TC Electronic PolyTune 2 Review – Best Guitar Tuner Pedal?


It’s still hard to believe that TC Electronic’s groundbreaking PolyTune was released only a few short years ago. The PolyTune redefined what a guitar tuner pedal could be with innovative polyphonic tuning and has since become the new industry standard for many guitarists. Now the TC Electronic PolyTune 2 aims to raise the standard yet again, breaking the mold of an already excellent tuner and leaving competitors further behind.

The PolyTune 2 brings some exciting new features to the now legendary tuning pedal. While the 100+ LEDs on the original PolyTune were already pretty bright, the PolyTune 2 features even brighter “retina-scorching” LEDs and an ambient light sensor for greater visibility on dark stages or at daytime gigs. There’s also an all-new strobe tuning mode that features ultra-precise +/- 0.1 cent tuning accuracy. For demanding guitarists who require extreme precision from their tuner, the PolyTune 2’s new strobe tuning feature may be worth the price of admission alone.

TC-Electronic-PolyTune-2-Review-Best-Guitar-Tuner-Pedal-02A classic seemingly made better without messing with the formula that made the original success, the PolyTune 2 may just be the best guitar tuner pedal around. Let’s run down this pedal’s features in detail before jumping into our TC Electronic PolyTune 2 review.


PolyTune® – Tune all strings simultaneously

New chromatic strobe tuner – 0.1 cent tuning accuracy

New bigger and brighter LED display with ambient light sensor

Drop-D and capo tuning modes

True bypass with silent tuning

DC output for powering other pedals

3M Velcro for pedal board attachment

Visit TC Electronic for more info about the PolyTune 2.

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The original PolyTune, now referred to by TC Electronic as the PolyTune Classic, is the foundation on which the PolyTune 2 is built. When in needle tuning mode the PolyTune 2 provides the same great +/- 0.5 cent tuning accuracy that’s on par with the very best needle style tuning pedals including the PolyTune Classic. And the paradigm-shifting polyphonic tuning that debuted in the PolyTune Classic is still in tact as before. If you’ve tried the PolyTune Classic, this pedal functions just as before in this regard. If you’re new to all things PolyTune, you’re in for a treat as the PolyTune 2 is one of the most simple and effective tuners available.

TC-Electronic-PolyTune-2-Review-Best-Guitar-Tuner-Pedal-04The PolyTune 2’s polyphonic tuning mode is activated simply by strumming the open strings of your guitar and provides a quick way to see if any strings need fine tuning adjustment. 6 twin columns of green and red LEDs indicate whether or not the 6 strings on a standard guitar (or 4, 5, or 6 string bass) are in tune, sharp, or flat. If any strings are showing up outside of the green, plucking them individually will allow the PolyTune 2 to immediately switch to the preselected needle or strobe mode for precision tuning. The transition is quick and responsive and should shave off a few precious seconds when tuning between songs.

While the needle tuning mode offers more than enough precision for most tuning needs, the PolyTune 2 takes it even further with the all-new strobe tuning mode. TC Electronic went above and beyond with the PolyTune 2’s strobe tuner for super accurate +/- 0.1 cent tuning, unheard of in a pedal tuner under $100 until now. The strobe tuner is great for guitarists demanding the best in pitch perfection during live sets. This extreme precision also comes in handy if you like to set the intonation of your guitars yourself instead of relying on a guitar tech for the job. You can also use the the strobe tuner in combination with polyphonic tuning, giving the strings a quick strum to see which ones are out of tune and then plucking individual strings to let the PolyTune 2 immediately jump to strobe mode for ultra fine tuning. Sometimes you may notice that when you strum the strings in polyphonic tuning mode and get all green LEDs indicating precise tuning, plucking the strings individually in strobe tuning mode may still reveal slight tuning imperfections. This is a testament to the strobe tuner’s extreme accuracy. Some guitarists may even forgo using polyphonic tuning altogether in favor of simply relying on the strobe mode’s extreme accuracy.

A couple tandem features worth commenting on are the PolyTune 2’s new brighter LEDs and accompanying light sensor. The LEDs do seem noticeably brighter than my memory of the original PolyTune although I didn’t have a PolyTune Classic on hand for direct comparison. But putting the PolyTune 2 to the test on its own merits produced very satisfactory results. Under a blazing Los Angeles sun at noon, I fired up the PolyTune 2 outside to tune up and see just how visible the LEDs really are. I’m happy to report that the display was clearly visible and should definitely be bright enough to give you an accurate readout during any daytime gig. Indoors you’ll notice that the display is bold and vibrant yet not overly bright as the ambient light sensor seems to do its job well and adjust accordingly in various lighting conditions.

