Roadie 3 Guitar Tuner
Roadie 3 is a fully automated tuner compatible with most string instruments like electric, acoustic and classical guitars, ukuleles, banjos and mandolins. It’s quick, easy to use, versatile and accurate.
I’ve been following Band Industries line of tuners since we first reviewed the Roadie 2 a few years ago. In May of 2020, Roadie 3 was brought to life thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign. Despite the globally tumultuous time, the creators of Roadie 3 reached their crowdfunding goal in just ten minutes, raising over $445,000 from backer support. The results were so explosive Roadie 3 was featured by Kickstarter as a “Project We Love.”
It’s so cool to have my hands on one these elegant tuners. It’s a major upgrade on the Roadie 2. If you’re a satisfied owner of the previous version you’ll probably want to upgrade now. Fortunately the newer version sells for the same price as the older model. With all the great improvements this is hard to figure out, but we’re not going to stress about getting our money’s worth.
I’ve actually been working with the Roadie 3 for quite some time now, using it almost everyday for six months before writing this review. In that time I haven’t tired of it or found any serious fault.
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The Bottom Line
So, what’s the bottom line on the Roadie 3 tuner?
Do you really need this? Probably.
Is this the only tuner you will ever need? Probably not.
I like to tune up with the Roadie 3 every time I play. There are no problems with its performance or accuracy. It does exactly what it’s meant to do. For micro-tunings or quick in-between song changes, I still rely on the comfort of a trusty clip on D’Adarrio clip-on tuner.
Where the Roadie 3 shines is how quickly it can tune. Not only is it faster than tuning by ear or using another tuner, it also has 150 alternate tunings to pick from. If you can’t find your favorite you can store your own custom tunings. How many other tuners can do that?
Roadie 3 can also tune with a capo on. More precise tuning is available with an increased accuracy setting. You can also change the reference pitch. One feature I especially like is the ability to have Roadie 3 only tune-up. Giving the strings slack and then tightening back up makes sure they stay in tune longer, and I’ve never known an electronic tuner to do that before.
Even with all these features, Roadie 3 is not confusing at all. It is an easy to use, ergonomically designed tuner that fits in your pocket, hand or guitar case. Only when first starting out did I find it slightly awkward to handle. When tuning a 3×3 headstock configuration you have to flip it over to get all strings, but even that feels simple enough after a few days of use.
Roadie 3 is even more useful if you download and use the accompanying app. It’s not essential and you can do without it. But the app is the only way to install firmware updates and software improvements. With the app you can easily add custom tunings and new instruments and sync everything later. The tuner has some secret magic where it remembers your instruments with every tuning and learns to tune them better over time.
There are a few other useful things it can do. It functions as an impressive string winder, which makes changing strings even easier. It works better than the cheap plastic ones that literally everyone owns. I just have to knock one point off the review because it doesn’t have the most useful part of a string winder – the bridge pin peg remover.
Before buying, realize Roadie 3 can handle just about any stringed instrument with guitar machine heads – that includes your ukuleles, 12 strings, banjos and mandolins. But it does not work with bass guitars. There is a separate tuner called the Roadie Bass for that.
I’m glad the Roadie 3 comes in a nice durable box. That’s where I keep the charging cable. This thing lasts so long without needing a charge it will be a long time before you ever need to find that cable again. You can actually use any USB-C cable for recharging.
Sure, when it comes to tuning any old tuner will do. But if you play guitar regularly you’ll almost certainly need more than one tuner. This should be one of them.
I just wish it also told time, because it’s replaced the need for any guitar apps on my phone. Now it’s just me and my guitar. And my Roadie 3.
Available from www.roadiemusic.com and Amazon.com.