Tuning is one of the most fundamental and important parts of playing any musical instrument. Major advances in electronic tuner technology have been made even since I began playing fiddle at the age of seven. I have owned and used a variety of different electronic tuners and each has had its own set of strengths and weaknesses. I was first introduced to the Peterson StroboClip in 2009 by a fellow mandolin player at a bluegrass festival in Perrin, TX. He allowed me to try out the new (at the time) tuner and I was immediately impressed. After six years of using this tuner on the road myself, I am excited to share with you my thoughts about this excellent tool. When judging the effectiveness of a certain type of electronic tuner there are several different factors that must be taken into consideration. For the purposes of this review, we will examine the areas of accuracy, durability, and ease of use. Each of these factors will be rated on a scale of 1-10. I have also added some information about the StroboClip’s popularity among musicians. This outstanding tuner has some functions which I have never used such as a Sweetened Tunings function (I prefer to ear-sweeten my instruments) so this may not be considered a “complete” review but it should cover the basics for most Bluegrass/acoustic musicians. You can visit the Peterson Strobe Tuners website for more information about all of their fine products by clicking HERE.
Peterson StroboClip Promo Video
Peterson StroboClip Specs:
- 1/10 Cent Accurate
- Smooth, Real-Time Display
- 28 Exclusive Peterson Sweeteners™/Temperaments
- Alternate Temperament Presets (Including Buzz Feiten Tuning System®)
- Drop/Capo/Key Setting
- Adjustable Concert A Reference: 400Hz to 490Hz
- Virtual Strobe™ Patented Technology
Accuracy is the main strength of the Peterson StroboClip tuner. When I used the StroboClip tuner for the first time, the accuracy is what immediately stood out to me. After tuning with this tuner, my mandolin and fiddle sound perfectly in tune with very little ear sweetening. According to the specifications, the StroboClip is accurate to within 1/1,000 of a semitone. Of all the electronic tuners I have ever used, I believe the StroboClip is the most accurate.
Durability is the category where the StroboClip wavers a bit. I have had to replace mine once and other members of the band I am with have had to replace theirs as well. The “clip” part of the tuner seems to break while the electronics of the tuner are still in perfect condition which is a frustrating problem. With a retail price around $100.00, this tuner really should last a little longer. I have had to make both of mine work using electrical tape on the clip. There are really two main ways that these tuners seem to break:
1) The bottom pad can snap off.
As seen in the picture, the bottom side pad can snap off of the StroboClip. Without this pad, instruments can be scarred (as my mandolin has been) by the brackets which act like claws. This is actually a simple problem to fix with electrical tape which can be layered over the “claws” to protect the finish. However, with the high price tag, this really shouldn’t happen.
2) The joint holding on the bottom half of the clip can snap.
This problem is a little harder to remedy. When this joint breaks, the tuner is nearly worthless. I did find a way to continue using a tuner with this problem using (once again) an electrical tape fix but this is certainly not ideal. These joints are very flimsy as is the arm that connects the electronic part of the tuner to the clip.
Ease of Use: 9/10
The StroboClip features a strobe tuner type display that while very easy to use, is quite different from the “needle” or “arrow” displays that many other leading tuners have. The transition to this configuration may take some getting used to if you have been using another type of tuner. I have heard other musicians complain that it is harder to “speed tune” on stage with the StroboClip because the strobe display is harder to follow with the eye than needles or arrows are. I feel that the strobe display is actually superior but that is purely a matter of opinion.
The hinged design of the StroboClip makes it easy to adjust so that the screen can be seen when clipped on different places on a variety of instruments. The StroboClip also works well in loud environments and rarely gets “confused” by outside noises which is a major plus.
Bluegrass Musician Testimonials Video
Between talking to StroboClip users, hearing endorsee testimonials, and reading music publications, I have gathered that the Peterson StroboClip is incredibly popular among musicians. The list of musicians who use this product is quite impressive. You can see a list of endorsees on the Peterson website by clicking HERE.
I hope this gives you a little more information about this fine product. I have been very happy with my Peterson StroboClip. Give me your thoughts about this tuner or any others that you like in the comments section. Thanks for reading!