then - they just didn't exist.

    One day I saw something called a Korg electronic tuner. It had a lighted dial almost like a VU-meter. I bought it with my own money, and it made my work so much faster and easier, it was incredible. Thins have sure improved since those days!

  18. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 10, 2003
    Near Milwaukee
    Snark makes this new tiny guy; it hides well behind your headstock. had a recent deal where you got a normal Snark and the tiny Snark for $25.

    I flew with one to PA a couple weeks ago where I played a set on Main St. in Nazareth at Martins on Main/Nazfest. I had a loud softhead 12 fret Martin and the little tuner was fairly horrible. I had to use the strobe tuner on my phone in a panic before playing. I want them to work. I don't think that they work very well. I guess I paid $12 for each Snark and I may have got what I paid for.

    I'm interested in the TC unit that Blowtorch mentioned. I love the Polytuners.

  19. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

    Jun 21, 2011
    :eek::eek::eek: Blasphemy it is, spoken have you!!! :lol::lol::lol:
    the_lyall and Flat6Driver like this.

  20. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

    Jan 14, 2013
    DC Burbs
    Of all the ones I have, those are the worst. I bought one for my son based on all the reviews here. It's terrible. Could never get to a an angle I liked, the colors were hard to see, etc. I like the Korgs much better.

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