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Finally! Amazon offers the Intelli IMT-500
on April 20, 2007
The Intelli IMT-500--The tuner that killed the Intellitouch!
There are scores of chromatic tuners on the market. Most work by using a small built-in microphone that picks up sound waves. In order to be used effectively, the tuning space must be relatively quiet. Many of these tuners have input jacks that allow electric guitars to be connected directly and tuned by the electronic signal they produce. A bunch of years ago a variety of clip-on-microphones began to be marketed. The microphone could be clipped to any instrument and its cord attach to an electronic tuner. Now, anyone could tune an instrument no matter what the background noise.
Then, the Intellitouch tuner hit the market. The entire tuner clipped onto the instrument. One could tune an acoustic instrument in a noisy environment. There was no cord to deal with and the instrument could stay clipped to the headstock or quickly removed and slid into a pocket or case. Talk about convenience. Jams and festivals (bluegrass, folk, whatever) became seas of Intellitouch tuners.
Intellitouch owned the market even though there were so many situations where they did not work well. In particular, they have trouble with the bass notes of dreadnought sized guitars. The more overtones an instrument produces, the worse the tuner behaves. The bass string of a Martin rosewood dreadnought was near impossible to tune without using one of the many workarounds that owners developed. So, it was very much a love-hate relationship. The shortcomings were huge, but the convenience meant that they were tolerated.
Then, came the Intelli. It was an Intellitouch that worked, if not perfectly, then a whole lot better. The amazing thing is that the switch from Intellitouch to Intelli wasn't gradual. Within six months of its introduction, jams and festivals became seas of Intelli tuners. People were throwing their Intellitouches into drawers (if they weren't lucky enough to find a die hard holdout willing to buy one second-hand) to get the Intelli. That's a considerable investment to abandon. But, why not? The Intelli is half the price of the Intellitouch and works a whole lot better. They are so inexpensive that it's easy to justify getting one for the practice area and one for the case so that you don't have to worry about forgetting to pack it.
Anyone who will ever have to tune an acoustic instrument in a noisy environment will quickly find this tuner indispensable. And it works darn well in a quiet environment, too!