Handheld vs Pedal Tuner

Discussion in 'Accessories [BG]' started by lafonjef, Feb 22, 2019.

  1. lafonjef


    Dec 23, 2016
    Manitowoc, WI
    So I just finished building my new pedal board, and need to get a new tuner for it. I plan on using the tuner output from my volume pedal to connect the tuner, and was looking at the Korg Pitchblack Custom.

    The pedal version of this tuner is $100, but the handheld is only $20. Am I missing something between the two, other than form factor, and ability to run from power supply or only battery? Since the tuner would be connected to the volume pedal, I wouldn't need the bypass switching.

    If anyone has any input on the matter, or has tried either/both, I would love some feedback.
  2. Vinnie Boombatz

    Vinnie Boombatz Inactive

    May 26, 2010
    One is a pedal, one is handheld.
  3. lafonjef


    Dec 23, 2016
    Manitowoc, WI
    And that is enough to justify an $80 difference?
  4. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Do you think the handheld is robust enough to withstand someone stepping it several times a might? Can the handheld be read from 5 feet away?
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I imagine there is no footswitch or bypass circuitry in the handheld, not to mention the robustness it takes to handle people stepping on it.
  6. Vinnie Boombatz

    Vinnie Boombatz Inactive

    May 26, 2010
    You tell me. If you want a stomp box type pedal that I'd say 90+% of people use, then yes, it's worth it.

    What I'm trying to say is you should base your decision more on which version of this tuner will suit YOUR needs the best, and go with that one and not necessarily make your decision based on what the cheaper option. Get the right tool for the job/appliciation and then you can focus more on your performance.

    I prefer pedal tuners. The can also be used as a mute/kill switch. Some tuners (like the Boss TU-3) have an additional port for a cable so you can use it to power another pedal as well, and other feathers like bypass, a thru-port, etc.
  7. lafonjef


    Dec 23, 2016
    Manitowoc, WI
    Here are the 2 I am looking at, as well as my board with the old tuner in place... The old tuner was a handheld unit, and has been fine other than a couple of the lights starting to die on it.

    It looks like visibility shouldn't be an issue from one unit to the other, and placement should have to worry about it getting stepped on.

    If anyone has experience using either, I would love to hear some free back on the units themselves.

    Screenshot_20190222-152256_Google.jpg Screenshot_20190222-152325_Google.jpg 20190222_152854.jpg
  8. I have both board and clip on tuners. I like being in tune.
  9. Jim C

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

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I've always used handheld tuners, but that's because I haven't used pedals until just recently and that's just a single compressor.
    If I had a pedal board, I would definitely go the other way.

    Edit: I use a small Sabine hand held with the usual green LED and with flanking red for sharp/flat.
    The first one I bought in 1985 still works great.
    I've since bought a few more as the local used shop has theme for $10.
    I bought a Sabine rackmount (that siyts unused) for $24 shipped from Reverb. They seems very accurate when compared to my old Conn Strobotuner.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Ya, if all I'm using is one pedal and no upright, I bring the Unitune clip on, otherwise I'll use a pedal. I resent it taking up space on my board where a fun pedal could go, but pedal tuners definitely have their advantages.
  11. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    Guys, I don't think OP is talking about any clip-on tuners. He has shown the "handheld" tuner which he was referring to on #7 post.

    But some posts have pretty much answered the differences that OP was seeking. The robustness and mute/kill switch feature of the stomp box version are most likely things which made the stomp box tuner cost more than the handheld tuner.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019
  12. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    Peterson. I use a Stroboflip through the tuner out on my EBVPJr. or from my amp's tuner out.
  13. tripp2k


    Oct 31, 2010
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    He's not but I see no reason to not mention them as a viable alternative.
  15. The price difference is worth it, will be up to you.

    The hand held will be similar to what you have been using so if that has been good for you then keep going with the hand held unit and save some money.

    I like the pedal format personally, this is not just my mute for tuning but for un-plugging and re-plugging, see you have a volume pedal that can serve that function.

    My Pitch Black is not on a board but just the single pedal on the floor to be stepped on, so the hands free use in a strong metal box is important to me. About two years of weekly use it still looks and functions as new, making the price difference worth it (to me).

    Also the Pitch Black Pedal only works for tuning with the sound muted, it must be stepped on to tune (screen goes on and the signal is muted) and stepped on again to return playing (screen goes off and the signal is unmuted).
    It does Not have a Thru jack so your signal will still be going during tuning as a lot of hand helds will do. If you want to have the tuning screen on all the time while playing the pedal is not for you.
  16. lafonjef


    Dec 23, 2016
    Manitowoc, WI
    Thank you for the insight. I think for my isn't, the handheld will work well. It's good to know that the unit works well for you.
    S-Bigbottom likes this.
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