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Clip-On Tuner

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by RobbieNuke, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. RobbieNuke


    Jan 22, 2008
    Any suggestions for clip-on bass tuners? Looking for personal stories (pro/con) about issues with open E, droped-D, and B string.

    I have a pedal tuner and several old Korg GA-10's around my den... looking to get a clip-on that is very responsive to open bass strings.
  2. nutdog

    nutdog when I'm a good dog they sometimes throw me a bone Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    in the dog house
    I've had a couple of intellitouch models that didn't like low E's, even on acoustic guitars.

    The two snarks I've used work on low B. $10 on Amazon.
  3. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Snark. Got mine on Amazon for $12. Done.
  4. kreider204


    Nov 29, 2008
    WI, USA
    Snark. Very responsive, accurate. Display can be a little hard to read under bright lights, especially if you're not looking straight on. Has a little pinhole mic on it that you might want to cover with electrical tape to lessen the effects of extraneous sounds.
  5. walldaja


    Apr 27, 2011
    Definitely the Snark!
  6. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Snark again. Best $12 stocking-stuffer for musicians.
  7. Stilettoprefer


    Nov 26, 2010
    Snarks are pretty good. It sometimes has a hard time tracking the A and E strings on my basses. I'll have to try some different places on the headstock. Using the 12th fret harmonic instead of the open string works if it's having trouble on the lower strings.
  8. bertbassplayer

    bertbassplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    DFW, TX
    Another vote for the Snark. I have the Snark SN-5 and SN8, as well as the Planet Waves NS mini, and the Intellitouch PT-10.

    The Snark SN-5 (Black with White Writing/Silver Button) and SN-8 (Black with Yellow Writing/Yellow Button). The 8 is a bit faster, and is more sensitive and seems to be the one that works best for bass in my opinion. They are my preferred headstock tuners. The downside is they are pretty large. Oh and as far as the mic, the SN-2 is the only one with the mic. Another bonus to the Snarks, is that some even have a built in tap tempo metronome.

    The Intellitouch PT-10, it doesn't work that well for any of my basses.... works great for my guitars though. I also have the Planet Waves NS Mini, and it works pretty well but it can be kinda hard to see since it's so small.... and on tilt back headstocks sometimes it's hard to find a good place to put it. The nice thing is it's so tiny you can leave it on there and you'll never notice.
  9. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    I have a Snark SN8. It works well but gives me a little bit of an issue with the B string. It's acts like the note dies off, or something. I can get the string in tune, but I have to use the 5th or 12th fret harmonic and pluck it more often than the other strings. I suppose it's good for the price and convenience.
  10. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    I had a Snark - I didn't think it worked anywhere near as well as my Pitchblack, or any other pedal tuners for that matter... I ended up giving mine away, and won't be buying another one...

    - georgestrings
  11. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    I ignored clip on tuners until one cold morning I tuned up my bass at church and then heard it go flat on me during the first service as the place warmed up. I am sure that a pedal would work great too but I don't use pedals so a clip on was less of a change to my routine, it stays on the bass all the time. I started with a Planet Waves NS Mini because I thought unobtrusive would be the way to go. The girl behind the counter at GC tried to talk me into a Snark because she liked the display better but I went with the PW. It is a great little tuner, all I need really. I liked it well enough to get a couple more for my other basses but this time I went to a local music store and all they had were Snarks so I went with those. By then I had concluded that their larger size wasn't really an issue since no one notices the bass player at church, much less what he has clipped to his headstock. And I have to say the Snark display is nicer, the girl at GC knew what she was talking about.

    Both kinds work well. My lowest string is tuned to C instead of B and either tuner picks it up pretty well. Sometimes there is a bit of a delay on the low string. The other strings respond faster yet it will often latch on to harmonics (I guess) because the A string, for example, will often intermittently be reported as an off pitch E. I have less issues with this sort of thing when I use tuners that plug into the output jack and read the signal electrically. The clip on tuners do work well though. You can tune up quickly in spite of the reading issues and if you don't want to use pedals they cannot be beat for convenience.

  12. JTE


    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    I like the Snark too, but it's the only one I've had extensive experience with. I helped my old boss at his store a little last year, so I got to play around a bit with several. I bought a Snark because it worked well and was inexpensive. Reasonably rugged if you take normal care of it.

    As for using open strings versus harmonics (and this applies to any tuner)- The octave harmonics (5th and 12th fret) ARE exact octaves if your strings are in good shape, and if your strings aren't in good shape then intonation is out no matter what you do. So, using harmonics is NOT in any way a problem- if the harmonic is in tune and your strings are in good shape, the open string is in tune exactly the same.

    And, I'd say that the harmonic, because it's a higher frequency, gives the tuner a better sampling rate to get an accurate count of the vibrations- so in fact the harmonic probably works better for any tuner that's counting frequencies.

    lukiluk likes this.
  13. I like my planet waves headstock tuner, it's small and only I can see it, I think the snark is the most accurate out right now, but they look super goofy IMO. I just tune by using the 12th fret harmonics, never had an issue. The planet waves is cheap too. I hope this helps.

  14. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I've had 4 different Snarks, the ukulele one, the chromatic one, and two other ones. They're all equally accurate for basses, in my experience. I always chuckle when I see them in Sam Ash or GC for 30 bucks when they're 10-12 bucks on the interwebs.
  15. grvthang


    Feb 6, 2012
    I think the Snarks are faster and more accurate than the Planet Waves mini, but they don't travel as well. They need room around them; if pressure is put on the 'arm', the socket holding the arm breaks pretty easily.
  16. i use the GoGo TT-1 clip on tuner and it is fast, accurate, and extremely easy to see in any lighting. it handles the low B with no problems. it has shown to be very durable and has a switch to use the built in mic or only thru the vibrations. it is more expensive than the snark but in my opinion i believe it is worth it.

  17. smperry

    smperry Administrator Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
  18. dmrogers

    dmrogers Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2005
    Eastman, GA
    Even though I have two regular tuners that I use with my rig, I recently purchased two Planet Waves NS Minis.

    I hardly use my regular tuners any more. I love the NS Mini. Easy, accurate, quick, and a very low profile. I just slip them onto my two basses when I have a gig, and instant tuning any time anywhere.

    I've had them for several months now, and no problems so far. I would replace them in a heartbeat if something happened to them!
  19. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    North East Texas
    I had a clip on fender brand one and it worked great. Tracked very well. A buddy has a Snark that I have used, and it also worked very well. I think clip on tuners have come a long way, really just in the last year or two. I love them for practice, and around the house.

    As for the bad side... EASY TO LOOSE. I lost mine at a gig this past Sunday. I don't like to keep it clipped on to the bass. I tune once, and tune at the set break, or when I need to tune. Back to the old Boss pedal tuner for me.

    Actually might get on amazon and order up a snark right now.
  20. rockscott


    Aug 28, 2010