Planet Waves Strobe-On-String Guitar Tuner

If you play guitar, either acoustic or electric, you probably own some type of tuner. Tuners come in several varieties. There are pitch pipe type tuners that make a sound for each guitar string. Your task is to then tighten or loosen the string until the sound it makes matches the reference note that the pitch pipe makes. Unless you have a really good ear, this is a very hard way to tune your instrument. Electronic tuners are much easier to use. These tuners have a microphone that picks up the sound a string makes when you pluck it. Then using a meter or some other method, it tells you if you need to loosen or tighten the string to bring it to the right pitch. The only problem with this type of tuner is that it requires a relatively quiet environment to work or if the guitar has a pick-up, you can connect the tuner using a cable. Today I’m going to tell you about a tuner that can work in the noisiest places, doesn’t need a cable and is tiny enough to fit in your pocket. It’s the Strobe-On-String Guitar Tuner from
Planet Waves.

The Strobe-On-String (S.O.S.) is a very inexpensive tuner in the shape of a guitar pick. Instead of sound, this tuner uses strobe technology to help you tune your guitar.


The S.O.S. is made of plastic and has a footprint of an actual guitar pick. It’s just quite a bit thicker than your standard pick. On the back there is a battery compartment that houses a CR 1620 coin cell battery.

The tip of the S.O.S. holds 2 Red LEDs. These LEDs are what gives this tuner its strobe effect. Two opposing strobe lights flash on the guitar string at the exact frequency at which a perfectly tuned string vibrates.

The only switch on the S.O.S. tuner is located on the top edge of the pick. It’s a dial that has a label for each string on a regular 6 stringed guitar (E1, B2, G3, D4, A5, E6).

The tuner is really easy to use. Just turn the dial to the string you would like to tune, then pluck the string using the S.O.S., just like you would a regular pick. Right after you pluck the string, quickly hold it over the vibrating string at the 12th fret (this is the point where the string has the widest vibration).

What you’ll notice is that each of the two LEDs shine a Red segment on the string side by side. If the string is not in tune, the individual segments will appear to bounce up and down. As you tighten or loosen the string, the bouncing will speed up or slow down. When the bouncing stops, the string is in tune. It’s that easy.

See it in action…


Click on image to play the QuickTime video (41sec,
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Quicktime to view it.
VLC is another free viewer.

The Strobe-on-String tuner from Planet Waves is a nifty little gadget that any guitar player should find very handy. It’s very easy to use, easy to carry and you can’t beat the price!

 

Product Information

Price:15.0
Manufacturer:Planet Waves
Pros:
  • Easy to use, even in nosy areas
  • Inexpensive
Cons:
  • None
Posted in: Music Gear

{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Julie August 17, 2007, 2:19 am

    Post your comments on the Planet Waves Strobe-On-String Guitar Tuner review.

    http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/review/planet_waves_strobe_on_string_guitar_tuner

    Just click the POST REPLY button on this page.

  • Mike Fitzgerald February 6, 2009, 10:36 am

    This tuner is absoutely fantastic. Quick/accurate/inexpensive — wonderful.

  • Tim Talbot November 9, 2009, 10:03 pm

    It’s excellent for tuning open strings. Unfortunately, I sometimes tune my guitar across the third or fourth frets to get a more accurate pitch if I’m playing high up the fretboard. Doesn’t work for that. But for tuning open strings — can’t beat it!

  • Ron March 16, 2010, 12:29 am

    What’s the expression-“The greatest thing since sliced bread.”? Well they are! I’ve given several away as gifts and have three of my own. I took it with me when I went shopping for my last guitar, it is so easy to tune an instrument in a noisy environment, or to tune my electric at night when I don’t want to wake the neighbours. My only complaint is the poor quality rotary switch which seems to fail rather quickly.

  • bob June 13, 2010, 6:09 pm

    i thought that is sucked it didnt work at all

  • Tony April 27, 2011, 5:05 pm

    Hey all, I love this tuner and I have just bought the original GoGo clip on tuner as well and have to say It Is Amazing!! What tuners do you guys use the most? let me know, Thx T

  • Julie April 27, 2011, 9:25 pm

    @Tony I can’t find any info on the GoGo tuner. Do you have a link? I’d like to check it out.

  • JF April 29, 2011, 2:55 am

    They had the GoGo tuner at the store I go to so I snagged one. It works great and makes it soooooo easy to know when you are in tune!

  • Tony April 30, 2011, 4:14 pm

    Hey Julie I know they have a web site http://gogotuners.net/. Hows things were you are? Tony

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