Sonic Research Turbo Tuner ST-300 Mini review

Time to turbocharge your tuning

  • £139

MusicRadar Verdict

A tiny tuner that delivers in spades.

Pros

  • +

    Intuitive note detection.

Cons

  • -

    No polyphonic function.

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The Sonic Research range of true stroboscope guitar tuners has been praised
 for its units' instant response and extreme accuracy, featuring an LED ring driven directly by the guitar signal and electronically strobed.

The ST-300 Mini tuner puts that technology, with a stated accuracy of 0.02 cents, in a pedal the size of TC's popular PolyTune 2 Mini.

Of the six modes, chromatic mode displays the pitch of the plucked string, but there are also guitar and bass modes with a string number instead. Both of these and the remaining three are custom modes, so you can program and store altered tunings.

For drop tunings, a facility lets you lower the pitch of all notes below the regular tuning from one to six semitones, but there's no pitched-up capo tuning facility.

In use

The display of red LEDs circle faster the more out of tune the note is, but remain still when the correct pitch is reached.

Note detection is fast and the display is intuitive, but it's a matter of personal taste whether you prefer spinning LEDs or getting a stable green light as found on other tuners.

If you're after a tiny tuner for your 'board, but don't need that polyphonic capability to show you which string is out of tune at a glance, and you also use altered tunings, then this may be the one for you.

Trevor Curwen has played guitar for several decades – he's also mimed it on the UK's Top of the Pops. Much of his working life, though, has been spent behind the mixing desk, during which time he has built up a solid collection of the guitars, amps and pedals needed to cover just about any studio session. He writes pedal reviews for Guitarist and has contributed to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and Future Music among others.