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Clip-on Tuners: What's better than Snark?


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Hey folks,

I hope this isn't a horse that's already been beaten to death, but I didn't find much in the forums. I've also been reading some online reviews but I don't tend to trust them. Too many marketing deals between reviewers and suppliers...

Tuning has become more difficult thanks to worsening Tinnitus. I'm also finding that I'm tuning more frequently than I used to, and it doesn't matter if my strings are brand new or three months old. I've tried a couple of the less expensive Snark clip-on tuners (Snark SN-1, Silver Snark) but I've found them frustrating to use - they are slow to respond, they don't always lock on pitch without jumping around, and sometimes after displaying a reading they will jump to a different reading a second or two later. They have been somewhat helpful but I'm thinking about getting something better. These Snarks are just low end $15 or $20 tuners. Has anyone had these kinds of problems with the Snarks and then upgraded to something that worked better? I would appreciate any suggestions.

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Snarks are usually close enough for hand grenades. 

If you want something that is dead nuts on, Peterson StroboClip is the way to go.

Expensive by comparison, (60 bucks) but the end of the line IMHO for clip on tuners.

Edited by kidblast
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Yeah, Snarks are close enough for rock & roll.   I actually on occasion still use a German-made E tuning fork.  I do recall thought that with guitars with the Buzz Feiten tuning system the only tuner that would get you there was a Peterson Strobe.

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34 minutes ago, kidblast said:

Snarks are usually close enough for hand grenades. 

If you want something that is dead nuts on, Peterson StroboClip is the way to go.

Expensive by comparison, (60 bucks) but the end of the line IMHO for clip on tuners.

I have a Peterson and it is killer. But yeah $60. My buddy got it for me as a B-day present last year.

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22 minutes ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

I have a Peterson and it is killer. But yeah $60. My buddy got it for me as a B-day present last year.

that's a GOOD buddy you got there!

I had one of the very first Peterson VS-1 strobes.  I think I got it in like 1999 or 1998  it still works but the screen has lost some of it's viewing area and the select knob somehow went among the missing, so you can't change any of the settings.  I emailed peterson about fixing it,, they said they no longer can repair those, but they would be more than happy to sell me a NEW one!! 

yes, I'm sure you would be! LOL!

Good stuff tho.

My buddy ,, back in the day  had an original Conn Strobe Tuner,  looked like something right of out a 1950 science lab.. 

 

 

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After a few years of reasonable accuracy I got a tc electronic Polytune to replace my Snarks. It's not cheap but it's quick, bright and very accurate. The poly function works well between songs to see how the strings are in tune relative to each other. The "strobe" function is really precise as well. I highly recommend it.

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I have a Snark which works very well, and as my 11 year old grand-daughter's Guitar teacher says when we use it to tune up before her lessons, "Close enough for rock and roll."

But as an aside, in this age of Smartphones, unless you're a Luddite like me and don't have one, why aren't you guys using  guitar tuning apps though them?

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7 minutes ago, RBSinTo said:

I have a Snark which works very well, and as my 11 year old grand-daughter's Guitar teacher says when we use it to tune up before her lessons, "Close enough for rock and roll."

But as an aside, in this age of Smartphones, unless you're a Luddite like me and don't have one, why aren't you guys using  guitar tuning apps though them?

I have one on my phone. I have snark in the car for the rare occasion when I do go into a guitar store.

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2 minutes ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

I have one on my phone. I have snark in the car for the rare occasion when I do go into a guitar store.

Chief,

I have a pick in my car for when I go into a guitar store.

If a guitar needs tuning there, I can tune the strings to relative pitch easily enough to noodle.

RBSinTo

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32 minutes ago, RBSinTo said:

Chief,

I have a pick in my car for when I go into a guitar store.

If a guitar needs tuning there, I can tune the strings to relative pitch easily enough to noodle.

RBSinTo

I can't tune a guitar to save my life except with a tuner.

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I had bad luck with Snark several years ago, stopped working after a few months. Got the Peterson Stroboclip and loved it. A few years later the plastic cracked on the clip but I came up with a pretty good repair. Mentioned it in a thread here and another member who works for Peterson saw my post, sent me a PM asking for my address and mailed me a replacement clip, totally unsolicited. Still working great today, I have no complaints! Got one as a gift for my son in law a couple years ago.

