Posts Tagged ‘Peterson Tuners’

Took a break for a few days to take my son to college and a couple of days ago, I received a press release from Peterson Tuners that I tucked away for later review. Now that I’m back and settled in, I had some time this morning to catch up on emails. Normally, I take press releases with a grain of salt, but this one in particular caught my attention; not because it was from Peterson, but because instead of touting a tuner, they were touting a pedal. And not just a wah pedal, but a wah that combines both a low-pass AND a band-pass filter, which you can adjust independently to get all sorts of sounds. Very intriguing to me.

As opposed to getting into a lot of detail here, here are some links that Peterson provided:

Product page: http://www.petersontuners.com/index.cfm?category=195
Sonuus Site: http://www.sonuus.com/products_wahoo.html
Video and sound demos: http://www.sonuus.com/products_wahoo_demo.html

Now this seems like something I could use, and from what I can tell from the sound clips, it produces some very nice tones. I especially like the fact that it doesn’t use a potentiometer that will wear out over time. So that’s a huge bonus. But I’d really like to try it out first. At $349, it’s definitely an investment; mind you, I’m not saying it’s not worth it, but at that price, I’d really have to be sure. I know… bit of a change for me when I see something that’s really exciting to me, which this is, but I’m being a lot more careful now as I’ve kind of reached a saturation point with gear, and have actually been shedding pieces the last few months. But the first chance I get, I will be checking this out!

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Peter Frampton's BoardI was perusing The Gear Page this morning, and came across a post about Peter Frampton’s pedal board. Cool stuff on the board! But the pedal that really caught my eye was the pedal in the top-right corner: A Creation Audio Labs Mk.4.23 Clean Boost. Ever since I got one, it has never left my board. In fact, it’s one of the only pedals I have besides my trusty Boss TU-2 that hasn’t been rotated. Here’s my original review of the pedal.

Circling back, of course, this is probably not his touring board. Further in the post he is quoted as saying that this is a board that he could “grab and go jam at your house.” Wouldn’t that be cool to have a buddy like Peter Frampton call up and say, “Hey mate, wanna jam? I’ll come over.”

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5 Tone Bones - Gear has stellar performance, value, and quality. This is definitely top of the class, best of breed, and it's a no-brainer to add this to your gear lineup!
Peterson VS-R StroboRack

Summary: Super-accurate, super-sophisticated, yet super-easy-to-use. With point-one cent accuracy and built-in temperament and sweeteners, plus a huge display, accurate tuning is a breeze with this unit!

Pros: The big display makes tuning extremely easy, and the built-in sweeteners (I’ll get into that in a bit) ensure that once you’re tuned you sound great.

Cons: None, at least from the standpoint of features and capabilities. But as I’m not really a rackmount guy, lugging this around would mean having to get an enclosure. But in the studio, IT IS THE BOMB!!!


  • 0.1 Cent Accuracy
  • Large, Backlit Virtual Strobe™ Display
  • Exclusive Sweetened™ Tunings For Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Dobro®, Baritone, Steel Guitar, Electric Violin- total of 34
  • Buzz Feiten Tuning System® Presets
  • 8 User-Programmable Sweeteners
  • 25 Presets
  • Built-In Mic
  • Mute Button & Remote Jack
  • Tone Out Jack
  • All Metal Construction
  • Neutrik® Jacks
  • 12V BNC Output For Gooseneck Light (not included)
  • Built-In Power Supply (No Wall Wart.)

Price: $359 (street)

Tone Bone Score: 5.0. I’ve used a lot of tuners, and this by far is the most accurate I’ve ever used. Despite it being a rackmount, my use of it in the studio has proven

I used to never be into rackmount gear, let alone sophisticated tuning equipment. But the Peterson StroboRack has me reconsidering both those things, especially in my workshop/studio where tuning accuracy is incredibly important.

I received the StroboRack a few days ago, and since I set it up (which required all of two minutes to plug in the cords), I can see why so many people love these tuners. It’s a completely different way to tune an instrument. Instead of lining up a needle or LED, or even using the “strobe” effect on a TU-2, you tune by making the “checkerboard” pattern on the LCD stop moving. If it moves the left, you’re flat. If it moves to the right, you’re sharp.

Tuning with one of these things does take a little getting used to. First off, I had to really lighten my touch with the tuning keys, and also had to make sure I didn’t put any pressure on the neck. At .1 cent accuracy, even a slight pressure throws off the tuning. But once I got used to it, tuning was a breeze!

Do you take sugar with that?

The StroboRack includes what are called “sweeteners” for specific types of instruments. I’m not sure I understand this idea completely, but it has to do with setting the right intervals between notes – compensating for the type of instrument – so that the tuned instrument doesn’t just sound great tuned up, but when you actually chords, the chords are much more tonally accurate. Apparently a lot of math goes into calculating these sweeteners.

All I can say is that my guitars tuned up with the StroboRack, actually sound better than when tuned up with my little TU-2. It probably has a lot to do with the high degree of accuracy, but I have a feeling it has a lot to do with the “GTR” sweetener. For instance, I did an A/B comparison of tuning with the StroboRack vs. my TU-2. I took my time to get the most accurate tuning I could with both tuners. When I struck an E chord after tuning up with my TU-2, I had to make a couple of minor adjustments to my G and B strings – it wasn’t that the chord sounded bad, it just seemed to sound a bit “off.”

On the other hand, the E chord struck after tuning with the StroboRack with the GTR sweetener engaged sounded absolutely right on!

Fit and Finish

The StroboRack is encased in a nice, heavy-duty aluminum casing. It is really built like a tank, so I have no doubts that it could survive the rigors of the road. But I do advise getting an enclosure for it. It’s still a precision instrument, and should be handled with some care.

Overall Impressions

To say The Dawg digs this unit is an absolute understatement! Last night, I used it to set the intonation on a new guitar I got, and I have to tell you, the big display and scrolling checkerboard really made it easy. I know, a lot of folks would say, “But it’s just a tuner.” Well yeah… but the accuracy it affords you – especially you tone freaks out there – just can’t be beat. This is a unit that I will definitely be adding to my rig!

At $359 street, it’s not a cheap proposition by any means, but hell! We gear sluts spend tons of money each year on gadgets to make us sound better. One would think that sounding better also means being in tune. Of course, Peterson has several other tuners, like the StroboStomp that doesn’t have all the features of the rack unit, but it uses the same “Virtual Strobe Technology” as the StroboRack, so you know you’ll get the accuracy you need.

Mind you, I didn’t try out all the other features like outputting to two outputs, which is pretty cool, or using the XLR jack to go into a board. Those are great features, but frankly, they’re secondary to what’s important with this unit: Accurate tuning.

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