Customer Reviews: Peterson StroboClip Clip-On Strobe Tuner
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on April 22, 2011
I went through two other clip-ons with my mandolin, the TuneTech TT-501 and the Crafter TG-200H, but gave up on using clip-ons entirely because their accuracy is pretty bad for anything but the most raucous bluegrass jam. I would tune up, strum a G chord and cringe.

When the Peterson iphone tuner came out, I began using it exclusively because it was the most sensitive and accurate tuner I'd ever used. But it was impossible to use it in a noisy environment. The Stroboclip, at last, is the best of both worlds - the convenience of a clip-on (being able to tune in a noisy environment) with the same accuracy as the strobosoft iphone app. Since I was already disillusioned with other clip-ons, I was skeptical that this one would really have the same accuracy as the iphone app - but lo and behold, it does.

The nice thing about the Stroboclip is that, in addition to measuring the pitch very quickly and accurately to 1/10 of a cent, the precision which with it indicates pitch on the display is much higher. This is because pitch is indicated by the speed at which the bars move, which can be varied smoothly over a huge range, rather than by having a preset number of needle positions on the LCD display (about 2-4 cents on most clip-ons).

The mandolin requires a very accurate tuner because if the pairs of strings are just slightly out of tune with each other, you will hear it (I usually tune just the first string in each pair with a tuner, then match the second one to it by ear, but this is impossible in a noisy environment.) The Stroboclip is the only clip-on that is sensitive enough to get the string pairs within a couple cents of each other (still not as good as by ear, but far better than any other clip-on).

I've been using the Stroboclip for several months now and haven't looked back. The sensitivity does require some getting used to... some people say it is jumpy and difficult to use because it shows you in real-time how the pitch of the string decays when plucked. That's certainly true, though every tuner is subject to this effect and the Petersen is just being honest about the acoustics of a plucked string. The sustain mode helps with this somewhat but I prefer to tune in normal mode. It does take some practice to use a strobe tuner and there is a bit of an art to zeroing in on the pitch, but over time you get better and faster. And it reads every string of my mandolin and my guitar without trouble.

The brushed aluminum body also looks very classy and professional and I keep it clamped on the headstock during performances. I haven't noticed a big difference with the mandolin sweetened tunings...unless you have a very expensive instrument it may be too subtle to notice. Finally the stroboclip offers 20 or 30 other tunings besides equal temperament, even for instruments like bagpipes and arabic tunings.
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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.
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on January 19, 2011
I've used 4 different brands of clip-on tuners to tune my Classical guitars and electric basses, but this tuner is the most accurate. It captures the note immediately without errors, whether the low E on an electric bass guitar or the high E on my classical guitar. It is fast enough to use real time during intonation practice/training on fretless bass. It works flawlessly on solid body and acoustic instruments. Takes a little getting used to but simply, if the rings spin clockwise, the note is sharp; if the rings spin counterclockwise the note is flat. If you can afford it, the Peterson is the best clip-on tuner out there.
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on March 16, 2011
I had my reservations about spending so much for an electronic tuner when there are much cheaper models available. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how good this tuner is. I must admit that it took a while to get used to the strobe display, but it was worth it. In addition to being much more accurate than less-expensive models, it also has settings called "sweeteners" for a variety of instruments. I tuned my banjo using the appropriate setting and was amazed at how good it sounded compared to when I tuned it with other tuners. I would highly recommend this tuner for the serious musician who wants to be able to tune accurately. A bonus is the ability to tune in a noisy environment. Worth the money. I even ordered a second one to use on my other stringed instruments.
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on November 22, 2015
I was looking for a clip on tuner that is accurate enough to set intonation on my 5 string basses. this does the job. However, it is slow to use this tuner in a live gig situation, so I ended up returning this in favour of a Korg Sledgehammer Pro which has the same accuracy, but which has optional viewing modes for faster tuning, and which is about $40 cheaper. Having said this, I believe the Peterson may be easier to read for anyone with eyesight problems. I am giving it 5 stars because it is an excellent product and well worth the extra money if you can use any of the sweetened tunings. Also I have owned a Peterson VS1 since 2001. I bought an early model and had problems with it. I had excellent customer service when I sent it back to Peterson for repair and it has worked flawlessly ever since, so I have a lot of faith in this company and their products!
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on March 22, 2016
I am a fan of Peterson tuners and I have two other pedal tuners and their software tuner which are all top notch products. I was willing to pay a lot more than other clip on tuners because of the accuracy. But in practice, I couldn't see that the strobe read out was actually providing the claimed level of accuracy. In other words, I could tune to the strobe readout to get close, but once the strobe stopped, I could still be turning the tuning peg and literally hear the pitch of the note changing yet the strobe wasn't really reacting. So while maybe my ears have 0.1 cent accuracy (not) the readout wasn't reacting precisely to help to achieve that tuning accuracy, which is the whole point.

