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TC Electronic PolyTune Poly-Chromatic Pedal Tuner

The TC Electronic PolyTune revolutionizes guitar tuners. Simply strum all the strings on your guitar or bass, and the TC PolyTune tunes all of them. (39) Read 16 reviews for this product | Rate and Review This Product
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As every musician knows, tuning is important. But it's also a time sink, leaving lulls in your performance that can kill the connection you're trying to build with your audience. TC Electronic has addressed this issue with the PolyTune Poly-Chromatic Pedal Tuner: a groundbreaking polyphonic tuner.

With a single strum of your guitar strings, the PolyTune instantly identifies which of your strings are out of tune to within +/- 1 cent and displays the results on its easy to read and interpret LED screen. That means that you no longer have to tune each string on its own, just hit them all once and you'll know instantly which of them, if any, need to be adjusted.

See it in action in this video demo by Laura Clapp for Gearwire:

However, should you desire or need to tune each string, the PolyTune comes with a chromatic tuning function as well. An extremely sensitive algorithm -- dubbed the "MonoPoly" feature -- inside the unit identifies both polyphonic and monophonic sound. When a single string is plucked, the PolyTune switches to a standard chromatic tuning system that is accurate to within +/- 0.5 cents. Depending on your personal preference, the chromatic tuning mode can display either an oscillating needle that slows to dead center when your pitch is correct or a pattern of rotating lights that slow and eventually stop once your pitch is true.

But that is just the beginning of the devices features. The PolyTune can be set to tune either bass or guitar with equal accuracy and the reference pitch can be adjusted between 435-445Hz. Additionally, The PolyTune can be set for alternate tunings from E-flat to B, accommodating an enormous variety of playing styles and preferences.

The display screen features around 100 LEDs that automatically adjust their own brightness depending on the lighting in the room to optimize both battery life and visibility.

The total recall system remembers the last setting you used. Whether you've adjusted the reference pitch or tuning mode, the information is stored inside the PolyTune even when it has been turned off. Upon reactivation, the unit displays all its current settings, so you can instantly see whether its in bass or guitar mode or whether the reference pitch or tuning have been altered without having to needless flip through all its various settings.

The true bypass feature means that the PolyTune won't affect the purity or responsiveness of your sound.

Features:

- Polyphonic and chromatic tuning modes
- Needle and stream-mode chromatic tuning displays
- Accuracy in polyphony: +/- 1 cent, in chromatic mode: +/- 0.5 cents
- Reference pitch adjustable between435-445Hz.
- MonoPoly algorithm recognizes polyphonic and monophonic playing.
- Environment sensitive LEDs
- Requires 9v DC power supply
- True Bypass leaves your tone unaffected
- Alternative tunings selectable from E-flat down to B zZounds is an authorized dealer of TC Electronic and TC-Helicon products.
Specifications
Tuning Accuracy: +/- 0.5 cent

Reference Pitch: A4 = 435 to 445Hz (1 Hz steps)

Input Impedance: 500 k Ohm (pedal on)

Power Supply: One 9V type battery or AC adapter (9V DC), - sold separately

Current Draw: 45-50 mA (typical use)

Dimensions (WxDxH): 72 mm x 122 mm x 45 mm

Weight: 300 g/10.6 oz (incl. battery)

Included items: One 9V battery 2 pcs. 3M velcro for pedal board attachment
TC Electronic and TC-Helicon Warranty If you have additional warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer at 519-745-1158

Product Description

Tuning used to be a necessary evil. The last barrier before you could get truly rocking. But now, tuning is ready to get blasted into the 21st century with PolyTune, the stomp-box sized tuning miracle from TC Electronic!

PolyTune is the world's first polyphonic tuner, and a game-changing total tuning turnaround that will have future guitarists wondering how they ever got by without it.

It couldn't be done - until TC did it.
The magic lies in a never before seen approach to tuning aimed at speed, accuracy and ease of use. With PolyTune, you simply strum all strings on your guitar or bass at once, and it will immediately tell you which strings need tuning! This cutting-edge tuning technology revolutionizes the way you tune and accomplishes what has been deemed 'impossible' until now: tuning all strings simultaneously! It really is as simple as strum - tune - rock, and this quantum leap forward allows you to get in tune fast, and back to doing what you love: playing.

