Clip-on Tuners

In all seriousness, my dog ate my D’Addario clip-on tuner. I’d left it on my nightstand, and she snuck in, grabbed it, and ran off with it. Before I knew it, the entire clip-on part was demolished.

So, I need a new one. I already have a tuner pedal, but I like to keep a clip-on tuner because I don’t bring the pedal tuner from room to room with me. It stays in my “studio”.

In another thread, our illustrious leader said this:

So, my question is this: is there a really big difference between the D’Addario/Fender/Snark clip-on tuners and the TC Electronics/Petersen clip-on tuners? Are the latter actually worth their higher cost?


I have a Peterson Strobo pedal which is awesome. But I also have a Korg clip on which is dead on as well. I think it is called the Pitch Black.



The real question is…
Does it matter?
The answer…

I have used Snarks.
I have not used the TC.
I have used (and still use) the Peterson clip on (and pedal form too).

Here is what I found @JustTim:

  1. Snarks are for guitars and ukes, not basses. They are a PITA to dial in. Wouldn’t you rather do something else instead of fight with a tuner? And, they don’t do B strings worth a crap.

  2. I have not used the TC, but used to have their Polytune 3 pedal, and found many things I did not like about it. The LED readout, the accuracy, etc. I really dislike the display and as we leanred it is not as accurate as it states (pedal anyway). We have talked about this tuner before, somewhere. It is what pushed me to get a Peterson pedal (actually, have 2 now). I know Josh loves TCElectronics, I am not as much a fan in general of their stuff, YMMV

  3. Peterson Clip On - is as good as their pedals. I take it when I travel and have it by my desk if not using my main board/amp, and now use it for the lap steel. It is worth every stinkin’ penny. If you do buy it, investigate a better storage place, as it is a very expensive dog treat and doesn’t tune dogs well either. Dead accurate, and a strobe vs. the TC.

  4. I am a ‘one and done’ sort of fella usually. I should have started with Peterson and been done. Lesson learned.

The Peterson is $10 more than the TC.
Go big or stay home I say.
It will save you more than $10 in your time


I have used Snark’s in the past and they go through batteries really fast. I use Polytune’s now and like them a lot better.


Josh reviewed the tc electronic Unitune clip-on in a gear video and recommended it.
I use a Polytune. For standard tuning it is reliable but I don’t like it for the low B tuning where I sometimes have trouble getting the right tuning.

I’m not sure it is really worth it spending almost the double for a Peterson clip-on.

I still have a polytune pedal or the Korg TM-60 if I really want to be sure about being in tune, though I doubt that it makes a hearable difference for the non expert :sweat_smile:


Peterson is worth the money


Thanks, all. I’ve ordered a Petersen clip-on. Should be here tomorrow.

I’ll keep it away from my dog. As mentioned, my dog doesn’t need tuning. :smiley:


Good call. They are the best option for me easy to read and tune.


Definitely. Cheap tuners are crap on low notes, gets really frustrating.

I haven’t tried the Peterson clip on yet, I believe that it’s great. If I had to choose StroboClip versus Polytune, would probably go Peterson… but the Unitune is basically half the cost of Stroboclip and it’s really great, so that’s my standard recommendation.

Plus… I love Peterson, their tuners are amazing, AND they have the ugliest design and font in the world. Second only to Xotic effects, how can I take gear seriously with Comic Sans font lol




Being the worst is sometimes better than being mediocre. At least you make an impression! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Point for Josh

This thread is worth the price of admission

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the font list…
:scream: :scream: :shark:


Just wait until I show you my Avatar themed pedal with Papyrus lettering… :nerd_face:


I mean, serious or not, you did just kinda advertise for them. So maybe that was their plan: “we’ll use the worst font ever, everyone will show it off as ugly and snicker about the font, and we’ll cash in on the free advertising!”



In all seriousness though, thanks for asking this, @JustTim . I’m not a gear person, but I have been questioning the accuracy of my (ahem)…Snark tuner, specifically for the E string. An accurate tuner is worth spending money on.

So…I’ve put it on my Christmas list. :grin:


The Peterson won’t disappoint. Great tuners.


The Peterson clipon was 10 bucks off on Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Back to full pop now. Maybe another discount closer to Christmas?


I definitely recommend investing in a good tuner! I forget the exact quote, but an old friend once said to me “I can’t tell you how to sound great, but I can tell you how to sound like crap and it’s to play out of tune!”

The cheapest ones always seem to have a tough time picking up the low E and when they do, its generally kind of “in the ballpark” if anything.

I have a Polytune and I love it, though I generally use a harmonic to tune the low E. I always try to tune with a plugin or pedal (live), but those clip on tuners are so dang convenient :heart_eyes:


Well? We’re waiting :laughing:


I don’t have anything to add but I would like to see a picture of this guilty beast.


I have a couple of Korg clip on tuners (SH-CS100 and PC-2+) that I’ve found to be accurate for bass and very convenient. I can’t comment on their accuracy for the low-B on a five string but they’re fine for drop-D on a four string. I have the Pederson strobostomp to compare against, and the Korgs do well in comparison.

I previously bought a D’Addario clip on to throw into my daughters gig bag for lessons and it was less than useless, even for guitar. Steer clear of the cheapies!