Tuners

Sterner TM

 


 

 

 

Electronic tuners are practical, but not very accurate. If the tuner would light up only at exactly the right pitch, it would be almost impossible to see any light at all. There would only be a short blink when the correct pitch was passed. For that reason electronic tuners have a rather wide interval where they signal that the string is in tune. Typically this interval is about 6 cents wide. You may have noticed that sometimes the tuning sounds extra good. On an instrument that intonates well the difference is very clear. There is a special sound in the instrument that makes you don't want to quit playing. Those times occur when you happened to tune the strings to the same spot in the area approved by the tuner.

Here are some tuners I have tested.

You might possibly get better accuracy with tuners that have a mechanical needle. Here the accuracy depends on how well you can read the needle. I have not tested this.

Personally I will recommend the Turbo Tuner. This is a real strobe tuner and it reacts fast as lightning. When the light from the LEDs rotate clockwise the note is sharp. When it rotates counterclockwise the note is flat. The closer to the correct pitch you get, the slower it rotates. When it stops the pitch is perfect. With this tuner you get perfect in tune every time. Its accuracy is 0.02 cent. There is also a stomp version.

I also use a Peterson VS-II tuner. This is a virtual strobe tuner, a modern version of the big, old stroboscope tuners. It has a checkered pattern that moves down if the pitch is flat and up when the pitch is sharp. The closer to correct pitch you come the slower the pattern moves. When the squares are still the pitch is correct. With this tuner you get perfect tuning every time. Its accuracy is 0.1 cent. It is not as fast as the Turbo Tuner as it has to calculate the screen image. There is also a clip-on version and a phone-app version of the Peterson tuners.

On some instruments, or maybe some types of strings, it is difficult to get a clear signal to the tuner. The checkered pattern or the diods may flicker so much that it is difficult to see in what direction they are turning. To get as clear signal as possible, I made a tuning clip so small that it could be put directly on the string (!) behind the nut or the bridge bone. It gives a steady signal.

 

 

        Turbo Tuner

      Peterson VS-II

Sterner Tuning Clip

  Sterner Tuning Clip  

 

Copyright Anders Sterner
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