Strum - Tune - Rock
Providing an instant overview of the pitch of all your strings, PolyTune is an invaluable tool in live-settings, where it is essential to be in tune quickly and ready to play. Crowds don't want to wait around, they want to rock, and, let's face it, so do you. Besides live use, this stomp box will deliver like no other in any situation where you want to get tuning out of the way and focus on play.

Fever Pitch
Equally effective for guitar and bass, PolyTune is extremely flexible as well. The reference pitch can be set to your preference and ranges from 435Hz to 445Hz. This guarantees you'll be able to play along with anyone, with any instrument and in any situation.

Drop it like it's hot
If you are a guitarist that likes to play at a different pitch than standard, this is your go-to pedal, allowing for dropped tunings from E-flat all the way down to B. Whatever your pitch or tuning, PolyTune is a sure-fire way to be spot-on, with an accuracy of just plus/minus 1cent.

Chromatic champion
Besides the Polyphonic tuner, PolyTune has a chromatic tuner that can hang with the best current tuning technology out there, with an amazing 0.5 cent accuracy. But they are never satisfied with the current norm, and added some features to make this tuner's chromatic section stand out from the crowd.

Tuning modes
Let's start with the two separate chromatic tuning modes, which cater to your individual preferences and needs. Needle mode is for those that are used to the classic view on a tuner. For the people that want a little more real-time information, they have included stream-mode, which measures even the slightest pitch variation and instantly feeds the info back to you via a rotating motion on the display.

Tuning Magnet
Key to both these great chromatic modes is an ultra-fast and precise response, which is achieved via the use of the unique tuner magnet feature. This slows down the needle once you get close to the desired pitch, making it much easier to get the job done quickly.

MonoPoly
Whether you want to use the polyphonic tuner to get in tune, or prefer to go the chromatic route,this pedal has you covered. PolyTune features "MonoPoly", a unique patent-pending technology that recognizes whether you play one or more strings and instantly replies with the appropriate poly- or monophonic tuning mode.

Total Recall
Of course, all of these amazing features would not mean a thing if they were a pain to use or set up. So, they added some traits to ensure this tuner is calibrated to the guitarist. Unlike most other tuners, PolyTune stores your preferences. From pitch reference to tuning mode, it hangs on to this information even after it is powered down, making sure you only have to set how you want things to happen once.

The next time you power up again, it will show you the settings, so you instantly know Everything is exactly how you want it to be.

Tuning as it should be
PolyTune was their chance to build the ultimate tuning tool from the ground up and finally get rid of some of the current tuner drawbacks that guitarists run into time and time again. Tuners have been around for some 30 odd years and we felt it was high time they got in tune with todays guitarists.

Design is where beauty and technology meet
But besides all the spearheading features inside the tuner, they took a long hard look at the outside as well, and pushed tuner design to the next level in the process!

A strong display of innovation
Starting with the display, it instantly becomes clear why PolyTune is lightyears ahead of current tuners. Guitarists that play gigs, will no doubt recognize the nightmare of an unclear display, due to for example bright sunlight, an overeager light technician or a stage smoke machine gone bonkers.

PolyTune offers unprecedented visibility using an ambient light sensor, which automatically matches the brightness of the LEDs to its surroundings.

What is the Matrix?
PolyTune features 17 LEDS which allow for a higher resolution and the LEDs themselves are super bright and focused to ensure optimal visibility at all times. This guarantees the most effortless tuning experience money can buy. And as an added bonus, the 100 LED matrix can give you information right on the display, so you won't have to go dig for the manual mid-gig.

Size Matters
PolyTune will brighten any pedalboard, and they aren't just talking about the LEDs! Besides looking like a million bucks, its small footprint design means that PolyTune doesn't take up more of your precious pedalboard real estate than absolutely necessary.

Spruce the juice
Battery changes are a breeze thanks to the one-screw easy access to the battery compartment and when powered by an external 9v DC power supply, the 9v DC out can be used to power other pedals on your board.

True Bypass
The true bypass feature ensures PolyTune is only there when you need it. It allows for your carefully sculpted tone to flow unaffected when the pedal is bypassed and for silent tuning once engaged.

