I cannot lie, tuning a guitar is annoying sometimes, especially for an alternate tuning. What if there was a way to get your favorite guitar to tune itself? TronicalTune is an innovative tuning system which tunes a guitar, including alternate tuning, in about five seconds — no hands or ears required. The $299 product is simply amazing.
TronicalTune promises to leave musicians more time rocking out and less time tuning. If you have seen the Gibson Robot guitar, then like me, you have probably wished your guitar could do that. TronicalTune will turn your current guitar into a self-tuning robotic marvel. The retrofit tuners are high quality and supports hundreds of guitar models. Using the natural sound frequencies of the wood in the headstock, the tuner uses motors inside the tuning machines to achieve a perfect pitch in mere seconds. There are 12 preset tuning options and 6 user specified settings. One guitar can do the job of several with little to no effort.
Installing the TronicalTune made me nervous at first. I installed the tuner on my Special Edition Custom Telecaster FMT HH electric guitar. This is my nicest guitar, so tearing apart any piece of it did not excite me. The first step is to take off the old strings and remove the current tuning machines. Removing my parts was as simple as removing six small nuts. Place the control board on the back of the headstock with the battery compartment facing outward. All that is required now is to install the six roboheads by tightening the nuts from the top using the supplied wrench. Take care to align the contacts on the back, and make sure the small bump seats in the hole on the control board. Once my guitar was stripped, it literally took me around 10 minutes to fully install the TronicalTune.
Once the product is installed on the guitar, it is time to string it up and get tuned. I do not enjoy changing the strings on my guitar, so I naturally was not excited. Luckily, TronicalTune uses an innovative surface locking mechanism to hold the strings. Basically, the string is brought around the post, up through a notch, around the top of the post and back down through the notch. Once in place, tighten down the lock nut onto the string using a penny and you are set. The strings are locked in and ready to go. Now I will be able to restring my guitar in under five minutes when the time comes; I wish all of my guitars had this locking mechanism to install strings!
Using TronicalTune is super simple. Once the choice tuning is selected all you do is strum the strings. The tuners will zip and zap setting the correct tone and the lights on the back will indicate which strings are in tune. Each light indicates which string by the letter of the note. High E string is represented by a lower case e. If the light is green, that string is good, red means it needs to tune and white means other strings are interfering with the sound. On my guitar it usually requires a strum then a single pluck of the D, B and high E strings. I would say the average time of tuning from one setting to another is around 10 seconds. Re-tuning is probably around five seconds. This may sound silly, but being able to tune this quickly with amazing accuracy has completely changed my attitude toward my guitar. Since installation, I have played more regularly than I have since last summer.
Tuning banks are chosen by color. The red bank includes “standard” tuning and probably the most common alternate tunings. The green bank includes four open chord tunings as well as dobro and all fourth. The blue bank is standard tuning by default but allows for six user presets to be saved. Honestly, other than Drop D tuning, I have avoided songs with alternate tuning because it is a pain to change tunings often. Since I am not a professional, that hassle is something I have always avoided. In the first night with the TronicalTune, I learned Kashmir by Led Zeppelin. It requires “DADGAD” tuning, and I had previously never attempted it. Having these tuning options at a moments notice has totally opened my playing, and I feel like I am back to learning more and excited to play more often.
After using the TronicalTune for a couple of weeks and showing many friends and family, I have to say that this is probably the coolest product I have ever reviewed. Not only does it work as advertised, it is a polished finished product. This is a device that is hard to describe how well it works and how unique it is until you physically see it in action. Of course the fellow guitarists that saw mine work were blown away, but even those with zero musical talent were amazed. The TronicalTune works flawlessly every time. My guitar sounds so great now since it is tuned to precision anytime I need to do it. My playing will undoubtedly improve quickly, as I am now opened up to the world of many alternate tuning choices. The cost sounds like a lot for an add-on to a guitar, but I would gladly skip buying a new guitar to retrofit one I already own with the TronicalTune. I own eight guitars and will probably play my telecaster almost exclusively now. In fact, I am on a quest to save up for one for my acoustic guitar; TronicalTune is that good. Any guitarist, whether a gigging professional or a wannabe like myself can get great use and satisfaction with the TronicalTune; it is a must have in my opinion.
What I like: Super fast, precise tuning at anytime. Alternate tuning options within seconds. One of the coolest products I have ever reviewed.
What can be improved: My only complaint is that I do not have one for my acoustic yet! I may never play a guitar without it installed again.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample.