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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.


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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