PolyTune review by TC Electronic

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8.5 (42 votes)
TC Electronic: PolyTune
3

Price paid: $ 99

Purchased from: Fazios Frets and Friends, St. Louis

Sound — 10
It doesn't really matter what you use with this; I've found that all electric guitars and basses work. My only acoustic-electric is currently not in working order, so I can't test it, but I have heard claims that they don't work very well with the Polytune, so I'd definitely open it up and try before you buy. The pedal isn't noisy, nice and quiet, and it just works.

Overall Impression — 10
I think this is the first time I've given a pedal straight 10s. Of course it's faced some criticism, but everything has a lemon once in a while. I haven't seen any problems, it works as advertised, and it really does make tuning easier. So for the first time, I can completely recommend a pedal to absolutely anyone, no questions asked.

Reliability & Durability — 10
The Polytune's casing is nice and sturdy, doesn't scuff or scratch easily, and the buttons/switches all seem tight. The screen hasn't seen any real abuse from me yet, but it's clear and easy to read. I'd never recommend actually gigging without a backup of anything, but I think you can be confident that this works.

Ease of Use — 10
When I first started looking for a tuner, the Polytune hadn't even been released. ProGuitarShop.com, however, received the prototype Polytune, without the TC Electronics branding, and it was quite shocking. Once we found out who made it, I was all for getting one.

Right out of the box, the Polytune is really simple to use. The back opens up via a single giant flat-head screw, allowing you to plug in the included battery. A button on the top left allows you to Switch from guitar needle/strobe tuning or bass needle/strobe tuning. A top right button allows switching tunings from E all the way down to B. The top also hosts an AC adapter in/out for powering itself and other pedals.

Plug a guitar cable in and the display quickly shows a "G" for guitar or "B" for bass, and you're ready to go. Step on the button and the signal is cut. Strum to tune multiple strings, or pluck one string to enter needle or strobe mode.

The display is nice and bright. Clear, easy to read, and it self-adjusts to light levels, so you won't be blinded on a dark stage and you can still see it in the bright sun. Response time is fast and tuning is accurate.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    jon.peebles
    if you have a 7 string guitar, you're the problem, not the tuner
    haha fantastic. as for the tuner, it kicks ass. works well and works quickly. The polytune mode almost seems like a bit of a gimmick to me but i'm pretty picky and i usually just end up using it like a standard chromatic pedal tuner. not that i've found the polytune mode to be inaccurate....i'm just a little hesitant to trust something like that. just a personal quirk. as for the durability/reliability....the switch just feels cheaply made to me. the first time i stepped on it i thought i broke it. i've been pretty cautious about it isnce then and nonetheless, mine quit working yesterday. my gut says its the switch. just never felt right to me. thank god for wararnties.
    Lams
    if you have a 7 string guitar, you're the problem, not the tuner
    NakedInTheRain
    ^agreed. this thing has 0.5 cent accuracy. It's the best tuner i've ever used. AND it can power other pedals.
    AntiG3
    Apparently it only has 0.5 cent accuracy in strobe mode. In needle mode it has 3 cent accuracy.
    NakedInTheRain
    AntiG3 wrote: Apparently it only has 0.5 cent accuracy in strobe mode. In needle mode it has 3 cent accuracy.
    Haha, I only ever use the strobe mode. Works beautifully!
    bowen
    Wouldn't this fail for 7+ string guitars? That's the downfall I see with this.