Best Tuner Pedal For Guitar: 2020 Reviews
So you’re in the market for a new guitar tuner? Are you hoping to purchase the best guitar tuner you can find? Well, read on. We have the complete guide to the best guitar tuner pedals of 2020, with a buying guide included. From compact tuners to tuners that even work with acoustic guitars, we have everything you will need to know about tuners.
Here you will find our top nine choices of the best guitar tuners of 2020.
Top Picks: 9 Best Guitar Tuner Pedals
The Boss TU Series has gained a dominant position in the market of guitar tuning pedals. Not only is Boss a reliable brand, but the TU series are compact, affordable, and professional.
The Boss TU3 Chromatic Tuner Pedal has a 21-segment LED meter allowing you to see the controls easily on a dark, dim stage. Coupled with the High-Brightness Mode for outdoor visibility, you will be able to perfectly see everything going on with this pedal, no matter the environment you are playing in.
Guitar tuner reviews have noted the fantastic ‘Accu-Pitch’ sign function, giving you verification when your tuning is pitch-perfect.
One of the biggest benefits of purchasing the TU-3 pedal is its indestructibility. If you usually damage pedals easily while on the road, the Boss TU could be a great choice for you. The two different outputs available with the TU-3 includes a bypass output, which means you can tune up your guitar in complete silence!
BEST SUITED FOR: This almost indestructible pedal is perfect for gigging musicians on the road who don’t want to take up too much space with equipment, and who also need a reliable pedal that can take a bit of wear and tear! The Boss TU has been reviewed as highly durable so are perfect for taking on tour.
2. TC Electronic PolyTune 3 Polyphonic LED Guitar Tuner Pedal – Most Versatile
- Dimensions: 12.1 x 4.5 x 7.3 cm
- 1 9V battery required
- Battery Type: Alkaline
- Body material: Metal
- Color: White
- Polyphonic and Chromatic
- High Level Accuracy
The TC Electronic PolyTune 3 guitar pedal has become iconic within the guitar pedal tuner market, and you’ll soon see why after this review.
One of the biggest selling points of this nifty pedal is the fact that it provides polyphonic tuning, meaning you can essentially strum all strings at once and the pedal will automatically identify which strings are out of tune and by how much. For a busy musician, this can be a lifesaver in terms of time taken on stage tuning up!
If you prefer the conventional way of tuning each string one at a time, this pedal has that for you too. This particular pedal offers a 0.5 cent accuracy on each tuning, meaning you will never have to worry about your machine letting you down in desperate times of having an untuned instrument.
This is a pedal you can trust to give you the most accurate tuning information out there.
BEST SUITED FOR: This incredibly versatile and easy to use pedal would be a fantastic choice for anyone – beginners, intermediate players, and even the most seasoned professional musicians. The fact that the TC Electronic Polytune is not only easy to handle but gives you a variety of options and features to choose from, means that most players would be satisfied with it.
This compact and small pedal is a great choice for anyone on the road and looking for equipment that won’t take up too much space. This tiny pedal will fit on any pedal-board, and you will barely even feel it in your equipment bag as it’s so light.
The KLIQ is perfect for using while playing a gig due to its compact size, but also it’s reliability (1).
It’s bright, I mean really bright. This is exactly the sort of thing I would want to take on stage to keep in tune.
The brightness and reliability of this tiny pedal makes it a great companion for playing on stage and touring!
The KLIQ TinyTune pedal is a fast and accurate machine, allowing you to tune your guitar or bass guitar with speed and A1 precision. Despite its size, all the features on the KLIQ TinyTune are still easily displayed and easy to read on the screen. It includes a main bypass footswitch with two other additional modes.
If you’re searching for a tuner pedal that will allow you to tune in complete silence, then the KLIQ could be a great choice for you.
This makes it a great gadget to have when you need to sneakily tune on stage in the middle of a set. This is also a great pedal for beginners due to the accessibility and ease of use of all the features.
BEST SUITED FOR: Those that are looking for a guitar tuner that will take up very little space on the pedalboard. The KLIQ TinyTune pedal is so small and compact that it is perfect for someone on the market for a pedal that can neatly fit into a small home studio space, or that can be carried around easily too!
The Donner Dt-1 Chromatic Guitar tuners are a great choice for beginner players or anyone who does not have much experience with tuning pedals. The basic, but highly effective features will be perfect for anyone to use, no matter their previous knowledge on tuning pedals.
This chromatic pedal will give you a great platform for a wide range of accurate tuning, with adjustments that are very easy to make. Although the tuning with this pedal won’t be of the same level of quality as the more expensive and complicated pedals, what you get with the Donner Dt-1 is still of decent quality for most users.
