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Thread: What is the purpose for super accurate tuners?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
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    Default What is the purpose for super accurate tuners?

    Happy Thanksgiving 2.0!! (We had ours in Canada earlier haha)

    So I have a snark tuner that I usually just use to check that the strings are in tune before playing, and then again if something sounds off. But I've seen more accurate/sensitive ones and I was wondering how people usually use these? I'm.not sure my own ears would notice if something was like a cent or two off (and whether I would bother to fix it every time lol) but maybe I just need to do more ear training

  2. #2
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    I do the same as you. If I hear something’s off I investigate. I have two Snarks and a worthless Kala. The Snarks do me fine and always have. I have another tuner for my other instruments, but I don’t use it much. I think people just like to buy stuff — the very best stuff.

    Ii’s true though that I wear hearing aids when I’m not playin’. They mostly help with my Tinnitus.
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  3. #3
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    Bragging rights

    I suspect many are promising more accuracy than they provide, but they’re within the margin of error from hearing and tuning stability so people don’t notice or care.

    I do have to tune more tightly if my wife is in the room than if not. She can hear off notes that I can’t.

    I’m more interested in readability and speed when picking a tuner. Pretty much everything modern will get the note close enough on a uke (reading the low strings on a bass well is less common)

  4. #4
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    I think uke manufacturers need a bit more advanced tuners.
    Have a good soprano

    My whistling channel

  5. #5
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    I have a Peterson StroboPlus tuner that is great. It's very accurate and gives me a good baseline for hearing a ukulele in tune. It has a mic for audible tuning. It has a clip-on attachment to tune by vibration of the neck. And you can plug an uke with a pickup into it (with throughput to the amplifier or pedals). I primarily use it at home. It has helped me to train my ear to hear the correct sound. Yes, I agree, I probably can't hear a 1 or 2 cent difference. I think it's better to start with an accurate tuning and have it drift a little than have a close tuning and have it drift even further.

    I like Snarks they are fast and easy to use. But they annoy me. I often put the tuner on my ukes and it says the string is in tune. Yet my ear says it isn't. So, I tighten (or loosen) the string and the Snark then indicates that the string is out of tune. I can strike the string three different times with pretty equal pressure and get three different readings from the Snark. And the Snark is very sensitive to other instruments around me also being tuned.

    To me, it's similar to using a calculator verses a slide rule. (Kids, ask your parents or Google it.) The strobe gives a very accurate reading, the Snark is in the neighborhood.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
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  6. #6
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    I play second and third position chords alot so when I tune, I fret at the 5th fret to get the note and then open string tune to check the difference. I use a D'Addario andPeterson for tuners.

  7. #7
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    For the purposes you describe, Juni, something like a Snark will serve you well. We should remember that there is such a thing as enough. There are people who do need a more accurate instrument, or who simply would like to use something better, but for most of us, a regular electronic tuner is all we'll ever need.

    Whenever I read of people being dissatisfied with a ukulele's intonation, I wonder if they can actually hear the discrepancy, or if they are trying to satisfy an electronic device. More than ten years ago, I tried to set up an Ohana SK35G (a soprano) to give perfect intonation at every fret on every string. The nut, saddle and frets were all in the correct relationship to each other, but it proved to be an impossible task.

    It is possible to make a soprano uke close enough to be acceptable, that is to say, acceptable to my ears, but the electronic tuner would always find some small (inaudible) disparity.

    There is, of course, a wide variation in people's ability to discern musical tones accurately. Mine is average, at best. I can't imagine what it must be like to have perfect pitch. Both a blessing and a burden, probably.

    John Colter

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenn2018 View Post
    I can strike the string three different times with pretty equal pressure and get three different readings from the Snark.
    Mine does this too the readings aren't very different from each other but it makes me wonder

  9. #9
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    Oh I was also thinking maybe if you're playing with a group is important for the tuning to be more accurate? When I played in high school orchestra and even one or two of then ten violins was slightly out of tune it would make everything sounds wonky.

    Or maybe everyone should use the same tuner so at last they are all off by the same amount haha

  10. #10
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    I use the D'Addario/Planet Waves tuners - too many broken Snarks to justify keeping them.

    I like to get the quick, digital tuning, then tweak it by ear. When I'm solo, I don't really worry about anything but relative tuning, but when i play with others, we need to all get as close as possible. Some folks I play with only play in the first position, while I've been playing in 2nd and third, depending on the instrument. Some of my instruments are great up to 7th fret, then the intonation starts to degrade. Others are perfect to 14 or 15th frets, but lack great harmonics at 5 & 7. The new Cocobolo is the only one of my stringed instruments (guitars and banjo included in this) that is at pitch between the 3rd string 4th fret and the 2nd string. My ears have always told me that, but the D'Addarios confirm it. The harmonics are also great at 5,7, and 12th frets

    However, after all that, I must confess that my preference is an A=440 tuning fork, and tune everything else relative to that string. (unfortunately, I have 3 forks labeled A=440, and they range from 432 to 438. I haven't found a true A=440 fork for years.)

    -Kurt
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