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Review: Korg Pitchclip

The Joyo JT-12B demonstrated the basic validity of the clip-on tuner concept. But, as I pointed out in that review, that tuner is a little too versatile for its own good.

The Korg Pitchclip addresses all of those issues. This is the simplest device you could imagine. There is nothing to configure and consequently no wrong settings. It has one button, ON/OFF, and one pitch standard: 440 Hz. It shows two things: the note name and whether or not you’re in tune. The only feature available is that when you hold the on/off button down, the display is activated upside-down. This is actually more useful than I first imagined!

My only beef with the Pitchclip is that it only comes in funky neon colors. There is no black, so I selected the next best thing: a dark blue. But, as the guy told me when he sold it to me, at least no one is going to steal that pink Pitchclip from you!

On the whole, a simple but purposeful product that is wholeheartedly recommended!

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Posted by on 20 April, 2013 in gear, review

 

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Review: Joyo JT-12B tuner

The Joyo JT-12B is a clip-on tuner. You clip it onto the headstock of your instrument, strike a note, and the vibrations will travel through the guitar and be picked up by the device. It is a brilliant concept that goes to show that we have come a long way since those dreadful Boss boxes that worked all right but were as sensitive as military sonar.

The JT-12B does exactly what it’s supposed to. It has a bright and intuitive display that you can see in any light, and it is in perfect agreement with my more elaborate (and expensive!) Korg DT-10. It can be used with electrics as well as acoustics and it can be had for not much money. All of this taken together adds up to a good buy.

But.

I just don’t like electronic gadgets that try to do too much and be too much and consequently are so flexible and helpful that they get in your way all the time. The JT-12B is a good guitar tuner, but it annoys me because it is also a bass tuner and violin tuner and ukulele tuner, and… You catch my drift. Furthermore, you can calibrate it to 440 Hz, or 441, or 442, or… well, simile.

All of this marvellous functionality is operated using two buttons only, and that’s my beef with this gadget. The on/off switch doubles as the instrument selection switch and is way too close to the reference tone selection button. Thus, when you have five seconds between songs and want to do a quick tune-up, you hit the ON button in the wrong way, and all of a sudden, the Joyo thinks you want to tune a ukulele at 442 Hz.

If you are a multi-instrumentalist and regularly gig with ensembles that use different pitch standards, then this device is for you. For us working guitarists who just want a quick and easy way to tune up between songs, it is simply too much, and I don’t care that it is affordable.

 
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Posted by on 20 April, 2013 in gear, review

 

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Review: Warwick Rockcase pedalboard

The Warwick Rockcase is a large-format, small-capacity pedalboard. You pay less than for other brands, and barely get what you pay for.

Pedalboards are no fun. They are not gadgets and they add nothing to my sound. They are simply necessary, for organization and protection purposes. Therefore, a good pedalboard should be able to perform the following tasks: 1) protect my pedals during transport, 2) allow me to fill the board from edge to edge with pedals, and 3) act as a solid platform on which to operate the pedals.

The Rockcase failed at all three, which I will now show:

1. The Velcro on the bottom of the pedals came undone and when I opened the case at the destination, all my pedals were in a big pile at the bottom. I could attribute this to the summer heat, since it did happen only once. Still, it was annoying.

2. Even though it’s a fairly large pedalboard, you can’t actually use its entire surface to mount pedals. The edges (or lips, or whatever you call them) are too tall. If you place a pedal too close to the edge, the cable sticking out of the jack will hit the edge (or lip), making it impossible to mount the pedal flush to the surface of the board. Angled plugs get you closer, but not all the way. There is no way around that the effective mounting area is way smaller than the apparent dimensions of the board. You’re basically just carrying and stowing lots of air.

3. The surface of the board gives when you push on pedals, especially when activating a wah pedal. I don’t know if this stresses the material badly enough for long-term problems, but it sure is distracting and hardly the mark of quality.

To close out the review, let me tell you about the build quality. I hadn’t even left the rehearsal room before one of the little rubber feet on the bottom had come off. After subjecting the board to the torturous test of three gigs in eight months, one of the metal corners had disappeared. I cannot even begin to imagine what the rigors of regular rigging would do with this board, let alone touring.

The Warwick is therefore not recommended for any level of musician. Steer clear and spend a little bit more money on something that actually works.

 
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Posted by on 19 April, 2013 in gear, review

 

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