Sound — 10
This tuner is meant to be clipped on the instrument headstock, not rest on a pedalboard. Thus, it has no input or output jack, and doesn't put out its own sound. However, it's incredibly accurate, and sported good response times when tested with an electric guitar, acoustic guitar and a 4-string bass guitar. The louder and the more vibration put out by the instrument natively, the faster the tuner seems to lock in the tone. The Mini Headstock Tuner was then tested in comparison at the same time with another name brand tuner, and the Planet Waves tuner was equally as accurate.
Overall Impression — 9
The Planet Waves Mini Headstock Tuner is a great product that provides an important function to the hobbyist or gigging musician in a compact, easy-to-use format. It's very accurate, and it's also currently one of the cheapest tuners around. For the acoustic, electric, bass or even ukelele player, this is one tool you'll always find a home for in your toolkit.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The Mini Headstock Tuner is mostly plastic, which means it may not stand up to very rough abuse. However, being that it's clipped to the headstock and not being stomped on by a musician's boot, it isn't that likely that this should suffer any real abuse. The swivel mechanism feels secure and solid, and one can easily imagine this being clipped onto a guitar and then staying there for months or years without a hitch.
Ease of Use — 10
One can't make their way through a music store or website nowadays without checking out some Planet Waves products. For years they've been supplying amateur and professional musicians with all of the essentials they need to improve upon how they play, or how they spend their time before and after playing. While they have several other instrument tuners on the market, they have now introduced the Mini Headstock Tuner, part of their ongoing collaboration with Ned Steinberger. Their Steinberger products (the "NS" line), sports some of the most unique, innovative products to come to the world of guitar playing, and once you try them, you wonder how you lived without them all of these years.
The Mini Headstock Tuner, like some others in the past, is meant to clip to the guitar, bass or ukulele headstock. Where this tuner differs is in a few key areas:
- Size - The tuner, as its name suggests, is incredibly small. Its so compact that you can only see the clip holding it to the headstock when facing the guitar player, which allows you to hide it stealthily facing you only while on stage.
- Display - Almost the entire face of the tuner is the display, a very bright, backlit display that reads great at home or under dim stage lights.
- Ease of Use - This tuner is designed to face the player while holding and playing the guitar, with a swivel that lets you point it towards you whether you're standing or sitting, and can easily be adjusted from 430 to 450 Hz. Simply turn it on and tune up!
- Battery Life - Planet Waves made a wide choice by utilizing a battery more typically found in watches or car alarm clickers, that tend to last for a very long time before needing replacement. Further, they've included an auto-off feature, which turns the tuner off automatically if it doesn't detect any signal for a few minutes, to preserve battery life. This is great for situations where you may slip the guitar back in your gig bag and forget to turn off the tuner.