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Any clip-on tuner vs. finish issues?


L8_4thesh0w
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Hi all. Several weeks ago I dropped my mid-90s Matrix tuner which evidently bent the needle as it would no longer show OK in the test range with a brand new battery. :( I ended up replacing it with a Snark SN-1 which I love as it really shortens the time it takes to tune. :D Upon reading the instructions I find they assume no liability for Nitro finish damage. :unsure:

 

Does clipping it on just for the minute or less it takes to tune up really pose a danger? Have any of you had a problem with this? Would it be wise to use a scrap of doubled up flannel to eliminate possible harm to the finish? [confused]

 

The Matrix was a great tuner but extremely awkward to use without a music stand in front of you. Guess what...it got knocked to the floor again as I was rummaging around for something the other day. Just out of curiosity I tested it again and it seems to be back in excellent working condition?! :blink:

 

Any input would be greatly appreciated

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I have not heard of any issues with them yet. Personally I do not use a clip on tuner, mostly because I feel eventually it will wear the finish with repeated use. I stick to a floor pedal, TC Polytune. This is my opinion and not based on any fact.

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depends on how old I think the guitar in question is.

 

I put my Planet Waves NS Mini on a (my new at the time) SG, and left it there for a few days.

 

There was some small visible effects from the rubber where the clips touch the guitar, (which I was able to buff out with some Virtuoso polish/cleaner)

 

OTOH, my 95 Standard, I left that tuner on there for a few weeks - totally forgot it was there GASP! but didn't see any impact what so ever.

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I leave my snark on my SG for weeks on end.. Course the finish is already worn down to the tree all over that guitar. Some may call it "player grade" condition, perhaps a couple ticks worse than that, so I am not too worried about it. Now would I do that with my nice 'n shiny pelham blue Firebird? Probably not so much..so.. yeah..

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I use a Snark tuner nearly every day on my nitro finished guitars. You shouldn't have any issues if you only leave it on while tuning.

 

 

Thanks to all who replied. I wondered about this after searching posts on the finish damage caused by the rubber on guitar stands.

 

I am also curious as to whether covering the stands with the type of poly-whatever foam used to insulate water pipes would be a safe alternative; or if it would pose its own danger.

 

Thanks again for the replies! [thumbup]

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Thanks to all who replied. I wondered about this after searching posts on the finish damage caused by the rubber on guitar stands.

 

I am also curious as to whether covering the stands with the type of poly-whatever foam used to insulate water pipes would be a safe alternative; or if it would pose its own danger.

 

Thanks again for the replies! [thumbup]

 

Putting a 100% cotton cloth over the rubber parts on stands works like a charm!

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Hey L8,

 

I like this question.

 

I just bought a Korg Pitchhawk I use on my Classic Custom. I love how easy it is to use in a jam/rehearsal.

 

Mine also has the disclaimer about harming certain finishes.

 

I just don't leave it on. I only clip it on when tuning. Then I take it off.

 

That said, I buy my guitars to play them so I don't worry too much about it.

 

But I'm pretty sure if its only on for a minute it shouldn't be a problem.

 

I'm not basing this any fact.

It's just what I do.

 

Cheers.

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  • 6 years later...

Hello everyone, so I ordered a 2021 Gibson Les Paul standard 50’s and Sweetwater delivered it , cut the strings  off 10 minutes later, detailed it because it had a polishing compound haze everywhere, put on a new set of elixir optiwebs, and set it up. I played for one straight hour wiped it down and left on the head stock a brand new SNARK ONE clip on tuner. Woke up this morning grabbed it off the stand and almost died.... the clip on snark left a DEEP INDENTATION on the front and back so I spent 2 hrs wet sanding and rubbing out the finish. DO NOT LEAVE IT ON GIBSONS for long, the nitro finish is too soft . 

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I bought the D'Addario NS Micro tuners a few years back.  You get 2 of them for about $22.  They work well, are unobtrusive and they do have a little rubber pad on one side of the part that clips onto the headstock.  The other side is just plastic.  I have used them on all my Gibsons with nitro finishes and never noticed them marring the finish.  I don't leave them on continually (when the guitars are in their cases), but I would clip it on for a gig and leave there the entire show so anytime I needed to retune I could.

As to the guitar stand I wrapped some really soft cotton around the pieces that touch the guitar and that does the trick.  I wouldn't mess with that pipe insulation material as I have no idea what it's made of and if there might be a reaction.  Cotton or microfiber polish cloth works fine.