The LCD display on the Donner tuners displays everything clearly and is even accessible in very dim and low lighting conditions. The LCD display is also one of the easiest to read on the market, making it perfect for beginner players.
BEST SUITED FOR: Beginner players or players who do not have much experience with guitar tuning pedals. The Donner DT-1 Chromatic guitar pedals are great for beginners as they are very easy to get to grips with while also giving you a wide variety of options and features. You will not be left confused by this pedal!
The Korg GA1 chromatic tuner is one of the best choices for tuners for guitar on the market right now if you are on a tight budget. It has everything you would expect from an entry-level tuner, and all for under $11!
The mic that is included in the Korg is highly sensitive, meaning that you can accurately tune your acoustic guitar without any problems. In fact, one of the reasons why the Korg tuners are so well known worldwide is their ability to accurately tune at great speeds for a budget price.
This particular Korg GA1 tuner is also a great choice for anyone searching for a lightweight and compact tuner for their pedalboard. With a weight of 132g, you will barely even notice that you are carrying the Korg tuner around! Described online as ‘pocket-sized’ the Korg GA1 tuner really is one of the smallest and lightest tuners out there for the guitar.
BEST SUITED FOR: Anyone who is on the market for a super-compact tuner – this is probably the best and smallest one you can get! The Korg GA1 chromatic tuners are one of the best choices for anyone looking for compact tuner pedals. The Korg can easily fit in your backpack and can be carried around without you even knowing it’s in your bag!
- Dimensions: 10.2 x 5.1 x 5.1 cm
- 1 9V battery required
- Battery Type: Alkaline
- Body material: Die-Cast Metal
- Color: Black/Grey
- Medium Level Accuracy
The Stagg BX is a great choice for anyone out there who needs a reliable tuner of top quality at a reasonable price. Although slightly more expensive than most of the tuners on this list, the price will still be within most people’s comfortable price range.
Guitar tuner reviews have raved about the Stagg BX in terms of its die-cast metal housing which ensures that it is durable enough to be transported from venue to venue without being damaged or worn too much. Even the footswitch that is included is incredibly durable. This tuner was built to last!
This particular Stagg tuning model is small and compact, not taking up too much space on any pedalboard. If you are on the market for a smaller tuner then this could be the perfect choice for you as the Stagg BX is one of the best guitar tuners in terms of this.
If you are on the market for the best guitar tuners that will also tune your acoustic guitar, then the Stagg BX guitar tuners would satisfy this.
BEST SUITED FOR: Anyone who is looking for a high-quality pedal without breaking the bank! The Stagg BX is a great balance between price and quality. If you are on the market for a pedal that can give you all the features that most others can give, but you are worried about the budget, then check out the Stagg BX pedal.
The D’Addario Chromatic Pedal Tuner may seem expensive at just under $90, and while it is one of the most expensive to choose from on the list here, paying the small amount of extra cash for this pedal is completely worth it!
The D’Addario is heavy enough to be durable and stay in position while on your pedalboard, but also light enough to make it perfect for transporting around. The D’Addario includes a 32-bit processor for incredibly fast response while tuning, making it perfect for the performing musician on stage who needs to tune as quickly as possible or tune a number of instruments, including acoustic guitars.
One of the unique features of the D’Addario tuner is the full-color vertical display. The LED display provides a visual representation while you are tuning which is one of the most beautiful and satisfying of all the tuners provided on the list here.
BEST SUITED FOR: Those who are looking for the best guitar tuners in terms of a high-quality visual display while tuning. For many, the visual display on the tuner is a very important aspect, particularly if you know you will be gigging a lot in dark spaces. The D’Addario Chromatic Tuner will give you the best display around with a full-color vertical display.
The KLIQ Metropitch Tuner will delight anyone out there who is searching for a tuner and a metronome all in one! The KLIQ tuner combines a metronome, tuner, and a tone generator in a small, compact device to make everything even easier for the traveling musician.
The KLIQ Metropitch is incredibly versatile, so it is perfect for a number of players, even those who have never used a tuner before. The metronome is a nice addition which makes the KLIQ Metropitch so unique. The metronome includes 30-250 beats per minute with additions of various other beats and rhythms to assist you in your guitar learning process.
The LED, digital screen that is included with the KLIQ Metropitch is not only easy to use but easy on the eyes also.
BEST SUITED FOR: Those searching for versatility – the KLIQ Metropitch is a tuner, metronome and tone generator all in one small machine. If you are planning to leave for tour and you want to minimize the equipment that you will be carrying along with you, then check out the KLIQ Metropitch machine. It will give you everything you need in one small machine!
