Korg is known for their tuners and metronomes, particularly their hand-held units. But, they also make a good line of clip-on tuners. But, what model best fits your needs? Well, that depends on the features, and your level of expertise. So, here is a Korg clip on tuner comparison, so you can make a more informed decision.
Click here for the line of Korg hand-held tuners.
Korg makes tuners for a variety of musical instruments, as shown in this table.
|Sledgehammer Custom 100||Guitar, Bass|
|Sledgehammer Pro||Guitar, Bass|
|Headtune||Guitar, Bass, Ukulele|
|AW-LT100M||French horn, Tuba, Euphonium, Oboe, Bassoon, Clarinet, Saxophone, Cello, Guitar, Trumpet, Cornet, Bass clarinet, Contrabass|
|AW-LT100T||Trumpet, Cornet, Trombone|
For models that can be used on more than one type of instrument, or when specialized features are available for one type of instrument, this mode allows you to set which instrument to tune. The options always include chromatic mode. For example, a tuner used for both guitar and bass will have three (3) modes: chromatic, guitar, and bass.
Some models give you the option of three display modes for checking your tuning.
In Regular Mode, meter bars light up from the far left and extend to the right, depending on tune. If the meter bars stop at the top of the semi-circle, then the instrument is in tune. When the bars show only on the left side – flat. If the bars extend to the right of center – sharp.
In Strobe Mode, when the lines move to the left, you are flat. If the lines move to the right, the tone is sharp. You know you’re in tune when the lines are still. This mode is more accurate than Regular Mode.
In this mode, one line in the center of the meter shows when the instrument is in tune. When flat, it shows only the meter segments to the left of center. When sharp, it shows only the meter segments to the right of center.
This allows the user to select between fast and slow meter speed. The slow speed works well for normal tuning, while the fast speed allows you to check your tuning while you play. Only the AW-LT100M and AW-LT100T models contain this feature.
Change Reference Pitch
This feature allows the user to change the reference pitch away from 440 Hz. The range available varies by model.
This mode allows the user to set the number of semitones above or below the pitch. Semitones below pitch allows flat tuning, while semitones above pitch are for capo tuning (guitar mode only). Only the Sledgehammer and PitchCrow-G models include this feature.
Backlight mode allows the user to specify how bright the backlight is on the display. This mode has two settings: Soft or Auto. Soft uses a lower level of brightness, so as to conserve the battery. Auto mode shows bright when the device actively tunes or after switch activation, then shuts down after 3 seconds to conserve battery power.
1st String Overtightening Warning
This warning indicates if the first string is overtightened, hopefully to prevent the string from breaking.
Pure Major Third or Pure Minor Third
This allows you to tune to the pure major third or pure minor third relative to the displayed pitch. Only the models used for band or orchestral instruments contain this feature.
All models will power off if the tuner hasn’t been used for a period of time. How long this takes depends on the model.
This table shows the major features found on each model.
|Model||Meter Mode||Reference Pitch||Back Light||1st String Warning||Chromatic|
|Sledgehammer Custom 100||Yes||Yes (436-445 Hz)||Yes|
|Sledgehammer Pro||Yes||Yes (436-445 Hz)||Yes|
|Sledgehammer||Yes (436-445 Hz)||Yes||Yes
|AW-LT100G||Yes||Yes (436-445 Hz)||Yes||Yes|
|AW-LT100B||Yes||Yes (436-445 Hz)||Yes||Yes|
|PitchCrow-G||Yes (436-445 Hz)||Yes||Yes|
|AW-LT100M||Yes (410-480 Hz)||Yes||Yes|
|AW-LT100T||Yes (410-480 Hz)||Yes||Yes|
|AW-LT100V||Yes (410-480 Hz)||Yes||Yes|
Below show the displays for each model.
Sledgehammer Custom 100
Headtune for Acoustic Guitar
Headtune for Electric Guitar
Headtune for Bass
Headtune for Ukulele
The table below slows some general features of each model, along with the approximate cost.
|Model||Power Off Time||Battery Life||Approx. $|
|Sledgehammer Custom 100||3 minutes||100 hours||$43|
|Sledgehammer Pro||3 minutes||100 hours||$20|
|Sledgehammer||3 minutes||100 hours||$19|
|AW-LT100G||3 minutes||100 hours||$20|
|AW-LT100B||3 minutes||100 hours||$20|
|PitchCrow-G||3 minutes||24 hours||$19-24|
|Headtune||10 minutes||35 hours||$12-13|
|Pitchclip||10 minutes||17 hours||$11|
|GripTune||10 minutes||17 hours||$12|
|AW-LT100M||20 minutes||100 hours||$69|
|AW-LT100T||20 minutes||100 hours||$69|
|AW-LT100V||20 minutes||100 hours||$69|
Note: The 100 hour battery life for some models is accomplished with a single AAA battery, making replacement easier and cheaper.
Amazon carries all of the Korg models listed below:
Several people have reported issues with some of the Korg tuners. I consider some of them valid, others not so.
The rotary switches on the Sledgehammer line and the AW-LT100 line have occasionally been known to rattle, but not universally so.
The higher end models may be slower to tune than other brands, particularly when in Strobe or Half-Strobe mode. I suspect this arises from the greater accuracy obtained in this modes. This may or may not pose a problem depending on the circumstances.
All of these models are made of plastic, and as you’d expect they do not hold up to excessive wear. For example, one owner removed the battery after each use, and over time, the plastic battery cover failed. Not a surprise to me.
The lower end models will not tune to alternate tunings; they are set only for standard tuning (EADGBE). Expecting that capability, when it clearly was not designed for it, is a head-scratcher to me. (Note: I’ve actually seen a complaint about this very issue. Go figure.)
Regarding warranties, I have not actually seen a warranty for any of these models, either in the owners manual or on the Korg website.
This Korg clip on tuner comparison should allow you to decide which model best suits your needs. All are good tuners. So long as you recognize the limitations for each model, particularly the lower end models, these tuners should serve your needs well.
Just remember to keep making music. It makes the world a better place.