Miscellaneous Rumbles

Clip-on Headstock Tuners


Anyone got opinions on clip on headstock tuners? I'm behind the curve on most things, but I wanted some space on my pedal board and a clip-on headstock tuner seemed like a reasonable idea.

I got the Snark mini as an experiment and I can't say that I'm tremendously enthused but I may not have played with it long enough yet.

What do you think?


Snark mini... Is that the little cube shaped Snark? I have a couple of those, and they are nowhere near as good or accurate as a standard Snark. I use the standard Snark quite a bit, and it works pretty darn good.

Even so, the BEST, most accurate clip-on I've seen is the Polytune and the Peterson stroboclip... Both are quite accurate, but they are on the expensive side for a clip-on tuner.


I have a Center Pitch Universal CP2, it works well on SOME guitars, on others I have it falls down. Depends on the shape of the headstock. It is accurate and handy.


Yeah, the cube is the mini. When I saw it I thought, "go cheap?" - I probably should have splurged the extra $10.


I have the Peterson, the regular Snark, and a leetle tahny D'Addario number.

I use the Snark most often. It's quick, easy to see, and seems to tune as well as the Peterson, only with an easier-to-negotiate display.

I guess that makes me Snarky. I'm a fan.

On the pedalboard, though, I've gone with a Sonic Research Turbo-Tuner 300 Mini - a name that's bigger than the pedal. It's one of those half-sizers, a great pedalboard citizen, and gets me in tuner than I've ever been. Quantum leap beyond the Boss TU-whatever I had for years, and much more accurate than the Polytunes I've tried. They've never lit me up whatsoever.

I'm convinced there's no better tuner.


I just reached the curve last week..Snark SN-8. The newest one, Super Tight or whatever.

I like it.


Like others have observed, the Snark is pretty darn good, I use one myself. I resently picked up a Korg AW - LT100G, it's a very accurate clip on tuner. It has 2 strobe modes, plus a standard regular mode. The best thing I like about this little Korg model is that it uses a AAA battery, instead of the much more expensive small disk shaped batteries that almost all the other types of clip on tuners use (including the Snark). It specs the same as the Snark, as far accuracy, but it's the battery thing that I like so much about it, a AAA battery is cheap and has enormous life, the Korg tuner also has auto shut off to even further battery life.


My old KORG GA-30 from a decade+ ago, about the size of a deck of cards, still works great.

I usually put that on the carpet leaning up against the speaker cabinet. Uses 2-AAA...last years between changes.

When the Piano Tech was here we checked it....dead nuts on 440Hz.


I used to use the Snark standard clip-ons on my acoustic guitars....I thought they worked pretty well and would recommend them (I tried other brands of clips, but liked the Snark the best)...I have since bought those new(er) D'Addario sound hole tuners for all of my acoustic guitars. IMHO, they work just as well as the Snark, are inconspicuous, easy to use, and cheap! I LOVE 'EM! (Course, they won't work on the electrics, but those get tuned via the Kemper.


Jeez Billy, d'ya have to beat about the bush so...?

They're quick & dirty and handy to have around at home or in a studio. Damn' fugly live though, especially on a cool guitar.


Maybe just me, but the only thing that i want on my headstock are tuning machines, brand name, and factory trim for that model.


Headstock tuners are fine if you don't leave them on the headstock 24/7. I usually tune to a piano, so...


In my opinion, I think headstock tuners are for acoustic guitars, played acoustically, and are excellent for that function. I especially like them when I'm recording an acoustic guitar and can tune easily as a result.

For any live setting where you are electronically amplified , nobody should really have to pay to hear you tune mid set if you need to do so, especially not to save room on a pedal board, so a pedal tuner that cuts the signal to your amp while you are tuning is best.

Also if you have a cool guitar they do look goofy...however I often clip a capo on the headstock of one of my old gretsch's live.

For the most part I look at most of my gear for use in live applications.


I've been using Snark's for a long time, in fact a few years ago I bought a bunch at one time because they are cheaper in bulk. I think I have 2 or 3 left, they do seem to disappear when you are shuffling your gear around. "Super Snark" was the best one I've tried, no idea where that went.Also found myself buying 2032 battery's in bulk as well-- Sure wish I was the Guy who came up with the patent on these Tuners!!


I’ve had a couple of the gooseneck-type Snarks. They were great. Ended up having each of them break at the pivot point where the strut holds the guts. Grabbed a couple of the Snark mini’s. (“Two is one, one is none.”) Funky angle to see but seemingly still plenty useful.

I realized how spoiled I’ve become when I had one of those on the headstock of a cowboy box, then reflexively stomped on the Barn3 outboard switch that toggles in and out of the tuner mode in one of the Eventide H9’s. Unsurprisingly, nuthin’ happened.

(Sammy laughs at self.)

In the end, I’ll gladly take any tuner over none at all.


The Polytune looks interesting.

Is there room on a mic stand?

I thought the one in the pickup ring was a neat idea.

I think someone locally developed a version of that strobe pick, there might have been one like that in a pickup ring.

I see the N-tune one mounted under a knob. Where does the battery go?

Optronix has a pickguard tuner.

This seems like an inoffensive way to mount one.


I wont use them on stage because, well, what Billy said and I agree with Toxo. They're better adapted for an acoustic. On stage everyone has to be quiet while YOU tune. Not happening. Thanks for the thread because you reminded me I need some batteries for mine.

There great when recording. I don't have to run to my pedal and back, so much.


Google guitar tuners.

Roadie automatic tuner.

Smartune capo and tuner. Also one by Intellitouch.

Stagg stick-on tuner. Do they make chili?

Recharchable guitar tuner cable. [various Chinese]

Sabine STL-12A and STL-12E.

Apple Watch tuner. You can bluetooth a signal to your watch and tune there.

I like how they mount them on violins. You could put something like that down by the controls.


Snark Tight Tuner.

I tune with the volume off. Back at my audience, remove the clip ASAP, clip it on my pedal cable near the input jack.


Snarks are great but they all grow legs eventually


Snark here as well.

I just don’t understand why tuners aren’t built into electric guitars like they are in acoustic electrics. I even saw this done on some inexpensive solid body online a few months ago.


I love the tiny planet waves NS micro tuner pictured above. Small and unobtrusive (ie. not goofy looking), especially when mounted on the back of the headstock. Tune well. So small they can be left of the guitar and don’t get knocked off taking the guitars in and out of gig bags.


I don't disagree about the way they look however if anyone's paying that much attention to my headstock and not my crappy playing then I have other problems.

Thanks for all the suggestions - I was at Los Straitjackets with Nick Lowe tonight (great show BTW), they all had clip on tuners, including the bass player (Dunlops I think) but when using them they cut volume with a pedal. So on that point, I also agree, nobody wants to hear you tune onstage. Rolling back the volume knob and tuning via vibration seems excessive, so a pedal would be the way to go, which then seems to defeat the purpose of having a headstock tuner if you're running both?

I'm intrigued that you're looking AT the tuner at the headstock while you're tuning rather than looking at the floor tuner. It's an ergonomic (first world problem) thing maybe.

Register Sign in to join the conversation