Clip-On Tuners

September 11, 2007 · Print This Article

I’ve used an Intellitouch clip-on tuner for years. It’s a useful tool, but often has given me trouble when there is a lot of croud noise, and has given me incorrect readings when attempting to stay in tune with other musicians on stage.

So, I recently ordered an Intelli-500 (also known as the IMT 500). I received the Intelli-500 in the mail a few days ago and did a comparison with the Intellitouch. I put new batteries in both tuners and put them both on the headstock of my guitar. I also switched the positions of the two tuners on the headstock, to make sure that the area where each tuner was placed on the headstock was not a factor.

The buttons on the Intelli-500 buzzed when I played the guitar. This was a little annoying. I put some scotch tape over the buttons, which cured the buzz.

By way of comparison, the backlight on the Intelli-500 is much brighter than the Intellitouch. Also, the display is more useful. While the Intellitouch has 3 markers on each side of the display to show whether a note is sharp or flat, the Intelli-500 has more markers, making the display more precise.

Here’s the kicker. In an open G tuning (DGDGBD, also known as Taropatch tuning), I tuned the G bass (5th string) and the G string (3rd) string so that they were in tune with each other (no beating patterns). The Intelli-500 registered both notes in perfect tune. However, the Intellitouch registered the G string in tune, but showed the G bass as being flat! This inaccuracy was very discouraging.

So, after five years with an Intellitouch, it looks like I’m switching to the Intelli-500, which cost about $21 after tax and shipping, and is sold by a number of online retailers.


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