Another trip in the Ade Phazy Gear Time Machine. The year is 2005. The item in question is the revolutionary (well, it was in 2005) Peterson StroboStomp tuner. This is what I wrote about it in January 2006.
I’ve used various tuners over the years, and currently use a Korg GT-3 in my Pedal board. Whilst this has been fine for live use (helped by my obsessional approach when fitting new strings and making sure that the nut is well lubed), recording always seems to amplify any tuning imperfections.
So, having read some good reviews of this pedal sized “strobe” tuner, I took the plunge and bought one. It’s not cheap (approx GBP 90, I think), but I liked the idea of some of the built in options including:
- Choice of temperaments – including Buzz Feiten
- Optional true bypass
- Pedal size unit
- Bright, easy to read display
The casing is heavy duty plastic and seems reasonably roadworthy, and quite a bit larger than a Boss pedal. Personally, I don’t like the over-fussy shape of the casing and think a straightforward rectangular enclosure would look more classy and functional. The top of the case is dominated by the digital strobe readout plus the solid looking on-off footswitch, and completed by two rather flimsy plastic buttons for accessing the various settings.
So far, I have used it only in the studio, as I haven’t yet quite worked out where to fit it on my pedal board. It takes a while to get used to the strobe style display and seems to work best when tuning with the neck pickup with volume rolled down to 2 or 3. However, once you get used to the sensitivity of the display it is easy to use. And is it better than the Korg? Yes – in the sense that you can tune the guitar more accurately (excellent for intonation adjustments, by the way). Also, the various tuning options add a versatility you don’t tend to find in pedal sized tuners.
However, I prefer simplicity on stage. And simplicity is what you get with simple tuners like the Korg. Which is why although the StroboStomp has a permanent home in my studio, I won’t be rushing to fix it to my pedal board for live use.
I still have and use this tuner, but only in the workshop when setting up guitar intonation, etc. It’s a good piece of kit.
A mumber of high quality tuners have come onto the market since 2005, and the Peterson StroboStomp pedal is now in its second edition.