New Pedal Day & Review: Korg Pitchblack+ Tuner

I spent the last few weeks reassessing what’s on my pedal board and made some decisions that led me to replace stompboxes I’ve had for the most part of this year. The first was my tuner – I was quite alright using a Planet Waves CT-04 for over a year but it’s tuning accuracy isn’t great and there were times when it would be about 2 cents off forcing me to fine-tune by ear. I chose the CT-04 over a Boss TU-2 because Planet Waves claimed it was true bypass, which I found to be inaccurate on opening the pedal. To kill my curiosity however, I got a TU-2 last month to compare with the CT-04 since they share the same accuracy. In a few minutes it was clear that the TU-2 was more accurate, although I preferred the LED meter on the CT-04, and the buffered bypass of the TU-2 sounded better at higher volume.

Now I’m planning to start repairing and setting up guitars part-time and know that I will need a very accurate tuner for intonating guitars, so I ended up selling the CT-04 and TU-2 and turned my attention to the Peterson StroboStomp 2 which is regarded as one of the best tuners – fast, accurate and easy to use. I could not justify the £150 price tag, however, so I looked for alternatives and remember reading good reviews about the Korg Pitchblack series and DT-10 last year, which are reasonably priced. Their accuracy is pretty good (+/-1 cent) but the Pitchblack+ was more tempting for it’s accuracy that was on par with the StroboStomp and it’s price that was a small step up from the Pitchblack and DT-10.

Korg Pitchblack+ Tuner
Korg Pitchblack+ TunerIf you’ve always want a high precision tuner like the Peterson Strobostomp without spending that kind of money, I would recommend getting your hands on a Pitchblack+ for £95. The price is lower in the U.S. (as is the case always) but it would cost the same after shipping and duty had I imported one.

Right out of the box I was impressed by how Korg thoughtfully included a 4-way daisy chain to power other pedals with the Pitchblack+. A 9V DC output is common on pedal tuners but none of the manufacturers bundle a daisy chain so buyers can use this feature right out of the box.

What I love about the Pitchblack+:

» really intuitive and easy to use
» tuning accuracy of at least +/-0.1 cents, as good as the Strobostomp
» brilliant dual LED meters making it so easy to tune
» true bypass that doesn’t color your tone
» dual inputs to connect 2 guitars simultaneously, each with their own tuning profile
» muted tuning

Check out Korg’s product page for detailed specs and information on the Pitchblack+.

You will notice the Pitchblack+ is larger than other tuners but that is a small price to pay for a professional tuner that has some very cool features. If and when I do find time, I shall follow up this brief review with a video of the Pitchblack+ in action because seeing is believing.

Finally, while conducting research for a new tuner, I did come across the Turbo Tuner from Sonic Research which is the most accurate tuner to date – someday I might buy that, but the Pitchblack+ is perfect for my needs at this time.

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