My cheap reverb tuner and why I think it’s weird.

I really don’t feel I’m at all in a position of competence to be doing gear reviews, really, but I have a few different clip on tuners, and my cheap reverb tuner almost went in the garbage because of something stupid. I don’t mind looking stupid on the internet; that’s what I’m here for, really, so I’m going to take a second to talk about it.


I bought this thing for 99 cents plus shipping on the grounds it was supposed to be surprisingly good for the price. But, when I bought it, there were just strings it didn’t want to read.  On my guitar, it wouldn’t read the B string. On my ukulele, it didn’t approve of the C. It did tune the bass fine, so I just put it off to the side like ‘okay, I guess that’s my bass tuner’.

Then again, I have two other tuners. My first, a fishman, which is okay, but tunes a bit sharp, and the ever-popular snark, which I bought to replace the fishman.

So, in the interest of not hoarding junk I don’t need, I was thinking maybe I should just chuck this cheap little thing. I have other tools that do the same job. Heck, I even have an app on my phone if things get dire.

But then I looked at it and saw a little B. What did that B mean? What would happen if I hit the button more times. Oh, look a V pops up. What is that for? And a U. And a C …

I left it on the C, because, after tapping through it, I realized that is the very first letter of the cycle…and sure enough, everything tunes just fine.

Apparently, there are modes. I knew this, in a general sort of way. I would accidentally switch modes on my fishman all the time because the mode button and power button are one in the same. I never used the instrument specific tuners, but always went straight for the chromatic.

It turns out, C stands for chromatic. …oh. 🙂

The reverb tuner has modes labeled: C,G,B,V, and U. Chromatic, Guitar, Bass, Violin, and Ukulele. Mine, apparently automatically turned onto bass when I first got it because, I don’t know. It was having a bass kind of day, I suppose.

Anyway, now that I know how it works, it does seem to be more or less on par with the snark when testing them side by side.

So, note to self: either fiddle with all potential settings, or actually read the manual, before throwing something into the corner to collect dust. 🙂

Until Next Time, I have 3 clip on tuners. I think that’s what we call redundancy.

4 thoughts on “My cheap reverb tuner and why I think it’s weird.

  1. My experience with clip-on tuners is that they get confused if more than one string is vibrating at a time. Also, battery strength, or lack of, comprises their effectiveness. That’s my experience, at least with the Snark. I’m now using TC’s poly tune. It’s nice because it kills the signal path when engaged, so you can swap out guitars without having to lower the volume on your amp.


    1. Well, yeah. I stop each string. Outside sound perplexes my snark. Can’t tune if lots of people are talking. My acoustic guitar has a built in tuner that’s ok so long as it has a good amount of juice, but when the battery runs low, a clip on is a reliable and very portable backup. The clip ons are especially great for ukuleles, though. A pedal tuner is only functional for something you can plug in, which has it’s appeal,but would only work on a very small percentage of my instruments, half of which have their own tuners built in, so I’m married to the clip ons for the moment. Something like a polytune is a down the road investment for my electric instruments,for sure, but that’s a very small percentage of my collection, so the clip on tuners or pitchlab do the job for the time being, and are small enough to carry a spare, especially for $3 shipped.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I bought a snark for my uke, but then I drilled a hole in the bout and installed a pickup, so I’m able to use the polytune in my acoustics and electrics. I think that the price point for the snark, and others like it, is a great quality to price ratio.


      2. Yeah, I have acoustic-electrics and pure acoustics. My favorite uke has some unconventional soundholes, so I just can’t see myself mucking around with it beyond maybe adding a strap button. There’s always going to be room for a clip on or two, since they’re under $10, I figure, fancy toys aside.

        Something like a polytune would be a nice investment for my Godin and my bass, down the road, but since I can barely play either so far, I don’t need it for now, certainly not as much as other toys I’m saving up for.

        Liked by 1 person

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