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Clearance SOS Strobe Pick Tuner

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The unique pick-sized Planet Waves SOS Strobe Tuner uses Planet Wave's revolutionary Strobe-On-String technology. If you've set a turntable's pitch via a stroboscopic control or use harmonic comparati... Read More

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The unique pick-sized Planet Waves SOS Strobe Tuner uses Planet Wave's revolutionary Strobe-On-String technology. If you've set a turntable's pitch via a stroboscopic control or use harmonic comparative tuning at multiple fret points to tune a guitar, you will immediately get the concept.

Barely bigger than a guitar pick, the SOS Tuner emits 2 out-of-phase LED light beams onto the vibrating string. The 2 beams dance on the string when it's out of tune, slow down as you approach pitch, and stop when you're in tune. A thumbwheel selects the correct LED output for each string, making the Planet Waves SOS Tuner specific to 6-string guitars. Since it relies strictly on visuals, the SOS Tuner is ideal for noisy and dim situations.

NOTE: The Planet Waves SOS Strobe Tuner only works with 6-string guitars in standard tuning. The tuner's lights may be difficult to see on some clear nylon classical guitar treble strings.

  • Ergonomic pick-sized design
  • Light-based tuning
  • Thumbwheel selects string
  • Ideal in noisy, dark settings
  • Auto power-off
  • CR1620 battery included

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  • Customer Reviews


by PowerReviews

(based on 19 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

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  • 1 Stars



Most Liked Positive Review


Works well with a little practice

I got the Planet Waves S.O.S. tuner free with a five pack of D'Addario strings. It's a tiny little gizmo that works much better than I expected, but it takes a little practice...Read complete review

I got the Planet Waves S.O.S. tuner free with a five pack of D'Addario strings. It's a tiny little gizmo that works much better than I expected, but it takes a little practice to learn how to use it. Once you get the hang of it, it does a fine job of tuning a guitar. My initial trouble with using the strobe was that I was trying the follow the instructions to adjust the string until the "strobe light stops moving." A better description would be to adjust the string tension until the vibrating string appears to be still. One benefit of the S.O.S tuner is that unlike electronic chromatic tuners, the pitch doesn't drift much when you first pluck the string. With a little practice you can get the tuning dead on.


Most Liked Negative Review


Neat little gimmick...

...but there's no need to pony up $15 for one. Get the D'Addario five pack o' strings for $20 that comes with one of these for free. That's how I wound up...Read complete review

...but there's no need to pony up $15 for one. Get the D'Addario five pack o' strings for $20 that comes with one of these for free. That's how I wound up with, like, three of the little things. It can be a little tricky if you're in a bright light, but you'd have to be a complete ROCK not to be able to figure the thing out well enough to use it in about 31 seconds. (This isn't brain surgery, you know?) But, seriously, if you want one of these giet the D'Addario five pack and get one for free.

Reviewed by 19 customers

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Good tuner with a couple problems

By Paul Thompson

from Midland, MI

I really like this tuner. It falls short of 5 stars because of two problems: First, the tuner I have is very sensitive to battery charge and precisely how the battery is inserted. If things aren't right, it schitz's out and doesn't function properly. Don't know if that's just my tuner or common to the design. Secondly, if you have a floyd rose style bridge, it gets really awkward trying to tune with this thing, as you have to pluck the strings with your left hand while fine tuning with your right. Otherwise, I love this tuner.

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It Works

By Ray Crane

from Martinsville, Illinois

This is a good idea. I have used it for 2 years and am still on the original battery. I usually use it on a Jazz Bass, but have found that tuning a 6-string is more difficult because of the smaller strings making less of a surface for the light to shine on. It is great for noisy environments. This tuner is so easy to use, and to store. For it's price, it can't be beat.

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Easy to Use and Super Portable

By tensity

from Las Vegas, NV

If you're familiar at all with tuning using harmonics, or how turntables are calibrated using the red strobe light, using this will be a breeze, although it's easy enough anyhow. It is very accurate, although on the thinner strings it can be hard to tell if you're exactly on the money (you'll be very close), but that's what your ears (and using harmonics) are for, for the final tweaks. It is only for standard tuning, but I don't really downtune or use alternate tunings. If you know how, you could always retune using reference pitches from your standard-tuned guitar. It's a matter of your ear. I can tune a guitar by ear, but some days the ear is lazy, and since I don't have perfect pitch, I need a starting reference pitch. What I really love about this tuner is that I don't have to worry about a finicky mic on a cheap tuner, or find a cord to plug in. It's also super-portable--I usually just keep it in my pocket, and it's great for tuning up guitars at music stores. Don't have to amp up; don't have to worry about noise. It also just has that cool gadget factor. I've had no problems with battery life as some people have mentioned. I've had if for a few months, and have used it every day. I know I've left it on a few times, too (it does have the auto-shutoff). If you do keep it in your pocket, the battery cover may come off if you have a lot of items in your pocket--no big deal, easily replaced, but don't accidentally lose the battery, and it'd probably be best not to have a lot of change or metal hanging around to cause the loose battery to do something funky. In all, I love this tuner.

