The Right Guitar Tuner For You? – That Pedal Show

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Everything you ever wanted to know about guitar tuners and how to choose the best one!

And lo, at noon of the fifth day, the world cryeth in (almost) unison: “Surely they cannot make a 57-minute video about guitar pedal tuners?! They’re all the same, aren’t they?!”
And Dan and Mick looked down upon the people and said, “For too long you have placed your trust in that box that never quite makes an open D and G sound right. Wise ye up to these teachings and see if thy blessed instrument may sing more harmoniously. It will verily take as long as it takes.”
Yep, annoyingly there is quite a lot to say about guitar tuners. From the obvious (it needs to fit wherever you’re going to put it) to the not so obvious (accuracy is at best a moving target), we talk about relative pitch, sweetened tuning, silent tuning, monitor modes, buffers and plenty more besides. Including 432Hz, should you be interested.
One thing for certain is that you ought never to look at your tuner in the same way again.

Enjoy the episode!

#guitartuner #bestguitartuner #howtotuneyourguitar #guitaradvice

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Life too short for long YouTube videos? Please see the ‘Interesting bits and go-to sections’ information below.

Pedals & stuff in this episode…

• Sonic Research Turbo Guitar Tuner ST-300

• D’Addario Pedal Tuner
UK & Europe:

• Boss TU-3s
UK & Europe:

• TC Electronic Polytune 3 Noir
UK & Europe:

• Peterson StroboStomp HD Tuner
UK & Europe:

• Dunlop EP103 Echoplex Delay Pedal
UK & Europe:

• TC Electronic Polytune Clip Tuner
UK & Europe:

• Keeley D&M Drive
UK & Europe:

• TheGigRig G2

* Why do we have preferred retailer links? Find out here:

Interesting bits and go-to sections…
– Intro playing: 00:00
– What are we doing today? 2:25
– Let’s talk about strobes: 7:52
– Display types: 9:19
– Peterson Strobostomp and TU-3 comparison: 10:25
– Remembering the Arion Stage Tuner: 12:01
– Polyphonic tuning? 12:50
– Silent tuning? 15:46
– …and non-silent, monitor mode: 16:45
– Accuracy – the really thorny issue: 18:40
– How do you tune your guitar? 19:05
– Dan’s Biffy Clyro tuning tangent: 22:15
– How accurate is it? 23:00
– Intonation problems… and why everyone is different: 23:35
– Mick plays a G#: 25:40
– Modern standard concert pitch: 27:20
– 440Hz is a recent thing: 28:25
– The harmonic series: 31:05
– It’s all a compromise and it’s all out: 33:40
– A 432Hz: 34:10
– Changing to pitches outside of 440: 35:35
– Let’s compare 432 and 440: 36:50
– Sweetened tunings: 38:25
– Presets in the Strobostomp HD: 40:15
– James Taylor, capos and acoustic guitars: 40:55
– …and why that is relevant to your guitars: 48:40
– Let’s not really talk about buffers: 52:00
– The summing up: 53:20

Guitars in this episode:
• Fender Custom Shop 1963 Telecaster – Dan’s video at
• PRS S2 Singlecut Standard –
• Collings CJ35:

Amps in this episode
• Orange Tremlord 30 112 / Lavoce Speaker
UK & Europe:
• Matchless HC-30 with Hughes & Kettner Vintage 212 / Celestion G12M Greenback

We hope you enjoy this episode. Please subscribe to our channel.

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Please visit our preferred retailers!
UK & Europe: Andertons Music
Australia: Pedal Empire


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49 thoughts on “The Right Guitar Tuner For You? – That Pedal Show

  1. I think cilp one is better than pedal one. Cuz we don't need to care about tone loss, and buffer or true bypass, and silent mode or not. Also we can use it on various instruments which don't have a pickup.

  2. I love this channel. The info is great. It's also fun to play a drinking game with: Take a shot every time Dan says 'However '.

  3. Please leave only 2 tuners for the review: Peterson StroboStomp HD and Turbo Tuner ST-300, and throw all others (because they are garbage).

  4. on my clip on polytune, the polytune thing never really worked. It annoyed me, that you couldn't set it to eithor or the other.

    The nonpolytune version was not available in Germany.

  5. How is the strobe mode on the Polytune3 not as good as a dedicated strobe tuner? I think it is the other way around. The dedicated strobe tuner is stuck, whereas the Polytune3 is able to adapt to various situations, from very precise for studio work to a quick strum on the poly mode in a live setting between songs, etc. Not to mention it is either true bypass or a bonafide input buffer at the beginning of a pedal board. It can do all the 432, dadgad and capo stuff as well. Please explain?

  6. This video should have been called "Why You Should Buy a Peterson StroboStomp." I felt like I just watched an hour long advertisement.

  7. Anything that has large blinking colored lights is worth the extra $75. It looks cooler in the dark, added feature')

  8. Polytune is accurate to 0.5 cents, 0.1 cents in strobe mode. Peterson Strobostomp is accurate to 0.1 cents. Boss is accurate to 1.0 cent. D'addario is accurate to 0.5 cents. The Sonic Research turbo tuner is head and shoulders above the rest with an accuracy of 0.02 cents.
    Humans can only hear a difference at 3.0 cents or more.

  9. Same tuners and methods. One studio owner said some bands if left to tune up themselves was a trainwreck. He realized that if he tuned all the instruments himself with his method, things went much smoother and quicker with better results.

