This may be old news to this list, but I haven't seen it posted.
Another useful and reasonably priced electronic tuner is the "PitchMan"
designed by Fred Reinagel and sold by VioLab (646 Lafayette Ave., Buffalo,
NY 14222). A friend has one and is learning to tune with it, rather
successfully. I haven't used it myself. (Nor do I have any affiliation
with the maker or the seller!)
The design is a little different, and was actually inspired as much by the
need for a viol tuner as for a keyboard tuner. It has no needle, but
operates by playing a tone. The tone, however, is not a sine-wave tone but
a tone rich in harmonics, designed to make it easier to hear the beats
between the tone and a sounding string. For the same reason, there is a
volume control so the tone can be set to the best match for the string.
Like other tuners mentioned on this thread, it offers a wide selection of
temperaments and can be reset to any special temperament by returning the
unit to the maker. It also offers several different switchable values for
When I first saw it, I wondered about not having a meter, but in his manual
he says that the unit is designed to help people develop their own ear and
pitch discrimination. Kind of a neat idea.
I have a simple (I hope) question for the real tuning people out there. I
often have to re-tune harpsichords for rehearsals or, occasionally, for
performances. I'm not trained, and I don't pretend to understand the math,
but I can usually get a useable meantone (sometimes meaner than others!) or
more or less equal (which I hate!) temperament. (I'm a musician, and I'd
rather trust my ear than the meter on a tuner. I seem to be in the
minority on this.) Instead of using an A-fork, I prefer to start by
setting C to a C-fork (523.25 hz) because it seems to me that C major
should be the center of the circle. As a result, of course, I end up with
an A that is probably higher than 440 hz. Any comments or advice would be
John & Susie Howell ([log in to unmask])
Virginia Tech Department of Music
Blacksburg, Virginia U.S.A. 24061-0240
(703) 231-8411 - FAX (703) 231- 5034