Published on October 14th, 2011 | by Greg0
Never Tune Another Way Again: PolyTune
One of the weirder parts of music is that we’re still tuning instruments. Think about it: all of the new materials and massive changes in technology, and we still tune one string at a time, manually adjusting. We played the game Rocksmith a while ago, and we kept tuning on each track. In some ways, it’s become a ritual for many musicians, but audiences generally aren’t patient while you’re sitting there strumming and tweaking.
It can’t adjust things for you- yet- but it can make life easier, simpler, faster, and just all-around better. Not just for you, but for your audience, and then perhaps for all of mankind who could really use the extra time you’d otherwise waste. The PolyTune from TC Electronic is cute, small, and should now be considered an essential piece of gear. You can now tune with your ears shut (or plugged, or ringing from the last set), and we found it to be simple and much faster than any other method we’ve seen. Bassists aren’t out of luck either, the PolyTune will handle you odd fellows without missing a beat.
Basically, it’s a screen with a bunch of pretty LED lights. You strum- all of the strings at once- and get an instant reading on what’s wrong and how to adjust. Feedback as you correct is handy, and we compared against another tuner and found everything to be spot on. The reference pitch can be adjusted; we didn’t try out the whole range, but it’s a nice feature if you, er, pitch oddly. And this stompbox tuner allows what they call true bypass, so you don’t need to worry about it changing your sound. Battery power is via a 9V battery, though a power supply is available (sold separately). Lights and readout were visible even in the light, and the unit is built to withstand some time on the road. All in all, this is the best tuner we’ve seen- and a sexy new piece of music gear for your budding musician or even the guitar enthusiast who has everything. And at only $65 or so, it’s also a good deal.