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 pedal for more details.
PolyTune: 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.
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.
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Gabriel Tanaka Filed Under: Best Guitar Tuner Noise Gate Utility Effects Loop Pedals, Reviews Tagged With: Best Guitar Tuner Pedal, TC Electronic PolyTune Review