Posted by Steve Dunn on 22nd May 2015
I have been playing guitar for 45 years and have played live for many of those but I'm not a pro player. On many occasions I've had to carry several guitars to gigs when I wanted the convenience of being able to grab another guitar already tuned to an open tuning for slide guitar work. I bought 2 midi equipped guitars with a synth pedal to allow me to use one guitar with several different tunings available at the push of a button, but these things are hard to program and midi tracking is less than perfect. I'd seen the Tronical Tuners on a Gibson at a local music store in Canada and thought the system was amazing and would definitely suit my needs. I purchased a set online for my US Standard Stratocaster which is my all-round favorite guitar and they arrived very quickly from Germany.I should mention that with the cost plus shipping from Tronical was very acceptable for this product but the exchange rate/import duties/taxes here in Canada made this a very expensive buy.
The tunerswere easy to install and are of superb quality. I flew RC models for years and the power of these micro servos is absolutely fantastic. For such small motors the torque is unbelievable. Stringing up was a little tricky as other reviews have indicated. Basically you have to wind the string around the machine head turret and then tighten the lock not to secure it. There is a learning curve to get over with the way the string is wound on initially but nothing that couldn't be overcome and practice will make this easier I'm sure.
I did the first stringing manually with a chromatic tuner. I found the motor/gear resistance very high on one or two tuners,. I probably should have used the string wind up feature !
Once everything was set up, I powered it up and the tuning went just fine. My strat vibrato has been set up to be a floating system. It raises the G an Augmented 2nd (3 semi-tones), B - a major second ( 2 semi-tones) and the high E a minor 2nd (1-semi-tone) in the way recommended by Carl Verheyen. I was curious to see if the guitar/Tronical Tuners would keep this set-up in tune and I have to tell you that it does this very well. Surprisingly it will permit and open tuning as well without issues but I have not really used the vibrato arm in open tunings - I don't see much point?
I did notice that after a few days in Standard tuning Tronical seemed to have difficulty zeroing in on the tuning for my high E string and it sounded flat?
I then checked all my strings with the digital chromatic tuner and this revealed that my low strings were tuned sharp by up to 15 cents on one string which is why the high e sounded flat.
I then reviewed the manual again and on page 33, I seemed to find the solution. I went through the process for (re)-calibrating and now everything seems fine. Perhaps I should have read the manual more thoroughly and then I would have done this at the outset but I found the instructions a little ambiguous and it did not seem to call for this at the outset If this is a critical thing, I'm wondering if maybe the instructions should emphasize this nearer the beginning of the manual?
All in all this is an amazing product and it is so cool to be able to dial up open G do some Rolling Stones stuff ( Open E was awesome for Gimme Shelter).
I'm curious to try the capo setting. Some slide players slip a thin flexible plastic tube or rod under the strings close to the nut to raise the action for slide playing. As this will also affect the tuning, it will be interesting to see if Tronical can adapt to this slight pitch raise and store it as a custom tuning similar to the capo method?
All in all, an amazing product so far. Hoping the battery pack performs well.
Posted by Michael Aus on 24th Apr 2014
The speed and accuracy at which the TronicalTune tunes my guitar is mindblowing. It has saved me hours of time in the studio and reduces tuning time to less than 10 seconds, very handy if you are tuning between every take and blowing half your recording time on tuning.
I highly recommend taking up the TronicalTune. It's easy to install, tunes fast and accuratly and has a battery life lasting up to 3 weeks of constant use.