Best Guitar Tuner Pedal 2016

On this page we set out to find the best guitar tuner pedal of 2016. We compare pedals by leading brands and let you know which guitar tuner pedal we’d choose.

Best Guitar Tuner Pedal 2016 Line Up

Quick results: here are our top 3 guitar tuner pedals. For in-depth information, read the reviews further down the page. Click the images to view reviews and prices at Amazon.

KLIQ TinyTune Guitar Tuner Pedal

KLIQ TinyTune Guitar Tuner Pedal
KLIQ TinyTune Guitar Tuner Pedal

One of the best mini guitar tuner pedals out there.

Korg Pitchblack Chromatic Tuner

Korg Pitchblack Guitar Tuner Pedal
Korg Pitchblack Guitar Tuner Pedal

The Korg Pitchblack is our choice for the best mid-price guitar tuner pedal (although it's not much more than the Kliq).

Boss TU3 Chromatic Tuner Pedal

Boss TU3 Guitar Tuner Pedal
Boss TU3 Guitar Tuner Pedal

The TU3 is a great tuner pedal. Our choice of the best guitar tuner pedal 2016.

KLIQ TinyTune Guitar Tuner Pedal

KLIQ TinyTune Guitar Tuner Pedal
KLIQ TinyTune Guitar Tuner Pedal

There’s no shortage of cheap guitar tuner pedals out there. Most look pretty much the same, and it wouldn’t surprise us if they’re all made in the same Chinese factory. However, some do seem to rise above the others.

The Kliq TinyTune is, quite literally, tiny. At 3.7 x 1.2 x 1.5 in (9 x 3 x 4 cm) and 4.3 ounces (28.5 g), it’s small enough not just to fit in your gig bag, but also to get lost in there.

It’s also inexpensive, costing less than a decent guitar lead.

The TunyTune’s small display is necessarily quite busy, but it’s bright and readable from a standing position.

The TinyTune has a true bypass: the signal is completely unaffected while the tuner is off.

When the tuner is on, the Kliq automatically mutes the output. This is a relief for gig-goers who don’t enjoy being subjected to ugly ‘tuning twangs’.

Despite being made of metal, the TinyTune’s size means that it’s easily knocked around on stage unless it’s secured. We noticed that the manufacturer includes some tape for securing the tuner pedal to a pedal board. A good idea, but those without a pedal board may wish to get something a little more substantial.

The Tiny Tune doesn’t take a battery, so you’ll need an adapter.

If you’ve got a pedal board then it's likely you’ll have a power adapter too. If this is the case, the TinyTune might be the guitar tuner pedal you need.

For the price you can’t really go wrong, but we'd prefer something heavier with a battery option.

You can watch a video review of the Kliq tuner below:

Korg Pitchblack Chromatic Tuner

Korg Pitchblack Guitar Tuner Pedal
Korg Pitchblack Guitar Tuner Pedal

Next on our list of the best guitar tuner pedals is the Korg Pitchblack Chromatic Tuner. Hats off to whoever it was at Korg who came up with that name!

At under $55, it’s still at the cheaper end of the tuner pedal market. However, it’s substantially larger than the TinyTune, and feels much more like a ‘real’ pedal.

At 3.4 x 7.3 x 2.4 inches (8.5 x 18.55 x 6 cm), and 10.2 ounces (300 g), it’s more of a traditional guitar pedal size.

The body is made of metal, and won’t slip and slide around as much on stage.

Like the TinyTune, there’s a complete bypass of the circuitry when the tuner is not engaged.

When the tuner is engaged, the output is muted.

Unlike the TinyTune, the Korg Pitchblack does run off a 9v battery. Of course, it will also run off an AC power adapter. In addition, the Korg has a power output, allowing the unit to be ‘daisy-chained’ with other pedals.

We’d take the Korg over the Kliq because of its size and battery operation. The Korg pedal is our choice for the best mid-price guitar tuner pedal.