The PolyTune 2 packs a lot of versatility for transposed tunings allowing you to tune down 5 semitones to B or tune up capo-style 7 semitones to B. This is easily achieved by pushing the Tuning button repeatedly to cycle to the tuning you want. Release the button for 2 seconds, and your selected tuning is saved. Want to drop-tune to D? Just press and hold the footswitch for 2 seconds. A “DROP d” message lets you know that you’re ready to go. Repeat the process to return to standard (“STD”) tuning. This is very convenient for when you just need drop D tuning for a song or two at various points throughout your set. Another button, Display, lets you cycle between the 4 tuning display modes: Guitar Needle, Guitar Strobe, Bass Needle, and Bass Strobe. It’s very easy and intuitive to figure out and use. Pushing both the Display and Tuning buttons at once lets you quickly set the PolyTune 2’s reference pitch from 435 Hz to 445 Hz. The default setting is, of course, standard tuning at 440 Hz.

TC-Electronic-PolyTune-2-Review-Best-Guitar-Tuner-Pedal-03There’s even a power output, a convenient little addition that many guitarists have come to expect from a tuner over the years that allows you to use the PolyTune 2 to power your other guitar pedals via daisy chain up to 2000mA. If you do power the pedal with a battery, however, the battery compartment is easily accessed by a single screw beneath the pedal that can be turned with a coin or a heavy 2mm guitar pick. True bypass switching is standard on all of TC Electronic’s PolyTune pedals, maintaining the integrity of your signal when the pedal is disengaged. A mini USB connector rounds out the features in case TC Electronic releases any firmware updates. (I’m personally hoping for an added extended reference pitch down to 432 Hz sometime.) The beauty is in the little details, and TC Electronic seem to have covered just about everything this time around. For 6-string guitarists this is a tough tuner to beat at this price.

The PolyTune 2 is truly a guitar tuner to be reckoned with. With TC Electronic’s Ditto Looper, Ditto X2 Looper, HyperGravity Compressor, and Flashback Mini Delay being essential modern pedals, the PolyTune 2 is another instant classic. Let’s see the final result.



The PolyTune 2 is every bit as good as fans of the Original PolyTune have come to expect while changing the game yet again with an extremely precise strobe tuning mode. The PolyTune 2’s new brighter LEDs with an ambient light sensor ensure clear visibility under any playing condition. It’s a breeze to use and will give you years to reliable tuning. TC Electronic have done it again. The PolyTune 2 is easily the best guitar tuner pedal in it’s price range.

That concludes our TC Electronic PolyTune 2 review. Thanks for reading.


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The Best Guitar Pedal Tuner You Can Buy?

Sonic-Research-Turbo-Tuner-ST-200-Review-Best-Guitar-Tuner-04I had never even heard of the Turbo Tuner ST-200 by Sonic Research until recently. I was always happy with my trusty old Boss TU-2 and later the TC Electronic Polytune 2. But then along came this pedal to shatter my expectations about what I thought I needed in a guitar pedal tuner. I’ve already about how the PolyTune 2 is a step up from the Boss TU-3, but the Turbo Tuner is trying to leave all other tuning guitar pedals in the dust.

Read my review and see if you think it deserves a place on your pedalboard as well.

Sonic Research Turbo Tuner ST-200 Review

And be sure to check out our guide to the best modern guitar pedals.

Sonic Research Turbo Tuner ST-200 Review – Best Guitar Tuner?

Sonic-Research-Turbo-Tuner-ST-200-Review-Best-Guitar-Tuner-01When it comes to stompbox guitar pedal tuners, there are a few products that have risen to the top as the most popular picks of most players. These products owe their success to their own merit as solid tuners as well as the huge marketing push their makers could afford. But what if there’s a product out there that blows away the competition and comes from a much smaller company, one you may have never heard of? In our Sonic Research Turbo Tuner ST-200 review, you may discover the best guitar tuner you’ll ever use.


A True Strobe Tuner in a Stompbox Format

True Bypass

Chromatic and Guitar/Bass modes

Fully programmable for alternate tunings and temperaments

Extreme accuracy: +/- .02 cents guaranteed

Rugged die-cast aluminum case

Made in USA

Visit Sonic Research for more info about the ST-200 Turbo Tuner.

