My favorite guitar tuner

I’ve been testing my guitar tuners for almost a year and I think it’s time for a write-up.

I’m talking about the Micro Headstock Tuner from D’Addario (product page). It’s a tiny guitar tuner that hides behind the headstock of your guitar. It’s rather cheap, you can just leave it on your guitar all the time and while it’s not perfect, it’s still the most practical tuner that I’ve used.

There are at least two iterations out there, with slightly different features and housing.

New iteration on the left, old iteration on the right

The main similarities between the first and second iterations are the form factor, the mounting and the battery.

They’re easy to mount without having to modify your guitar. You just have to clamp them onto the headstock and you’re basically done. The part that touches the headstock has some soft foam to protect the finish of the guitar.

You can choose between 4 viewing angles for the screen, and the units themselves can rotate around the clamp that is used for mounting.

The first iteration contains a metronome which the second doesn’t. I personally didn’t use this feature because I prefer an audible metronome, and the tuner is only blinking to the rythm without making any sound.

Another big difference between the two iterations is the buttons. The first one has hard plastic buttons, the second one has a big somewhat soft piece of plastic that houses the buttons.

New tuner
Old tuner

While the second iteration doesn’t have a metronome, it fixes a big flaw of the first one, which comes from the plastic buttons. They sometimes rattle. It was only one note that made mine rattle, but it was really annoying and it made me not want to leave the tuner on the guitar. The soft buttons in the second iteration doesn’t have this flaw, and they now have a permanent place on my guitars.

The second iteration also has a better screen. It’s slightly bigger and brighter. The whole unit feels more robust.

New tuner
Old tuner

Like I said earlier, they are still not perfect. Both iterations seem to detect the E note when I’m plucking my B string in standard E tuning unless I mute both of my E strings. The second iteration has some trouble with picking up the low E string, you have to pick it a bit harder.

Overall they’re great tuners. I went ahead and bought a few so that I can have one on each of my guitars.

While there are issues with the product, they don’t compromise the usability and they’re easy to overcome once you know about them.

Here are some more pictures with my Ibanez RG3120:


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