The Monoprice guitar tuners are a great choice for anyone on a smaller budget but who is still looking for high quality. Although the Monoprice guitar tuner is definitely not as stable as some of the other tuners on this list, it is of decent build and will last the average user or player for a long period of time.
With one simple footswitch, it is very easy to use and perfect for the beginner user or someone who is on the road and wants a simple and quick to use tuner in between sets.
One of the unique features about the Monoprice guitar tuner is the inclusion of two separate outputs; bypass and ‘normal.’ By choosing the normal output, you can tune in silence and by choosing the bypass your signal is transmitted with little to no disruption.
The Monoprice will allow you to tune your electric guitar, acoustic guitar, and bass guitar, all from one place!
BEST SUITED FOR: Those on the market for a tuner with two outputs. For many musicians that are on the road constantly, having a tuning pedal with two outputs is essential in ensuring everything is running smoothly on stage. If this sounds like you, then check out the Monoprice guitar tuner at an affordable price.
Buying Guide: How to choose the best guitar pedal tuner
Buying new equipment for your guitar can always be a daunting and grueling process. That’s why we’re here to help. Below you will find our top tips and considerations that we think you should make when choosing the best guitar tuners.
Chromatic or Polyphonic
This will be a vital thing that you will need to consider before you start searching for your perfect guitar tuner. A polyphonic tuner is a pedal tuner that allows you to tune all the six strings of the guitar at once. So you can essentially strum all strings at once, and the device will automatically tell you which strings are out of tune and by how much.
Polyphonic tuning pedals are quite a new invention, and they typically will cost a lot more than your standard Chromatic tuners. If budget is an issue for you, you may want to consider whether a Polyphonic tuner would be a good choice or not. According to Dawson Music (2):
If you are only ever going to tune to standard guitar tuning, then a non-chromatic tuner will be fine (and can be a little bit cheaper). A chromatic tuner is far more flexible, however.
Chromatic tuning is what has been around for years. You will have to tune each individual string at once for the device to pick up whether it is out of tune or not. So if you know that you will be swapping between tunings quite frequently on stage, a chromatic tuner may be the best option for you.
For many, the battery life may seem like a minor point when purchasing a new guitar tuner, but it is actually very important. The life of the battery will save you during times when you are on stage and you have forgotten to charge it, or when you are on the road for long periods of time.
Having a high-quality battery with a great lifespan will be vital in ensuring you can enjoy your tuner to the maximum. Ensure that you take the time to read the reviews on your chosen tuner relating to the battery life. Perhaps purchasing a machine with a longer battery life may be a little bit more expensive upfront, but it will save you in the long run. Trust us!
Obviously another important feature of your guitar tuner will be how accurate it is in telling you whether your string is out of tune and by how much. The last thing you need is to purchase a new guitar tuner only to find out it can’t detect whether you are sharp or flat!
Obviously the higher the quality of the tuner, the more accurate it will be. Due to this, it is vital that you do your research on each machine that you are interested in buying to ensure that the accuracy level will be at the highest possible quality, while also being realistic about your budget.
As with any purchase you make in life, the price will be a huge factor in determining whether it is the right product for you or not. When searching for guitar tuners, you may be alarmed at how expensive some of them are.
The general rule is the higher the price tag, generally the higher the quality. However, if budget is a concern for you, there are many fantastic guitar tuners out there for very affordable prices.
Ensure that you do your research and follow our tips so you can make the right decision. We are sure that you will be able to find the best machine for you that is within your budget!
Although clip on tuners are very popular, clip on tuners are best used for an acoustic guitar when you are tuning in a quiet environment. Pedal tuners are more geared towards other instruments and electric or electro-acoustic guitars. Pedal tuners are not only more durable and will last longer than clip on tuners, but they are considered much more accurate also.
Many may be confused as to where to actually place the guitar tuner pedal in relation to the rest of your equipment. You should aim to place your tuner in the effect signal chain to ensure that your sound is as clean as possible. This is vital for getting the most accurate pitch for tuning. If you place your tuner with other effects such as distortion or EQ, this could affect the accuracy of the pitch (3).
- SpectreSoundStudios, retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxKOEv4eHd4&t=60s
- Joe Dempsey, A Guide to the different types of guitar tuners, retrieved from https://www.dawsons.co.uk/blog/different-guitar-tuners
- Adam, Where to place a tuner in a pedal chain (quick guide), retrieved from https://tonetopics.com/where-to-place-a-tuner-in-a-pedal-chain-quick-guide/