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Author Topic: Clip-on Tuners comparisons  (Read 2433 times)

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Offline Nick2

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Clip-on Tuners comparisons
« on: Jun 13, 2017, 10:39:46 AM »
I bought a new clip-on tuner at Buxton Fiddle Hell and was pretty pleased with it so I thought I'd share.
It was a Snark "super tight",  and I have to say it's the best of the bunch that I've tried over the years. 

What impressed me about it was-
(a) Good robust heavy duty spring clip. Looks like it'll last but time will tell in due course.
(b) Incredibly stable display. 
Most tuners I've had before have some sort of "dial display" with a needle indicating pitch either side of a centre point indicating an A or D etc for the open string.  Usually the needle settles somewhere either side of the note but many tuners seem to pickup odd harmonics and overtones , causing the needle to wobble around a lot. This one seems to eliminate all that. In fact it is the only clip on tuner I've tried that is actually usable if you bow the string rather than pluck it.
(c) It has the option for other tunings than A440 , but has a separate button to change tuning, and automatically re-sets to A440 when you switch off and on.  I have had other tuners accidentally re-set to non A440 tuning because the button that sets it up is shared with other functions.

So I give it 10 out of 10 so far, and worth paying the extra.
It was this one- http://www.snarktuners.com/products/super-tight

I've used Guitarman tuners and their many clones for many years. They weren't bad, and reasonably stable so long as you plucked the string being tuned, but had this problem of shared function buttons and accidental re-setting of the reference A. They're half the price of the Snark but I've never had a clip last more han a year before breaking through "plastic fatigue".
this sort https://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/guitar-man-gm11-clip-on-chromatic-guitar-tuner.html

I once splashed out on a Korg Dolcetto-V, This has a really nice clip arrangement that holds on the peg box between the pegs wit four fingers.  Had some nice functions like perfect fifths etc, but I found the display far too sensitive to side tones and consequently very "wobbly needle" and difficult to use.
http://www.korg.com/uk/products/tuners/dolcetto_v/

These are just my personal experiences. Tuners may behave differently on other violins - mine is quite a loud one so that might exacerbate the wobbly needle problem. Also many are really aimed at guitars.    But hope it is helpful to someone considering getting one.
Now ear this!

Offline awildman2384

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Re: Clip-on Tuners comparisons
« Reply #1 on: Jun 13, 2017, 01:31:46 PM »
D'Addario Micro Violin Tuner.  Small, basic, and clips on extremely well.  I generally leave mine attached full-time, especially as it fits in my case as-is. 

Offline tpquinn

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Re: Clip-on Tuners comparisons
« Reply #2 on: Jun 13, 2017, 07:34:40 PM »
Nick, what part of the fiddle does the Snark clip onto? Ads for the D'Addario show it on the body, but the Snark clip part doesn't look like it would be wide enough.
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Offline Nick2

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Re: Clip-on Tuners comparisons
« Reply #3 on: Jun 13, 2017, 09:38:05 PM »
I usually attach it to one of the pegs
Now ear this!

Offline fiddler542

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Re: Clip-on Tuners comparisons
« Reply #4 on: Jun 14, 2017, 08:38:25 AM »
Nick2, two things to watch out for with Snark tuners.  First is the pad on the movable foot of the clip tends to come off.  That means you'll have a hard plastic foot clamped on your instrument.  You might want to take off the pad and put a dab of glue to keep it on better.  Of course I've never followed that advice and have lost the pads on several of those tuners.  The other thing to watch for is the ball and socket on both the clip and tuner body.  With lots of use, one of the three parts that hold the ball can and will break off.  You'll then have to wrap tape around the joint to hold it together.  Currently I have one Snark with a bare foot and the tuner taped to the clamp.  It works fine but is a hassle.  My other one lost it's pad but a friend with a broken Snark gave me the pad so it also works fine and is in one piece.  I haven't glued the pad so I expect to lose it sometime. 
I clip my tuner onto the scroll rather than a peg, that way I can leave it attached while playing.
I also have a D'Addario Micro Violin Tuner that I clamp to the upper bout near the neck on the bass side.   I find it not as accurate but so convenient that it's hard to pass up using.

Offline Nick2

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Re: Clip-on Tuners comparisons
« Reply #5 on: Jun 14, 2017, 11:42:18 AM »
Thanks 542, I'll keep an eye out.  There's no way of telling whether the clip will last longer than the other types I've tried, other than time and use, but it's useful to be aware of any known weak points. 

