Tuners...rack vs. pedal??

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by sfbass, Jul 18, 2003.

  1. sfbass


    Jun 25, 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    Just curious if there's any advantage to a rack tuner over a pedal or hand-held one. I currently have a little $30 Korg GT-3 thingy that plugs in in-line, but didn't know if there's a reason the Korg rack tuners are in the $180 range.

    I know they're easier to read from afar and can only hope they're more accurate, but knowing these rack tuners are only 4 inches deep (and my money says most of the space in there is empty!), I didn't know if there would be an advantage to picking up a rack tuner.

  2. drd07


    Jan 19, 2003
    Personally I use a boss tu-2 chromatic tuner. It runs about 90 to 100 dollars. It's a pedal. It works great for playing live. My band does play some songs with drop tuning, and being a 4 string player, I need to drop my "E" string to accomodate the songs. The pedal, in tuning mode, mutes the signal to the amp while I am tuning. Awesome pedal! If you are in a situation similar to me, having a pedal might have it's advantages over a rack system.
  3. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    I own three tuners, the Korg GT-3 (which was the first I bought a long time ago), the Boss TU-2 in my pedal board, and a Korg DTR-2000 that sits in a small rack at home. They all work fine, but I use them for very different things.

    - The GT-3 goes in a bag for gigs, and I use it before and between sets to tune my bass backstage, where occasionally the guitarrists borrow it as well.

    - The TU-2 is very convenient for silent checking of the tuning between songs, it's good to have in the pedal board as the audience needn't know you're tuning. As you don't have to turn your back to look at your rack you're still turned towards the audience and also see what your band mates are up to, like starting a new song for instance. :)

    - The Korg DTR-2000 I use at home for intonating strings when changing to new ones, and for practicing fretless intonation. It's easier to see the large display, even if it's not as stable as the TU-2.

    If I had to rank them the TU-2 wins hands down, for tuning stability and tracking. The DTR-2000 is expensive and only better in the display department, it's not as stable and actually tracks the B-string less well than the TU-2. The GT-3 isn't quite as good as the other two, but very handy to bring backstage.

    If you don't specifically want a rack unit, and don't need the extra features like dual inputs etc, I would recommend the Boss TU-2 pedal. If you do a search for tuners here you'll see many other TBers feel the same.
  4. Mandobass


    Nov 12, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    another vote for the boss TU-2

    i've gone through many tuners, some of which have slow slow response time, some of which can't tell the difference between an A and an E(i find these two notes to be very similar, btw).

    the boss TU-2 is very responsive, very bright so it's easy to see, and is just seems solid and accurate.

    i play guitar, mandolin, and 5 string bass. and anywhere from the low B to the high E on the mandolin, this tuner is on it.

    probably one of the best buys i've made.
  5. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Though I use a Korg rackmount, I really like the TU-2 pedal. Nice to have in a pedalboard, and automatic muting.

    The only downside is that it isn't true-bypass, and just running through it will suck a tad of low end punch from your tone. Some won't hear it, but if you're descrimating, it'll drive you nuts, so putting it in a bypass loop is my recommendation.
  6. BFunk

    BFunk Supporting Member

    I really like the Sabine STX1100. It is a small tuner that is very easy to read either on a pedal board, (with an A/B switch), or in a rack. Very fast, accurate, and stable.
  7. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    The Boss TU-2 is a great tuner. I don't own one but I borrowed my guitarist's for a stretch where my Korg GT-3 was misplaced, and I am quite impressed with the tracking - which is better than most of the gaudy "light show" rack tuners I've sampled.

    For me, my Korg GT-3 is perfectly adequate. Since FretNoMore mentioned it, I will probably borrow that TU-2 next time I tweak my intonation, but for routine tuning, the Korg is fine. Mine has velcro tape so it sits on top of my rack box - does the same job as a rack tuner without taking up a rack space, looking gaudy, or costing an arm & leg.

    Nothing against rack tuners - but they're not necessary, for me at least.

  8. KB


    Jan 13, 2000
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Boss TU-2 is the way to go. Very responsive, nice and bright. I have mine in a separate loop on my pedal board.

    On a side note...I also use mine as an effect where I play a loud distorted long note then pulse the tuner on and off to turn the sound on and off and get a weird industrial pulsed bass....really neat
  9. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    I have a cheapo Korg chromatic tuner. It works great! All I'd ask for is a backlit LCD dial, but for less than $20 I won't be choosy. That little thing takes a lickin' too...I've dropped it a few times, no problems. The battery lasts a good long time too.
  10. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    Realy?? Ive never heard this before??
  11. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I can't say I've ever noticed this, and I've been using a TU-2 happily for a good while.
  12. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    If you don't hear the tone-sucking, great. I do, and it drives me nuts. I wish I didn't notice, it would make my life easier, but unfortunately I'm pretty picky about my sound.

    There are tons of people who don't hear the tone sucking that exists with most stomp pedals (very few are true-bypass). It drives me crazy, and I have all of my effects in a bypass loop (except my true-bypass Akai Deep Impact).
  13. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I have a tuner out on my amp, so I use it! I'm running a Korg DTR-2 and is great if you love flashy racks, but otherwise, I find it to be quite useful. Being able to calibrate it from 438-445Hz comes in handy too. Though I never use that feature. I bought it used for $50 and sold my TU-2 for $70.

    That was back when I wanted no pedals, nothing but a bass and a rack, but times have changed, I've got the wah, volume, and a Big Muff on the floor, maybe I'll get a new TU-2... Oh, and I loved the silent mute option on the TU-2.
  14. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Pedal, so you don't have to turn your back to the audience. That's rude.