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Boss TU-2 Chromatic Tuner

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What do the guitar player from your local church's praise band and John 5 of Marilyn Manson's band have in common? They both need tuning pedals. In fact, if you play any sort of stringed instrument, you need a tuner. If you play an acoustic instrument with no output jack, you'll want a clip-on tuner like the $3 Reverb Tuner. If your instrument does use a 1/4" out, you need a tuning pedal. Period. This one simple piece of gear can save tons of time and prevent potential cringe-worthy, audience-scattering performances and yet it is probably the cheapest pedal you'll buy (aside from maybe a well-loved Boss DS-1). And no tuning pedal is more ubiquitous and vouched for than the Boss TU-2 Chromatic Tuner.

The Goldilocks Zone

Part of the reason the Boss TU-2 (and its successor the TU-3) appear on nearly every pedalboard you'll see is that it is reliable, accurate and has just enough capability without overcomplicating things. The LEDs oscillate at a rate indicating how close you are to the note, while a clear green light in the center tells you when your job is done for that string. The TU-2 has an eight octave range and seven modes, for standard guitar and bass frequencies and de-tuned setups down to a whole step below standard. There is even an option to set a difference reference pitch above or below A 440 (438 - 445 Hz). Beyond this, anything else is just unnecessary in a tuning pedal. Anything less than this leaves you somewhat confined in the way tune your guitar.

More Than Just A Tuner

Some people overlook the fact that when you are not tuning your guitar, your tuner still serves a purpose. For one, your guitar signal is usually going to be running through your tuner during the whole show, so it's critical that your tuning pedal doesn't dampen your tone or dirty it with noise. This is part of the reason why people rely on the TU-2. It disappears when you turn it off, leaving your signal chain mostly unaffected. On the flip side, if you are switching guitars or need to abruptly stop or just be completely silent during a bandmate's solo, the TU-2 acts as a great mute, giving you a chance to re-check a few strings if needed in the meantime. I've even seen players like Tommy Emmanuel use it as an attack remover, quickly engaging it while picking and then disengaging it while rolling the volume knob on his guitar to create a Slow Gear swell-like effect.

  • BOSS world-renowned TU-Series tuner accuracy in a convenient stompbox design
  • Mute/Bypass select for silent tuning with a single stomp
  • 11-point LED indicators and new "stream" meter display tuning discrepancy via speed and direction of LEDs (speed of LED movement gets slower as pitch becomes more accurate)
  • 7-segment LED displays string and note names, easily visible on dark stages
  • Seven easy tuning modes include Chromatic, Guitar Regular, Guitar Flat, Guitar Double Flat, Bass Regular, Bass Flat, Bass Double Flat
  • Tuning mode setting and display style choice stored in memory
  • Adjustable reference pitch from 438 to 445Hz
  • 8-octave tuning range--the widest in its class
  • Footswitchable Tuner Off mode preserves battery life by disabling LEDs