Which amps come with built in tuners?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Balog, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. Balog


    Mar 19, 2009
    Everett, WA
    I recently bought my first bass, and I'm now getting all the things I need that I hadn't considered. Strap, tuner, stand, gig bag or case of some type etc and of course an amp. However, I have a fairly limited budget for everything, so every penny I spend on something else reduces my total amp budget. Decent tuners are surprisingly expensive, so I've been thinking that if I can get an amp w/ built in tuner it'll add say $40-50 to the total available for the amp portion of the budget. It seems like a win-win; more $ on the amp means bigger/better and I don't lose any functionality.

    What do you think TalkBass? Is this a cunning plan, or bad idea?
  2. uaudio


    Apr 11, 2008
    Its definitely not win. I've never seen an amp with integrated anything that is the best sounding at the price point. In other words, you always pay more for the crap and have to suffer on tone. A $300 combo with effects and a tuner will never ever be the best sounding $300 amp out there.

    Most professional musicians want flexibility, not integration. You're better off buying a good amp - something used to maximize your dollars - with a cheap tuner. Even a cheap $15 tuner will get you in tune, every dollar you spend past that is just for ease of use, durability, neat LEDs, stuff like that.
  3. the line 6 lowdown series are very nice and they have built in tuners.
    but like uaudio said you are really not winning anything....no telling what line 6 added to the price of the amp just to have a built in tuner
    our guitarist has a built in tuner on his amp and he uses my hand held $25 tuner because it is simply more accurate.
  4. +1 Now that there are moderately priced pedal format tuners like the Sonic, with true bypass operation, in a very small format, that would be little if no advantage to having a 'moderately accurate' on-board tuner that you would probably use a pedal switch to engage anyway.
  5. rpsands


    Jul 6, 2007
    The Ibanez LU20 is the absolute best tuner i have ever used. My amp has a built in tuner, but there's rarely space for a chromatic in there and it always winds up slightly off.

    The LU20 is super solid, cheap (40 bucks) and accurate down to every note on the low B string. Way, way better than the Boss Chromatic as well (faster tracking, easier to read) imho.

    edit: It's a pedal, and I liked it even better than the Pitchblack from Korg (which is twice as expensive). Feels a lot more solid to me.
  6. Vic Winters

    Vic Winters

    Apr 20, 2006
    Western NY
    What's wrong with a Korg CA-30 for $15?
  7. rpsands


    Jul 6, 2007
    It's not a pedal or a rackmount. Live, especially, a pedal with true bypass is amazing. Try tuning up in between songs with a handheld tuner :)

    Also, try reading it in the dark.

    Spend the bucks and get a decent readable pedal tuner with true bypass. You won't regret it :)
  8. Tandrew


    Jan 9, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    nothin' :D
  9. Raul Amador

    Raul Amador

    Sep 17, 2007
    Vancouver, WA
    Executive Editor, Bass Musician Magazine
    TC electronics RH450 ( formerly known as Rebel Head but ran into Trade mark issues)
  10. totallybacan


    Mar 30, 2009
    Unless you have upcoming gigs that will be in the dark, just go with a $15 dollar tuner. 'Nuff Said.
    Good luck on your amp quest!
  11. rpsands


    Jul 6, 2007
    All the unplugging/plugging/fiddling with a handheld tuner is just a pain. You could just drop 40 on the LU20 and be set forever - any type of show :)

    Built in tuners on cheap amps are borderline unusable (e.g. the Ampeg BA-series that had the built in tuners, they were garbage).
  12. Balog


    Mar 19, 2009
    Everett, WA
    Interesting, I'd not considered the added cost of integration. An ad for an Ampeg BA-115 was what got me thinking of this, but if some of the lower cost tuners are indeed effective even for 5 strings I may reconsider.
  13. Bassman203


    Mar 29, 2008
    Get a good amp and a cheap tuner.
  14. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    Some amps do that, 100% automatically, since they won't allow you distinguish a note from any other. :D:D:D

    (sorry, I will mention no brand, but I have some in mind)
  15. I use one of those more than my TU2. And I think it might even be a little more accurate.
  16. Bassman203


    Mar 29, 2008
    Or like the others said try and save up and get a decently priced pedal tuner like the lu20, the behringer one, or the danelectro one. I haven't tried any of these myself, but if I felt the need for a pedal tuner I would get one.

    Also, maybe hold off on the stand till you get more money to help towards the things that effect your playing more.
  17. rpsands


    Jul 6, 2007
    The LU20 is leaps and bounds better than the Danelectro and Behringer ones. Solid, durable construction, more accurate, faster tuning, et cetera.
  18. totallybacan


    Mar 30, 2009
    Instead of a stand, you can get a tuner. That should solve the problem. I would also recommend a gig bag unless you find a good case for the same price. And don't forget an instrument cable.
  19. R Baer

    R Baer Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 5, 2008
    President, Baer Amplification
    I've been using the Peterson StroboFlip for a couple years now and IMO, Peterson makes the best tuners on the market. Expensive yes, but dead accurate and it also makes setting the intonation on my basses a breeze. Hey, if you can save a couple trips to your tech, the unit saves you a few bucks here and there.

    Pick your amplifier for the sound you get out of it, not the little features like onboard tuners.