Sunday, February 12, 2017

NAMM 2017: Cling On Magnetic Series Tuner Review


There is no shortage of mountable guitar tuners on the market, and for the most part they are clip-on units. This is usually an ok arrangement, but a clip across the headstock does not look very nice, and those clips do break (especially if you leave it on the guitar and close a case on it). Also, the clips are usually pretty huge, making the tuner almost twice the size that it needs to be. Cling On Magnetic Series tuners are a great alternative to regular clip-on tuners. I was pretty stoked when I saw them demonstrated at the 2017 NAMM show.

The idea with the Magnetic Series tuner is that it is equipped with a very strong neodymium magnet so the user can stick it to a tuning peg or even a screw. Boom – out of the way, unobtrusive, and no big ugly clip. I have tried it out on my guitars and basses and in the real world this set-up actually world really well.

There might be cases where there is nothing magnetic to stick the tuner to, so there is also a small (0.7-inch) magnetic puck that can be stuck anywhere on the instrument that has a flat surface. The puck’s 3M adhesive sticker also holds very strongly (good thing, because the magnets are so strong). The manufacturer says that the sticker will not harm finishes, and comes off easily if you work a piece of string or dental floss underneath it. But the really hot ticket is to not have to use the puck at all.

This Cling On tuner is attractive, with rubberized trim and a sleek Lava Red finish (Titanium Gray is also available). There are only three buttons to deal with: Power, Hz, and Mode. It takes a single CR2032 battery (included), and this common size is available at most every drugstore or supermarket.

The tuner has a dual-swivel base, and an LCD screen that is big enough for me to read without glasses, and bright enough that I can see it in daylight. Concert A can be adjusted from 440Hz to anywhere between 430 and 450Hz, and there are five different preset tuning modes: Chromatic, Guitar, Ukulele, Violin and Bass. It is easy to use, and seems to be accurate enough for any stage musician.

The Cling On Magnetic Series tuners are right there with the rest of the market as far as pricing, with a list price of $19.99 (they also have a clip-on model for a dollar less). This includes the tuner, a magnetic puck, and a really nice box. Not to mention a 1-year limited manufacturers warranty and a 3-year replacement guarantee, including accidental damage. If you need extra magnetic bases, they have them available for $4.99 for a 3-pack. I think this is a pretty cool product, and the magnetic base is a real selling point. For more details, head over to the Cling On website.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

NAMM 2017: Product Preview - Martin Titanium Core Acoustic Guitar Strings


I headed into the Martin booth at this Year’s Winter NAMM to try out their new Titanium Core strings that I saw on the media preview day, and it was utter chaos. They have a lot of new products this year, so they were very busy. But, I did manage to flag down someone to talk about these strings and enjoyed a few strums on a guitar that was loaded up a set of their latest and greatest.

I have been using Martin strings on my acoustics for years, so I am pretty familiar with their products. In fact, they are my preferred acoustic strings and I have never had any complaints about them. The company’s goal with the Titanium Core strings is increased corrosion resistance (extended life), better stability, and increased playability due to reduced player fatigue. Who could argue with this?

Sets of light gauge Titanium Core strings will be available this spring (March 31), with other gauges to follow later. From what I could tell, these strings felt to be about the same tension as the Martin light gauge phosphor bronze strings that I usually use.

Overall, the fingertip feel was very normal for nickel strings (the titanium core is wire wrapped with nickel, and the plain strings are cryogenically treated stainless steel). The volume seemed to be a bit more than what I am used to with their conventional strings, with the caveat than NAMM is the worst place on the planet to evaluate anything acoustic.

I am not sure how the Titanium Core strings will live up to the rest of Martins promises, such as long life and better stability. One thing I do know is that for the price, they better last a really long time. These strings run $39.99 a set, and if the president makes a tariff on Mexican goods come true, the price might go up even more. Stay tuned, and I will let you know what I think after I get a set to try in the real world!

For more details go to for more details.


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Rex and the Bass – One Million Page Views


When I started blogging in 2010 I never imagined that this page would reach one million page views, but it has and I certainly appreciate the support of my friends and family, as well as the music-loving public for making this happen!

I am still having fun with the blog, and get a lot of great feedback from readers, but it is time to make a few changes. There will probably be a change in the name of the blog and its logo (but the url will be the same), and I am looking at options for including video features, which may appeal to some viewers.

Anyway, thank you all for your continued support, and let’s enjoy this ride together!