Wednesday, January 25, 2017

NAMM 2017: Peterson StroboClip HD Tuner Preview


Everybody and their brother makes some sort of clip-on tuner these days, with some of them that are so cheap that you can get one thrown in for free when you buy a new guitar. So, if you are going to charge 60 bucks for one of these things, it had better be a good product from an established company. This is where the Peterson StroboClip HD tuner comes into the story. From the name, you have probably figured out that this is a strobotuner, but what exactly is this things?

You have probably seen the old Conn ST-11 strobotuners before – I remember the day our school orchestra got one back in 1980 or so, and it transformed my ideas about tuning. The Conn tuner uses a wheel that shows different octaves and the strobe effect of the tuner will make one row of the wheel appear to stop for the octave that is being played, while the overtones for other octaves will move about depending on how far they are out of whack. The advantages of this are incredible accuracy (within 0.1 cent), along with an intangible coolness factor. The Peterson Stroboclip HD simulates this effect with a nice bright LCD display that is a little simpler to look at and easier to use. I was fortunate enough to have Sue from Peterson walk me through the function of this tuner at NAMM 2017, and I was impressed with what they put together.

The StroboClip HD is fairly normal sized, 1.75 by 2.4 by 1.2 inches, and it weighs under two ounces. It has nice rubber jaws and it is adjustable to all kinds of angles. The tuner is powered up by a single CR2032 battery, which you can find at your local drugstore or supermarket.

The big story for me is the HD LCD display with its very clean bar segments.. It is very attractive, and is big enough that I can see it well without my reading glasses. It is bright enough to see outdoors while not causing blindness on dark stages. Also, it is viewable from a pretty wide angle, so the display does not necessarily have to be pointed right at you.

Other than its appearance and form function, the StroboClip HD works similarly to other Peterson Tuners, which is a very good thing. In this case, there is no microphone, and a Piezo element is used to pick up sound vibrations. The specifications are solid with accuracy that is guaranteed to be within 0.1 cents(like all Peterson tuners) and a tuning range of 16Hz -1975Hz. Concert A is adjustable from 390Hz to 490Hz. I believe that this tuner delivers on all of this, and it is certainly easy enough to use.

As an added bonus there are 50 available “Sweetened Tunings” that include programming for specific instruments such guitars with Buzz Feitan tuning, 7-string guitars, 12-string guitars, bass, violin, viola, cello, sitar, mandolin, and many more. These tunings take into account string deflection and unique harmonics to make tuning as accurate as possible. They are pretty cool, and this feature makes the StroboClip attractive to a wide range of musicians.

And finally, a USB port is provided to download new presets from Peterson, if you find that the preloaded ones are not sufficient for your wants and needs.

When the Peterson StroboClip HD tuner is released (soon!) it will retais for $59.99, which includes a one year warranty; I think is a heck of a deal! For more details, go to



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  2. The stroboclip hd looks very promising. I talked to a techie at Peterson who knew the inner workings of the stroboclip hd and he says the processor is a new low energy consumption processor and the engine is equivalent and almost identical performance to the StroboPlus hd, the big brother to the stroboclip hd. He also said the display is as good as the StroboPlus hd for ease and accuracy of tuning.

    If this turns out to be true, then I will be tickled pink by the new clip on.

    I have a StroboPlus hd and with my mechanical Perfection pegs on my violin which make it I EASY to tune more accurate than 1 cent error (e.g. 1/100th of a semitone), which is quit a feat.