Which violin tuner IS the best?
The tuning of a violin is much the same as the tuning of any stringed instrument, with the notes rising in perfect fifths like G, D, A, and E, the latter being the highest. An electric tuner makes life much easier as it helps you tune quickly and quietly while ensuring the strings are in tune with each other and with the rest of the orchestra or ensemble. An example of a high quality yet affordable violin tuner is the excellent D’Addario NS Micro Violin Tuner.
What to know before buying a violin tuner
When to use fine tuners
Digital tuners are very sensitive and react to small pitch adjustments. While this is essential when it comes to tuning accuracy, it can be difficult to lock in the desired pitch when tuning. Fine tuners allow the player to tension their string near pitch, then use a small rotary knob at the bridge end of the string to make incremental adjustments. Some violins have fine tuners on all strings, some only on the E string, while others do not.
Different types of tuners
The two most popular types of violin tuners are pedal and clip-on tuners. Pedal tuners are only effective if you have a magnetic pickup or play an electric violin, as they are positioned between two instrument cables. They are quiet to use, very precise and very robust. Clip-on tuners are by far the most popular violin tuners and they work by sensing the resonance in the body of the instrument when the string is plucked. They are affordable, lightweight, and small enough to fit in a case or instrument pocket.
The clamping mechanism is the main point of differentiation between a violin tuner and a regular stringed instrument tuner. Many violin tuners use a wider clamp to attach to the body of the violin, not the headstock as with an acoustic guitar. Those that attach to the far end of the instrument must also have a clamping mechanism large enough to accommodate this. Make sure a tuner is suitable for attaching to violins before making a purchase.
What to Look for in a Quality Violin Tuner
To tune your violin, a string is plucked as if you were playing pizzicato, and the note registers with the tuner, which displays the amount of sharp or flat. The best tuners calculate and present the result in milliseconds, with barely any noticeable delay. The on-screen meter should not lag as you turn your adjustment peg, as this may affect your ability to quickly and accurately adjust the pitch.
You need to be able to read your tuner’s display whether you’re tuning your violin outdoors in bright sunshine or in the orchestra pit of a dimly lit concert hall. The best tuners have brightly lit graphic meters, often with backlit LED displays. Additionally, many displays can be rotated and rotated to ensure that they can always face the musician, regardless of how the tuner is attached to the instrument.
A weak battery can affect the performance of your tuner before it stops working completely, so the longer the battery life, the better. The best violin tuners are rechargeable via a micro USB or USB-C port and give you several hours of use when fully charged. Many also have an auto power off feature, allowing you to tune your instrument for over a week between charges.
How much you can expect to spend on a violin tuner
Digital violin tuners are relatively inexpensive when it comes to musical instrument accessories. You can pick up a perfectly effective clip-on model for as little as $10, but high-quality options cost between $15 and $30, with pedal tuners costing between $50 and $150.
Violin Tuner FAQ
How to tune a violin?
A. The best violin tuners detect and display the note you are currently trying to tune. If the note is flat, the meter lights up on the left to indicate the degree of detuning. Tighten the string to the pitch, and the meter should display green or similar to register it as tuned. If the note is high, the meter lights up on the right and you have to release the string accordingly.
What are the best violin tuners overall?
A. When you weigh cost, convenience, portability, and ease of use, clip-on tuners win in every category. They may not have the precision of a pedal tuner, but they do require a line signal to work. Clip-on tuners are much more accurate than their microphone-based counterparts.
Are app tuners any good?
A. App tuners are convenient to use and great backup devices if you forget your digital tuner or it runs out of battery. However, app tuners work by measuring the frequency received by your phone’s microphone, and digital violin tuners pick up frequencies via vibrations in the body of the instrument, which is much more accurate and faster to to respond.
What are the best violin tuners to buy?
Premium Violin Tuner
D’Addario NS Violin Pickup Tuner
What do you want to know: The NS Micro is a very responsive and easy to read model that attaches directly to the body of the violin.
What you will love: This popular model from D’Addario features a tri-color display that makes it easy to use in dimly lit environments. It’s easy to attach and remove, and because it attaches close to the player, it’s a good tool for referencing pitch.
What you should consider: This is done specifically for violins and violas. As such, it is not easy to use with other stringed instruments.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
Best violin tuner for the money
Professional ENO violin and viola tuner
What do you want to know: This well-designed option is very accurate and displays notes in large illuminated letters.
What you will love: The ENO Professional swivels and tilts for optimal viewing and attaches to the pegs of many stringed instruments. Its auto power-off feature helps preserve battery life, and it’s accurate to within a dime.
What you should consider: Its batteries are not rechargeable, as is the case with some more expensive models.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
KLIQ UberTuner – Professional clip-on tuner
What do you want to know: The UberTuner is so called because it works with almost any instrument, making it a great choice for multi-instrumentalists.
What you will love: It is one of the most accurate tuners thanks to its highly sensitive piezo pickups, which are unaffected by ambient noise. It is highly adjustable and can be transposed for use with wind and brass instruments.
What you should consider: It’s not as durable as some similarly priced tuners and is prone to breakage if dropped.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the weekly BestReviews newsletter for helpful tips on new products and great deals.
Luke Mitchell writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.