For the purpose of this review, I’ve decided to present two options. Guyatone make very nice equipment and give you options according to your needs.
The two tuners we’ll be looking at are the PT-21 and the MT3.
First the PT-21. This is one of the nicest tuners I’ve ever seen. Look at the picture and see if you notice the guitar pick… This thing actually fits into the palm of your hand!
It’s obviously too small to plug a cable into, so it works by picking up vibrations. It’s a great little tuner for acoustic or classical guitars (but it also works with an electric, plugged in or not). You place the display section on the side of the guitar so that you can easily see it (there are two sticky strips included; if they stop sticking, rub a little bit of detergent and they’ll stick again), then fold down the other part on the front of the guitar. That’s not a misprint, it actually folds.
Press power and voila. You can leave it on and tune your guitar as you go along. You can also set the mode to anything other than 440.
There’s also a small mic built-in to it to pick up wind instruments, voices, and what-not. It operates on a large, flat replaceable (included) lithium battery. Look on the photo, the part that says “EDM” is the section that houses the lithium battery and it’s not much larger than the battery itself. I’m not kidding when I say this thing is small.
It’ll fit into any pocket at all. Don’t have a pocket? It will fit inside a sock and you won’t even notice it’s there…
And it comes with a hard plastic case so that it won’t break if you drop it and it would be really easy to step on.
As it picks up vibrations it will work equally well with an unplugged electric guitar.
But, for the electric, Guyatone have got a whole other beast. The MT3 is a tuner stomp box. It’s about time someone put a tuner in a stomp box. Put it in-line with your other stomp boxes and pedals, add a 9Volt battery or adapter, plug in your cables and press the small “Power” button. Like the PT-21, it starts off by saying (well, spelling) Hello. Leave it on and it’s there all night long to tune your electric whenever you need to.
But, you say, you’re onstage, so you’d have to run in before your volume pedal so that the crowd doesn’t hear you tune. Wrong! This is another example of how this company take the time to think about their products instead of just throwing them on the market. That big switch there in the middle of it isn’t the power switch, it’s a mute switch. Click on it and tune your guitar; nobody can hear you. When you’re done, click on it again to regain your sound. You can actually tune in the middle of a song and if no spotlight is on you, probably no one will notice.
Remember those classic tuners that have a cable in/cable out? There’s no mute on these and you can’t just leave them lying on the floor; you’re bound to step on them and you can’t see the digits.
With this thing, you can step on it all you like, it’s built for it. It’s the same type of casing and solidity as the VT-3. And the display is in huge large red letters with lights that you can see very easily while standing up to tell you how far away you are from being in tune.
All this without ever having to bend down to set anything or without straining your eyes. You can also set the mode and select a particular note if you’re not going for straight 440 tuning.
And as the MT3 has a mute switch, you can place it at the very beginning of your pedal chain or at the very end or anywhere in between, it won’t affect anything.
The MT3’s suggested retail price is $95 USD while the PT-21 is suggested at $75 USD. Both great values and these are most likely the last tuners you’ll ever buy.