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This article was originally published in issue #13
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The US firm Snark has been around for a while and was one of the first to come up with a handy little tuner that clips on your headstock and listens to the pitch resonating through your guitar. Never bought one myself but it seems everyone else did. Now Snark has put out a more traditional stomp box version, and very nice it is too. It has the little touches that make the difference, such as the ability to daisy chain power to other pedals, which is always a handy feature. Also, it features true bypass switching, that takes it out of your signal path when not in use, which makes it even more desirable for the tone purists amongst us. We also have a serious full colour display, to show you your state of tune. One of the biggest brightest and best. This will be easily seen in any situation. It also mutes for silent tuning when you stomp on the very slick switch button, which doesn't really need you to stomp on it at all, because a slight gentle stroke will do the job.
One very nice touch is underneath the pedal. In order to change the battery (should you need to use it on a battery, away from a powered pedal board) there is a big sliver cross head screw, which at first glance you think you are going to have to be carrying a big phillips screwdriver around with you to undo it. Not the case. The screw is sort of curved in, allowing you to use any small coin that's handy, and we all usually have a few bits of loose change in our pockets don't we. Or if you don't, someone near you will. So although it seems a small thing, it's forethought like this that makes me warm to this pedal.
It looks and feels very rugged too, with a strong die cast metal casing. This makes it heavier in weight than some pedals but that is a small price to pay if it is going to last life on the road. It's also not the smallest tuner out there, and sometimes real estate on a pedalboard can be at a premium. I'm not saying it too big, it's just an average sort of size that will want it's own territory next to your other pedals, rather than squeezing in a smaller tuner in any left over gap (as a lot of us do). But when you look at how cool and great it's readout is, then it's size makes sense. It's obviously accurate at what it does, showing you in no uncertain terms when you are in tune.
So add up all the nice little touches the Snark and it certainly is as good as anything out there, with a very reasonable price tag. I'm convinced.