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Review: Peterson Stomp Classic Strobotuner

Eagle-eyed gear spotters have probably noticed the distinctive amber glow of a Conn or Peterson strobe tuner display onstage with the biggest acts over the past four decades. Renowned for their incredible accuracy, Peterson strobe tuners are the preferred choice of pro guitarists and guitar techs who demand the most accurate tuning available. The Peterson Stomp Classic Strobotuner is a compact and affordable stomp box that combines the familiar look and performance of the vintage Conn ST-11 Strobotuner with numerous features found on Peterson’s modern high-end strobe tuners.

FEATURES

The heart of the Stomp Classic is its large, half-circle backlit LED, which provides exceptionally accurate and easy-to-use “spinning wheel” tuning feedback, even in darkness or direct sunlight. Like Peterson’s high-end units, the Stomp Classic is accurate within 0.1 cents, making it five to 10 times more accurate than other pedal tuners (most of which are accurate to .5 or 1 cents) . Reference pitch can be calibrated from A=390 to A=490 (compared to the A=435-445 range of most competitors), which makes it ideal for the growing number of guitarists who prefer A=432 over A=440. It also offers 25 “sweetened” tuning presets optimized for electric, acoustic, alternate-tuned, 12-string, resonator, bass and guitars that feature the Buzz Feiten tuning system, plus it has space for your own custom tunings. Construction is solid and professional quality, and the pedal has metal screw lugs that let you fasten it securely to a pedal board, a feature that should be standard on all stomp boxes these days.

PERFORMANCE

If you’ve never tuned your guitar with a Peterson strobe tuner, you’ve probably never actually heard it truly in tune. Because the tuner is very sensitive, it works best with a light touch both when plucking strings and adjusting tuning pegs, but once you learn how to get the wheel to come to a complete stop you are rewarded with dead-accurate tuning. The “sweetened” presets can make a guitar sound more musical and harmonious than you ever imagined it could.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Fitting the accurate performance and versatile features of a high-end strobe tuner into a stomp box, the Peterson Stomp Classic Strobotuner is essential for guitarists who want the best tuning capabilities available.

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Chris is the co-author of Eruption - Conversations with Eddie Van Halen. He is a 40-year music industry veteran who started at Boardwalk Entertainment (Joan Jett, Night Ranger) and Roland US before becoming a guitar journalist in 1991. He has interviewed more than 600 artists, written more than 1,400 product reviews and contributed to Jeff Beck’s Beck 01: Hot Rods and Rock & Roll and Eric Clapton’s Six String Stories.