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How Much Should I Really Spend on a Good Guitar Tuner?

By: TomB

Korg Clip on Guitar Tuners

Parlour Pawn has been selling guitar tuners since the day we opened over 31 years ago. Over the years, technology has been pretty kind to guitar tuners. In the beginning, the first tuners were actually tuning forks. Although still available, they are certainly not the most reliable of instruments because if the tines of the tuning fork are bent, you will not get accurate tuning.

Next came the pitch pipe, which was also very problematic. If the pipe was dropped for example and if the reeds were ever knocked loose, then the pitch accuracy was severely compromised.

The Beginning of the Mass Market Tuners

“Strobe” tuners are arguably the most accurate and tend to be the most expensive. Needle tuners were the first “affordable” mass market electronic tuners ranging in prices from $50 – $150. As you tune your guitar, the tuner needle would waver until you found the pitch of the note. The note was selected by a button that would slide to the desired note. The needle was calibrated and easily thrown out of calibration when dropped.

Snark Guitar TunersToday’s Affordable Technology

LED tuners have now been on the market for years. Inexpensive and reliable, these are the current state of the art. Parlour Pawn has been selling the full line of Snark tuners since they arrived on the market and are highly recommended. We currently offer SN-1 ($15.95), SN-2 ($17.95), and SN-8 clip on ($16.95) tuners. These are our most popular tuners. The clip is on the headstock and is very accurate. Snark also has the SN-3 ($14.95) and the more traditional square “plug in tuner”. These tuners are also chromatic. Tuners come as chromatic (meaning sharps and flats) or diatonic (meaning just natural notes). Parlour Pawn also offers used tuners, with the most popular being the boss TU-2 and TU-3 tuners ($50-$60). The Korg ($15.95), Planet Waves ($18.95), and Korg pitch black floor tuner ($79.95) are also great tuners that can be found here.

As always, you never know what will pop up on our shelves, new or used. Until then, ‘stay tuned’ to our website.

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