Players have grown to demand a lot from their guitar tuners. Reliability, accuracy, ease of use, and the ability to tune in a variety of tunings are now expected of even the smallest units on the market. The new Snark series of clip-on tuners promises to deliver all of this, plus throw in a few surprises as well. This month, we’ll look at the company’s blue SN-1 (guitar/bass) to see if it belongs on your headstock.
The Snarks feature an ultra-bright digital readout, pitch calibration, transposition mode (for alternate tunings), and a tap-tempo feature on the included metronome. The swiveling neck of the Snark, which resembles a blue banana, for lack of a better description, allows the unit to be positioned at virtually any angle, and it can be clipped on the front or back of your headstock.
ACCURACY AND EASE OF USE
I tested the Snarks with an Alvarez PD-85SC acoustic, a Michael Kelly acoustic bass, a Fender Stratocaster, and a Schecter bass. For comparison, I used two different Boss tuners and the Alvarez’ onboard tuner. Simply put, when the SN-1 was clamped onto the acoustic guitar and bass, it worked perfectly and without any hassles. With the onboard chromatic tuner activated, I was even more impressed by the accuracy of the Snark—they matched precisely. It was much the same story when hooked to the Strat and the Schecter: The SN-1 worked quickly and smoothly, matching the readings of the pair of Boss tuners I had in front of me. The tap tempo function, activated by a button on the top of the display, was simple enough, and the unit displayed tempos via a very cool digital “heartbeat”—perfect for players who hate the chirping sound of other metronomes. Alternate and dropped tunings were easy to dial in as well, making the Snark the ultimate gig companion.
IS IT FOR YOU
Its feature list and userfriendly design makes it obvious that the Snark SN-1 was built with working musicians in mind. If you’re looking for a highly portable, accurate tuner— with a metronome and tap tempo, no less—the SN-1 is definitely worth your hard-earned dollars.
IN A NUTSHELL
• Easy to use
• Extremely accurate
• Onboard metronome with tap-tempo
• Pitch calibration
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