Posts Tagged ‘stroboclip’

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I just did a review of this awhile ago, but I thought I’d go into a bit from an actual usage perspective.

As I reported in my review, I took it to my weekly solo acoustic gig, and it worked fantastically. I also took it to my Sunday church gig and used it on another guitar: My Fender Stratacoustic, which is a really tough guitar to tune. I also use it regularly in my home studio and it works flawlessly.

Okay, I know. It’s just a tuner. However, what I find so special about it is that it’s the first clip-on tuner I’ve used that is really accurate. Plus, it has Peterson’s sweeteners built in, and to me, the sweeteners make all the difference in the world. Sweetners are minute adjustments to the tuning so that chord intervals sound, well, sweeter. Guitars are generally built to even temperament; that is, they’re set up so that each string is tuned to an exact frequency.

The idea behind the Peterson tuning sweetners is that even temperament is fine until you play chords. We’ve all been there. Tune up the guitar with a standard tuner like a TU-2. The tuning sounds fine. Then you play a chord, and you have to make adjustments so the chord sounds good. The sweetners take this in to account, and instead of tuning to the exact pitch frequency, tune a little off to account for presses on the strings. The result is that when you tune with a Peterson tuner, you rarely make post tuning adjustments. Very cool.

Originally, I thought I’d simply use the StroboClip in my home studio, but I’ve found it to be an invaluable tool for gigs. For instance, as the lead guitarist in my church band, I often do solos with a lot of bending which, after awhile, will make the tuning drift a bit. With my StroboClip, it’s simply a matter of turning down my volume, then doing a quick tune. Oh that reminds me! I totally dig the LCD screen for tuning. Even for how small the unit is, the movement of the checkerboard pattern makes tuning a lot easier than trying to nail it with a bank of LED’s.

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Peterson StroboClipTM Clip-On Tuner

Summary: A high-accuracy (0.1 cent) clip-on tuner! But it’s a Peterson Strobe tuner and that means tuning sweeteners. The StroboClip has several of Peterson’s sweeteners for different instruments, and these sweeteners ensure that your instrument(s) will sound great.

Pros: To me, the Sweeteners are what set apart Peterson tuners from the pack. But as far as the StroboClip is concerned, the clip-on is great for use in both the shop and on stage, and the fact that it is a clip-on makes it versatile enough to use on a variety of instruments. And with a metal enclosure, you can be assured of its durability.

Cons: None.

Features (from the Peterson site):

  • Smallest Multi-Temperament Tuner
  • 1/10 Cent Accurate
  • Smooth, Real-Time Display
  • Alternate Temperament Presets (Including Buzz Feiten Tuning System®)
  • Includes Eastern Temperament Presets
  • Drop/Capo Setting
  • Adjustable Key
  • 28 Exclusive Peterson Sweeteners™/Temperaments
  • Adjustable Concert A Reference: 400Hz to 490Hz
  • Auto Sleep And Power Off For Battery Saving
  • Low Power Consumption
  • Virtual Strobe™ Patented Technology

Price: ~$70 street

Tone Bone Score: 5.0 ~ I received this as a test unit from Peterson the other day, and used it to intonate one of my guitars, which I then used for a recording, and used it on-stage this evening. In all applications, it worked incredibly well. I have absolutely no complaints about this unit! So for studio, shop, or stage, this is a winner!

I dig Peterson tuners, and the fact that this comes in a clip-on makes it super-versatile; add 0.1 cent accuracy, and this is an absolutely fantastic tuner. I’m not really one to use a clip-on on-stage for guitar, even though I used it tonight to test it out, but for the studio, and especially for intonating guitars, I can see how the StroboClip will be an indispensable tool for me! That said, I am getting a ukulele pretty soon, so I’ll probably be using the StroboClip for that.

As I mentioned above, the thing that has always stood out for me about Peterson tuners in general are the sweeteners. I don’t know any of the mathematics behind the technology, but the best explanation I can give is that the Peterson tuners don’t just tune the string to the exact correct pitch. When set to a particular type of sweetener (for guitar and other instruments), certain calculations are made in the tuning algorithm to compensate for the type of instrument. The net result is that once you tune, your chords and note runs sound great!

Many tuners that just tune a string to the exact correct pitch, require some adjustment to get them completely dialed in. But with a Peterson strobe tuner, those minute adjustments are already done for you, so when you tune, you tune to the compensated pitch. That’s about the best explanation I can give without the technical knowledge. Just let it be said that once I’ve tuned with a Peterson tuner, my guitars sound so much better because they’ve been tuned with the guitar in mind. But the StroboClip also includes several other sweeteners for other instruments such as mandolin and ukulele, so it can be used to great effect with different instruments.

With respect to the physical act of tuning, it takes awhile to get used to tuning with a strobe tuner. Unlike other tuners where you either center a needle or LED, all Peterson strobe tuners use a moving checkerboard that speeds up or slows down depending upon how far off your tuning is. Right to left movement means you’re flat, and the converse for sharp. As a strobe tuner is super-sensitive, you have to get used to picking very lightly (I just use my thumb) to tune. But once you’ve gotten the feel for it, it’s very easy.

Tonight, I used it in my weekly solo acoustic gig. Amazingly enough, my Yamaha APX-900 stays in tune so well – never had an acoustic that did that – so the adjustments I made were minute to each string. But I do have to say that after tuning with the StroboClip, unlike other tuners like my venerable TU-2, I didn’t have to do any post-tuning tweaking.

As for the price of $70, it’s not cheap. But believe me, if you want a great tuner for studio or shop use, you could do a lot worse. I found it extremely useful for intonating my guitar last night. I have an old Seiko analog-style tuner that I’ve used for years for that purpose, but it has always required running a cable from my guitar. With the StroboClip, I just clipped it to the headstock. This also meant that I could keep my guitar plugged into my amp so I could hear what I was doing as well as see what the StroboClip was doing. So very cool!

All in all, this is a great little unit that I will most assuredly be keeping around for a long time!

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