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I have a confession to make. I’ve tried strobe tuners before but never really cared for them. I have always used digital needle tuners. I owned a Boss TU-2 for years. I then switched to the TC Electronic Polytune. But the Turbo Tuner ST-200 caught my attention for one simple reason: tuning accuracy within a .02 cent range. That sounded most impressive, so I thought I’d give this one a shot.

As far as tuners go, the Boss TU-3 and TC Electronic Polytune 2 are arguably two of the most popular guitar tuner pedals available with the TU-3 claiming accuracy within +/- one cent and the Polytune 2 boasting a more impressive +/- 0.1 cent precision. However, just looking at this comparison, it’s clear that the Turbo Tuner ST-200 dwarfs the competition with its extremely precise +/- .02 cent accuracy.

I plugged in my American Stratocaster (which I previously intonated with the TC Electronic Polytune) and activated the ST-200.

I hit a low E and was greeted to a gently swirling strobe of red LEDs. Strobe tuners are generally easy to read but may take a moment to get used to for some. The Turbo Tuner lights rotate clockwise when you’re sharp and counter-clockwise when you’re flat. The idea is to tune a note until the lights are as still as possible.

One thing I noticed right away was how quick the ST-200 responded to the string I plucked. Other tuners have an algorithm that takes longer to read the note, convert it to data, and display it accordingly. I never really noticed this slight delay in other tuners until using the Turbo Tuner.

Essentially, the LEDs of the ST-200 give a real-time display of the note pitch in relation to the reference pitch. Want to test how sensitive and fast this tuner is? Hit a fretted note anywhere on the neck and add some vibrato or quick bends. The Turbo Tuner keeps up with an instantaneous display of swirling lights that quicken and slow at the exact rate that you change the pitch of the note. Kudos to the engineering wizards at Sonic Research for creating such a responsive tuner.

And of course this pedal is true bypass if you’re one of the tone-obsessed. I also like how the ST-200 is completely cut out of your signal and from power when disengaged. No LEDs are lit when it’s off. This also means no drained batteries if you leave a cable plugged in.


The ultimate test came for me when I checked my guitar’s intonation. I have always set up all my guitars myself. And even though I always thought I knew what I was doing, I now feel a bit silly to have relied on the +/- 1 cent accuracy of the Boss TU-2 at one point.

The ST-200 will reveal the inferiority of less accurate tuners once you conduct your own intonation test. Simply set your intonation with one such pedal, then plug into a Turbo Tuner and compare on open note to its octave at the 12th fret. The extreme accuracy for setting up your guitars makes the ST-200 an essential pedal if you’re serious about the intonation and playability of your instruments.

But that’s not all. The Turbo Tuner has 6 preset banks on front, easily selectable and programmable with two buttons on the top surface of the pedal. The Chromatic preset always allows for chromatic tuning while any of the other 5 banks may be configured for open and temperament tuning for instruments with up to 9 strings. I was amazed by the deep, yet simple customization of the Turbo Tuner once I delved in and started making presets.

The only limitation I found was in that the reference pitch and flat settings are set globally and not per preset. This seemed like an issue for a moment. I actually called the customer service number in the manual to ask about this and a few other things. Someone was on the phone to help me in less than a minute! Sonic Research took my call seriously and showed great interest in the possibility of improving their products. The extremely knowledgeable and friendly service rep even gave me an ingenious workaround.

Since I wanted to set the reference pitch of only one preset to A = 432hz, I was able to manually set the pitch of each string in a six string preset to -31.8 cents to achieve exactly this. I actually find this approach more useful than adjusting the reference pitch or flat settings globally. Setting up precise microtonal presets is a breeze. You can easily make presets for DADGAD, half step down tunings, or anything else.

Do you play a True Temperament guitar? The Turbo Tuner has you covered with 3 True Temperament tuning presets built-in and references in the manual for programming them manually if you ever need to.

The ST-200 works flawlessly with bass and acoustic electric guitars as well. It shows a precise, clear reading even on an instrument with an abundance of harmonic overtones. The ST-200 is a gem and is one of the finest tuners available.

Let’s see the final result.



The Sonic Research Turbo Tuner ST-200 is the best guitar tuner pedal I have ever used. With unparalleled accuracy in such a compact true bypass enclosure, this pedal trumps the competition. Even as someone who has always relied on needle tuners, I adapted to the true strobe tuning of the ST-200 with ease. The six easy-to-use preset banks make the Turbo Tuner perfect for using with multiple instruments with any custom tuning settings you can imagine. Once you try the ST-200 you will never set intonation or tune your prized guitars with anything else. The Sonic Research Turbo Tuner ST-200 is truly a world class tuner and has earned its place as the new tuner on my own pedalboard. It deserves a place on yours, too.