See this pedal in use in the video below:

Boss TU3 Chromatic Tuner Pedal

Boss TU3 Guitar Tuner Pedal
Boss TU3 Guitar Tuner Pedal

At $99 (early 2016 price), the price of the Boss TU3 Tuner Pedal is more than that of its competitors.

As with all Boss pedals, there’s a slight suspicion that you are ‘paying for the name’. However, Boss’s reputation is well-deserved, and we have no problem with paying a little bit more for gear that is reliable and good at what it does.

The Boss can be used as a chromatic tuner, which displays the note you’re playing and tells you if you’re sharp or flat to the nearest pitch. It also has a ‘note name’ mode for guitar and bass which displays how far away you are to the pitch of a certain string.

The Boss TU3 has two outputs. The signal from one is muted when the tuner is being used. The signal from the other is unaffected if the tuner is being used. While this means that you have a continuous view of your tuning status, you’ll also have to remember to turn down your amp to save your audience’s ears when you tune between songs.

The Boss TU3 has a high-brightness daylight mode for outdoors gigs.

Build quality is up to Boss’s typically high standards, and the TU3 comes with a 5 year warranty.

The Boss TU3 is a reliable presence on stage, and is worth the extra money. The Boss TU3 is our choice for the best guitar tuner pedal 2016.

Check out the video review below:

Guitar Tuner Pedal Buying Guide

Why buy a guitar tuner pedal? Most multi effects units have built-in tuners. Even some amps now offer a tuning facility.

What a guitar tuner pedal offers is reliability and convenience.

There’s no searching through digital menus, or walking away from your spot on the stage to fiddle around with the amp – possibly changing important settings while doing so. You know exactly where your pedal tuner is, and you know just how it works.

It’s one less thing to worry about when playing live. You just can’t have enough of those!

Best Guitar Tuner Pedal Buyer’s Guide

If any of my pedals were to be indestructible, it would be the tuner pedal. I can get by if any of my other pedals break down; I’ve got the basic clean / overdriven sounds on my amp. The sound engineer can give me a bit of reverb.

Yes, some of my fancy intros might sound, well, less fancy, without delay, chorus, et al, but I’d be able to get by.

However, if my tuner were to go kaput then that would be a whole different story. Despite having reasonably good ears I rely on the tuner.

I guess it’s like a safety blanket.

Despite having one on my multi effects box, it’s the pedal tuner I rely on.

I can’t bear hearing other guitarists tuning up in the middle of a gig. I think it’s one of the least professional things you can do.

What To Look For In A Tuner Pedal

It goes without saying that the best guitar tuner pedals should be accurate and responsive. Nearly all of the tuner pedals on the market today offer adequate tuning capabilities: it’s the other aspects of the design that are important.

The ideal guitar tuner pedal should be easily visible. You should be able to operate the pedal while standing, looking down at the pedal on the floor, from a number of angles.

If the display is too fussy – perhaps the designers tried to fit too many features on the screen – then the pedal’s usefulness is limited.

The best guitar tuner pedal needs to be durable. We treat our gear well, but during a rushed stage changeover pedals often get gathered up and thrown in a bag, only to be sorted out the next morning.

Above all, the tuner pedal needs to be a reliable presence on stage. It should be heavy, unable to be turned over by a kinked guitar lead or careless foot. If there’s any chance of the pedal moving while being turned on or off then it’s not heavy enough. That’s why we consider the Boss to be the best guitar tuner pedal of 2016. The Korg is a great unit too.

1 thought on “Best Guitar Tuner Pedal 2016”

  1. The one thing the KLIQ has that the other contenders do not have is a wider calibration range. It goes from 430Hz to 450Hz, where the others have a limited range of 436Hz to 445Hz which neither is low enough to get to the popular french pitch at 435Hz or to the clear separations of passaggios at 432Hz or close to “scientific” A4 at 430.54Hz. Also as you can go up to 448-450Hz and with a downtune of a half step (100 cents) you get down to old mozart and Händel pitch frpm 422.5Hz to 424.5Hz. (everybreath you take by the police is somehwere around 423.5Hz to my ears..

    THe calibration range of 438Hz-444Hz represents the transition range to my ears and very unnatural for the voice


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