I need to be educated about Chromatic Tuners, so I can pick and buy one.

Mossberg152

Squier-Meister
Jun 13, 2022
102
Lorain, Ohio
Not sure this is the right category to put this in, but here goes...

I am curious as to what tuners everyone is using, specifically for the purpose of intonating their guitars. As I was attempting to intonate my new-to-me Squier, and some cheap strat copies I have (an Ion, and a Peavey Rockmaster), I had several good suggestions for some free apps I could put on my phone.

This question is specifically in regards to actual physical Chromatic Tuners. I know the Boss TU2 and TU3 are a pretty solid option, but I would like to have more information in order to make a good informed decision. I think that Korg makes a couple of well respected Chromatic tuners as well.

I am also aware that there are some VERY EXPENSIVE strobing tuners.

Tell me what you have, what you would suggest, and why. Best choices below $50. Best Choices below $100. Best choice overall. Do you prefer electronic/digital ones or analog with the actual physical needle bobbing back and forth? Where is the "sweet spot", dollar wise, to get one that will serve me faithfully for the next 20-30 years? What is the one that you would suggest, that I will not feel that I should upgrade after a couple of years? My "forever tuner" so to speak.

This is not just an intellectual exercise. I am in the market for one, I need one, and I plan to buy one but right now, all I know is that the Boss TU2 is good and respected, and the TU3 is supposedly just as good but a little brighter output of the LEDs so it can be seen better in brighter light. The Boss is a sturdy foot switch, so is rugged while some others are pretty much for the bench. There are apparently a few clip ons that can do the job, including one by Fender, but I don't know which models would be good or bad, or even if the good is really good vs "barely functions at this task".

Have at it. Thanks for all of your suggestions, in advance. This will certainly give me a base from which to start my research and decision making.
 

AngelDeVille

Squier-holic
Jan 29, 2017
1,316
ABQ
The harmonic and your ear can be trained for intonation purposes, I even use a cheapo clip on tuna to aide intoation. And a decent pedal tuna is even better than a clip on.

I have the tu-2 and the tu-3 (20 & 10 years old) and honestly I use them interchangeably and barely notice which one I’m using. I do like and use the bypass option.

I also have a korg I got in trade in the last 5 years, and it is quite awesome and possibly brighter and better in some ways to the boss models, but it doesn’t have the bypass feature.

I’m so used to the boss models I pick them first.

I had a cheaper joyo/moer brand for a time and it was smaller and worked well, but someone else needed it more so I gave it away.
 

Mossberg152

Squier-Meister
Jun 13, 2022
102
Lorain, Ohio
AngelDeVille, thanks for that reply! As new to this as I am, I did not realize the TU-2 and TU-3 had been around for so long. That's a surprise for me. They seem a little pricey then, for hardware that has been on the market for that many years.

About this "bypass feature"... is that simply that you can leave it plugged 'in-line' and play through it without actually having to use it? So the guitar is plugged in through it at all times and you can simply turn it on and off when you want to tune the guitar?

Thanks for the info!
 

AngelDeVille

Squier-holic
Jan 29, 2017
1,316
ABQ
AngelDeVille, thanks for that reply! As new to this as I am, I did not realize the TU-2 and TU-3 had been around for so long. That's a surprise for me. They seem a little pricey then, for hardware that has been on the market for that many years.

About this "bypass feature"... is that simply that you can leave it plugged 'in-line' and play through it without actually having to use it? So the guitar is plugged in through it at all times and you can simply turn it on and off when you want to tune the guitar?

Thanks for the info!

there are a lot of disparaging attitudes regarding boss pedals in general, but their price vs function has always been top notch. And there is a reason they are copied.

I could easily have an entire board with only boss pedals

the bypass doesn’t mute the signal when the tuner is engaged and the pedal can be used as a signal splitter.

also the pedal can be used to power or daisy chain other pedals.
 

Robb

Doctor Squior
Silver Supporting Member
Jan 13, 2011
5,540
Chertsey
I use a Korg DT-10 pedal on my board, it's accurate and you can see it in a dark environment.
 

Mossberg152

Squier-Meister
Jun 13, 2022
102
Lorain, Ohio
Thanks for the suggestions, guys. Now time to do some research on those and watch some videos!

Anyone else have any suggestions? anyone with a "cheapest acceptable" option?

Generally, I like to buy tools once and be able to use it forever. I don't like to buy a tool "for one quick job" and hope it works long enough to do that job... been burned and felt like I threw my money away. At 55 years old, I hope to use one of these tuners for many years and on many guitars, but I also don't feel the urge to run right out and buy the Ferrari. Thanks again fellas. I really like having joined this forum!!!
 

Mossberg152

Squier-Meister
Jun 13, 2022
102
Lorain, Ohio
The harmonic and your ear can be trained for intonation purposes, I even use a cheapo clip on tuna to aide intoation. And a decent pedal tuna is even better than a clip on.

I have the tu-2 and the tu-3 (20 & 10 years old) and honestly I use them interchangeably and barely notice which one I’m using. I do like and use the bypass option.

I also have a korg I got in trade in the last 5 years, and it is quite awesome and possibly brighter and better in some ways to the boss models, but it doesn’t have the bypass feature.

I’m so used to the boss models I pick them first.

I had a cheaper joyo/moer brand for a time and it was smaller and worked well, but someone else needed it more so I gave it away.
AngelDeVille,
and everyone else who has offered information here... I was looking for a used tuner, and had several on the list I would have been willing to buy. I was looking mostly locally so I could SEE it and FEEL it, since I have not previously used an electronic tuner other than an app on my phone. I found and bought a BOSS TU-2 yesterday, for a pretty good price. It is in really good shape and functions properly. I used it last night to tune a guitar that I had thought was in tune from the phone app I had been using. WAY off. Then I intonated it using the Boss. WOW. That was SOOOOO much easier than trying to do it on with the app on my phone! Of course, then I played the guitar for about 30 minutes because it was already in my hands.
Anyway, thank you all for your suggestions. I am learning so very much from all of you and I really appreciate it. This is certainly the next best thing to a local group of people getting together to hang out, but in some ways is even better due to the shear volume of people here and the depth of knowledge amongst the group. THANKS!!!

Not a guitar, but here is a pic of my newest acquisition to my addiction.

Mossberg
 

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