My trusty old Snark died. I mean, the tuner still works but it broke off the clip, so it’s like the saucer disc of the Starship U.S.S. Enterprise - only intended for crash landing. So I need a new one. Nothing expensive preferred, I think the Snark was $25 a number of years ago. It was pretty simple, had a button with menu for metronome and up/down tuning pitch. I need that you know, so I can do the 432Hz thing.
Clip-on style tuner is the idea, for guitar and bass. Good features, good quality, low price, would be ideal.
Any recommendations and other suggestions are welcome and appreciated. And I guess I should add: “Happy New Gear!”
I was looking for a digital, clip-on tuner last year…, (I mean in 2020). My brother ended up buying a Snark for me because I was procrastinating and taking so long to make a choice between all the different tuners on the market. There’s quite a few different models of the Snark. The one I have let’s me tune to standard pitch or chromatically (flat or sharp). I think it cost somewhere around $25 Canadian. I like it quite a bit. It does the job well. I’ve had it since July 2020 and it’s still running smoothly, without having to change the battery as of yet.
There were some pretty futuristic, funky clip-on tuners that I was checking out before my brother picked up this one for me. I can’t remember the models or makes but there was a plethora of choices. I’m happy with the simplicity, quality and relatively low price of the Snark. There’s probably something better out there but I usually just buy what’s “tried and true”. I’m always cautious about buying a fancy and expensive piece of gear that might be “too good to be true”. If you had a good experience with your Snark tuner and it lasted you for a reasonable amount of time, you might want to consider going with another one. I mean, the worst thing that could happen is that have another Star Trek gizmo hanging around your guitars. This could be the start of a new collection!
FWIW… I’ve been using a JOYO JT-01 clip on tuner since 2019. It was really cheap but seems to work quite well. The only thing it lacks is the ability to adjust the pitch you are tuning to… so probably not good for your need. If you tune to 440Hz then it’s a good deal. They look like they are about $10 now. When I bought mine I got a 6-pack for about $20. These are sometimes marketed under a different brand name… but the photos show the JOYO tuner.
If you move the tuner around to different positions on the headstock, does the ability to detect the low E improve at all? Since it’s going off the vibrations it picks up, moving the position can sometimes help.
Thanks! It’s nice to have a testimonial for that brand, and I didn’t really think of getting another Snark so this makes be reconsider it. I did like the Snark, mine was probably about 10 years old or more. I didn’t think the battery life was that great though, but then again I sometimes recycle used batteries (CR2032) if they have good voltage on the battery tester meter. So that might explain it. But when the battery started to go, the display would be so dim I could only see it in total darkness, so I’d rather have something where the display is a bit more visible even when the battery starts to go.
Do you know which model of Snark you have? I may look at those again since I did like it overall.
That’s a reputable brand, so another one for me to check out. Thanks!
Thanks for the recommendation! Those are really inexpensive, so though I don’t see a multi-pack available, the price is so low I could get several of those to leave on some guitars and not have to move the tuner around. Then get another tuner with the pitch adjustment feature for when I do need that.
I do like how on that one the screen color changes when the tone is accurate (blue screen for flat/sharp, green screen for on pitch). I’m guessing JOYO is from Japan? They have amps and pedals at very low prices too. I had never heard of them.
UPDATE: I did a little research. @skua The TOYO looks like a great choice for simple tuning and low price. There’s also a “BROTOU” tuner that’s actually a TOYO which is bigger but still low price. I may get at least one of these to try out just because of the low price and the recommendation.
If this is the one you have Paul (see links), I do find it interesting. A 4.5 rating isn’t bad at all. It seems very nice and good features - including adjustable tuning. My only concern is how small the display is and how well you can see nuances in the tuning. My eyes need all the help they can get, so I like big bright displays, but yet I don’t like the bulk of some of the large tuners. https://www.daddario.com/products/accessories/tuners/micro-headstock-tuner/
@Wicked I like some of the Snark models, there’s an ST-8, ST-8HZ, SN-8, Silver 2.0, SIL-1, etc. My broke tuner is the Blue SN-1. The Snark’s have a rotating grip pad on one side of the clamp, which I like. But mine broke at the tuning head ball-joint rotation point (there’s also one at the clamp), which looks like an inherent weakness of the design, so that gives me pause on getting another one. Also, I saw a comment that Snark’s have a ‘sticky’ rubber/plastic feel which the commenter didn’t like, and I have noticed that on mine too. Especially as it got older, it’s just a bit sticky all over which is an annoying feel to touch.
I’d guess that all of these are made in China, as just about everything else is. While it’s a relatively low cost item, I did use mine a lot for tuning, so it makes sense to research and get something I like to use.