They can't make tuning fun. But they can sure make it a whole lot easier.
They want to do the part for the guitar community and truly innovate the life of guitarists. And with PolyTune's extraordinary features and cutting-edge technology, they feel they have accomplished just that. They are passionate guitarists ourselves and they work every single day to make everyone's lives easier and more rocking. They did it for multi-effects with G-Force, G-Major2, Nova System and G-System, they did it for stomp boxes with the Nova series, and now PolyTune is here to give tuning a much needed kick in the A440!

zZounds Expert Review

I've been playing guitar and bass for more than 15 years now, and for most of that time, a pedal tuner has been parked on my pedalboard. For as far back as I can remember, the pedal tuner of choice has been the Boss TU-2, but TC Electronic has released a new device that may just topple the giant. Like the TU-2, TC's PolyTune is a rugged, stage-ready pedal that offers reliable tuning at an affordable price, but it's the "Poly" part that gives this tuner a leg up on the competition.

As you probably know, most music is a DIY affair. Even if your next venue has wings, it's unlikely you'll have guitar and bass techs waiting in the wings to hand off a freshly strobe-tuned axe mid-set. One of the reasons pedal tuners are so popular is because you can tune right where you stand. But how long should it take? Usually, you finish the song (unless you're out of tune in the middle of the song), engage the tuner, then strike each string to check the pitch. By the stopwatch, it's not a lot of time, but when you're standing in silence up on stage in front of an antsy crowd, it can feel like an eternity. One of your bandmates makes a halfhearted attempt at witty banter, a drunken yahoo in the crowd yells "Freebird" like it's the first time ever, and pretty soon your fans have disengaged. Fortunately, you can tune up much faster with the PolyTune, because it displays the status of all your strings simultaneously. Strum, adjust, and you're back to the Rawk.

Feet-On Review
When I first heard about the concept of polyphonic tuning, I have to admit it sounded like some kind of gimmick, but after having used the PolyTune, I'm a believer. I am pretty compulsive about checking my tuning throughout a gig, and this pedal definitely kept me on-pitch with minimal interruption during the set.

Here's how it works: Stomp on the switch to engage the tuner, and you'll see six pairs of green dots, each pair representing one string. Next, strum all open strings on your guitar. If a string is flat, you'll see a pair of red dots light up below the green dots for that string. If a string is sharp, the red dots will appear above the green dots. Adjust your tuning pegs until all the red dots are gone, and you're done.

If at some point down the road you get a hankering for some single-string tuning nostalgia, the PolyTune won't mind. In fact, if you hit a single string instead of strumming, it automatically switches to Monophonic mode for you. The display shows the note name of the closest standard pitch, along with an indicator showing your relative distance from that pitch. You can choose from a "virtual needle" that swings vertical as you home in the pitch, or a strobe-style display with rotating lights that slow, then stop as you reach your objective pitch.

My Two Cents
As cool as the polyphonic mode is, it wouldn't mean a hill of beans if the accuracy weren't up to snuff. Rest assured, it is. If you're interested, tuning is measured in cents, with the distance between two frets (G-sharp to A-natural, for example) being 100 cents. For comparison, the ubiquitous TU-2 pedal mentioned earlier is accurate to +/- 3 cents. TC's PolyTune? It's accurate to +/- 0.5 cents. Imagine 200 ticks evenly spaced between the nut and the first fret on your instrument. If the PolyTune says you're dead-on, the farthest away you would be is one of those ticks.

If A-440 isn't your thing, the PolyTune allows you to change the reference pitch. Press the two function buttons on the back of the pedal and the display clearly shows the current reference pitch. You're then free to adjust from 435 Hz - 445 Hz.

An easy-to-read display is key for any gig-worthy pedal, and the PolyTune gets you the info you need in virtually any situation. The display screen contains a light sensor that automatically adjusts the brightness to compensate for the conditions. If you're playing in a dark club, the LEDs are able to shine bright and clear at relatively low intensity. Move outdoors on a sunny day, and the display becomes brighter to compensate for the wash. I didn't try it in direct sunlight, but I did aim some bright spotlights at it and still had no trouble tuning up.

