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DeepEnd

NTD: New Tuner Day

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Last Sunday I took my trusty blue Snark tuner out of my guitar case and it fell apart. One of the tabs that form the socket of the ball-and-socket joint on the back had snapped off. I had a backup tuner and access to a piano but it was annoying. I went on eBay and found a Swiff A8 clip on tuner. $5.29 shipped with battery. Worth a shot. It arrived yesterday and I tested it on acoustic guitar and bass. It's a little slow to respond to the E on a 4 string bass (I don't own a 5 string so no clue there) and the On/Off/Mode button is on the back on the right side where would be a potential PITA for a left handed user but it works. No more melting paint and no more little rubber pads that come off. For now, I'm satisfied.

Swiff.jpg.7e7e64fdb2e1b7d8303393689d659dce.jpg

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I was in Music & Arts a few days ago looking at tuners. The Snark was there, among others, and prices were from $19.-. I don't need one. The Intellitouch I bought 13 years ago is still working strong but it's also persnickety with the low E string. To get around that I sound the 12th fret harmonic and it responds immediately. No guitar has perfect intonation between open and 12th fret so I have to tweak it a smidge after that.

 

Happy NTD. It looks sturdier than the Snark.

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I bought one of the Snark super fast ones and it was excellent and pretty robust. I'm definitely going to replace it with another. 

I left it with my nephew in Canada this summer when I was there on holiday. It got borrowed by several people around a bonfire and I doubt I would have had a smooth trip through customs if I'd kept it. 🍁 :rastaphil:

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21 hours ago, Idunno said:

. . . The Intellitouch I bought 13 years ago is still working strong but it's also persnickety with the low E string. To get around that I sound the 12th fret harmonic and it responds immediately. . . .

I tested the new one some more this morning. It works well on a guitar but for whatever reason it acted flaky for the A string on a J-Bass. It would detect the E just fine but on the A string it insisted the note was an E. I got around that by using the 12th fret harmonic, then it worked fine. That's in chromatic mode, it might work better in the bass specific mode. For what I paid I can't complain.

Edited by DeepEnd

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On 2/1/2020 at 11:39 PM, Idunno said:

. . . . . . it's also persnickety with the low E string. .  .  .

 

This seems to be a common problem with clip-on tuners. I have an ENO ET-3000+ tuner that as well as the clip-on facility also has a microphone which I usually end up using for the low E.

https://musicwarehouse.co.uk/products/eno-et3000-tuner

 

Edited by garthman

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11 hours ago, garthman said:

This seems to be a common problem with clip-on tuners. I have an ENO ET-3000+ tuner that as well as the clip-on facility also has a microphone which I usually end up using for the low E.

https://musicwarehouse.co.uk/products/eno-et3000-tuner

I'm an Eno owner too. I have an ET-33. https://www.amazon.com/Chromatic-Digital-Tuner-Clip-Black/dp/B007WREIQQ FWIW, none of my tuners is finicky on a guitar, only sometimes when tuning a bass.

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I still have a few hardware tuners, but my iPhone and the Peterson iStroboSoft app tend to get used more than any of my other tuners these days. But I can see advantages to clip-on tuners, since they’re always right there and ready to go. I imagine that would be really useful when playing live. Do they suffer from external interference when you’re on a loud stage?

 

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Good question. The things utilize physical contact but I would imagine the acoustic guitar will transmit all ambient noise to the tuner. I'll try it with another guitar plugged in the same room as the one with the clip-on tuner.

Edited by Idunno
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I'm also looking forward to Idunno's results. I tune my guitar and the church's bass prior to worship (our bassist is always the last to arrive) and leave it alone after that.We don't do loud so I have no idea how well it would work in those circumstances. If the tuner is responding to vibrations rather than ambient sound I'd think it would have to be pretty loud--to the point of feedback--to vibrate your whole guitar.

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Wow! I got a better deal than I thought. Today's Musician's Friend Stupid Deal Of The Day was a pair of Snark Hz tuners for $34.98, normally $79.98. I doubt my little Swiff is as accurate as one of those but for the money I'll take it.

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On 2/7/2020 at 6:47 AM, Phil O'Keefe said:

Please let us know how your experiment works out, and thanks in advance for testing it out!

 

I put two new 2032 batteries in the Intellitouch, switched it on and clamped it to the headstock of my classical. With new batteries that tuner's sensitivity and accuracy is very good. I plucked the low E string on the classical and the tuner displayed that note. Then, leaving the Intellitouch clamped to the headstock of my classical and plucking the open low E string on my steel string (plugged), the Intellitouch again displayed the low E note no differently than it did on the classical. I unplugged the steel string and plucked the low E string again from about three feet away with the same result. This tells me the tuner is Piezo based. All of them probably are.

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On a different instrument, I bought some violin strings but instead of just the strings D'Addario makes a violin kit that includes the strings, a clip-on tuner and rosin for $34.00 (retail store). The strings alone are $27.00. Cripes that's expensive. Anyway, I strung up the violin, clamped the tuner on and its works really well. Sold separately, D'Addario charges $3.99 for the rosin. That makes the tuner (Jethro Bodine, where ought plus ought are you) $3.00? The Snark is now about $19.00 retail.

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