Boss TU-3 vs. Korg pitchblack - final decision

Discussion in 'Accessories [BG]' started by Dreig, Feb 21, 2020.


  1. Dreig

    Dreig

    Sep 25, 2019
    As the title says - I am deciding between the TU-3 and Pitchblack Advance.

    Now I am deciding on the following criteria:

    1. Durability
    I heard that TU-3 is a tank basically, some said that PBA has some issues here so I am leaning towards TU-3 here

    2. Display visibility
    Some say the TU-3 has the better display, easier to read in bright light, others say the PBA has it better. In this case I lean towards the PBA, because come on, look how big that display is, also it is angled

    3. Accuracy
    I was told they are pretty much the same in these terms.

    4. Pedal power
    Both have pedal outputs, but I need to know which one does the job better. I need to power 4 other pedals with it.

    5. Kills signal while tuning
    While I assume both do that, I only know it for certain about the TU-3

    Also the Pitchblack Advance has some new color editions out, with different colored displays, and it is very pretty, while TU-3 invokes a cheap toy ambulance (the WAZA version is beautiful though, but I aint paying twice the amount of a TU-3 for that) I know this is superficial but still

    So, which one should I get? Buying it next week.
     
  2. JakobT

    JakobT

    Jan 9, 2014
    Oslo, Norway
    I own a TU-3, and have no experience with the Pichblack, but here is my two cents':

    1. Durability
    The TU-3 is very solid indeed. I don't think you could break it unless you took a hammer to it. The Pitchblack has an aluminium housing which should withstand a lot of abuse, the only potential problem I can see is that the display comes very close to and partly surrounds the footswitch, so it might get stepped on more often, which might conceivably lead to failure over time.

    2. Display visibility
    The display on the TU-3 is very bright, but way too busy. I would have preferred something simpler, like the display of the Pitchblack or the Polytune.

    3. Accuracy
    Both tuners are more than accurate enough.

    4. Pedal Power
    The Pitchblack delivers up to 200 mA of power, the TU-3 can deliver up to either 200 or 500 mA, depending on what PSU you use. So it depends on how power-hungry your other pedals are, but this was the clinching argument for me when I got the TU-3.

    5. Kills signal while tuning
    Both tuners mute the signal.

    Agreed, the TU-3 is clunky and not especially pretty (like most Boss pedals), but it's near-indestructible, very easy to operate because of the large footswitch platform, and the colour makes it very easy to find on a darkened stage. The Pitchblack looks very much sleeker, and has a lower profile. Both tuners will do the job well, and there isn't that much between them. Go with the one you like most.
     
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  3. Skybone

    Skybone

    Jun 20, 2016
    Scotland
    Get a TC Electronic PolyTune.
     
    sko1270, Chad Michael and Rocksolid like this.
  4. Dreig

    Dreig

    Sep 25, 2019
    Aaaand it is decided, TU-3 is the winner. Unless I find a 100€ bill on the sidewalk, then I am getting TU-3W. Thanks bro!

    Nah. I see no point in all-string tuning tuners, and besides, TC Electronic sucks since they were acquired by Behringer.
     
  5. AEVAREX

    AEVAREX

    Jun 10, 2013
    Western Ma.
    Get a pitchblack and a one spot power supply. The only thing the korg fails against the boss is durability. And the response time of the boss is quite annoying, too slow. And personally I find the boss less accurate regardless of specs.
     
  6. AEVAREX

    AEVAREX

    Jun 10, 2013
    Western Ma.
    Just double checked the specs.
    Boss tu-3w = +/- 1 cent
    Korg pitchplack advance = +/- 0.1cent
     
  7. JakobT

    JakobT

    Jan 9, 2014
    Oslo, Norway
    No problem. Glad you found it helpful.
     
  8. JakobT

    JakobT

    Jan 9, 2014
    Oslo, Norway
    Polytunes are actually still quite good when you put them in bass mode. Being aquired by Behringer hasn’t affected the quality of TC’s products in any way that I can see.
     
  9. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I think the Pitchblack is easier to see and use.
    My guitar player has both and the Pitchblack's screen seems to scratch easier.
    If you use batteries, the new Advanced model (angle face and not flat) has a much lower current draw.

