Thursday, February 24, 2011

Boss TU-12H Chromatic Tuner

How’s it going?

What do I really expect from a chromatic tuner? Not much, really: accuracy, simplicity and a reasonable price. Boss (part of the Roland Corporation) has been doing this for years with their effects pedals and with their venerable tuners.

I use a Boss TU-3 on my bass pedalboard, but in my practice space I exclusively use a Boss TU-12H tuner. I choose the TU-12H because I play the acoustic guitar quite a bit, and there is no microphone built into the TU-3.

In addition to the condenser microphone, on the TU-12H there is also a ¼-inch input jack located on the right side of the case. A ¼-output jack is included so the TU-12H can be used in-line.

This tuner uses a standard 9-volt battery, and it does not suck through batteries very quickly (unless you forget to turn it off, like I do). If you want to invest in an adapter, there is a power jack located on the right side of the case. Boss recommends the PSA-120 adapter, which is the same one for almost all of their effect pedals. If you are going to run the tuner in line and leave it on the whole time you are playing, you should go buy an adapter.

The controls are simple, with an ON/OFF switch that allows you to choose a low or high frequency range, and “PITCH”, “UP”, and “DOWN” switches. The “UP” and “DOWN” switches are used to hold a specific tone, or when used with the “PITCH” switch allow the user to change the reference pitch (A) from 440 to 445 Hz in 1Hz increments. There are corresponding LEDs that let you know what you are doing when you are messing with the switches.

But, I NEVER use those extra switches. I just turn it on go. It automatically detects and displays the note being played, and shows how close it is to being in tune. And, unlike cheaper tuners, it does not the spastically jump around all over the place and frustrate the crap out of me. The TU-12H is able to latch onto the strongest tone and hold it while I am tuning.

I can see what I am doing with high-visibility sharp/flat arrow LED indicators, as well as a really smooth analog meter for final fine tuning. All this and I never have to take my hands off my guitar. Handy!

But it is able to work with more than just guitars. It has a very wide range (from C1 to B6), and will also work with most all string, brass and woodwind instruments.

The TU-12H tuner is a handy size. It measures about 6 inches wide by 2 inches deep by 1 ½ inches tall. It is pretty light, coming in at around 6 ounces. It is small and light enough that I needed to put some Velcro on it so it does not slide around too much when I have it plugged in. Oh yeah, and it comes in a nice vinyl case, too.

I was going to give the Boss TU-12H a hearty thumbs-up until I went online to check out the current price and found out it had been discontinued. It has been replaced by the Boss TU-12EX, which is also reasonably priced.

So, I guess you will have to stay tuned for a review of their newest model.


1 comment:

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