Electronic Tuners

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Steve Freides, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    Anyone care to recommend an electronic tuner for upright? A plus would be that it also works for smaller instruments. Most of the guitar tuners I have don't have a big enough clamp for an upright, don't work well with the low notes, or both.

    I was looking at a video of tuner clamped onto the bridge, but that's a bit much for me - headstock seems better, no?

    I couldn't really figure out which forum section in which to post this, so this seemed as good as any, since the tuner is an electronic gadget.


  2. michaeln


    Mar 26, 2000
    Avery, CA
    Peterson Stroboclip. Works great on the bridge of a double bass. It's so sensitive on the E string that I can damp the other three strings and simply tap the top table of the bass with my finger, once, and the Stroboclip will lock onto the "only slightly" vibrating E string. It's also backlighted and very fast. I use it while playing to check and adjust my intonation.

    I can put it on the bridge or the pegbox (upright basses don't have headstocks), but I find looking up at it on the pegbox is awkward, while looking down on it on the bridge is easy and natural.
  3. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Sabine Zoid (cool name, huh?) works fine when clamped on my bridge. Detects all the notes easily and goes from orange to green when a note is in tune.
  4. michaeln


    Mar 26, 2000
    Avery, CA
    And, bonus feature, it will also turn from orange to green when a note is NOT in tune.
  5. Here's one that I use.

    Crafter TG-200m
  6. moles


    Jan 24, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    One of the guitar players I work with sometimes has a Korg AW-2 that works great on both my basses, clipped on to the pegbox.
    I was going to spring for one, and in the end I picked up a cheap-o Apex AT-7 "deluxe" (ha.) tuner that pretty much works just as well. It was 20 bucks.
  7. the peterson iphone tuner rocks. particularly when combined with their dedicated cable to plug it in direct. but, regardless, it's ridiculously fast and accurate ... and you can look at the talkbass app on it;)
  8. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    The main players seem to be:

    Intellitouch PT 30
    Korg AW-2
    Crafter TG-200H
    Sabine Zoid
    Peterson Stroboclip

    Can anyone offer any comparisons or pros/cons? An important issue seems to be whether the tuner can quickly and accurately lock in on the low E (or B).
  9. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Mullica Hill, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    Getting the E accurately does seem to be the rub with the HUGE variety of tuners out there. For clip-on tuners, in my experience - on the bridge is the way to go. You're going to get the strongest/best signal, and looking up at the pegbox IS a pain in the neck, sometimes literally. On most URB's, I'd be surprised if you could get much of a signal at all, much less a good solid E.

    As for which models work best, that's pretty anectodal. Most clip on tuners have the "sensor" (a piezo disc, probably) in the head of the unit, rather than in the actual clip, so they (I assume) aren't getting as "direct" a signal from the instrument. In my experience, tuners which have the sensor in direct contact seem to "lock on" better, especially on the E string - but again, that's my experience, and YMMV.

    You can tell by looking at it - if the clip can be endlessly rotated without damage - and/or you can tell that no wire connects the tuner body to the clip - there is not a sensor in the clip. That said, even if the sensor is in the body, if a tuner is well made -- and haven't "loosened up" -- it should work just as well (occasional tightening of the tuner's clip mechanism may rehab a tuner which seems to be less sensitive than it used to be).

    Guess I sort of rambled on, but that's my 1/50th of a dollar.
  10. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    ;) <--click
  11. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    Where do you attach it?

    Seems the overwhelming preference is on the bridge, not the headstock - thanks, didn't know that.

    I should mention I've got perfect pitch which is part of the reason I don't know much about tuners, but I need to know what works best in order to recommend to students.

    Thanks, folks.

  12. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    This one looks useful and is much less expensive than the Peterson. I also need something for a French Horn student that will transpose, so the Zoid looks promising.

    Will it work on upright bass headstock, though? I'd still like something I could use there if at all possible?

  13. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Not to poop on your thread but you have great ears and see the benefit of not relying on a tuner. Why not teach your students the same? Personally I don't let my students use a tuner. Even when I was teaching orchestra in school they had to tune to an A440 drone.
  14. michaeln


    Mar 26, 2000
    Avery, CA
    There are reasons the Peterson is more expensive.

    First, they have a decades long reputation for making the most accurate tuners in the world (Strobe tuners). Something goes wrong, Peterson will be around to help you, and they are used to dealing with pros. Peterson strobe tuners are used in all of the major big bucks recording studios.

    Second, the Stroboclip is accurate to within 1/10 of a cent. Many of the others mentioned here don't even mention accuracy in their specs (such as the Zoid).

    Third, the Stroboclip's construction is far superior, with a brushed aluminum body instead of plastic.

    The Stroboclip's display is a backlit LCD, which means it is very easy to read in bright, direct sunlight and on a darkened stage.

    But if price is the only important thing, the Peterson is probably not what you want.
  15. I use a Korg CA-30 to tune my URB and never have any problems with it picking up the E with either the built in mic or using the output of my pickup. That being said, fingers is probably right; you should lean to tune to an A if you're going to play URB. That's what you're going to be tuning to in most circumstances.

  16. I mount the tuner on the sound post side of the bridge under the strings. Very easy to see it there pizz or arco.

    P.S. At Guitar Center this tuner is on sale.

    Seems to be very similar to the Crafter.
  17. michaeln


    Mar 26, 2000
    Avery, CA
    Keep in mind that some of us have to tune in noisy environments such as jams and festivals. A tuner is pretty important there.
  18. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    I do it all the time and I feel you. I have a tuner in my bag as a fail-safe but it maybe comes out once a month. That said, it's like using a calculator to do math. You should be able to do it longhand first. Also you still have to use your ear. Even if everyone is using tuners you still can only rely on one thing the really tell. Your ear.
  19. In louder environments I use the "Boss tuner tu-80".


    It has 1/4" phono plugs in and out so it works "in-line" with your pickup.

    It also has IMHO a very good virtual pendulum metronome with different rhythm styles including two variations of Clave 2-3 & 3-2.

    Pretty handy device. I use it quite a bit.

  20. I use a Korg TM-40 Digital Tuner Metronome. For orchestra, I clamp a mic to my bridge because rehearsal warm-ups can get rather noisy. It will lock in a low B, but I have to tweak it just a bit. Sometime soon I'll have to figure out a calibration setting for that low B string.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Aug 5, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.