22 Sep

Snark Headstock Tuner – Review

Lately I’ve been traveling to Nashville quite a bit and I always bring my guitar so I can jam if the opportunity presents itself (and it often does). I also typically bring three pedals with me… my Fuchs Royal Plush compressor, my Visual Sound Jekyll & Hyde and my Boss DD-3 delay. I would normally bring my Korg Pitchblack tuner pedal as well, but my recent purchase of the Snark headstock tuner has eliminated the need. I always love it when I can eliminate one more thing to hook up.

The Snark is so small that it fits perfectly in a DiMarzio humbucker box, which allows me to stow it in my gig duffle bag along with my pedals, cables and other stuff without worrying about damaging it. It has a great feeling, ergonomic clip that stays put and picks up headstock vibration perfectly, allowing for silent tuning (just roll your guitar volume to zero). The display head rotates 360 degrees and the bright, digital interface is one of the best I’ve seen. It’s very easy to read on a dark stage, and it reverses in direct sunlight…making it perfect for outdoor gigs, as well!

The only two potential caveats are the tiny disc battery that would be impossible to find at gig time if it goes dead on you (keep spares in your bag!) and its delicate build. The swivel “teeth” can be quite brittle and will break if you get too rough with the unit. I feel pretty confident in the overall quality of the unit I purchased, though, and since I keep it in a hard “case” I feel like it will bring me years of service. The tuning accuracy is great, but as you might expect there isn’t as much resolution with the Snark as you’ll find on a more sophisticated electronic tuners…nevertheless, after many jam sessions I’ve found that it is more than accurate enough to keep me in tune when playing out with others.

Some other features are pitch calibration for those who tune to something other than A440, and a tap tempo visual metronome. Yes, the Snark actually has a metronome built in! Again, it is only a visual metronome meaning that you can see the pulse on the interface but there is no click or beep. Still a very thoughtful feature on something so small and compact.

If you are looking for a great headstock tuner that is tiny, light weight and simple to operate, I can highly recommend the Snark. I’ve looked and looked but can’t find a similar tuner with a better interface or a more easily positionable display.

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