Korg Pitchblack Custom tuner

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by Edika, Jan 4, 2020.

  1. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    I've had this tuner for about a year now and long story short don't buy it lol!

    Now to the reasons why. I was locking for a strobe tuner as I wanted to work on the intonation of my guitars so I would do a complete set up on my instruments. There were some food suggestions but were over my price range. After some research I've found the Korg Pitchblack Custom. Price was decent specs looked good and it looked sexy. So I bought one as it was supposed True Bypass plus it has the strobe function.

    First thing I noticed, the strobe function is unusable. I could never get the nite to stabilise and it was giving me a headache. In the semi strobe function it works better as at least I can see where the note is and get the sensitivity of the tuner.

    After a year or so of using it I noticed it actually affects the tone. I didn't really get it as I was always playing high gain sounds but I was feeling the sound I was getting was a bit more screechy and less full. Finally I got it out of the chain and the tone came back. Put it back in then the tone suck came back. Plus when I turned the volume pot to zero I got some strange noise. Actual noise instead of no sound. I tried it with a fresh battery instead of the power supply I got for it and I even got actual noise in the amp.

    So it's not a true bypass and the strobe function is unbearable lol. Looks good though.
     
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  2. Korneo

    Korneo SS.org Regular

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    I have a DTR2000 and have the same "tone loss".
    I have made a lot of tests and the sound was less clear, not as tight and dynamic. It really feel "lifeless"
    Since this, Ive buy a good DI and send to thru to the tuner to use it but it never came back to my chain. I've buy a TU-3W instead and it do not seems to have this problem at all.
     
    Edika likes this.
  3. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    No pedal or piece is totally transparent but when it's detrimental to the tone it sucks. Korg says it's 100% true bypass so it probably is. A misnomer about true bypass is that is doesn't suck tone or alter it at all. Even advertising is doe this way. The fact is that true bypass can alter things because it introduces potential loading and also doens't isolate the grounding or signal at all usually. It's just a jack and a switch basically. Other pedals with buffered jacks and isolated inputs will probably give a result you're looking for more.
    - If you like the tuner though and just not the tone suck part of it, you can always use a high quality splitter like a Lehle P-Split and run it in parallel out of the chain altogether.
    - If you have an extra line output you're not using like from another pedal output you can do the same thing.
    - Another option is to use a buffered output of a pedal or buffer and run it through it too.
    - There's always other pedals too but everything does affect the sound even if only a little bit. It's more about if you're ok with it or like the alteration it imparts.
     
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  4. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    It does make sense but I was expecting some high end loss that I could bump through the amp. I didn't expect such ane effect though. I have a Maxon OD808 and a Boss MT2 on my chain (I use one or the other to boost the amps not both at the same time) so I can try it after the Boss which I know is a buffered pedal.

    I didn't expect actual noise though when I used the battery. It's a weird pedal and in the instructions it recommended a power source that can provide over 600mA. I couldn't find one from Korg as there was no info at all in the leaflet or their site (way to go Korg). They only mentioned two power supplies on their site and one said it was ok for the rack version. I tried the battery just in case the power supply was the issue, as I got it of ebay, but the tone suck was there and additionally noise which wasn't there withe power supply. Which was even stranger.
     
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  5. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    That is interesting. Do you use the TU-3W on tbe buffered or true bypass jack?
     
  6. noise in my mind

    noise in my mind SS.org Regular

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    I have the pro rack mount version. Works great for my needs. Sorry it didn't work out!
     
  7. Korneo

    Korneo SS.org Regular

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    I haven't try it yet on my interface but wit ha direct comparison with my guitar to my amp (and A/B with the DTR2000), the TU-3W on the buf position is excellent.
     
    Edika likes this.
  8. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Coolest strobe tuner ever was the S.o.S., but nobody understood how to use it, so they stopped making them.

    Honestly, I can't imagine why it's difficult for a company to make a good tuner these days.
     

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