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Boss TU-3 or other tuners?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by DenverKen, Jun 22, 2014.

  1. DenverKen

    DenverKen Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2001
    Mile High City
    Howdy low-enders,

    I'm looking for a good tuner with back lighting that can just take a line signal from my amp's tuner out. Sounds simple, right? Is the Boss TU-3 any good? Seems like it might be what I need.

    I had to ditch my Korg and now my other Boss because their back lighting is 1) poor or 2) non-existent.

    A simply thing, really. The clamp-on headstock tuners I've used have been lousy (sucked) so far. Help me out if you can, thanks!

  2. Mosfed


    Apr 21, 2013
    Chamonix Mont-Blanc
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    You will generally get three answers on this board

    1) TC electronics Polytune or Polytune mini
    2) turbo tuner
    3) Korg pitchblack

    I use the polytune mini in direct sunlight and it works just fine. Great tuner.
  3. Trus3683


    Feb 14, 2013
    Connecticut, USA
    Both the TU-2 and TU-3 are said to have excellent backlighting to allow musicians to see even in broad daylight.

    They would not be a bad choice for a pedal, and neither would, as stated above, the Pitchblack, Polytune, or SR Turbo Tuner
    totallyfrozen likes this.
  4. DenverKen

    DenverKen Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2001
    Mile High City
    Thanks, I might try the Boss and see how it works. Sweetwater will take it back if it stinks after a gig or two.

  5. pbass6811

    pbass6811 Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2008
    Indy, IN
    I have a TU-3. It works well enough. I also have a Turbo Tuner, it works much better.

    If you want a tuner that will do an ok job, the TU-3 is a fine choice, and Sweetwater is a good company to deal with. If you want a tuner that will do a great job, spend a few bucks and get the Turbo Tuner. Sonic Research has a 30-day guarantee...

    Interestingly, when I go to rehearsal, I usually grab my TU-3, since it's not attached to my main pedalboard, but when I get home from rehearsal and sit down to practice, I plug into my main board, and go through my TT, I always hafta re-tune.
  6. I have a Boss TU-3 and it works perfectly for me. It's just as accurate as most others (IIRC within 1 cent or less) and certainly accurate enough for the real world use. Some people claim other tuners are more accurate. I guess if you're looking to control the Space Shuttle with your tuner pedal you might need a more accurate pedal than the Boss but I, honestly, can't find ANY complaints with it. I've been gigging with it for over a year.

    Responds very quickly, easily tunes my low B, the lighting is very easy to see in both bright daylight and low stage light, dead silent muting, no noise. I'm totally happy with it. I used to have a Peterson Strobo-Tuner but that was just too gimicky for my tastes. Most of the hi-tech, uber-accurate tuners that I've seen just come across as a lot of hype and gimmick to me. I gig. I need a workhorse. I need a tuner that I can use on a pedalboard, on stage, during a live show that lets me silently check/correct tuning in a matter of seconds. The Boss TU-3 just gets the job done.
  7. I have the Boss TU-2 and have used it for years. Love the muting feature when you kick it to go into tuning mode. Accuracy of the Boss is better than your ears can hear, so even though other tuners may have slightly tighter specs, IMO the advantage is theoretical, not practical.

    A TU-2, TU-3 or Turbo Tuner will all get the job done just fine.
    totallyfrozen likes this.
  8. pbass6811

    pbass6811 Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2008
    Indy, IN
    That's totally cool. I'm just saying that I own both currently, and the Turbo Tuner is faster, more accurate, and takes up less space. It's also true bypass. I don't see anything gimmicky about the Turbo Tuner, it has the same amount of buttons and one LESS hole than the TU-3. I also gig, a bunch, and the Turbo Tuner gets the job done with a bigger, brighter, easier to read display. It works for me.
    totallyfrozen likes this.
  9. Joebone

    Joebone Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Don't know the TurboTuner, but see the Boss tuners on a lot of guitar pedalboards, and sometimes take one with me,,, although I once lost one on a gig, so I generally have some cheap Korg thing in my gig bag. The Boss is way ahead of the Korg in terms of speed in registering where you are - which I greatly appreciate. And the Boss also has good backlighting. So there may be things better than the Boss, but the Boss is better than a whole lot else that is out there!
  10. pbass6811

    pbass6811 Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2008
    Indy, IN
    I have a question...is there a pedal tuner that doesn't mute the output when you kick it on? I don't use my tuner for a mute(my wireless has a tuner output so it stays out of my signal path and I can leave it as an "always on". I mute from my amp), so I am just guessing that the TT would also mute...

    edit: I just checked, it does mute when it's on.
  11. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    +1 If the primary goal is visibility, I also vote for the Polytune Mini.
  12. pbass6811

    pbass6811 Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2008
    Indy, IN
    What other Boss tuner did you ditch?
  13. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    the only one that's gonna survive direct sunlight is an old-school needle tuner like a TU12 or an LCD one like the current petersons; aside from that issue, the turbo tuner is head and shoulders better than anything else out there, as in more accurate and faster.
  14. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Another vote for the TC Polytuner. It's so fast I can watch the notes register as I play a run, and it has the best display of any tuner out there. You can even see it in direct sunlight!
  15. I have the tu-3 that thing is great, it's really accurate, and your able to see the light really hood in the dark and in the bright sun
  16. JensCambre


    Feb 3, 2014
    I've used hundred's of tuners, the one i'll always stick with since the day i got it: tc electronic polytune.
  17. The Boss TU-3 can be plugged in either way, to mute or not.

    Sent from my iPhone 5c zipped in a sandwich bag using TalkBass mobile app while floating in the pool!
  18. Wow! That's incredible! Literally, as in "that claim does not sound credible".

    Sent from my iPhone 5c zipped in a sandwich bag using TalkBass mobile app while floating in the pool!
    StayLow likes this.
  19. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    I found the TU-3 to be quite bad and use a little Korg CA 20, which works really well.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2014
  20. Adamixoye

    Adamixoye A PT Pro is cool for worship, right?

    Apr 9, 2012
    Occasional Beta Tester for Confusion Studios, Singular Sound, and Source Audio
    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, but I do know that pedal is very well regarded.

    Also, I'm probably barking up the wrong tree if I suggest the OP skips a pedal tuner at all. Get a Pitchfactor/H9 (or other multieffects-ish unit like a Zoom MS-60B) and a headstock tuner for backup. :D

    EDIT: Whoops, missed that the OP already has tried and disliked headstock tuners.

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