Product Type: QuikTune tuners
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Qwik Tune QT11 Guitar Tuner
Member Name: JJJJ
Qwik Tune QT11 Guitar Tuner
Date: 11/04/11, updated on 11/04/11 (105 review reads)
Advantages: Quite Accurate, Cheap
Disadvantages: Can break if dropped (most things can!)
One of the most important parts of owning or using a musical instrument is keeping it in tune - a problem with cheaper guitars especially is the fact that they can wander out of key with the smallest knock. Similarly, even quality guitars need frequent checking - especially when the strings have just been replaced. It's very important then that every serious guitarist should have a tuner close at hand, especially if the guitarist in question is performing to an audience and doesn't want to have a plethora of fruit thrown at him / her.
One of the most popular tuners available is the 'Qwik Tune QT11' - firstly because of its low price, and secondly due to the fact that it's easy to use. The device currently costs £9.50 from amazon.co.uk, and requires two AAA batteries to operate. The tuner is suitable for use with electric, acoustic, classical, and bass guitars, and works via sound input rather than vibration detection as many tuners do these days.
Design and Appearance
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In terms of its size, the QT11 is small enough to fit into the hand, but thankfully large enough so that it's not too fiddly to operate. Made from fairly thin silver plastic, It's not the most robust tuner out there, and I have gone through a couple in my time (mainly due to dropping incidents...) - however, treat it with respect and it should have a healthy lifespan. The batteries last a similarly long time, although you have to remember to switch off the device after use, or you'll end up eating those AAAs at a rate of knotts.
How does the Qwik Tune Work?
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The tuner itself is very versatile, and offers three ways to get your strings in tune. Firstly there's the microphone option - here, you simply play your guitar within earshot of the QT11, and the device will determine the reading from the sound that is produced. This option works well in quiet environments, but can falter if there's a lot of ambient noise around the tuner. Secondly there's the plug-in option - with this method you simply plug your electric guitar directly into the top of the device using a standard guitar lead. This approach is best for noisier gig environments, as the sound is fed directly into the machine without any external influence. It should be pointed out that this method will not work if your guitar (say, a standard acoustic) doesn't have scope to attach a guitar lead. Finally there's the old-skool 'pitch-pipe mode' - here, the device will play the tone of each string (E, A, D, G, B ,E) through the external speaker, allowing you to match up the tuning by ear.
The Tuning Process + Potential Problems
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The QT11's front LCD display is clear and simple to use - it shows the notes arranged in a horizontal line at the top, with a grid shown underneath. A vertical line moves to the centre of this grid when your string reaches the correct key. Should you struggle to understand the metering system, there's also a handy indicator light which turns green when your note is in tune. Problems can arise if your guitar is *really* out of tune to begin with - here, the QT11 can sometimes assume that you're trying to tune a different string to the one you actually are. In this situation, you can use the pitch-pipe mode to get the string to roughly the correct tuning by ear, at this point the QT11 will be able to take over.
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Overall, I would recommend the QT11 as a good all round tuner that offers great value for money at under ten pounds. In my experience I have always found the QT11's tuning to be accurate (in all three modes), and overall it's an easy machine to operate. No, it's not the most robust tuner on the market, but if you don't go dropping in on numerous occassions then you'll have no problems in the long run.
Summary: Good Value for Money Tuner
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