Pedal Powerful
When you're not tuning, that pedal is just sitting around like a lump, taking up valuable pedalboard real estate. Why not put it to work? Like the Boss TU pedals, the PolyTune has a built-in 9V power outlet capable of supplying the juice to up to seven additional 9V stomp pedals. If you're not running on wall power, you can drive the PolyTune with a single 9V battery, though be forewarned, it can be a pain to change. The battery compartment is accessible from the underside of the pedal, meaning you'll probably have to unstrap it from your pedalboard. Also, I felt the screw head is difficult to turn by hand, though it does have a nice, wide groove that will accommodate a coin or a heavy guitar pick, or something like that.

Side by side, I preferred the PolyTune's switching mechanism to the Boss pedal, and definitely appreciated its true bypass operation (the Boss pedal isn't true bypass).
The PolyTune doesn't support polyphonic alternate tuning, but you can detune in monophonic mode. From standard E on the guitar, you can go all the way down (by half steps) to B. Switch to bass mode, and you can use the PolyTune to keep your 4- 5- or 6-string bass on pitch. Sorry, 8-string basses, 7-string guitars, 12-string guitars, etc., are not supported.

You may be thinking "where do I sign", but keep in mind there is one fairly important feature missing from this tuner; namely the secondary output jack. Many guitarists use the secondary bypass as a rudimentary signal splitter or to run effects pedals in parallel, so if you fall into this camp, you may want to stick with your TU. Still, the upside with the PolyTune is good enough you may want to look for another way to skin that cat.

USB?
While the rear of the PolyTune does have an integrated USB port, TC's manual says it's only for maintenance. The internet is littered with hopeful speculation and wild innuendo regarding USB firmware updates, downloadable support for alternate tunings, and no doubt a smattering of conspiracy theories about the new world order keeping tabs on your intonation, but for now, it lies dormant... (or does it?)

The Verdict
Even if this rugged little box were just another mono-tuner, the accuracy, clear display, and true bypass switching would be well worth the sub-$100 price tag. Add in the polyphonic capabilities, and for my money the PolyTune is king of the hill.
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Customer Reviews
4.5 out of 5 (39 ratings) Rate and Review This Product
zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us. This review has been selected by our experts as particularly helpful. "Coolest Tuner Ever!"
Sound: It makes no sound at all when muted. It makes sound when not. Duh. Feature: This is strictly for instuments that use a cable. No microphone for acoustic instruments. Cool unexpected feature. The display brightness adjusts automatically to the room lighting. Ease of Use: This is where the Polytune shines. I have a PRS with a trem. Every once in a while, a string or two doesn't come back in tune after a trem bend. A quick check of the Polytune tells you which string(s) is out of tune so you can quickly deal with only the problem strings. This is a HUGE time saver on stage. When in single-string mode, the tuner is very accurate. Also, it seems to need very little signal from the guitar to function. What this means is that you have a lot more time to get strings tuned before you have to pick/strum them again. Quality: Great build quality. Nice, compact, steel case. Easy access to the battery. GREAT, huge display. Solid footswitch. A mini-USB port may indicate that TC Electronic will have firmware downloads in the future. Value: Seems a tad pricey for a tuner, but no other tuner can do what this thing does. Manufacturer Support: Not used Overall: This is probably the best thing to happen to guitar tuners since the first non-strobe tuners were made available to the average guitarist. This is a quantum leap. And no, I'm not on the payroll. I just love this thing!
Style of Music: AAA, Alt Country, Jazz, Blues, Rock
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zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us. "Why didn't I buy this sooner?"
Sound: Well umm...you push the switch and its muted then push it again and you have true bypass. Feature: Nice clean little box with a big display. Polyphonic tuning is the top thing I was looking for because I play a some live sets and checking tuning quick is the best. There are features I haven't used yet but will look into since I just got this thing. The only thing is I would like if they made a version with 1/4in jacks out the top so I could pack this thing on my pedal board, but with 90 deg plugs and a little patience it will work well for me. Ease of Use: Put a battery or plug the power in. plug a 1/4 in cable in each side. Then carefully check the instructions for the next three steps. I think with practice most people can do it. 1. Strum 2. Tune 3. Rock! Quality: Feels fairly rugged. The display feels very rigid and I don't think it will crack easy. Value: I used a Boss tu2 and this thing is loaded with more stuff for about the same money. Manufacturer Support: Its the best since I have had no trouble with this companies products. I have a Nova Delay and works perfect. The Wow Factor: The LED display brightness adjust to the lighting in the room. How many pedals can do that?!
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