TU-80 Tuner & Metronome review by Boss

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Ease of Use: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.4 (23 votes)
Boss: TU-80 Tuner & Metronome

Price paid: £ 19

Purchased from: GAK

Sound — 9
As a tuner, it's accurate to +/- 1 cent, which is more than enough. I tuned my guitar with this, then tested it with a Boss TU-2, and satisfyingly they were consistent with each other. So no problems with quality of tuning: of course its not gig worthy as it's niether a foot pedal, nor has a mains input or backlit background, but for bedroom use, there's no need for anything more. A gigging alternative would be a TU-2 or Pitchblack, which have bypasses built in.

Overall Impression — 9
Overall, Im satisfied. If you bought this tuner with the impression that you could gig with it, then you would naturally be disappointed, but being realistic about when and where you're using it would avoid that problem. If I was gigging, I'd most likely buy a Korg Pitchblack, but Im not, so I have no need. Even if I was, I would probably keep one of these handy in my guitar case just incase. If stolen, I'd get another because at that price, it's not a great deal to pay. No backlight is slightly annoying, as is the lack of mains input, but thats roaming into stompbox territory, which means more money. Chromatic tuning for a low price though is what I wanted, and it's what I got, so Im completely satisfied. Like I say, I wouldnt buy this for the metronome function: its too quiet and fiddly to use, and seems like an afterthought to try and make it more marketable. As a tuner though... brilliant.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I see no reason why I couldnt depend on this tuner: its accurate and as long as you know you have a good set of batteries, it shouldnt break down. I wouldnt gig with it, mainly because its not a stomp box, nor is it backlit: it's not intended to be a gigging tuner. It is plastic, and feels like it could be broken with considerable force, but it's also very lightweight, so if you do drop it, its not the end of the world. Again, if you use it as it's intended to be used, and look after it, Im sure it would last well. I must say it lacks the feel of quality that Boss stompboxes have, but again, that quality is gigging quality, and you pay for it. For less than 20GBP, what can you expect?

Ease of Use — 9
No faulting the product for ease of use: simply swith it on, plug in the guitar cable and you're away. The AccuPitch is a nice addition, if a little unnecessary, but overall, the tuner seems very accurate. Other cheap tuners, chromatic or otherwise seem to have problems telling you when you hit the exact note, the needle often drifting sharp or flat, making it difficult to tell when you get the note perfect: I dont get this problem much at all with this tuner: the two LEDs light when you hit the note exactly, and a sound is given out after about a second when the string is consistently at that pitch. I use this solely as a tuner, and thus the metronome is just a redundant feature for me: I figure if you want a metronome, buy a metronome. Being chromatic also lets you tune to all of the semitones, and I can readily tune my guitar to all sorts of exotic and dropped tunings - a must have if you like to play in something like E-flat. I have this running off the second output of my DigiTech Bad Monkey - just turn the BM off, and the tuner is engaged and no need to run the tuner in my effects chain so no colouring of tone. Simple.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Pimmy Jage
    I just got one, and I'm confused by two things: the so-called, 'flat tuning indicator'. I'm not sure if I should have lit up five of those 'b's, or what. Second, what Hz should I set? It seemed to ship set at 440Hz. Please help.
    I have had this awhile and I regret not buying the other thin Boss models because although it tunes your guitar perfectly and has a pretty acceptable metronome, it doesn't sit in the Boss BCB-60 Pedalboard compartment at the top for these because its too fat. That compartment does take the other Boss thin TUs though like the TU-12EX. So its not a very Boss compatible product. Also the battery cover slips off too easily. This might have been a good starting tuner but is now just too annoying to have near my better gear, which doesn't make it that useful anymore and I will likely have to upgrade to the TU-12EX or other.
    i have it it's great does everything you need it to do - tunes well and the metronome is prett useful too. it's a good purchase
    One mod I did to make this even faster and more accurate was to remove the mic from inside. It was picking up too muck ambiant noise. I can't tune acoustic guitars directly with this now but the electric guitars settle down quicker this way. Just open it up and snap off the round silver mic.
    I like it, but I'm confused. What setting should it be on to tune a guitar in standard tune? Mine never seems right..and I know it's just because I have the settings all weird.
    Could any1 please tell me (email or PM) how to tune to drop D, C, Whole Step down etc with this tuner?