Thanks for the pic! I know there’s a button where you can rotate the display 4 directions, so no qualms there. The pics/video I saw doesn’t have a green display, so I wonder if it shows up weird on your camera. What I saw elsewhere was a black/dark screen, the string/tone letter is white/gray, and the tuning ‘bars’ are blue/green/red. The bars are pretty small, but might be visible enough for me if it’s bright enough. This is the only micro tuner I have seen, and rotates stoutly on its base from what I can tell. A better design than the Snark’s in that aspect IMO.
Thanks! It’s $18.68 on Amazon. It does have the tuning frequency adjustment, as I assume most Snark’s do. It’s pretty similar to my old one. It has that dual pivot-socket joint, which is where mine broke, but then again I had it for 10+ years. I do like the swivel clamp pad on the one side. Do you notice any stickiness on the rubber/plastic? I think mine always felt that way, but maybe they changed or fixed that on the newer ones.
I haven’t noticed any stickiness, but I’ll go double check that right now. BRB….
Ok, I just checked it out thoroughly and I can’t detect any stickiness. I wonder if the rubber parts get sticky after a few years or when the Snark is left in very warm conditions for long periods of time. I’ve only had my Snark for 18 months, so maybe one day the rubber clamp will get sticky…, or maybe not.
My brother has owned a Snark (not sure which model) for a few years , and like me, he’s not had any issues with his. When he first gifted me my Snark, he told that there were times that he forgot to turn his Snark off and as a result his battery died. He said that was the only problem he experienced with his. Of course that was due to User error and not a fault of the device. He warned me that I would very likely forget to turn the Snark off eventually and have to replace the battery. So far, I haven’t forgotten to turn it off after using it, so I haven’t had to replace the battery.
Yes the green is only because it is in tune when there is green is right next to the letter. Otherwise it is yellow. I think. I have no idea if it is good. None of my stuff has bragging potential. I leave it on all the time and it doesn’t look like a zit standing high above the guitar. whatever ha ha
woops I just looked at my pic and yes it is wrong. when it is sharp of flat, it is yellow and all is green when it is spot on…never really noticed before
I think mine was always that way. I remember the sensation going way back. It may be worse now with age, though not that different IIRC. Of course, they may have changed the formulation since then and newer ones may not have the stickiness.
Mine will turn itself off after 5-10 minutes. I believe it says that in the manual. Most or all these tuners will auto-shutoff to save battery. I’m sure I have gone to turn mine off after some minutes and turned it back on because it auto-shutoff. But as I said before, the battery life just doesn’t seem great to me. I’m sure I have used brand new batteries sometimes and they still didn’t last a long time. Some of the new tuners say the battery life is extended, so there must have been a problem and they addressed it to a degree.
Thanks for checking. It didn’t show much of actual tuning on the video I watched, so that helps. Some tuners do that, changing screen colors. I kind of like that feature, I think, but haven’t experienced it before so we’ll see (if I happen to try that one).
Hey I’m cruising around in here and found your post so here’s my updated useless opinion.
Don’t get a clip on.
They work great, but the clips are prone to breaking. To me, after breaking two and losing one, my choice is and will be a pedal (unless of course it is for an acoustic).
Playing live, the pedal is very likely to have a better display, allow for a power supply, and most importantly, when you step on it, your adoring masses don’t get your rendition of “The Tuning Song” for 2 minutes of every set.
I think I spent $40 on mine after spending about $20 each on the others.
Thanks Bob. I did finally order one, but haven’t got it yet. The D’Addario Eclipse I think it’s called. I did like the D’Addario Micro that Paul recommended, but it uses a different battery than the rest. Most I have seen use CR2032, and I have numerous new and used of those laying around, so I didn’t want to waste them. And I decided that the small size was not as important to me as my aging eyes being actually able to see the display (the Eclipse is a full size model).
My Snark did break, but not the clip itself, the ball/joint plastic interface at the tuner end broke, and of course there’s a ball/joint end at the clip as well. But the clip itself was fine. The D’Addario Eclipse I ordered does not have that design, it rotates on a more solid platform right at the clip. I like the Snark’s, but that extension arm and the surrounding plastic is just a design weakness IMO.
Thanks, I’ll consider that. I like the convenience of the clip-on tuner though, so I at least wanted to have one handy.
Yes, the ball joints are the weak links. The actual clips are good for potato chip bags when the tuner falls out.
Seriously, I’ve only played out twice in the last five years, and a clip on will do a fine job. I just like the ability to mute a relatively high gain signal if I need to tune or change guitars. It’s not rocket surgery.