Monday, December 3, 2018

Tune Tech TT-5 Clip-On Digital Tuner Review

Clip-on tuners have been a thing for a while, and as a guitarist I had been wanting one. Of course they're much cheaper now that everyone makes them, but as with all new pieces of technology they weren't always accessible to the cheapo, like myself. That's where my favorite hero, the Goodwill outlet store, comes in handy.

The Tune Tech TT-5 isn't anything flashy or splashy but it does look the part. The clip seems sturdy enough and clamps on quite nicely. The display is bright and bold and it even gives you five tuning options: Guitar, Bass, Violin, Ukulele and Chromatic.

So what's not to like about an inexpensive clip-on tuner? Well firstly even when it's turned off it eats through the battery. I had put a fresh CR2032 battery in it after I purchased it, used it maybe once or twice and put it away, only to find out the next time I needed it that I needed to replace the battery that I had just put in it! Also the battery cover, which appears to be made of Enderman flesh, falls off if even a flea sneezes anywhere within a 200 mile radius.

In terms of accuracy I compared the Tune Tech TT-5 to my Korg GA-30 and the TT-5 leaves a tiny smidge to be desired. I'm not saying you'll be miles away from where you need to be, but you probably won't be dead on either. Now someone will undoubtedly be asking "If you have other tuners why would you choose the TT-5 at all?". Simply because it's a clip-on and I don't always have the ability to put a tuner in the chain (I miss my Boss TU-2 so much!). Even so, putting a tuner in the chain means I need to kneel down or go over to my amp to look at the tuner, where as the TT-5 goes wherever I go.

The Tune Tech TT-5 isn't 100% accurate, but it's not far off. It chews through batteries, so after each gig or use it's best to remove the battery entirely and keep them together for the next time you want to use them. And it's probably best suited for someone who is just starting out, or someone at a jam session where you don't need to be completely on point.

For (current Amazon price) $10 is this thing worth it? I personally don't think so, as companies like Planet Waves, Fender and Snark are cranking out clip-on tuners for about the same price, and you would/should expect better quality from those names. Since I picked mine up dirt cheap (maybe cost me a dime) I'm ok with using it and removing the battery and knowing I'm close enough. I'm not a gigging musician so I don't always expect gig quality results from myself or my gear, sometimes I just like to be close enough. It's up to others to decide whether they want to take the chance on a TT-5, but if given the choice I wouldn't, even though I'll continue to use mine until something better comes along.

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