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Why the TU-2 is a beginner's pedal ?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by GAB Power, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. GAB Power

    GAB Power

    Feb 8, 2006
    Hi. I would like an explanation to why a tuner pedal (ex: Boss TU-2) is a first pedal to own according to a thread (or a product review, i don't remember..) on this web site. Everyone that posted afterward agreed.
    I think effects like overdrive or echo (etc) can be much more fun than a tuner that doesn't do anything except give the key. Beginners should spend their money or a small tuner and small tuners cost way less too !

    What do you all think ?
  2. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    While I think it is a necessity to have a tuner, I don't think it necessarily has to be in pedal form. I have been playing over 10 years, and i still have and use regularly the sabine tuner I first got when I started.
  3. Having a way to ensure that you are in tune is a great place to start. If you are building a pedal setup then a tuner pedal will almost always double as a mute switch, also very handy. Nothing says "beginner" like a poorly tuned instrument. So you would be taking care of that too. From there it is pretty much dependent on what kind of music you play. Not much use for a super distortion in a traditional blues band, but you might get some use from a subtle filter or a compressor.
  4. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    I say 'whatever' about the brand of tuner, I guess, as long as it's easy to use - but I would way-emphatically confirm that a beginner must, must, MUST have a tuner, and USE IT OFTEN!! I mean way-more often than you think you have to.

    Many beginers have no idea how important it is to be perfectly in-tune; I'm saying that the slightest-bit out makes you sound BAD, no matter how perfectly you're playing the part! (OR ahem... no matter what nifty effects pedals you have in-line.)

    AND then there's the fact that a newbe won't tend to recognize that he's OUT! I've been in music long enough that I can tell (and am always listening-for) when a string is a little out, and can usually adjust on-the-fly - but between sets I ALWAYS double-check all five strings with a tuner.

  5. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Here's my case for this pedal:

    - you need some kind of tuner
    - I hate hearing people tune (this pedal mutes while you tune)
    - if you switch basses, it mutes so you can switch silently
    - it powers other pedals, like my BDDI
  6. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006

    It does??? I was not aware of this. Can you explain how?
  7. jiant.


    Jul 3, 2004
    Fort Mill, SC
    The TU-2 has a 9 volt DC in and a 9 volt DC out, you can buy a cable that will go from that out to 7 or 8 other pedals to power them, it's pretty cool.
    That's what the cable looks like.
  8. On top of all the excellent reasons already mentioned, you should know also that as you progress with bass, you will want to learn how to set it up properly.

    You will definitely need a good tuner to do this.

    2 cents
  9. +1
  10. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    TU-2 was my first pedal. It's easy to use, and easy to see on a darkened stage.

    It's rugged and it works.

    Being in tune is vital for all aspects of playing, but especially when beginning and learning to play by ear.

    If you arne't doing a bunch of stage stuff yet, get a Korg GA-20. It's cheap, and still fairly accurate... and fits in a gig bag...
  11. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    Tu-2 is not accurate enough & it is not true bypass. If you have to use it try to keep it out of your signal chain. Peterson strobostomp is the way to go.
  12. The Strobostomp is also twice the price of the TU-2, and true bypass is highly overrated unless you're running through a huge effects chain and require a high degree of tonal purity--something that's not especially important for bassists outside of fusion, prog, and maybe some R&B. The accuracy is a lot higher and can get you much more precise intonation, true, but this isn't a really big deal unless you do a lot of upper-register playing.

    Upgrading from something like the TU-2 or the little Guyatone tuner pedal to something more professional, like the Strobostomp, shouldn't be very high on any beginner's priority list. It's nice, but there's lower-hanging fruit in the quest to improve tone.
  13. I've been using the same Korg tuner since about 1980 (really). No matter what I do to try to break it, the thing just keeps working perfectly!
  14. My band has a little saying "TUNE OR DIE"!!!

    any good tuner will do, but having a pedal tuner just makes everything easier. see above.
  15. Justin V

    Justin V

    Dec 27, 2000
    Alameda, CA
    I've been bugging my guitarist for months now to buy a TU-2 like mine. Nothing kills the momentum of a show like him having to unplug and tune in between songs. Leaving me and the drummer to keep the crowd's attention. I think I'm starting to get through to him... Or I'll just give him one as an "early birthday" present.
  16. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Yes, the T-U2 is a great tuner peddle. I love mine. There's a lot of reasons to use one, for me - silent tuning / use as a muting device is the biggest reason.

    In regards to the original question - The reason that you hear it is the first peddle that you should buy is because it powers other peddles - as was stated above.
  17. The Korg model mentioned is great if you want a very basic "hand held" tuner. Bought one for my wife's acoustic guitar and it works wonderfully. It knocks the socks off those generic black tuners you get with starter gets or from music stores with the company sticker stuck on, and the Korg unit cost about 15 bucks, IIRC.

    FWIW, I plan on getting the T-U2 soon to complement my two other Boss pedals.
  18. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    I absolutely agree.
  19. "Not accurate enough" is a subjective description, so let me subjectively say it is TOTALLY UNTRUE. Same for the tone effect. I know some Boss pedals can suck tone but I've never had that problem with the TU-2, at all.

    I'd bet big money that your average musician could not tell in a blind test whether I was using a TU-2 or a Stobostomp, in regards to my tuning OR my tone.

    There's a reason all the pros use these.
  20. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    We’ve had your subjective explanation, let me quantitatively explain to you why the TU-2 is not accurate enough.

    The tu-2 is accurate to 3 cents. The Strobostomp is accurate to 0.1 cent.

    Scenario 1:

    2 guitars tune using tu-2’s. Its mathematically possible for them to be out by .6 cents. This is more than one semitone.

    Scenario 2:

    2 guitars tune using a strobostomp. Its mathematically possible for them to be out by .2 cents. This is inaudible.


    You may say that the audience won’t be able to hear one guitar out of tune by .3 cents, and I agree with you. It will be blindingly obvious to even the least musically minded person if two guitars are more than a semitone out from each other.

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