In guitar accessory news, Korg are debuting a new model of mini clip-on tuner called the GripTune at the 2016 NAMM show. They are also adding a limited run of their ever-popular Pitchblack tuner wuth a brushed nickel finish to their portfolio. Among guitarists, the company is well known for its tuners and have a long history of making good quality stage-worthy models in a range of sizes, from rack versions through to pedals.
The new GripTune looks very dinky indeed and for the list price might be something almost every guitar player will find useful. The Mini ‘clip-on’ tuner market is pretty saturated at the moment, with companies like Snark and TC Electronics making good-quality models. I am not sure if Korg will make huge waves in this competitive market with the GripTune, their high brand value in the tuner market notwithstanding.
My only concerns are: How robust is it? Will it be easy to operate on stage? From the photos it seems to be tiny, and I have big hands! It does light up, though, so it should be easy to see. If it is accurate, then this will a popular unit based just on the fact that it is so cheap. I have been using Snark clip-on tuners myself, and my only gripe with those is that they often break when they drop off my headstock and onto a stage floor. I have found out the hard way they don’t really like this and tend to fall apart. If this new Korg GripTune has a stronger grip, then I may be tempted to switch to using these in the future.
Up next is the Pitchblack pedal tuner in brushed nickel, which will be available for a limited time only. I have to say I already own the regular black version of this and I really like my one. It’s done all my gigs and rehearsals for the last four years and has never let me down. So personally I would be happy to recommend this model if you need a stage tuner. They won’t win any awards for super-accuracy; if you want that you should have a look at products like the Peterson strobe tuner. But mine has survived my size 12 boot stomping on it for four years, getting covered in beer and stage dirt with no issues at all. So if you like the new finish you may want to pick one up. For my taste, the RRP is a little steep though, so hopefully the street price will make it close to the magic “under fifty quid” mark.
At the end of the day, tuners aren’t exactly exciting. However listening to a guitarist play that is out of tune is never a good thing, so products like these should be something all players take to a gig with them.
Grip Tune Released in February RRP GBP £14.39
Pitch Black Limited Edition Brushed Nickel Released in February RRP GBP £70
For more information, check out the Korg website.