  10. Great episode that barely exposes the tip of the tuning iceberg.

    However, I didn't see any comments about jack placement. It's the modern & golden age of pedals — the side-jack paradigm must DIE. Peterson could've been a pro-active leader, but dropped the ball in design class…

    Just put all the jacks on one side of the pedal and save everyone some precious pedalboard real-estate.

  11. Fascinating stuff. Good as always! Not sure your comment on the Polytune, strobe tuning, and the other strobe tuners is accurate, but oh well. Keep it up guys!

  12. The Sonic Research Turbo Tuner is the most accurate – to within 0.0017 cents! Or within 0.02 cents for the life of the tuner.

  13. …ok so at 21:30 you make a great point about how hard you pluck the string being tuned…I was a pro touring tech for 20+ years, and even NOT tuning the harmonic and using the open "E" for example in a live situation ( meaning, tuning the guitar for the NEXT song, while the current song is being performed), I always attempted to mimic my guitarist's attack…it was a point of emphasis for us working together for years…it makes a difference…and I always used Peterson Strobe tuners backstage, whereas the last player I toured with used the tuner built-in to his Boss GT-3 effects unit onstage…

  14. Hi Dan and Mick, Excellent Video 👍👍👍.
    Really interesting, 56 minutes on Tuners actually flew by, the Peterson Tuner looks very cool!
    Take care ♥️👍.
    Melbourne, Australia.

  15. the facts man just the facts in a less verbose fashion, you are overestimating the entertainment value of the banter. If you land a part in a sitcom, I will throw away my TV, the pedals you compared are great, and that is what we are interested in.

  16. Fabulous. Thank you so much for this! One issue I had with the TC PolyTune was that the LEDs were too bright for me. They were so bright that it was a struggle to read the display. I'm curious as to whether anyone else has had this issue. I replaced it with the D'Addario, which is quite good, although not as accurate as a strobe tuner. Lately, I've been lusting after a Peterson StroboStomp, but based on this video, I'm going to give the Sonic Research a try.

  17. a 432 is total snake oil. it just sounds slightly lower, thats it. please read about it from people who actually understand reference pitch, tuning and temperament.

  18. The older I get the more I am convinced that there are no absolutes in this life. You guys went down the tuner rabbit hole; you can do much the same for other facets of life. Humans like to simplify and categorize, it is how our brains work. Unfortunately, the universe doesn’t provide neat answers. Thanks again guys, I learned a lot.

  19. What about when you try to play along with records where every song is tuned to a different pitch. Hatful of Hollow leaps to mind. You're on your own then

  20. Great video. Lots of cool physics lessons here. However, tuning with harmonics (5th and 7th fret method) is the same problem as the “harmonic series” thing

  21. On tuning up to pitch rather than down, I think one important factor is that all gears have what is know as "backlash". Basically there is a little bit of space needed to allow the gears to turn and mesh. You always want tension to hold the gear in place after tuning. If you tune down to pitch, the tuning machine spindle could rotate freely by the amount of backlash.

    see this explanation of backlash:

  22. Intonation is also affected by the nut… which is why you can have a perfectly 'intoned' bridge and in tune open string, and still have a sharp fretted note, usually most noticed on the G string. It is well annoying. Then you fall down an Earvana/Buzz Feiten wormhole.

  23. Iv'e used peterson's tuners for years, nothing gets close. It's actually difficult to se intonition without the accurecy of the strob tuner. I see your videos are longer and you are not stopping each other talk/explain/go off on a tangent. It is such a reliaf to me!!!! you guys have improved so much in 6 months. I havn't watched as the passing of my father, I wasn't in the mood. Back to my point it's great that your videos are longer, letting each other speak. When you stop each other it makes me curious to what you where going to say. The way you guys are working now, flowing better it is music to my ears and near damed perfect if I do say so myself. Very well done guys. Other people may not have noticed as they havn't had a long break. Both of you are so much better now, playing better, talking bettrer. I shouldn't be supprised but I think you deserve recognision of how much better your content is, not saying it was bad before, it's just worlds appart better now. I know a lot of what you say already but the bants and just hearing your oppinions. I didn't think it could be done better than you where 6 months ago but your waking it out of the park now guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! respect to the whole team

  24. The “James Taylor” tuning method is about tuning the open strings and then placing a capo at the 2nd or 3rd fret.

  25. I stil have the old chromatic boss tuner. It was somewhat expensive for its time. I have the Peterson now. Finicky but accurate. The app is great too.

  26. This is very interesting! I swear by True Temperament frets (Using a Sonic Research Tuner )
    Have you tried that?

  27. As i know the guitar is not in true temperament in most cases. But u have to specifically search for one

  28. Great stuff….. you touched on a couple things…. you definitely got on about tunings and such, as well as preferring a certain tuner, being quite subjective…
    At the end you talked briefly about members of a band using the same tuner or different tuners… this would make for a great video in its own…as long as you cam all tune in a way that sounds good, and sounds good played together…. I guess that matters as much as the specific frequency of A ….maybe… I'm new, and looking to buy my 1st tuner pedal….
    I'm looking to buy a Polytune, but might look into options with colors other than red/green as my son is colorblind….

  29. The polly tune uses Fourier analysis to decompose the input waveform into it's constituent sine waves fyi.

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