With a variety of guitar tuners on the market, how do you decide which style to get? The three main choices for tuners are strobe, vibration and microphone. These can range from pedal tuners, free-standing or even clip-on. If you are interested in more of the clip-on style tuners check out the Korg AW2G, SNARK SN-1 and the Intellitouch PT10. Here we discuss the difference in the types of available tuners.
The strobe tuner has been around since 1936. This is the most accurate style of tuner available. These devices compare the note played with the reference frequency. If there is any difference between the two, a disc built into the device rotates. When the note is in tune, the disc remains still. This means that the accuracy of the tuner is as good as the internal frequency, which should be spot on. Though many of the strobe tuners now use an LED screen instead of a disc, they are just as accurate.
These guitar tuners are used by plugging the instrument into the device. Many of them have an output so once it is turned off it doesn't interfere with your equipment. These can be kind of pricey depending on the style and brand you purchase, but they typically remain accurate for a long time.
If you need to get the best tune even in a noisy environment, then the vibration style is a good way to go. These tuners are clipped directly on to the headstock of the guitar. They pick up the vibrations of the string and let you know whether it is in tune or not. Many of these don't even have microphones. They vary in looks and style but all work on the same basic principle of a piezo sensor.
These tuners cover a broad spectrum of available products and have a variety of designs. You can get a simple tuner with only basic functionality, but if you're willing to spend more you can get a device with all the newest features. There are always new styles coming out with different features. These range in price from fairly inexpensive to a little pricy.
When people think of tuners, what probably comes to mind is the microphone style. These are the tuners that you play at and it picks up the tone. They rely solely on sound and not vibrations. These can be free-standing, clip-on or pedal style. The only thing to remember is that with a microphone you will want to make sure the area around you is fairly quiet. Any surrounding noises can throw off the tuner and skew your readings.
You will have the most choices when it comes to selecting a microphone tuner. You can even find internal microphones in the other styles. While these aren't as accurate as the other two, you will have a greater choice in functionality and features. These range in price so you are sure to find one that will fit your needs.
Finding a guitar tuner to suit your needs doesn't have to be a trial. Just think of three things: accuracy (strobe), affordable reliability (vibration) or options (microphone). With any of the tuners you pick, you are sure to get the tune you need when and where you need it.
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