My previous tuner has been doing service for some time with a wooden clothes peg attached to the tuner body with a rubber band!  The clips seem to last about a year on those.

I was impressed by the stability on the Snark though. Given the extra cost,  I reckon if it lasts 50% longer than the other types  I'll have got my money's worth!

Haven't tried the D'Addario ones but I've seen them on a couple of people's fiddles. 
I always get groans from the luthier about the amount of ironmongery already clamped on the fiddle, with carpenter jack etc, but I'll have a closer look at them when I get the chance.
Now ear this!

Offline bluesviolin

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Re: Clip-on Tuners comparisons
« Reply #6 on: Jun 15, 2017, 05:35:44 AM »
I've got one called Oasis that's shaped to fit on the scroll, with a 'claw' that that wraps around the outside of the scroll and a shorter stop that clamps on to the peg box side of the scroll. Cost about $35 Canabucks. it can be set other than A440 and can also be set to tune to 1 thru 4 or 5 flats. It will tune with mic or clip, I keep it on clip.


I always tune with a bowed string, as I find a plucked string to be slightly flat compared to the bowed string. the display is easy to see, with varying degrees of yellow for flat, one bar of blue for in tune, and more varying degrees of red for sharp. and it agrees with the built in tuner on my Boss ME 20 pedal.


very happy with it.
"Striving to attain Mediocrity"

Offline fiddler542

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Re: Clip-on Tuners comparisons
« Reply #7 on: Jun 15, 2017, 07:23:22 AM »
Bluesviolin, I found this after seeing your post.                   
https://www.concordmusic.com/products/oasis-ot-4-clip-on-tuner-designed-to-fit-violin-viola-cello-scrolls

Offline GovernorSilver

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Re: Clip-on Tuners comparisons
« Reply #8 on: Jul 02, 2017, 08:57:19 PM »
Nick2, two things to watch out for with Snark tuners.  First is the pad on the movable foot of the clip tends to come off.  That means you'll have a hard plastic foot clamped on your instrument.  You might want to take off the pad and put a dab of glue to keep it on better.  Of course I've never followed that advice and have lost the pads on several of those tuners.  The other thing to watch for is the ball and socket on both the clip and tuner body.  With lots of use, one of the three parts that hold the ball can and will break off.  .

I've had both happen to me.   :(

Still, though after I got sick of having to plug my instrument into my TC Electronic tuner pedal (the pedal is great for rehearsing and playing with a loud drummer, bass guitar through a big cabinet, etc.) I went and got a new Snark tuner.  It's a black one, supposedly more advanced than the red one that I broke.  The pad fell off  ::) but no regrets using it.

I had a tuner that clips onto the scroll of my viola, but, guess what, the pads fell off that one too.   :P  Not a Snark - different manufacturer.

On my Yamaha YEV, I clip the Snark to the headstock just like on guitar. On my viola, I clip it to the bridge -  very, very carefully of course!  I started doing that after I observed an upright bass player using my old red Snark on the bass bridge.

Offline zpilot

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Re: Clip-on Tuners comparisons
« Reply #9 on: Dec 08, 2017, 01:25:13 PM »
My D'Addario Micro works great.  I noticed that sometimes I could hear a buzz from it vibrating if I left it mounted so I take it off now when I am through tuning.  I think it is easier to mount than most of the other tuners.  It also has a nice visual metronome built-in.

Offline fidlpat

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Re: Clip-on Tuners comparisons
« Reply #10 on: Sep 20, 2018, 09:58:47 PM »
I like the D'Addario/PlanetWaves micro tuner. I just leave it attached.

Offline captthighbiter

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Re: Clip-on Tuners comparisons
« Reply #11 on: Apr 21, 2020, 10:23:49 PM »
We use Snarks.  I give them to my band members as X-Mas gifts, as by the time it comes round, they are usually pretty beat up.  The Snarks; not the band members.

Offline farmerjones

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Re: Clip-on Tuners comparisons
« Reply #12 on: Apr 22, 2020, 10:49:24 PM »
I still use my old Intellitouch. It listens better, and clamps better. Lots of the new ones i've tried actually have tiny microphones that tend to get confused with cross-talk.

 




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