I will say I was also disappointed because I received an open box item when this was supposed to be new. Maybe I got a broken one?

Other issues was that it seems very cheaply made. The clamp is very weak. The arm that hold the tuner head felt like it was going to break when adjusting this. Disappointing for the price paid which is nearly three times what other clip ons cost.
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on April 29, 2016
I rated this 4 starts due to the plastic nature of the tuner, however, it if it was slightly sturdier it would be a 5. Some of the other reviewers made negative comments. I think there is a certain use for this tuner. It is best for a studio, luthier workshop to set up a guitar, or at home. The next thing is you need to gently strum with your fingertips, not with a pick. I found out all my guitars were still in tune., Lastly, I'm not sure if this will work well if you have a lower quality build guitar - I think if you have a laminate guitar set up poorly or made in China, lower quality tuners, dead strings you won't be happy. I tested this on all solid wood Martin, Taylor, Collings, and Santa Cruz guitars. I tried it on one of my guitars with dead strings - not so accurate. I hope this review helps.
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on June 4, 2015
The StroboClip is a great tuner. It's extremely accurate, and the sweetened tuning is perfect for my Strat.

I know some users have complained that it's hard to use, and I'll be the first to admit it's different and takes some getting used to. Even small movements of my 18:1, locking tuners produces very noticeable changes in the StroboClip display. The first time I used it, I thought it was broken. The strobe display was all over the place and switching directions. But by making small adjustments to the tuning machines, I learned to control things and to appreciate the units sensitivity.

So now I use another tuner, a Snark SN-8, (a respectfully accurate tuner for the price), for string changes and the like. The Snark allows me to get a base-line tuning while the strings stretch into final set. (Doing this with the StroboClip would drive me crazy.) I then switch to the Peterson for the final tuning.

The StroboClip is also very useful for intonation adjustments. Intonation that other tuners show as spot on, the Peterson shows as actually slightly off. Using the StroboClip you can get as closes to a perfect intonation as you can get with a clip on unit.

My only negative comment is in regard to the price. At almost $80, its far from inexpensive, but by no means unreasonable considering what you get. This is why I have several other tuners, but only one Peterson. But even so, if this ones breaks, I'll buy another StroboClipto to replace it. Accuracy like this is hard to beat, and well worth the price.
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on February 14, 2016
This tuner worked great until it stopped working. It will not power on anymore. New batteries did not help the issue. I took great care of it and only used it a few dozen times.For a tuner of this price I expect much more.
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on February 4, 2012
I am an electric bass player and for decades I have used the Boss TU-12 tuner. The input jack has been problematic over the years, but I would repair it myself. I joined a new band awhile ago and the guitar player got a Snark. So for $20 bucks I picked one up. At first it was cool being able to tune up with out having to plug in my axe. Then I noticed that the Snark was slow...not just with tuning, but also turning on and being ready for use. You also have to get a good viewing angle to see the screen...even in low light.

So I found out about the Peterson Stomp Classic pedal and then I found out about the SC-1. I went to the 2012 NAMM and picked up both. Although the SC-1 is larger than the Snark, the SC-1 tunes almost instantly. The display is easy to read. I have not had to use the tuner sweetners yet.

This is a real cool clip on tuner and I think it is the best one out.
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