Ever wonder if you would be better off with a Clip On Vibration tuner versus a Pedal Tuner or vice versa? Here we will discuss the pros and cons.
Clip On Tuner
There are plenty of affordable, easy to use and reliable clip on vibration tuners available. They work by picking up the vibrations of your guitar at the head-stock via a sensor and a simple spring loaded clip with protective pads. A low cost favorite is the Tune Tech TT-5. It can be had for about $14.95. Like most tuners of this type it has 5 modes for tuning of Guitar, Bass, Ukulele, and Violin as well as a full chromatic function. It also features a 360 degree swivel and a Back Lit LED screen that changes color when your instrument is in tune and uses an easily accessible common variety Lithium battery.
Pros: low cost, battery powered, easily switches from one instrument to another, fits in guitar case, gig bag or your pocket, saves you space on your pedal board.
Cons: Can be inconvenient if the battery dies during a show and can become dim hours prior and can be easily lost or stolen. May be hard to read in sunlight, can be delicate if you’re prone to bumping into things, like other guitar players.
Floor Pedal tuners Offer several advantages over clip on tuners. While more costly than their portable cousins, there are well made affordable ones available. The Modtone MT-PT1 can be purchased under $40.00 retail. The PT-1 Chromatic Tuner features an easy to read multi-color LED display, has a bright blue note readout with green in-tune markers, it tunes quickly and accurately. The MT-PT1 also features a heavy duty metal housing, ¼” input, and dual ¼” outputs. Use the second Bypass output to run a stereo rig or send your signal direct to the board. The Pitch button allows for fine tuning up or down 5 cents. The Flat button allows for de-tuning three half-steps (Eb, D, Db). The Boss Tu-3 tuner offers special modes for 6 string basses and 7 string guitars and be used as a power supply for 7 more Boss pedals and can be had for about $100.00 retail.
Pros: AC/DC powered, permanently mountable on your pedal board, large easy to read display, can be used as kill switch for your signal Chain. Can be used inline or in a bypass mode. Some models can be used to power other pedals.
Cons: If you are doing an acoustic gig and want to bring a minimal amount of gear, a Clip On tuner may make more sense.
Conclusion: So what’s the verdict? You probably need both.