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Evil Undead
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Korg Pitchblack pedal tuner

4.4/5, 4.4 from 5 reviews
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Reviews Summary
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3
 
60%
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Overall Rating:
4.4/5,
Build Quality:
4.2/5,
Features:
4.25/5,
Value:
4.6/5,
  1. Dan B
    Does the job reliably
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Jan 26, 2020
    Build Quality:
    4.00/5,
    Features:
    4.00/5,
    Value:
    5.00/5,
    Pros
    • + Easy to read display
    • + Can power other pedals
    • + Multiple modes
    • + Good build quality
    Cons
    • - 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
    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.
    Price Paid:
    $40
  2. Miles_ONeal
    Keeps me in tune
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Jan 12, 2018
    Build Quality:
    5/5,
    Features:
    5/5,
    Value:
    5/5,
    Pros
    • + Accurate and responsive. True bypass. Bright and easy to read.
    Cons
    • - 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.
    Price Paid:
    $80
  3. redshot
    Well built, solid, but not quite a bass tuner
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Apr 18, 2016
    Build Quality:
    4/5,
    Features:
    3/5,
    Value:
    4/5,
    Pros
    • + Low battery consumption, tracks high notes fast
    Cons
    • - 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.
    Price Paid:
    49 €
    Mechayoshi likes this.
  4. PluffMudQueen
    Does the job
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Apr 16, 2016
    Build Quality:
    3/5,
    Value:
    4/5,
    Pros
    • + Accurate and bright
    Cons
    • - Has trouble reading low bass notes.
    Great tuner. Nothing special. Decent build but power jack stopped working so had to wire it to the power supply via the batter connection. Has trouble reading bass notes depending on the tone you are sending it. Not a big fan of the "multi-string simultaneous" tuning.
  5. Evil Undead
    Excellent tuner
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Jun 22, 2015
    Build Quality:
    5/5,
    Features:
    5/5,
    Value:
    5/5,
    Pros
    • + Fast, accurate, easy to read, lightweight
    Cons
    • - Display seems like it might break easily but no problem so far
    I bought this because I was getting fed up with my old pedal tuner, which is really inaccurate and annoying - couldn't decide if the note was flat or sharp.

    The Korg pitchblack is fast, accurate, light weight, compact, easy to read. I've only tried it on a standard tuned 4 string bass but I've heard good reviews about it for 5 strings and drop tuning as well.
    Price Paid:
    £39
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