ukestuff

Ukulele in secondary music education

Jowoom Smart Tuner Update

This summer I managed to get a hold of a SmartTuner, and the company was willing to sell me two for the price of one.  I posted about that device, and also created a video.  I was contacted by the company shortly thereafter, and was sent yet a third device which had been updated to tune faster, as they felt their product didn’t compare well in speed to the Roadie 2.  The tuner works as they hoped; it has all the benefits of the existing device but comes to pitch even faster.

While I have been using that updated version at home, I took both of the “old” Smart Tuners to school and have been using them with our new ukuleles, for which there is still no storage system, and the KIDS strings are still stretching like crazy.  In other words, students have not used them yet, and I try to go through and tune all of them in a storage area about once a week.  I have been using the Smart Tuners exclusively for this over the past eight weeks of school, and while I am tuning at least 71 ukuleles in a row (sometimes as many as 90), I have not had to recharge the tuners this year.  That’s pretty amazing, particularly considering how far the C and E strings go out of tune every day (they take the longest to settle, and what these ukuleles need is to simply be played and to put the strings into played and stretched condition).  On a rare occasion a C string has stretched so much that I need to use the “up arrow” to move the pitch up before the Smart Tuner can lock on to the closest note…but this is NOT a big deal.

I have not pulled out our Roadie 2 tuners at all, because dealing with selecting the instrument is a pain.  It is such a joy to simply turn on the Smart Tuner, put it on a string, and let it tune.  You have to be somewhat near the right pitch for it to work–but that’s it.  At this point, I can simply let the device tune all of the strings without having to worry about what pitch each string is going to.  It’s brilliant, and a time saver.  And if you remember, I have been experiencing rear button failures on Roadie 2 models.  That won’t happen with the Smart Tuner.

Jowoom wanted me to demonstrate the semi-auto mode that is similar to the Roadie 2, where you tell the device what string is to be tuned…but to be honest, the automatic mode is much better.  I will show this in a future video, but I prefer the automatic tuning.

And at home, I realized a past statement of mine was flawed.  I said that I couldn’t use the SmartTuner for my eight string ukuleles.  This was wrong.  There is a chromatic mode on the SmartTuner (pretty easy to get to–just hit the power key to change the mode from guitar to ukulele to chromatic) which tunes your instrument to the closest pitch.  This has been working flawlessly for me on my Baton Rouge eight string tenor and my Ohana taropatch.

The only instruments I cannot use the SmartTuner on are those instruments with friction tuners or Gotoh tuners.  All the other geared tuners work great.

The other day, someone asked about buying a string changing tool, and at one point I bought an Ernie Ball Pro Winder for school and home.  The battery died on my home Ernie Ball, and I don’t think I’d buy another one.  The SmartTuner, while more expensive, serves as a fast winder for string changes, as well as a great tuner for all of my geared instruments.  It’s brilliant, and I highly recommend it–and yes, over the Roadie 2.  The only two advantages the Roadie 2 has over the SmartTuner are customized  tunings and firmware updates.  I also like the Roadie 2’s flashing light and vibration that let you know the string is in tune (useful in noisy environments).  Sadly, the SmartTuner is not upgradeable–but it is cheaper, and in a classroom setting, so much better with the automatic feature.

Again, I bought one SmartTuner and received two models free of charge, and bought two Roadie 2 models which were replaced under warranty for faulty buttons, and one of the replacements has already started to fail.

Want to buy one?  They are currently $79 and you can purchase yours at: https://www.jowoom.com/smart-tuner-t2

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