PolyTune review by TC Electronic

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  • 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

Purchased from: Gift

Sound — 10
As far as sound, there is none. Zilch. Nada. I have the Polytune as the very first item on my chain. When clicked, it is in full bypass mode. The only sounds I hear at that point are from whatever is going on with my pedal board & amp. TC Electronic is known for their pristine effects. The Polytune doesn't disappoint in that regard - it's not anything that adds or takes away from the signal chain...

Overall Impression — 10
The initial "wow" factor of this pedal is that you can strum all 6 strings of your guitar and see all of them on the pedal at once. That may work for some people, but between songs when I need a quick tune I can't see all 6 and decipher which is which. I think that's more my ability than anything else. My work-around is to strum 3 strings at a time. This makes it super easy as I can easily tell the top & bottom strings - the other one must be the middle. To be fair, this might have more to do with me either not being totally comfortable while playing (still new to performing) or the fact I mainly use it as a chromatic tuner. I think if I used Polytune mode more often it would become easier. I play in E flat/D sharp tuning and the Polytune accommodates this perfectly. I have my setting saved but when I Pick up another guitar in E tuning, the Chromatic Tuner Picks it up and I can tune no problem. This tuner can also be used for bass, but I've never used it that way. I absolutely love this tuner. The only reason I would replace it is if it were lost/stolen or a new model comes out.

Reliability & Durability — 10
It's a stomp pedal. And other than one brand, I've never had trouble with a pedal. It's made of metal and is slightly smaller than "standard" pedals. It feels rock solid and I can't imagine what abuse it would have to take to be damaged. That being said, I've not smashed it with a hammer or thrown it from a moving vehicle, so can't really comment on how it takes abuse. I would depend on it on a gig without a backup, for sure.

Ease of Use — 10
The TC Electronic Polytune is easily the best tuner I've used. That's not to say other tuners aren't good (both Boss & Korg make excellent tuners). But the Polytune is, for me, in another class altogether. Out of the box the tuner comes with a battery and some velcro for your board (the velcro is nicely cut, to go around the screws). The case is metal. It has different tuning modes. 1) Polyphonic mode (multiple strings), 2) Needle mode (digital "needle" like a Korg), 3) Stream mode (rotating motion like a strobe). I prefer Needle mode, but that's what I'm use to. Oh, and it's pretty smart. If I Pick just one string it shows me Needle Mode. If I strum 2 or more, it automatically gives me Polytune Mode. The tuner has some memory, so after you've found the way you want it set up (alternate tunings, different reference tone, etc.) you can save it. This is a huge help, because then it's ready to go as soon as you plug in. The display has a ton of LEDs. This not only helps to tune more accurately (as there are small increments to use) but it also allows the tuner to display words/numbers for functions. For instance, if you're working with the reference tone and you want something other than 440, it displays the number on the display... The thing even has a ambient light sensor that detects how much light is in the space and changes the brightness of its display accordingly. It has a USB connector for firmware updates but I have not messed around with that at all. I probably will now that I've posted this review, but so far there's been no reason to.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    CapnKickass wrote: I hope it's good for 5 string guitars.
    lol, that would be my behringer 2 minutes after restringing... xD
    Haha, it'll work chromatically (needle or strobe) for any guitar. But I've not tried the polytune mode with anything other than a 6-string...