If you’re looking for a guitar tuner in a pedal format to add to your pedalboard, here are 5 options for you to consider, that range from affordable to not-so-affordable models.
Types of floor tuners
Floor tuners can be generally divided into two types: regular and strobe. Regular tuners are more common, and usually have a ‘needle’ or LEDs that zero in on a note. They can be chromatic, or instrument-specific. Strobe tuners are more accurate, and instead of a needle, have a rotating array of LEDs that slow down or speed up, depending on how close or far you are from a certain note. Players who enjoy doing their own setups are likely to appreciate the accuracy of a strobe tuner, but if you’re not too fussy, a regular tuner will also get the job done just fine.
With that out of the way, here are 5 floor tuners – in order of ascending price – that we think would make a worthy addition to any pedalboard:
Korg Pitchblack Advance
Korg has a wide range of tuners in different price brackets and in several formats. The Pitchblack Advance* floor tuner has both regular as well as strobe functions on offer. The tuner has an accuracy of +/- 0.1 cent and a reference pitch of 436 Hz to 445 Hz, and the display is large and easy to read.
However, if your pedalboard is already crammed, you could have a look at the Korg Pitchblack Mini*, which has most of the same functions of its larger sibling, but in a smaller form factor.
The Boss TU-3* is probably one of the more popular floor pedals out there. The tuner has an accuracy of +/- 1 cent and you can adjust the reference pitch between a range of 436 Hz to 445 Hz. It doesn’t have a strobe setting, but the Stream mode should help you track quicker and tune more accurately.
You could also opt for the Boss TU-3S*, which offers many of the same features in a smaller format.
tc electronic PolyTune 3
The tc electronic PolyTune 3* is the only tuner on this list that has a Polyphonic tuning function. This means you can simply strum all the open strings on your instrument together, and the tuner will let you know which strings are in tune and which aren’t. The PolyTune 3 can also switch between true bypass and tc electronic’s proprietary Bonafide buffer circuitry. When on the chromatic tuner setting, it has an accuracy of +/- 0.5 cent, but in its strobe tuner mode, the accuracy goes up to +/- 0.02 cent.
The PolyTune 3 Mini* is the smaller version of this floor tuner. Bear in mind though, that the Mini version doesn’t take batteries, so you would need a power-supply.
Peterson StroboStomp HD
Peterson strobe tuners are well-respected in the industry, and have been a staple on many a guitar-tech’s workbench. The StroboStomp HD* is a true strobe tuner with an accuracy of +/- 0.1 cent and a nice large HD colour display. The pedal has has a wide reference pitch range between 391 Hz and 490 Hz and is true bypass. A USB connection will give you maximum control over its several custom tuning options. You can also download firmware updates using the Peterson Connect app.
Sonic Research ST-300
The ST-300 Strobe Tuner from Sonic Research is another true strobe tuner in pedal format. It’s not one of the cheaper floor tuners, but it does have an accuracy of +/- 0.2 cent and particularly fast tracking. The reference pitch can be calibrated in increments of 0.1 HZ between 300 Hz to 599.9 Hz, and it can store up to six custom tunings. The circuit is true bypass, and you can also download firmware updates.
If you want to save space, the ST-300 Mini has all the same functions but in a much smaller format. You do, however, sacrifice the battery compartment, and will need a power source.
Did we miss out your favourite floor tuner? Let us know in the comments section below!