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A guitar tuner is one of those little electronic (battery-powered) gadgets that there just isn’t a whole lot to tell about. It either works for you, or it doesn’t. Thankfully, the vast majority of users of the popular guitar tuners described below say that these accessories work just fine.
So, let’s take a quick look at some guitar tuners (which, in some cases, work well for other instruments too) from Fender, Snark, and D’Addario to see which one you like the best, again, based on what little there is to say about each.
If you’re in a hurry and just want to check them out at Amazon, you can click (tap) the links in the bulleted list below. Otherwise, scroll down to read a little more about each one before making your decision.
Fender Bullet Tuner
The Fender Bullet Tuner is the only one I could find (amongst these four) that gave any amount of details about its inner workings. Following is a list of most of the features and specs that Fender considers worth mentioning.
- Vibration-based tuning system
- LED color screen
- Strong clamp
- Tuning range: A (27.5Hz) to C (4186.0Hz)
- Power supply: Two 1.5V (LR44) alkaline batteries (included)
- Dimensions: 36.6mm x 14mm x 38.8mm
- Weight: 13.5g
In addition to the above, you should know that the tuner will “go to sleep” after 10 minutes of inactivity. This helps extend the battery life, which is known to be “not great” for some tuners. To “wake it up” again, you click the power button twice.
Of these four tuners, the Fender Bullet is the most expensive…sorta. Some of these tuners seem to be perpetually “on sale”, so it’s hard to make a fair comparison. Also, price is not something I’d worry about because none of these is going to set you back more than about $30 (before taxes and shipping).
Some owners have complained that the Bullet doesn’t tune their bass guitars well. Your mileage may vary.
Snark ST-8 Super Tight
I guess one of the main features of the Snark ST-8 is shown right in its name. It holds on Super Tight to whatever you clamp it to. Granted, that is important for getting an accurate reading of the pitch, but I would hope any tuner would do the same.
The ST-8 has a 360-degree swivel head (as do some other tuners) so you can see the readout from any angle. It uses a vibration sensor to pick up the pitch and includes a tap tempo metronome.
Unlike the Snark ST-2 or ST-8HZ, the ST-8 does not have an internal microphone. Look to those other models if you need a mic to pick up the sound waves.
Snark SN5X Tuner
The Snark SN5X tuner is currently the least expensive (though not by a lot) of these four gadgets, but see my comment above about making such comparisons.
The “SN” models are older than the “ST” models, but that doesn’t mean they’re out-of-date or perform much worse than their newer brethren. The SN5X is touted as a violin tuner, in addition to being a guitar and bass tuner.
It also has the tap tempo metronome, like the ST-8.
D’Addario NS Micro Guitar Tuner
Like some of the features mentioned above for the other tuners, the D’Addario NS Micro has an auto-off feature to preserve your battery and a 360-degree swivel to preserve your neck.
The main advantage of the NS Micro seems to be its very low profile. Users like the fact that you can keep one attached to your instrument, and your audience – assuming you’re playing in front of one – may never even notice it.
Other Options for Guitar Tuners
You want a tuner other than one of these four? Sure, there are many others from which you can choose, including some more nice gizmos from Snark. I won’t list them all here, but you can click this link to see them at Amazon.
Or, in a pinch, you could just use your ears as generations of musicians before you did.