Peterson Tuners

Discussion of history's greatest guitar player.

Peterson Tuners

Postby DagerRande » Sat Jun 18, 2016 6:35 pm

Some of you may have the same problem I do where your tuner tells you that your guitar is in tune but your ear tells you that you're not quite there yet. I've noticed that even when I continue to tweak to the point where it sounds right to me, my tuner still remains at the point where it first indicated "perfection". I remember a few years back when Paul Yandell talked about Peterson strobe tuners and how impressed he was with them. Some of you own them and I've only heard good things about them. Yesterday I attended Sweetwater's Gearfest. I stumbled upon the Peterson booth and talked with the rep for some time. He explained to me about their strobe technology and how much more sensitive it was than most tuners. They had a wide variety with a wide range of prices, including the much more expensive rack mount units. This rep was kind enough to tell me about the smart phone app. It's called "istrobosoft" and is available for both iPhones and Androids. The price is $9.99. He said that the algorithm and technology are the same as for the physical units. I've downloaded it and time will tell how good it is. I just felt that those of you who didn't know about this app might appreciate it.
Rande Dager

We are all capable of doing more than we think we can!
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Re: Peterson Tuners

Postby Norm » Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:46 am

Tuning is tough since it is technically impossible for a fretted instrument to play perfectly in tune. Actually, any instrument tuned "perfectly" will sound off when played. Even the standard piano tuning is "tempered" to make the thing acceptable to most listeners.

Chet held on to his 59 because the fingerboard was more accurate than most. When you see photos of his workhorse Gibson CG the Bigsby harp section has four or five fine tuners designed for violin

My point? I guess it would be to keep your strings fresh because they change over time and add to the mis-tuning quirk. In my peak playing days I changed mine once a month. Makes harmonics easier to manage, too.

After that, I saw one of these YouTube demo guys say he was going to do a side by side of different brand tuners but decided against it since they all seemed to be equally accurate

So get access to one of those things and use it.

We all know that Chet loved his DelVecchio but anyone who has ever played one knows that in spite of being a pretty guitar with a unique tone they can be a problem when it comes to playing in tune. Chet had the fretboard replaced on his of course but still remarked that he seldom chorded on it because of its tuning quirk

Remember...the public just wants to be entertained. As long as you're not way out of tune they're happy, I think

Focus on playing the song as right as you can and you'll be OK
...that's how it looks to me...The opinion expressed above is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of this station. Your mileage may vary...

Audio samples: http://www.youtube.com/user/acountrygent/videos
That should do it.
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Re: Peterson Tuners

Postby DagerRande » Sun Jun 19, 2016 3:13 pm

Norm, my focus has always been on playing a song as well as I can. However, any distractions outside of the realm of my playing tend to detract from my potential. Every tuner I've ever owned will tell me that a string is in tune but my ear tells me that it needs a little more tweaking. So I'll do this and the green light stays green or the needle remains in the center all while I'm still adjusting. This tells me that it's a matter of sensitivity. The feedback with a lot of tuners feels similar to getting a "B" in a class. You didn't fail and you made it through respectably but you also didn't get an "A". This morning I used the iPhone app I mentioned. Once I got the moving patterns close to standing still, it finally sounded right to my ear! There are also other tuning options besides "A-440".

I don't want to confuse this with intonation and how differently the strings sound relative to eachother within certain keys. I know that tuning can be complex. I've known a number of older piano tuners who relied totally on their ear and listen to beats within the vibrations.

My bottom line report is that I will probably eventually acquire one of the Peterson physical tuners that I can plug my guitar into besides using the built in microphone.
Rande Dager

We are all capable of doing more than we think we can!
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Re: Peterson Tuners

Postby LMark » Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:51 pm

I hope it's okay to jump in here. I can't tune by ear to save my life. Just ask Palmer. Setting aside the question of accuracy, I speak here to sensitivity and precision. Some digital tuners with which I have experience do not seem to be very sensitive. I have in my hand, for instance, a KORG CA-30. I also acquired a cheapo clip-on tuner. The KORG simply lacks the kind of responsiveness that really lets you nail the pitch you want. The clip-on with three arrows [>>> <<<] (and some amps that I have had sporting this type of indicator) have the same issues. All of these are to me "sluggish" and "insensitive." I think with these it is a matter of precision, too. They aren't fast enough, and they don't really break the pitch down into the cents divisions shown on the meter (if). I think I am with Rande on all this.

On the other hand, I have an analogue KORG AT-1 with a sweep needle; it is extraordinarily sensitive. It also cost a pretty penny many years ago ($100). The tuner I use most often, however, is a digital made by Seiko, the SAT500 (I think I paid about $40 for it quite a while back; seems discontinued; $15 NOS on the bay; model 501 on AZ). Based on its performance, I generalize that Seiko makes (or made at the time) the best digital tuners. It has a digital sweep needle which is very responsive and seems to reflect with precision the cent divisions. It also reports the cents in digits on-screen. I love this little tuner. With the analogue tuner, the sweep bounces so that you can hit the "sweet spot," i.e., what professional tuners refer to as the "beats." On the SAT500, the digital cents readout is sensitive and fast enough to provide a similar capability. I tend to tune a cent or two sharp; this is where the beats seem to fall. ANY tuner produces better results than my own hand/ear "coordination." Just my two "cents" worth.

Rande, I look forward to hearing more about the Peterson tuners.

LMark
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Re: Peterson Tuners

Postby John Knowles » Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:44 pm

Rande,

I've had the same experience with tuners and my ears. I've got the Petersen app as well as a Petersen clip-on and stomp-box. Let's grab a moment at CAAS and you can try everything out. We'll let everyone on the board know what we learn.

John Knowles
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Re: Peterson Tuners

Postby DagerRande » Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:38 am

John, I appreciate your offer to check things out at CAAS. Yes, it has bothered me for some time that my other tuners will either have a green light or a centered needle when my ear tells me that things are still a little off. And then when I continue the "fine tweaking" the light remains green or the needle is still centered and nothing visually has changed! I can only assume that the sensitivity is at a very low level. Now with my Peterson app, things have FINALLY changed! When my strobe pattern stops for all 6 strings, things sound great! I would recommend this app to anybody! However, I realize that most people's hearing might not alert them that the other tuners have fallen short and this might be a "non-issue" that can't be proven to them. I may go ahead and purchase one of the physical tuners that I can plug into, but I'd like to see yours first.

thanks!
Rande Dager

We are all capable of doing more than we think we can!
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Re: Peterson Tuners

Postby DickThomas » Sun Jun 26, 2016 11:57 am

I bought one of the Peterson VS-1 strobotuners at CAAS years ago, and have been totally satisfied with it. It works great with both electric and acoustic guitars. The hitch is that it is bulky enough that I con't have it around for casual playing out, unless I'm carrying a bag for gear. I've found the clip on tuners to be imprecise and finicky about where they are placed, but they are portable and convenient. I have the smart phone app now, and the only problem is that I forget that I have it. It does a good job. Like other tuners that rely on sound, rather than direct vibration, you have to tune up solo so you don't get false readings from other instruments.
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