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Best tuner under $20?

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  • #78346
    Jodi Ann Tolman
    Participant

    I’ve spent a long time reading through the forums about tuners, but can’t figure out which tuner is preferred… the Korg (CA-1 or CA-40) with pickup, or the Snark SN-2. Which is better for a 36 string folk harp?

    Apologies for all my posts lately! I’m just still learning so much and everyone here is so knowledgeable!

    #78347
    harpglo-jean
    Participant

    Hi Jodi,
    I have both of those tuners, but prefer to use the Snark SN-2, which is very portable. I just clip it onto my tuner key, and tune my Dusty 36S, and it’s so quick and easy. However, when I’m tuning in the higher octaves, I usually flip the tiny switch from, “vib” to “mic” to pick up those notes. I bought mine on Amazon around 3 years ago for the low price of $9.95….

    #78348
    Donna O
    Participant

    I too have both Korgs and the Snark-2. I much prefer the Snark. It’s much easier to use.

    #78349
    Bonnie Shaljean
    Participant

    I agree with the others – get the Snark (SN2 model, all-instruments chromatic tuner, comes in red). I have both it and the Korg, which I find is SO sensitive that it responds to all the overtones in the strings as well, making the needle fluctuate wildly, so it’s often hard to know where the settling-point for the fundamental pitch is. The Snark does this somewhat too – it’s in the nature of harp strings – but it’s less volatile and much easier to read. Funnily enough, I was just writing to a student’s mum about this very subject this morning. She emailed back that on her own Korg she was driven demented trying to distinguish where the actual note was, and finally went back to just tuning to the piano.

    The Snark will clip to the shank of your key, so its display face sits right next to the tuning pin which means you can see everything in one go. Also you can easily re-position it with your thumb so you don’t need to interrupt the flow of your movements or shift your eyes back and forth.

    In addition it has a built-in metronome (it only displays a visual pulse and doesn’t sound) which can be useful if you want to determine a tempo without anyone else hearing (e.g. before a performance). There’s further discussion about the Snark in the Coffee Break section (“New Dusty Key with Tuner”).

    #78350
    Angela Biggs
    Member

    I like the Snark. With my 36-string harp, I usually tune most of the harp by ear, but the Snark gives me a good starting point for that middle tenth. On occasion I want to tune quickly, and then I do what HarpGlo said she does — switch it from Vibrate to Microphone for the upper octaves. Works like a charm.

    #78351
    Jodi Ann Tolman
    Participant

    Fantastic! I think I’m sold on the Snark. I might as well try it out since it’s so inexpensive anyway. Thanks for all the feedback!

    #78352
    Angela Biggs
    Member

    Haha, yes, that’s another perk. I own like five Snarks; they’re cheap enough that I can send them off with rented harps and not worry about them — if they don’t come back, oh well. Let us know how you like it!

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