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.