Hello there and welcome back to yet another cool gear review for you! This time, we will look at, in my opinion, the most accurate clip-on tuners ever, Peterson StroboClip HD.
If you play any instrument, it’s almost 100% guaranteed that you have been using a tuner since you started. There is nothing worse than playing an instrument that is completely out of tune. It does not only hurt listeners’ ears but also completely misguides and mistrain your ears while you practice your instrument.
Almost all instrument players need to tune up. For sure, there are exceptional situations in which an instrument player (such as an acoustic piano player) may not able to tune their instruments themselves. But in most cases, you definitely need a tuner!
With the advancements in software, now we have tremendous amounts of accurate, affordable tuners that come in software (as a plugin or a standalone software) or hardware formats.
Software plugin tuners work really well, however, you always need to connect your instrument to your external audio interface (if you have one) or use the built-in microphone on your computer to tune up. Even though this is an affordable way to tune up your instruments, it’s not always the most accurate way.
On top of that, it’s not easy to transport this tuning system with you everywhere you go. For these reasons, musicians need to purchase tuners that come in portable and hardware tuners that they can carry around.
If you play an electric instrument, such as electric guitar, bass or acoustic guitar with an onboard preamp, you can actually consider buying tuners that come in guitar pedal formats. This may be handy for most players as they can easily add these pedal tuners to their pedalboards.
However, there are also instruments that don’t feature an output jack, so you simply need to attach a clip-on microphone, get a tuner that has a built-in microphone or simply get a clip-on tuner.
Personally, I have been using software guitar tuners for a long time. There are freeware and paid options such as GTune (freeware), Aurora DSP Tuna (Freeware) or TC Electronic Polytune (Paid), or Peterson StroboSoft (Paid).
But I don’t find these products as practical as pedal tuners or clip-on tuners. Back in the day, I was also using a Boss TU-2 (now replaced by the TU-3 series) and I actually really liked the practicality of these as my guitar would always go through this tuner and I can immediately start tuning up my guitar without even worrying about turning the unit on.
On the other hand, my experience with clip-on tuners was not so nice. So far, I always went for more affordable, entry-level clip-on tuners and I always found it difficult to tune. The reason for that was simply these clip-on tuners were not so responsive and I would spend a lot of time waiting for the tuner to understand which string I was about to tune up.
Having said that, after having researched this topic for some time, I discovered that there are also many competitive clip-on tuners by industry-leading brands such as TC Electronic, and D’addario and the subject of this article, Peterson!
Having used and sold (when I was in the musical instrument business) TC Electronic and D’addario as well as entry-level Thomann clip-on tuners, I could easily go for the TC Electronic Polytune as I liked it the best out of the other options, I decided to wait for a bit longer and just also went through user-reviews of Peterson StroboClip HD clip-on tuner.
I was actually already aware of the Peterson brand as I saw their strobe tuners in some of the instructional guitar videos, such as Paul Gilbert’s Terrifying Guitar Trip video. Back in the day, I would never be able to see someone around me using a Peterson tuner but it kinda stuck with me that the Peterson was the ultimate tuner brand.
For those who have never heard of Peterson Tuners company, let’s have a quick introduction. Peterson Tuners was founded in 1948 by Robert Peterson and they have been the ultimate company that produces the highest-quality, most accurate and industry-standard tuners used by professional musicians and studios all around the world.
The company actually offers a huge array of strobe tuners whether it’s clip-on, rack-mounted or pedal format tuners as well as software versions of these tuners. Peterson Tuners company has a solid reputation in the industry and is trusted by thousands of music professionals.
Of course, this reputation costs the consumers! 🙂 Peterson Tuners is probably not the cheapest tuner out there, but it is definitely worth the price you pay for their products in terms of accuracy and reliability.
You may be also wondering about the Strobo Tuners. To be honest, before I got myself a Peterson StroboClip HD, I never used a strobe tuner before and I was kinda hesitant to get one. But in fact, it’s just a way more accurate approach for tuning instruments.
