I'm sort of interested in taking a survey, but also wondering if other people think the accuracy of your tuner is audible. As for me, I became tied to electronic tuners years ago when I realized that they were faster and more accurate than I care to be. I had spent years perfecting my ability to tune with just one reference pitch. But then came the electronic tuners and I gave up that craft.


About two years ago, I was watching Delta Moon at Blind Willies and the lead singer kept tuning his guitar with a Korg Pitchblack. I decided I had to have a floor tuner and looked at the Boss, Digitech, Korg, Peterson etc. But then I saw this little tuner for about the same price as the Korg that was a true strobe tuner with .02 cent accuracy. (I think the boss TU2 had an abysmal 3 cent accuracy at the time.) I went ahead and bought it and was surprised at the difference it made in the sound of my guitars. They never seemed so in tune.


My son and I spent about an hour blind testing and we both concluded that the difference was audible and significant. I wasn't willing to spring for the Peterson virtual strobe pedal price, but at this price point, I couldn't refuse. I've never looked back either - I tune almost exclusively with strobe now. (Turbo Tuner is my pedal.)


Just recently, Peterson put out an iPhone virtual strobe tuner for $9.99. Wow! It's accurate (.1 cent), steady and easy to see. So now, I am rarely without a strobe tuner (I still haven't spent as much as the Peterson would have cost). Granted, I do make the rare adjustment to a string or two depending on the key. 


So two questions:


1) Do you tend to depend on electronic tuners? If so, which one (s)?


2) If you are a strobe user, do you feel that it makes an audible difference?



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Oh- there are two ways that people are doing this. Some are screwing it right into the body:




Melancon is isolating the bridge interaction from the pickup and going straight to the body for the vibration.


But you can also mount to the bridge which is the "standard" way of doing it. You have to realize that that bridge is a big piece of metal that is acoustically coupled to the body and causes electric activity when it moves against that pickup - even if only slightly. 

Bruce - tele bridge pickups pick up body vibration. This isn't a gimmick. Plug in your telecaster and select the neck pickup, dampen the strings with your hand and tap around on the body with your pick. You will get little to no sound. Next, do the same thing with your bridge pickup. You will get sound. It's not from the strings, it's from the way the pickup is mounted to the guitar and the way it's designed. If you mount a strat pickup to a tele bridge it will sound similar but to a lesser extent. The wider baseplate of the tele pickup enables it to be more "vibration sensitive" as it were. Any time there is vibration to that pickup, you'll get sound.

I'm not talking about humbuckers, that's not really the same animal, so it's not quite a fair test.


If you have a metal cover on your neck pickup, that can allow acoustic coupling into the pickup, mine has a tiny tiny bit, but nothing like my bridge. My Guild Starfire has D'Armond pickups with metal covers that are quite micriphonic.


On the bridge pickup, is it this one?




It certainly has plenty of baseplate, but the field design is much different here, possibly negating the coupling with your bridge. (Unless of course your bridge design is something different altogether.)



"to regaurd this a major contributer to the sound of an electric instrument in think is reaching. even a tuner cannot distiguish wood species. It's sales hype."


You're kind of mixing two things here - wood species and the contribution of wood to the sound of an electric guitar. I would tend to agree that the type of wood is not a major contributor - but the density of the wood certainly has some result. If density, then species indirectly.


And tuners can't distinguish wood types because they only know center frequency. 


We could end this timeless debate with an O'scope and a well-designed test rig. It's planned out in my head now...




I like the 3-barrel saddles because of the tone - more solid & punchy, preferably the big brass barrels. That said, comp'd saddles (Barden and Wilkenson styles) can be implemented to make intonation setup easier. However, the standard 3-barrel can be set-up for great results, enabling the guitar to play "in-tune" across the whole fingerboard w/all chord shapes. Jerry Donohue, a fairly well known Tele player addressed this technique on the Seymour Duncan site. Enjoy...




Rocky Jones


So that's classically tempered tuning. I'm curious if it sounds better than the compensated saddles?
I think it makes an audible difference - I've never bought an electric that was properly intonated.

While intonation's, of course, important, I've heard players make an intonated guitar sound out of tune. Usually it's a combination of uneven finger pressure when fretting, taller ("modern") frets, and heavy-handed strumming. Technique plays a big part when it come to playing "in-tune".



Rocky Jones


What I'm saying is that if you correctly intonate a guitar at the saddles, I've never bough an electric that had been adjusted properly. A repair shop guy told me that Gibson intentionally doesn't adjust the nut or string height properly or the intonation. They encourage you to take a new guitar to a certified shop for setup - which is considered "under warranty" and is free of charge.

It's excessive, rather than uneven, finger pressure, bending the strings down between the frets that will send them sharp. This is often a case where the guitar is strung with strings lighter than the player's natural preference (using 8s requires a different touch to using 11s). Many manufacturers like to string their guitars on the light side ready for sale so the novice player thinks "wow - this is really easy to play" and the experienced player thinks "oh goodness - knicker elastic strings again". So novices will end up using guitars strung too light for their natural technique.


Heavy handed strumming doesn't affect intonation, and whether you whack the guitar so hard that you break a string every couple of meetings or just tickle them, intonation isn't affected.


Correct intonation also can't really be done by a tech for a user unless they study the user and observe how hard they fret etc. To intonate correctly you need to be wearing the guitar in the normal playing position and fretting with your normal fretting pressure on the string. If you set a guitar up on the bench using a feather touch, gravity will make a significant difference (how significant depends on neck stiffness and string gauge) and it won't play in tune for a normal user. Some techs may not realise this.





Good point on the intonation. That's what I think Gibson is hoping - that the player will take it to a competent tech. And mind you, this is just the information that one tech gave me. I do know that I've played no guitar in the store that is intonated correctly. Fortunately, I know how to do that myself.
So this compares the 12th fret harmonic to the 12th fret fretted?  Why would this be different from open vs. harmonic?
Greg is spot on - 12th open vs harmonic will ALWAYS be right by definition. You're only interested in the fretted note intonating correctly - the open note has no intonation issue.


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