A tuner pedal question

Charlie Bernstein

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Apr 26, 2003
Posts
10,162
Location
Augusta, Maine
At an acoustic pub gig last night, my tuner worked well at first but slowly ran more and more poorly until it wasn't tuning at all. The display remained bright, but notes didn't register at all when I plucked a string.

So I switched to a headstock tuner and just used the pedal for muting for the rest of the night.

Today I took the tuner off the pedal board and tried it solo — just guitar > cable > pedal. It worked pefectly.

It's a fairly new Tomsline AT-07 tuner. The power was via a Truetone 1 Spot and daisy chain.

The pedal chain: four acoustic instruments > four 1/4" cables > four EQ pedals > one ABCD box > tuner > preamp > XLR cable > PA

So I'm wondering: Does the placement of a pedal tuner in the chain make a difference?

Or do I need a new pedal?

Thanks!
 
Last edited:

Tweeker

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Glens Falls NY
...The four EQ pedals may be using up all the milliamps from your 1 Spot...
Do the math to rule out mA overuse. See if it's possible you exceeded the 1700mA that the 1Spot provides.
Other than that, you'll need to duplicate the problem with the exact set up, otherwise it's just an anomaly. Just another blip in an otherwise perfect acoustic pub gig (with good beer I hope).
 

Skyhook

Friend of Leo's
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Aug 12, 2014
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Turku, Finland
Since a headstock tuner saved the day... let me once again plug my fave here...

https://www.thomann.de/gb/thomann_ctc_50_red.htm

This thing has no build quality to speak of. I'm afraid I'll break it by sneezing at it.
However... functionally it's so damn good I bought a spare!
Steady and precise tuning. Nothing more, nothing less. None of the almost-almost-almost-suddenwildjumptosomewhere
which almost all cable-connected tuners I've used are guilty of. Yes, TU-3... you may be an industry standard
but I'm definitely looking at you too here! After the CTC-50 your performance was underwhelming at best.
 

nickmm

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Dec 22, 2010
Posts
720
Location
Austrailia
Since a headstock tuner saved the day... let me once again plug my fave here...

https://www.thomann.de/gb/thomann_ctc_50_red.htm

This thing has no build quality to speak of. I'm afraid I'll break it by sneezing at it.
However... functionally it's so damn good I bought a spare!
Steady and precise tuning. Nothing more, nothing less. None of the almost-almost-almost-suddenwildjumptosomewhere
which almost all cable-connected tuners I've used are guilty of. Yes, TU-3... you may be an industry standard
but I'm definitely looking at you too here! After the CTC-50 your performance was underwhelming at best.
TU-3 are pretty inaccurate.
They may give a reading but one that is +/- 1 cent. Not good enough if you ask me.

Peterson or Sonic Research then TC.
 

fredpantalone

TDPRI Member
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Nov 4, 2009
Posts
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Location
Ottawa, ON, Canada
Your trouble-shooting is incomplete but it sounds like you've determined that the tuner pedal is ok so the problem is somewhere else. Keep looking. Did the tuner behave the same with all 4 instruments? Blaming the 1Spot outright is too simple...
 

Mouth

Tele-Afflicted
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Feb 13, 2018
Posts
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Location
U.S.
Also, did you have only 1 of the 4 inputs supplying signal when it was malfunctioning?

Or could you have had another instrument sympathically vibrating into it?
 

Ben Bishop

Tele-Meister
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Mar 4, 2010
Posts
375
Location
Victoria, BC
As has been said, an acoustic can pick up/generate sympathetic tones that will confuse a tuner. Have you always tried tuning using a harmonic? That might simplify the signal for the tuner.
 

Theiglupickin

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Silver Supporter
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Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire
I have a tc Polytune Tuner and put it first in my pedal board chain. Does your acoustic have a preamp/battery with a volume control?? A weak battery and/or volume turned down low might do it.
 

mandofrog

TDPRI Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2020
Posts
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Location
Sparks, NV
Acoustic pickups are notorious for giving bad readings to tuners.
Yes. Magnetic or active pickups will put out a signal good for a tuner pedal. Piezo pickups need a preamp to send the proper impedance to the rest of the chain. If you're running piezo pickups the signal might be a little weak for the tuner.

In your setup of course, you need to have the ABCD box first (well, second after separate EQs), and I would put the preamp next, which will send the right impedance signal to the tuner. But I'll guess that your tuner does not have XLR out for the PA, so you'd have to add a DI box at the end.

The common wisdom is to put tuners first in the chain, but the important thing is to put the tuner before any effects. It sounds like you're not running any effects. A preamp is not an effect, per se, it's to match the impedance to what an amplifier expects. And your EQ'ing your instruments separately to balance them, not as an effect, right? Putting the tuner at the end of that chain shouldn't be a problem.

Another option is use a preamp with a separate tuner port and effects loop, like a Radial ToneBone, for example. You could use a single Boss EQ-200 through the effects loop because it's got 4 presets for the 4 instruments. Still got XLR for the PA, and a master mute switch. The preamp acts more as a hub, rather than just another device in the chain.
 




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