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Works fine but so do less expensive alternatives
on June 10, 2013
Electronic tuners are a boon. Although some players like to tweak the final tuning a bit, for the vast majority of string instrument players, having a reliable indicator of string pitch removes a major barrier to not sounding your best while playing, especially when playing with others. Instruments like 12-string guitars, harp guitars, hammered dulcimers, autoharps, and other multi-course instruments benefit even more from accurate tuning.
This is an accurate tuner, no doubt, especially for a clip-on. But the thing is, it really isn't appreciably more accurate than the black Snark clip-on tuner that I have that cost like $10. When I need the extra precision, I prefer using a Sonic Research Turbo Tuner, which I find easier to use and certainly at least as precise as the StroboClip.
If you just need a tuner that will let you play in tune with others and is easy to read, the Snark is a great tool. If you want a clip-on tuner that can double as a shop tuner for setting the intonation on a stringed instrument or if you specifically want to use the "sweetened" tunings that this device has available, then the StroboClip may be the perfect fit to your needs. Personally, if I want the advanced features of the exacting precision, I go with my hand-held Turbo Tuner and if I want a clip-on for convenience in a noisier setting just to be in tune with others, I prefer the Snark.
But the StroboClip works well if its features fit your needs well enough to justify the expense. The added precision is likely wasted in the vast majority of circumstances and probably is more of an annoyance (as the read-out will fluctuate more) than an asset if you just want to tune up to play. Guitars and the like are necessarily somewhat out of tune because of the compromises involved in their design and the fact that the strings stretch when fretted. Those errors are quite small on most instruments and really not noticeable. But a good tuner will "notice" them. If you're doing an instrument set-up, that precision can be advantageous. If you're just tuning up to play, it probably isn't either necessary or desirable. So, consider what you need a tuner for and if ultra-precision isn't necessary, then there seems little advantage in paying for it.
I should clarify, however, that it isn't the tuner that has any shortcomings. It's just that it may not be the right tool for the purpose many players intend. When that's the case, a considerably less expensive alternative may work just fine.