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Sonic Research ST-200 Stomp Box Strobe Tuner
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Sonic Research ST-200 Stomp Box Strobe Tuner
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« Too good to be true ? Or - too good for guitar? »

Published on 09/23/14 at 10:38
Overall it's a very good stomp box to have on the pedalboard. Its readings are visible on/in all stage lights. You'll see the "roulette wheel" moving if something is out of tune the slightest. Very sturdy and road worthy build. It has some unique features that has not been covered in the rest of the reviews.

Maybe it's just too good for guitar? Too precise, and too perfect? No guitar will intonate within 0,02 cents! I can press with just my fingers any string out of tune, severely with this pedal! Since it doesn't really show how much, it makes you think it's way out of tune, when it's just spinning like hell, but the real out of tune is maybe just at one cent. It reacts to when just TOUCHING the guitars head, or starting to reach for the tuners on the guitar headstock! It is THAT sensitive. It takes a bit too long time to tune up, because it's so sensitive, so one might be better off leaving it at home, when intonating and setting up the guitar or whatever instrument. It's so fast you can tune drums to it too. Very good for its price. The sound it makes? None! It does not have a reference pitch. Some pedals or tuners has this though. I don't have any use for that, especially on stage. Who wants to hear that?

One thing that is different from ALL PEDALS: It turns off the battery when it's turned off. I e the battery wont drain when just you have the plugs in. Which means you can leave it plugged on your pedal board, and don't need to use any power cord, adapter which can be freed up for other pedals. No one has done this before. As one stomps at the switch one can hear a slight "clonk" - electric, not the acoustic mechanical clonk - for when the battery turns active. Also whenever a power cord, 9v adapter is used, it turns on regardless of anything is plugged in or not. Whether this is deliberate or not, I don't know, it says nothing in the manual about it.

It is crucial if you have it on your board to know this. Because, the main caveat I have about it is that they shouldn't have placed the power jack for 9v BELOW the actual input jack! It should've been placed on the front of the box. It gets in the way for your guitar cable, as it protrudes out a bit, and makes angled input plugs impossible to use. Provided of course, that this is the first pedal in the chain. It IS true bypass, as it carries signal even when there's no battery in it, or power chord plugged into it. As fast as you step on the switch it turns silent.

You can also program it beforehand to alternate tunings. Say, if you forgotten one and thinks "Hey, what was it that Michael Hedges used..." you just have to program it once, and remember that it was on the last preset, and tune up to the first down to sixth strings. Very handy. I don't care much for sweetened stuff, like BFTS tuning or TrueTemperament tuning at all. This is the drawback of such a meticulous tuner, with that prickly accuracy. You tend to get OCD and anal about intonation and tuning. Sorry, but an A 440 is A 440 to me, regardless of open strings or fretted anywhere on a guitar. It is a bit overkill for guitar. For other instruments, maybe even piano, it's ok.
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