Mr. Valfre's problem (post above) was probably because the guitar was brand new and the nitro hadn't cured and hardened up fully yet.  When I got my Hummingbird a few months ago the back of the neck was sort of sticky and the same with a LP Classic I got about a year ago.  After the nitro cures for a month or so and hardens up then no problems.  Virtuoso cleaner and then polish will help that problem too.  

Ooops didn't notice the post was 6 years old 🙂

Edited by Twang Gang
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18 hours ago, Jim valfre said:

Hello everyone, so I ordered a 2021 Gibson Les Paul standard 50’s and Sweetwater delivered it , cut the strings  off 10 minutes later, detailed it because it had a polishing compound haze everywhere, put on a new set of elixir optiwebs, and set it up. I played for one straight hour wiped it down and left on the head stock a brand new SNARK ONE clip on tuner. Woke up this morning grabbed it off the stand and almost died.... the clip on snark left a DEEP INDENTATION on the front and back so I spent 2 hrs wet sanding and rubbing out the finish. DO NOT LEAVE IT ON GIBSONS for long, the nitro finish is too soft . 

Not trying to sound like a dork, but nitro finishes is notorious for things like this.  Especially on a new guitar.

Make sure your guitar stand isn't going to do the same thing b/c many do.  just be sure that is nitro safe (herculese stands  for example are nitro safe)

I hope you were able to minimize the damage.

Edited by kidblast
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  • 2 weeks later...
11 hours ago, Larsongs said:

While I like the idea of an onboard Tuner I abhor the look of Snarks & the like..

I do use them at home but never when Performing... They are also cheap plastic & break easily... I'd love something less visible & built like a Tank....

I sprang for a Peterson Strob clip.  It's fantastic.  that thing picks up even the lights of a touch on the string, (good for those you must be quiet moments but desperate to fix tuning)

I still have the snarks and the d'addario sound hole tuners but the Peterson strob clip KILLS them all.

Edited by kidblast
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I've also used D'Addario NS Micro and kept it on the headstock on four Gibson for so many years... no adverse effects on the nitro finish. Only took it off to change battery.  Just a caveat, the guitars are 60 to 15 years old; so the nitrocellulose lacquer is all dried on the surface.

I'm also aware that freshly sprayed nitrocellulose lacquer can be soft. Although, the later models are not as noticeable.  Yeah, it was like soft and you can even press your finger prints to make it yours.

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Guitars are like Classic Cars.. Picture a really cool 57 Chevy... Now Picture it with a big Plastic Gas Tank mounted on top of the Hood.. That's what Clip on Tuners on Guitar Headstocks remind me of..... Some really ugly thing that makes that really cool looking Guitar lose its Classic Cool Look.... I know that's weird but that's what I see......

Edited by Larsongs
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1 hour ago, Larsongs said:

Guitars are like Classic Cars.. Picture a really cool 57 Chevy... Now Picture it with a big Plastic Gas Tank mounted on top of the Hood.. That's what Clip on Tuners on Guitar Headstocks remind me of..... Some really ugly thing that makes that really cool looking Guitar lose its Classic Cool Look.... I know that's weird but that's what I see......

well they tend go on, an come off almost as easy once yer tuned..........  right?

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  • 1 month later...

Unfortunately I accidently left a snark tuner overnight on my Gibson ES-359 (nitro coated) and now have an oval mark on the headstock. No discolouration, but a slight swelling in that area which has gone down over time and now you can hardly see it now. Not a mistake I'll make again! It seems fine for very brief use, but not OK to leave on for any length of time.

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  • 1 year later...

so i have had this issue on my 2019 les paul standard i originally used a snark which did damage my finish on the head stock which i was mostly able to buff out i now am using a cherub ca tuner that to did damage to my headstock so ill again have to buff it out. i think the issue is not so much chemical reaction as it is spring pressure the springs on these clip on tuners squeeze to much  just having on to tune it then taking it off right away did damage to my headstock i have little indents from the rubber teeth on the tuner maybe not every nitro finish is the same maybe  newer nitro finishes are softer due to how long it takes to cure  im sure its just a thought what i did do that worked was put a sock or cloth of some kind on my head stock then attack the tuner on that  and i did not get any damage my mistake was being lazy and not continuing to do this and now i have to buff out those indents again  maybe there is a tuner with softer springs that wont damage the guitar but i know from experience my snark tuner  damaged my head stock how ever with the snark i left it on too long not knowing that this would happen the cherub i now use i tuned and took  it right back off  and still got damage so if it is necessary to use a headstock tuner my advice is to put some kind of padding on your headstock first then attach the tuner on the padding so it wont damage the headstock

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