Friday, February 14, 2014

TC Electronic Polytune Classic Review

Of all the cool pedals out there one of the least exciting and yet most important pedals is a tuner. There are a lot of great options in tuners others than pedals. Clip on tuners seem to be very popular as well as smartphone apps. But if you have a pedalboard a tuner is almost a necessity. I picked up the TC Electronic Polytune about three years ago and it has served me very well so I thought I'd post a review.

The Polytune was the first polyphonic tuner on the market. Polyphonic means that it can "listen" to all your strings being played at the same time and hear which strings might be out of tune. Just strum your guitar and watch to see which strings are a little flat or sharp. It can also function in Chromatic mode, meaning just one string at a time. With the tuner engaged you can play any note on the fretboard and almost instantly see if it is in tune. You also have the option of Needle mode or Strobe mode depending on what your preference is. If you prefer to tune half step down there is a button on the back which shifts the poly mode down or up a half step. The newer models also include a drop D option which is really cool.

I run my Polytune in two different places on my board. Normally I run it right after my wah pedal and before anything else. This insures that my dry signal coming from my guitar is unaffected my any modulation. It also acts as a mute switch if I need it, no one wants to listen to you tune and if I need to cut the sound off it lets the delay taper off naturally. The other place I will sometimes put my Polytune is off of the second out on my delay pedal. This allows me to leave my Polytune on without it affecting anything else and I can see at anytime if I'm in tune, however I loose the mute switch option when I do this. Another cool feature of the pedal is that it has an in and out power jacks. This allows me to leave everything on the board plugged in with a daisy chain and then just plug in the Polytune when I'm ready to jam. Awesome!
Lots of Options 

Even though I plug in my Polytune I like to keep a battery in it for when I'm restring my guitars. It's faster and more accurate than my phone app. I find the Chromatic mode to be more accurate than the Polyphonic mode and that's what I use most of the time but for a quick check, the Polyphonic mode is great. I've been very happy with my purchase of this pedal, it's well built and works great.
This review was completely unsolicited, I received no compensation for it and all views and opinions are my own.

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