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Weird but lovable

By Madame Fender Beder

from NYC

This is by far the oddest piece of equipment I own. It takes a little getting used to but now that I have the hang of it, I doubt I'll ever use my other tuner again (unless I lose this one). It brings me in tune quicker than my Korg and I love not having to use a cable. As a woman, an added plus for me is it's great conversation starter with the men folk who see me using it.

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(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Great stuff!!

By Kal Ripper

from Undisclosed

A little hard to fiigure it out but after a little practice you can tune accurately anywhere!! even with another guitarist or musician playing! it works great and tunes to a very fine point!! I love it, it small enough to carry around too!

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Easy tuning with the S.O.S

By drips

from San Francisco, CA

I got this with the 5 pack of D'Addario strings and I'm glad I did because I don't love the strings, but this little guy made it worth the money. It's small and light and easy to use. Great to take to a friends house to tune them up and super for when your band mates refuse to stop making noise. I also like that you don't have to plug in your electric or have silence for an acoustic (I don't trust room noise to not affect tuning anyway). Plus you don't have to mute strings while you go so it's really fast. For anybody who is having trouble seeing the strobe I recommend ear tuning as well as you can and then if you can't tell if the string is moving tune down a bit until you can clearly see the wobble. Then tune back up and it'll be easier. I've used this on steel and nylon acoustic, electric and even on a bass, and it's always been a charm.

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(8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)


This thing Rocks more than your guitar!

By vanhalen888

from Ney York, New York

I got this little thing with a five pack of d'addario strings, and I fell in love with this thing. The best thing about it is that it needs NO sound, so you can tune it even in the loudest environment. I give this 100% rating

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Creative way to tune your guitar

By Anonymous

from New York City

I only got this because it came free with a 5-pack of d'addarios. it takes a while to get used to tuning with this device but once you get the hang of it, you realize that it works great. However, i would only get this tuner through this deal. If i had $15 to spend on a tuner, i would get a korg chromatic tuner.

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(4 of 7 customers found this review helpful)


Don't leave home without it

By NewGuitarPlayer

from Oklahoma City

I'm new to guitar, but not new to playing music. I understand 'physics-wise' how this thing is supposed to work - and it works wonderfully. It works best if you start with your string on the flat side and tighten the string up in pitch until the string appears to stand still instead of swaying back and forth. My favorite part about this tuner is that I can take it with me everywhere. This is especially handy when shopping for a guitar in a noisy show room. If I lost this tuner, I'd definately get another one.

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Just got one and I love it!

By ChristianGuitarNoob

from Oklahoma City

I took the time to read reviews here and elsewhere on the web, and I decided that I'd really love to have a tuner as small as a pick that I could take anywhere with me (this would be handy when I'm at GC and come across a guitar that is really out of tune!). It also makes tuning much more convenient (almost as easy as having a tuner built into your guitar at a fraction of the price). Some folks complained here and elsewhere about the tuner being too complex to use. I'd like to disagree. Don't let the few negative reports disuade you. The only tuners I have to compare are in this price range (a cheap digital "Vinci" tuner that came with my son's department store electric, and a neighbor's cheap Quik Tune). I've used both ... and also had a little bit of fun with a Korg GA-30 at a pawn shop (which I liked - I would have bought the Korg - until I read more about the SOS). I really like the SOS. The key is to start flat and slowly work your way into tune. I may not be able to get the string to stand perfectly still - but I get it very close. I can honestly say that it takes longer - but when I'm done - I've got the guitar more in tune than any other time I've tried in the past. I know this because the 5th's (and 4th) between strings (when self-tuning the guitar) are perfect compared to the other tuners. You can kill two birds with one stone if you buy this in one of those 5-pack of D'Addario strings and save some money at the same time. It may be true that this is difficult to use if you can't angle the neck so that it is facing up because of the direction the string vibrates when plucked. Also - I agree that this might not work so well in bright light - but this is one of those "80/20" compromises ... reduce an item to the 20% essential functions and features that will meet 80% of all needs. If you want a do-it-all tuner, then you'll need to spend quite a bit more money, and I doubt you'll be able to fit it into your pocket - plus, you might be a little more concerned if you actually lost the thing.

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