The tuner pedal is a pedal that I think is necessary for every bassist, especially if they are building pedal boards. It might not be the most fun pedal, but it is probably the most important pedal out there, as without it, you'll sound terrible. Korg's entry level Pitchblack is a great way to have something to keep you in tune for not much money. Used examples can be found for cheap; I paid $40 used for mine, and it is worth it.
First, the good. The display is nice and bright as well as being easy to read. There are various modes that are accessed near the power jacks, controlled by recessed buttons. These include the standard "needle mode", two strobe modes, and a mirror mode. Personally I just leave it on the standard mode as that is what I am most accustomed to. Accessing the mode button (as well as the calibration button) however can be a bit of a pain however if you have mounted the pedal to a board, so adjusting modes on the fly is not really necessary. Sensitivity is also good, with the tuner picking up the string quickly, though more on this further down. The pedal is also true bypass, and even better, can power a second pedal (or more if the mA reading of every combined pedal doesn't exceed 200mA). This is good if you are running low on power supply outputs, or if you are just powering some simple drive pedals.
There are a few drawbacks. As others have pointed out the pedal does have issues sensing anything lower than a low D, though on my LTD this is less of an issue than on my Phoenix. That might be down to the fact that the LTD has a MM type bridge pickup and the Phoenix has a single coil (I usually tune using the bridge pickup). There is also the aforementioned issue with accessing the mode and calibration buttons. Build quality is good; it isn't tank-like like any Boss pedal but it's rugged enough.
On the whole I think this is a great tuner pedal, especially if you can find one cheap. Good construction, ease of use, and the clear display make this pedal a useful tool in your arsenal.
Does the job reliably
- 4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Jan 26, 2020
- Build Quality:
- + Easy to read display
- + Can power other pedals
- + Multiple modes
- + Good build quality
- - Has trouble picking up lower strings on certain basses
- - Mode switch is on the top of the pedal with the power jack; accessing it can be a pain
Keeps me in tune
- 5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Jan 12, 2018
- Build Quality:
- + Accurate and responsive. True bypass. Bright and easy to read.
- - Shape makes it diffficult to attach to HoleyBoard with a zip-tie.
Easy to read under all the conditions I have played in. (I haven't tried it in direct sunlight.) It shows you note you're honing in on, and how far off you are in either direction. It seems to track well and quickly.
Occasionally I have to dampen a string and hit it again rather than just keep hitting it, but I have found that to be the case on many tuners.
It works great for me on both guitar and 4 string bass in standard tuning, so I don't have a B string problem.
I wanted another color, but they came at a silly premium as "collectibles". But the LEDs stand out nicely against the Pitchblack in all black.
Since I use a filtered, isolated power supply, I don't use the 9VDC out.
Well built, solid, but not quite a bass tuner
- 4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Apr 18, 2016
- Build Quality:
- + Low battery consumption, tracks high notes fast
- - Problems tracking the low B string, the simultaneous strings tuning doesn't work too well for bass. Adds noise into the signal chain (bypassed or not) if not using a filtered power supply
Adds noise into my signal chain when I'm powering it with the same battery that I use to power the rest of the pedals. Works fine with a 9V battery though, that's how I've been using. I recommend a filtered power supply for this pedal.
Doesn't track the low strings too well, switching to the multi string tuning when it fails to track a single string, which can become annoying sometimes.
Overall, it seems to be a tuner more directed for guitar players than bass players.Mechayoshi likes this.
- Pedal Type:
- unsure of exact MSRP, in UK it's usually £50-ish
- 100% True Bypass output keeps your tone intact
Choose from four types of display modes: Full Strobe, Half Strobe, Meter & Mirror
Compact pedal sized guitar/bass tuner that fits in your pedal board.
Large bright LED meters clearly show any tuning discrepancy.
A broad detection range from E0 (20.60 Hz) to C8 (4186 Hz).
Calibration is adjustable from 436--445 Hz.
A 9 VDC output jack is provided for cascading the power supply to other pedals.
Sleek, black and tough aluminum die cast body for superb durability.