Edited by Boyd
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35 minutes ago, Boyd said:

I had bad luck with Snark several years ago, topped working after a few months. Got the Peterson Stroboclip and loved it. A few years later the plastic cracked on the clip but I came up with a pretty good repair. Mentioned it in a thread here and another member who works for Peterson saw my post, sent me a PM asking for my address and mailed me a replacement clip, totally unsolicited. Still working great today, I have no complaints! Got one as a gift for my son in law a couple years ago.

Boyd,

That's called Good Customer Service. 

And in exchange for a 50 cent plastic clip, Peterson will get a lifetime of good publicity.

A lesson that has been lost on so many companies today.

RBSinTo

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There are these really small ones from D'Addario you could check out. I got one of them, it's definitely low profile. Since i mostly play in the house i use a TurboTuner or my phone (the peterson app) a lot of the time.

I also have had those snark tuners just kind of go dead on me after a little while. The tuner still powers on and appears to be fine but it's effectively gone deaf and won't register anything.

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5 minutes ago, jchabalk said:

There are these really small ones from D'Addario you could check out. I got one of them, it's definitely low profile. Since i mostly play in the house i use a TurboTuner or my phone (the peterson app) a lot of the time.

I also have had those snark tuners just kind of go dead on me after a little while. The tuner still powers on and appears to be fine but it's effectively gone deaf and won't register anything.

I had one from D'Addario and it was so slow and  inaccurate I threw it away. Snarks are $15 or so and work great. Petersons are the bomb. I want the desk model but they are $150. Maybe one day, but now today Satan , not today.

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Wow, thanks for all the responses. The Peterson certainly seems to be the overwhelming fav, but yeah, that price is a bit much to swallow - but I guess ye gets what ye pays for. The accuracy rating is pretty impressive and it seems like it does a lot of extra "stuff", but it also looks like it's a bit of a beast. I guess larger is better for older eyes, but as long as it doesn't weigh a ton it might be worth it.

Thanks again, everyone!

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I have a few TC Polytune clip-ons that I've never had problems with and really like. I also have a clip-on that is awesome, especially for tempered tunings and it's super accurate, but takes a little longer to tune because it's so precise. Also, the tempered tunings are great for when you're playing solo, but not so great when playing with other people. 

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The Peterson’s are more like $70. I’ve had a snark for years, & it works great.

I have the same attitude about capos. $200 ones don’t work any better than a Shubb imho!

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22 minutes ago, Paul14 said:

The Peterson’s are more like $70. I’ve had a snark for years, & it works great.

I have the same attitude about capos. $200 ones don’t work any better than a Shubb imho!

depends on the sales, and where you buy it.  For ex: Strings By Mail  59 smackers.

https://www.stringsbymail.com/peterson-strobe-clip-on-tuner-sc-hd-stroboclip-hd-17844.html?gclid=Cj0KCQiA1pyCBhCtARIsAHaY_5fxSjGuzOiNQZNputitMMgfqNoPMlfgo4-QUU_CUA45x9bO9FS4GSIaAm0GEALw_wcB

The Peterson does do a lot.  Many different temperaments and the things they call "sweetened" turnings.  When the Peterson, or tuners like this, become more of a home run is when setting intonation.  That's when the added accuracy comes in to play.   A guy with a lot of guitars, may find something like the strobo clip worth the leap. 

The added size compared to the others is a moot point unless you're going from something really discrete like the D'Addarios, very small foot print  but for the most part  Impossible to read out side.

I have I think 3 Snarks, ??  as well as a few D'Addario soundhole and  two or three clip ons.

in most situations, those are all gonna do ya just fine.  It's really up to the bones you want to part with when making the purchase.

 

 

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20 years ago I didn't need a tuner. Its a ability you can lose. I lost mine. I'm utterly dependant on Snarks & digi-tuners now. The onboard one on the THR amp is pretty good. 

Clip  ons? Snarks seem good enough for what I do.

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I have a few Snarks (or knock offs) and a Daddario mini but don't use them anymore since I bought a TC Polytune. Meanwhile I also have the Unitune because I don't use the poly function much. Both top tuners!

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