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David Lamkins picked up his first guitar a long time ago. As best he can recall the year was 1967: the year of the Summer of Love. Four decades later David has conjured up an amalgam of folk, rock and jazz solo guitar music for the occasional intimate Portland audience.
location: Portland, OR USA

Facets: comparison, review, tuning, @musings info

Electronic tuners

The TU-2 was my favorite before I found the VS-1. From my point of view, here's why the VS-1 is better:

When I tuned with the TU-2, I'd get the guitar in tune (according to the tuner) and then notice after a song of two (sometimes less) that the intonation wasn't quite right. I always blamed it on the guitar - warming up, strings slipping or binding, etc. and just treated it as fact of life... Of course, the TU-2 made it easy to touch up the tuning because of that nifty little footswitch, but it was never exactly right no matter how often I touched up the tuning.

Now here's the important bit. The tuning wasn't out according to the TU-2, but it was still out far enough (maybe a couple of cents) that I could hear the problem with certain chords at certain positions on the neck.

Then I got the VS-1. Now I can tune at the beginning of the set and the intonation holds through the entire set. No retuning, no tweaking... I don't even bother to have the VS-1 in my signal chain. I set it on top of the amp and just switch the plug from the amp to the tuner and back before the set starts. It's amazing. I haven't changed anything else - same guitars, same brand of strings, same wrap around the post, same setup, same playing style. The VS-1 is about 10x more accurate than the TU-2, and my instrument sounds great when the VS-1 says that it is in tune.

The lesson I learned: when my guitar is really in tune, there's no need to keep fixing the tuning. And the VS-1 is the only tuner I've tried that tunes accurately, every time.

April 03 2004 18:42:43 GMT