New Version of the Jowoom Smart Tuner
A few weeks ago, I brought my personal Jowoom Smart Tuner with me to my new school, and it had a REALLY hard fall on the terrazzo floor (VERY hard surface). It wasn’t a typical fall…it went down hard and hit a few times. That unit stopped working. About the same time (I had not mentioned it), Jowoom contacted me about reviewing their updated product, and I was more than happy to take them up on the offer.
Keep this in mind: I received a unit for review purposes, and had also received two prior models. I had also purchased two others for my previous school. What I’m trying to say is that while I have received product for review, I have bought more of it–and that should mean something.
To be honest, the new version of the Smart Tuner isn’t too much different on the outside. It still has the nice “weighty” body, the big battery, and the same general features. It can replace a tuner and a string winder. The improvements for this model are a much improved LCD screen and customized tunings for guitar. As I don’t play guitar very much, the biggest improvement for me is the LCD screen.
The biggest online complaints about this product are when people don’t know how to use it. The manual is well written in English, but to make it simpler, you turn it on (and off, although there is auto-shut off) with the button farthest to the left. A single press of this button while the unit is on changes the choice of instrument (mine is always on “uke”). I do use the chromatic setting for my eight string ukuleles. The middle button toggles Semi-Auto or Auto mode. I use Auto mode all the time; the Semi-Auto mode requires a press of the “S” button (select) every time you want to change the string you are tuning (you are selecting which string you want to tune). There’s also a hole to do a reset (use a paper clip) and Up and Down (DW) buttons that are great for restringing, or when a string is so far off that you need to get it closer to its needed pitch.
The things I really love about this tuner are the price (about $80 from Amazon or Jowoom.com), the weight of the unit (it feels solid), the long life of the battery (lots and lots of tunings), and the Auto mode. I love that I can go to ukulele to ukulele without pressing any buttons (unless a string is so far out of tune that I have to use the Up and Down buttons). And I love that I can tune like crazy and be able to do more than one thing at a time, which I am finding to be a massively important skill at the elementary level!
If you have a custom tuned ukulele, this will not work for you, and anyone in D6 or other tunings will have to find another solution (although, to be honest, if you are a school in D6 tuning, such as in Canada, reach out to Jowoom…they might be able to program a batch of tuners specifically for your needs). This will also not work for friction tuners or UPT tuners. You CAN turn on ukulele Low G tuning in Semi Auto mode.
I should also mention that there are times that the unit may not hear a specific tuner well; or that it might keep spinning. If the spinning situation happens to you, you have to be aware of it, and simply remove the tuner from the tuning peg. It is also good to look to make sure that you’re not in the wrong mode (e.g. tuning C while still on reentrant G).
I loved using these in the classroom last year (I could have students tune), and I’d recommend them for any school, music vendor, or even a group leader. They might also be nice for individuals who wish to just not worry about tuning with a clip on tuner.
There is a competitor to this product with different features, and I prefer the Jowoom Smart Tuner T2 for schools and multi-ukulele scenarios based on the things I discussed above.