    For $130 the Peterson is supposedly the best yet. They were $100 when the first came out...
    Peterson Tuners - StroboStomp HD
     
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  10. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    Get whichever one you can trade for a TC Polytune. Faster than either one and the display destroys them both. The Boss has the worst display ever.

    And TC Electronics is not owned by Behringer :rollno:
     
  11. Dreig

    Dreig

    Sep 25, 2019
    Anyhow, since TU-3 is slow, what would yo suggest to our guitarist? He wanted to buy one too, using it to tune in correctly while bending during solos, therefore he needs a fast-action tuner that does not kill signal. Should I tell hin to get a clip-on instead? If yes, then which one?
     
  12. AEVAREX

    AEVAREX

    Jun 10, 2013
    Western Ma.
    I know Korg tuners are very accurate for the cost, though I don't beleive any of them continue to display tuning while you play. But the polytune 3 is fast, and accurate to +/- 0.1 cent in strobe mode and +/- 0.5 cents in chromatic. And has a setting for always on mode so the tuner continues to display tuning while you play. Only possible downfall of it could be that you must use a power supply as it does not use batteries. As for clip on tuners I have no idea, never liked any of them, in a loud environment they become troublesome.
     
  13. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    TC Polytune for him as well.
     
    AEVAREX likes this.
  14. Aloe

    Aloe

    Apr 10, 2016
    Ukraine
    I have a Pitchblack Advance. it's faster and more accurate than old Pitchblack. I'd say, it has more accuracy than Polytune, even in 'regular' (non-strobe). cannot compare with Boss though.

    what I like about it:
    1. it's really light, plastic case that seems sturdy though
    2. big nice display (and yes, it's tilted, not horizontal and I also like that)
    3. accurate and responsive

    what I don't like:
    1. need to mute other strings, also sometimes picks a harmonica, not a real string (i.e. you play A, it says D)
    2. resets your settings on power disconnect

    I've had original Pitchblack, Polytunes 2 and 3 and still have Pitchblack Advance and Peterson Strobostomp HD. I prefer PB-AD to quickly tune myself and the Peterson for tuning intonation (well, it could be done with strobe mode on Korg, but I like it better on Peterson).
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
    Jim C likes this.
  15. Aloe

    Aloe

    Apr 10, 2016
    Ukraine
    uhm, clip-ons tend to shut down after some time, saving battery (sometimes even if notes are played). I have a Polytune Clip that shuts off in unexpected moments while I'm still tuning my guitar, just by some timeout.

    for always-on tuners there're: Polytune 3 (only the 3 and 3 mini), Peterson Strobostomp HD, Turbo Tuner (ST-300, the big one) and rackmount Korg Pitchblack Pro. or you could split the signal and send it to any tuner (some amps already have a 'tuner out' for this exact purpose).

    I'd say however that checking with tuner 'while bending during solos' may be finicky. it would be better if he could try those tuners in shops and see how they respond to him.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
  16. Dreig

    Dreig

    Sep 25, 2019
    TC for him then. I will mmmmaybe get the Polytune 3 Noir, the standard white one is even uglier than TU-3
     
  17. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I used a Pitchblack for many years, and then about a year ago bought one of these (for about the same price):

    750-B1FOUR_detail2.jpg

    I'm not an effects guy and rarely use it for that, but the compression and distortion are great as far as I'm concerned - and it is HANDS DOWN the best tuner I ever owned. It made me hate my Pitchblack, and wonder why I dealt with it as long as I did. Pitchblack was very difficult to steady, especially for any kind of drop tunings. I can tune much faster with the ZOOM, its much more steady and accurate, and its easier to see and read.

    I love too that its flat and super light.

    I know nothing about the TU-3.
     
  18. Dreig

    Dreig

    Sep 25, 2019
    Interesting, I wanted this thing for home practice, never would I think this thing has a high-grade tuner.
     
  19. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Me neither.
     
  20. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    Yeah but how often do you look at your tuner??? Oh wait...nevermind :)
     
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    Primary TB Assistant

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