Clip-on tuners work by sensing the vibration in a stringed insrument, and displaying the frequency of that vibration as a musical note. Clip-on tuners have been around several years, but never fully caught on with guitar players until recently. This was largely due to the inaccuracy of the available models. Players were simply content to stick with their pedal tuners.
The Snark was designed from the ground-up to succeed where other clip-on tuners had failed. Featuring a wider cent range of A415-466hz, ultra-responsive sensor pad, and 360 degree rotating display, the Snark is a breath of fresh air for folks who value tuning without plugging in. But that's not all. The Snark also features a tap-tempo metronome, as well. It operates via one CR2032 coin battery.
The display is easy to read on a dark stage, and if positioned correctly, takes advantage of the instrument headstock's shadow to be visible in daylight outdoors venues.
Acoustic players will get the most benefit from the snark, as it allows even those with strictly-acoustic instruments to have access to accurate tuning, even in noisy environments. A recurring problem when tuning acoustic instruments, especially for guitar technicians, is tuning an acoustic-electric instrument while the band is playing. All those frequencies and volume rolling off the stage and flying around the room vibrate the instrument's soundboard, and this vibration can greatly interfere with a standard plug-in tuner's ability to detect and read notes via the instruments pickup, which itself often uses the instrument's soundboard (the top, front-facing portion of the instrument) to transfer string vibration to the pickup.
It's even sensitive enough to pick up the E5 range on a mandolin, and The soft rubber clip contacts ensure that the snark won't mark or damage the finish on your instrument.
With a retail price of $19.95, it's worth having more than one Snark on hand. Buy a few, put one in each guitar case, keep one at home, one in your car, emergency kit, etc. You'll likely be glad you did.
Every musician no matter what you play needs to be sure they are in tune. There are many choices available to us on the market but none come close to the usefulness of this little gadget. The Snark chromatic all instrument tuner should have a home in everyone’s gig bag. This little wonder can tune in two ways. The more traditional method of sound detection though a built in microphone or by sensing the vibrations of the instrument it is clipped on to. The unit is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and the readout is bright and colorful making the chore of tuning a breeze. The clip has padded protector on it so it will not mark your instrument and it features 2 ball joints so the readout can be positioned to accommodate almost any situation.
The Snark really shines in its vibration mode. It has a 1 cent level of accuracy like most tuners in its range and can be calibrated from 415-456 Hz. I find that the Snark in vibration mode tracks the notes quickly and accurately. The red (flat), blue (in tune), green (sharp) display is bright and easy to read as is the white note indicator. There is also a transpose feature for situation like using a capo. I find that the Snark offers a fast, reliable, and accurate tuning experience. It has proven easier to use than tuners I have owned costing much more money. I use this to intonate my instruments as well and it has streamlined the process immensely. For the price I do not believe there is a better tuner around.
The Snark also offers a silent metronome feature. As much as I like the tuner feature I find the metronome more of a novelty then a practice tool. The metronome does feature a tap tempo as well as a user defined setting so it does serve a purpose for finding out what tempo you are playing in or to get the feel for the tempo you want to be in however I find it difficult to use it as a traditional practice tool. I refuse to remove points for the metronome as I feel it to be more of a bonus than a functional reason for my purchase.
I have used the snark to tune guitars, basses, violins, and my sax. I have even used it to help my children with their vocal practice when a keyboard was unavailable to help them with pitch. I have owned or used over a dozen different tuners over the years. Other than the strobe tuner I used years ago in college symphony band no other has been as accurate or easier to use. I always get a confident response from any instrument I have used it on and the tuning process has never been less of a chore. If anything happened to the Snark I would replace it in a heartbeat. I am also purchasing two more this year for my daughters to pack in their violin cases for school.