That concludes our Sonic Research Turbo Tuner ST-200 Review. Thanks for reading.


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TC Electronic PolyTune Review – Best Guitar Tuner Pedal?


While guitarists were happily using their old Boss TU-2 Chromatic Tuner pedals for what seemed like ages, TC Electronic came along and did the unthinkable. They released a “poly-chromatic” tuning pedal to the surprise of guitar players everywhere. This amazing advance in guitar tuning technology allows you see the tuning multiple strings at once. In our TC Electronic PolyTune review, you’ll find out if poly-tuning really works and see if this is really the best guitar tuner pedal you can buy.

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right? Wrong!

TC Electronic did something truly innovative in looking at pedal guitar tuners and seeing if they could be improved. They did several things worth noting. Let’s dive into the features of this indispensable guitar pedal for more details.


TC-Electronic-PolyTune-Review-Best-Guitar-Tuner-Pedal-05PolyTune: This is the big draw to this pedal. Strumming more than one string allows you to see a read-out of all the strings’ tunings. This could cut down your tuning time significantly by being able to zero in on the strings that are out of tune.

Chromatic Tuning: PolyTune offers the best in chromatic tuning with 0.5 cent accuracy.

MonoPoly: Whether you strum all the strings or play just one, PolyTune recognizes instantly whether to display the poly- or monophonic tuning mode.

High-Resolution Display: 17 rows of super bright LEDs (109 total!) allow for a more precise tuning readout and ensure optimal visibility at all times.

True Bypass Switching: This allows the pure signal of your guitar to pass unaffected when the tuner is bypassed and offers silent tuning when engaged.

Multiple Tuning Modes: PolyTune features Drop-D, Capo Tuning up to 7 frets, and flat tunings 5 semi-tones down for maximum versatility.

Built-In Memory: PolyTune saves all your preferences for instant recall next time you power it up. Set it and forget it.

Power Output: This lets you use a standard center-negative daisy chain to power several other 9-volt effects on your pedalboard.

USB Input: This allows you update the pedal when new firmware upgrades become available. Unheard of in a tuner pedal until now.

Read more about the TC Electronic Polytune at

Now let’s see how it performs.



The first thing I did was step on the footswitch to activate the tuner and strum all the strings on my guitar. LEDs lit up across the vibrant display to show the tunings of all six strings. Most were green to indicate perfect tuning, but a few had red lights above and below to indicate whether or not the strings were sharp or flat.

While gently strumming the strings, a simple adjustment of the tuning pegs brought things into the green. It’s pleasantly surprising to see such an accurate read-out of all six strings at once. The PolyTune performs amazing well in Poly- mode.

I did repeated tests of strumming all the strings and then muting them and picking just one string to see how well the PolyTune reacts to single notes versus multiple strings resonating. The display switches between poly- and chromatic tuning modes instantly every time. For those who prefer chromatic tuning, this pedal does it superbly.

I adjusted the settings to test out Drop D and Capo Tuning. Everything performs as expected with quick readouts in Poly- mode of all six strings. It works just as well in all situations for bass.

It’s also very useful for powering other pedals. If you have a smaller pedalboard or just use standard 9-volt pedals with lower power draw, you can connect quite a few effects up to the PolyTune with ease. This has been a standard feature for floor guitar tuners since the Boss TU-2, so it’s nice that TC Electronic have included this functionality as well.

This is the pedal ended the reign of Boss as the leader in pedal guitar tuners. Even the mighty Boss TU-3 couldn’t hold a candle to this pedal. But now that TC Electronic has brought us the PolyTune 2, the game has been changed yet again. Here’s our TC Electronic PolyTune 2 review if you want the full scoop on the latest and greatest guitar pedal tuner.

Let’s see the end result.



The TC Electronic PolyTune Poly-Chromatic Tuner has raised the standard of what to expect from a compact tuning pedal. The Poly- tuning mode offers unique innovation and redefined what a guitar pedal tuner can do. True bypass switching is a nice touch for tone purists. It’s certainly a must-have for any guitarist looking for a very affordable tuning pedal. The TC Electronic PolyTune reigns supreme as the best guitar tuner pedal on the market under $100.

That concludes our TC Electronic PolyTune review. Thanks for reading.