Strobo tuners are simply tuning devices or algorithms that use a strobe light to tune musical instruments. They work by using a high-speed strobe light to display the frequency of a given note.
Basically, the light is shown as a concentric circle series. While you are tuning your instrument, you will be watching the spin of that strobe light.
When a given note is perfectly in tune, the light will not spin and stay still. If the note is sharp or flat, the light will spin either direction, indicating that the note is not in tune.
So the faster this spin moves, the more out of tune or further away that note from the pitch centre. Strobo tuners are notorious for their accuracy as they allow users to precisely measure the frequency of a note.
When you first get a strobe tuner, you may find it difficult to adapt to this way better approach to tuning a note. But after a while, I guarantee that you will fall in love with it and never look back. So no more flashing lights, or indicators jumping left or right that give you a headache while tuning your instrument!
If you want to find out about Peterson StrobeClip HD, please check out their official video down below!
Before I provide you with my brief review and experience with Peterson StroboClip HD, I also would like to share a tech specs table below.
Peterson StroboClip HD Tech Specs
|Tuning Type||True strobe|
|Instruments||Works on every instrument|
|Unique Features||Compatible with Buzz Feiten Tuning|
|Display||HD display with backlight|
|Visible in direct sunlight|
|Calibration||From 390 Hz up to 490 Hz|
|Custom tunings||Over 50 sweetened tunings|
|Alternative tunings||Drop Tuning and Capo Settings|
|Battery||Includes battery, CR2032|
Peterson StroboClip HD Review
At the first glance, Peterson StroboClip HD looks like just another clip-on tuner. However, the experience and the options you get out of this tiny product stand out from the competition. I think there’s no better clip-on tuner that offers so many options and the smoothest experience.
It comes in a neat box with the included, single-page manual and a CR2032 battery which is really cool. You may also notice that it has a USB input which you can customise your sweetened tunings and also upgrade the firmware.
It doesn’t come with a USB cable, but this requires only a standard USB cable that you can find anywhere. I have one USB cable that fits in almost any electronic device, so I actually used it for firmware upgrades.
My first impression was that the experience was one of the smoothest. As I mentioned, I kinda got lost with the strobe tuning approach but immediately liked it.
Peterson StroboClip HD is extremely responsive and accurate down to 0.1 cents! As it is stated in the introduction video, you may find it difficult to adjust the strobes so precisely that they don’t move at all. This is exactly what I experience with this tuner, it’s not easy to tune up to this precision at first. But then I got used to it and now I can really adjust it quickly.
It immediately recognises the strings and the pitches. I must say I have never experienced such responsiveness out of any clip-on tuners.
One of the most impressive experiences was upgrading the firmware. I immediately checked their website and found out that you simply need to connect your Peterson tuner to your computer via USB and then go to the Peterson Connect page.
It immediately recognises your tuner via the browser. Yes, you heard that correctly! It upgrades the firmware via your browser in a matter of seconds! Really cool!
The one thing I need to mention in order to keep everything transparent for you is that I had to tighten the screw that holds the tuner in position. Out of the box, it came out a bit lose and it caused some ringing noise while tuning. But after quick tightening, it became very firm and now doesn’t cause any ringing noise.
In terms of pricing, as I mentioned, it’s not the cheapest clip-on tuner around. It’s definitely pricey! But you should understand that you are getting the Peterson strobe tuning algorithm in a very compact package and actually paying for the accuracy and the smoothest experience ever!
In my opinion, I can justify this high cost. But for sure, you need to make your own judgement. If you are planning to buy a pedal format tuner, I highly suggest you check out their stompbox tuners as well. I think they are also not the cheapest but it’s definitely worth it!
Overall, I highly recommend anyone to consider purchasing a Peterson StroboClip HD tuner. You will not regret it, I promise!
Thanks for visiting my blog and supporting me so far! I will hopefully see you in the next review here!