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Roadie 3 Automatic Guitar Tuner review

It's super-quick, super-accurate, and the size of a bar of soap... Oh, and you can wind your strings with it, too

Roadie 3 Automatic Guitar Tuner
(Image: © Bands Industries / Roadie Music)

Our Verdict

Because our ears are not always up to the task, the tuner is a guitar case essential, and with its intuitive design and high-speed performance, the Roadie 3 is as good as they come.

For

  • It's fast and accurate.
  • Works well in high-noise environments.
  • It's got a string-wider and metronome, too.
  • Bright LED display.

Against

  • Pricey.

Guitar World Verdict

Because our ears are not always up to the task, the tuner is a guitar case essential, and with its intuitive design and high-speed performance, the Roadie 3 is as good as they come.

Pros

  • + It's fast and accurate.
  • + Works well in high-noise environments.
  • + It's got a string-wider and metronome, too.
  • + Bright LED display.

Cons

  • - Pricey.

If you dug through my music drawers for a tuning device, you’ll find I have it all: tuning forks and pitch pipes, and every conceivable rack, pedal and headstock tuner under the sun. But if you ask me, the best tuner I own has always been my ears. 

Still, that doesn’t stop me from sniffing out the latest and greatest tuning gadgetry out there, and every so often, I’ll stumble upon a new tuner that I feel is a must-have – whether I need it or not. 

So, imagine my existential angst after familiarizing myself with the Roadie 3 – not because it’s the most thrilling technological tuning tool I’ve come across, but more that I’m going to have to try and convince why you might need this innovatively handy automatic guitar tuner despite its hefty price tag.

What makes it so impressive? With a motor speed of 110 RPM, which is twice as fast as their other Roadie tuners, the Roadie 3 is their most advanced version yet. It features improved tuning accuracy (27.5 Hz to 668.84 Hz) to tune a slew of multi-stringed instruments with geared tuning pegs in seconds (except for bass) and also allows for tuning in a noisy environment with its next-gen vibration detection. 

Best guitar tuners: Band Industries Roadie 3

(Image credit: Band Industries)

The Roadie 3 is about the size of a small bar of soap and snuggly fits in the palm of your hand with a grippy-material covering, and it’s rechargeable via its USB-C port. Its controls include a power button and a 4-way D-pad to navigate with your thumb to access more than 150 built-in tunings (as well as create and store your own custom and alternate tunings) from its full-color hi-resolution LCD display screen. 

Roadie 3 also incorporates a built-in metronome and string winder for restringing your guitar. The Roadie 3 has a free companion app for downloads and updates, and it offers more versatility to create, manage and store your customizations. 

What I love most about the Roadie 3 is that you’ll never need to do all the up-and-down winding work as you fine-tune your instrument because the Roadie 3 spins its magic in one fluid motion until it stops and responds with a quick vibration (or beep) to indicate a string is perfectly in tune. 

Tuning is razor-sharp accurate, and you won’t need to fine-tune it a second time around. Also, if you have more than one 12-string guitar (guilty!), I’d get it just for its efficiency in how quickly it gets the tuning job done. 

The built-in winder is great for restringing and rapidly tuning to pitch without removing the Roadie 3 from your tuning gear, but you’ll have to switch from “Winder” to the “Tuner” function with your thumb to finish the task. 

It’s pricey, but I find it essential as a maintenance tool if you have a growing collection of instruments, or even a bunch of guitars you keep in different tunings. Even more importantly, the Roadie 3 saves you time by its swift motorized spin when you need to be firmly in tune for a performance. 

Sometimes your ears don’t always cut it, which is why I wholeheartedly recommend having the Roadie 3 at your disposal as a portable no-nonsense tuner to consistently keep your guitars pitch-perfect. It’s that great.

  • STREET PRICE: $129
  • FEATURES: Guitar tuner, metronome, string winder, LCD display, USB-C
  • CONTACT: Roadie Music
Paul Riario

Paul Riario has been the tech/gear editor and online video presence for Guitar World for over 25 years. Paul is one of the few gear editors who has actually played and owned nearly all the original gear that most guitarists wax poetically about, and has survived this long by knowing every useless musical tidbit of classic rock, new wave, hair metal, grunge, and alternative genres. When Paul is not riding his road bike at any given moment, he remains a working musician, playing in two bands called SuperTrans Am and Radio Nashville.