Sunday, October 3, 2010
Product Review: TC Polytune
This months product review is on TC Electronics Polytune floor tuner. I know I have been writing alot about tuners but they are so vital I feel it is necessary. I came across this product and felt it needed to be talked about. I review products I believe in and believe will be an asset to players. This Polytune pedal is one of the most amazing pieces of technology I have come across in a while. I am gonna get the specs out of the way first.
The tuning accuracy is +/- 0.5 cent. The power supply is a 9 volt battery or 9 volt dc adapter. The input impedance is 500kOhm with the pedal on. Reference pitch is A4=435 to 445 Hz (1 hz steps). The current draw is 45-50 mA.
Lets get down to the tuner itself and its features. It is a true bypass pedal. I put the pedal in many areas of my pedal chain to see if it messed with the sound any. I had a Cry Baby wah, Boss d-3 delay, Boss eq, Digitech Whammy pedal, Boss super Chorus, MXR Phaser and an Angry Troll linear boost pedal ran in my board. I put the Polytune before and after every signal pedal to see how it did. It had no effect at all no matter where I put it in the chain. I dug that. I HATE floor tuners because they normally mess with my sound. This one did not. First big reason I liked it. Next is what it can tune. It can tune your guitar and any 4, 5, and 6 string bass. There is a button on the back on each side of the pedal. You hit the button right under where is says Polytune to select guitar or bass. It also lets you pick if you want the display to read the typical "needle" or if you want it to stream. This is a chromatic tuner and a POLYPHONIC tuner. Polyphonic is a fancy way of saying IT TUNES ALL THE STRINGS AT THE SAME TIME!!!!! I had seen the ad for this tuner in a guitar magazine and was very intrigued. Now that I had one to try I was excited to do it. First though I had to set it to the tuning I wanted. The button on the back lets you pick if you want standard, 1/2 step down, whole step down and then some. I picked 1/2 step down and went for it. I strummed all the strings and damn if it did not read them all. It was easy to read. Its got double dots to represent each string, almost like mini side ways needles. I tuned up and then just hit each string individually. If you just hit a string it automatically switches to a chromatic tuner. That works the other way too. If you want to check all the strings you just strum and it automatically switches to polyphonic. It is just as accurate weather its in chromatic or polyphinic modes. You can not only pick if you want standard, 1/2 step down , etc for your tuning, you can also calibrate if you want it to be down to A=435 or up to 445. You just hold down both buttons on the back and use each individual button to go up or down with the pitch. Simply amazing. I tuned up three different guitars with it. My Berkshire, my Gibson Explorer and my acoustic/electric Taylor 810. It tuned each one with ease. I then checked each guitar against two other tuners- an intellitouch clip on tuner and my $300 Korg rack tuner. The TC was dead on. The intellitouch gets you close. The korg gets you there too. The TC was the first tuner that I ever used that I DID NOT HAVE TO DO ANY ADJUSTING TO!!!I have always hated floor tuners, and most clip tuners, because even after I tune I have to sit and still do adjustments. The Polytune was perfect. I used the Polytune at my gig this weekend and also found out two more interesting features. One is that if you use the adapter feature it also has a power out so that you can use it to daisy chain pedal power off of!!! It also has an ambient light sensor on the front of it that automatically adjusts the brightness of the display depending on how bright the area the pedal is in. You will always be able to see the display!!!! This pedal is more than good enough to set up your intonation on your guitar too. I set up my Gibson Explorer with it just to test it out and my ear told me the tuner was dead on.
I know this has been a long winded review. I can not help myself on this one. I actually got goosebumps using this tuner. I got hyped up. I know its a dorky guitar player thing to do but I want everyone to know how great this is. It is a must have for any bass, acoustic/electric and electric guitar player. Rock Bottom Music has them on sale for $99. There is no floor tuner that can compare and it is just as good as any high dollar rack tuner. For $99 you can not beat this. It is a must have for any serious player. Get down to Rock Bottom and check it out. I am very much thanking Jonathon Karow for letting me get my hands on this pedal. The TC Electronics Polytune is beyond a homerun!!
for more on the polytune go to http://www.tcelectronic.com/polytune.asp