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Q: What is the absolute best electronic tuner for musical instruments and why? ( Answered,   2 Comments )
Subject: What is the absolute best electronic tuner for musical instruments and why?
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Music
Asked by: viciousocircle-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 17 Mar 2005 18:09 PST
Expires: 16 Apr 2005 19:09 PDT
Question ID: 496519
I'm a musician looking to build instruments as a hobby. I am looking
for an extremely accurate tuner (the best) for my work in building and
tuning my instruments, I need to know if there is a company out there
builds such a tuner and what makes it better than others and also what it costs.
Please give as much info as possible, thanks, J.

Request for Question Clarification by jbf777-ga on 17 Mar 2005 18:25 PST
What kind of instruments?


Clarification of Question by viciousocircle-ga on 17 Mar 2005 18:34 PST
The instruments will be mainly stringed instruments of an experimental
nature plus some percussion type stuff, I need a tuner that is able to
cover all the bases with the utmost accuracy, I really want a hardware
tuner, but if thats not available, a software tuner (but only if its
very good) would suit as well.
If its software, I also need to know what accessories (microphones
etc.) I would need.
Thanks again, J.

Clarification of Question by viciousocircle-ga on 17 Mar 2005 19:56 PST
When you build acoustic instruments, you need to tune the components
even before the instrument is assembled.
I'm familiar with AP tuner, its freeware software and basically a
simple guitar tuner, but is not really what I am looking for. J.
Subject: Re: What is the absolute best electronic tuner for musical instruments and why?
Answered By: jbf777-ga on 17 Mar 2005 20:06 PST
Hello -

I spoke with Neil Skinn from a company called Transperformance
(, which integrates sophisticated tuners into
guitars.  He has sold his product to the best of the best in the music
and other industries (From Paul Allen at Microsoft to Eddie Van
Halen), and is well-versed in tuning technologies.

He said, by far, the best tuners are the ones from a company called
Peterson --  It's the one "everyone has used" for the past 30 years. 
You can verify this by looking at Peterson's "Who's in Tune" section
of their website:

Besides every major guitar manufacturer using their products, they
also list companies and individuals such as Remo and Sabian (drums),
Prince, Seal, Aerosmith and dozens of other industry mover and shaker
individuals and companies.

A quick glance at their product specs, and there's no question why:
their tuners' accuracy is unsurpassed, at +/- 1/10 of one cent, or
0.006%(!).  Their highest priced product is around $3000:


Nothing else appears to be that expensive in the tuning industry.

They have a tuner for different budgets.  Check out for complete information -- their VS2 tuner,
which boasts the same level of .1 cent accuracy, can be had for under


To give you an idea, the BB-Tuner, advertised by Blackball, Inc., is
purported to be the "most accuracy in the industry" at +/-1 cent.  The
Peterson has this beat significantly at +/-.1 cent.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

Thank you,


Search strategy:
  phone call + peterson website

Clarification of Answer by jbf777-ga on 17 Mar 2005 20:08 PST
typo: "most accurate in the industry"

Request for Answer Clarification by viciousocircle-ga on 17 Mar 2005 22:28 PST
Thank you jbf777-ga  
I have crawled their site, and it looks like they are the people I am
looking for, but I don't see any prices, any idea what these puppies
Thanks again, J.

Clarification of Answer by jbf777-ga on 18 Mar 2005 08:51 PST
Hello -

Those two links I supplied actually go to Froogle, which is Google's price engine:

"Their highest priced product is around $3000" 

"Their VS-II tuner, which boasts the same level of .1 cent accuracy,
can be had for under $220"

You can use and to find the best prices. 
Simply type in the name of the model you're looking for, and it should
display online retailers who sell them at the best prices (you can
sort by price, low to high or high to low).

Let me know if you need any clarification.

Subject: Re: What is the absolute best electronic tuner for musical instruments and why?
From: jamesonq-ga on 17 Mar 2005 19:27 PST
Hi, personally I don't think tuning stringed instruments perfectly is
very important to do as a builder. Musicians already know how to tune
their instruments, and have to do so regularly. However, from my
experience as a musician in a band, I can say that the 'Audio Phonics
Guitar Tuner' software for windows is one of the most precise i've
seen. You just need a microphone plugged in to the mic input on the
computer, and run the software.

You can download it here.
Subject: Re: What is the absolute best electronic tuner for musical instruments and why?
From: novadrum-ga on 18 Mar 2005 20:35 PST
I've had a lot of luck tuning timpani with the Korg OT12 tuner.  It
sells for around $100.


Engineered for precise pitch accuracy, versatile functionality, and
with careful attention paid even to the movement of the needle, the
OT-12 Orchestral Tuner allows ideal tuning under any conditions, with
an incredibly broad tuning spectrum that covers the pitch ranges of
all instruments.

The OT-12 is the newest model in Korg's lineup of tuners whose
precision and functionality has made them the choice of musicians
around the world. The OT-12 features a dual display with both a
VU-style meter for accurate pitch indication and an LCD screen for
excellent visibility. Even with its advanced functionality, operation
is simple, with intuitively understandable switches and dial. It
provides a wide range of pitches and a variety of tuning methods,
including a Sound Back mode that lets you check the pitch both by eye
and ear. Housed in a compact package, the OT-12 orchestral tuner
provides all the functionality you need for everything from
transposing instruments to historical temperaments.

Featuring a dual display with a VU-style meter for accurate pitch
indication plus an LCD screen

The dual display of the OT-12 provides a VU-style meter to guarantee
high-precision tuning as well as an LCD screen that shows not just the
correct pitch, but also the sound output level, calibration, key or
temperament, and much more at a glance. Its broad range (A0-C8)
provides instant coverage for all notes and ranges of wind, string,
and keyboard instruments. The response of the needle to an input sound
can be adjusted over three levels, from quick response for rapid
tuning to slow response for careful tuning. Calibration can be
adjusted over an exceptionally wide range to support any concert

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