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Guitar pedalsTuner pedal

TC Electronic Polytune 3 (Review)


The new Polytune 3 has all the features as its predecessors and more

Whether you are a fan of effect pedals, or a straight-to-the-amp type of guy, you have one of these. From bedroom players to professionals. You can’t live without one. And if you don’t have one, you need one. We’re talking of course about the tuner pedal.

  • TC Electronic Polytune 3 - Photo 1
  • TC Electronic Polytune 3 - Photo 2
  • TC Electronic Polytune 3 - Photo 3
  • TC Electronic Polytune 3 - Photo 4

And now, TC Electronic has made the king of tuner pedals even more advanced with a buffer circuit built in.

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TC Electronic Polytune is a compact tuner pedal with LED display which changes brightness according to the surroundings. If you are playing outside, and the sun is shining down on your pedals, it’s often hard to see the light or the display, but with the ambient light sensor, you’re able to see in the lightest of surroundings. On dark stages the LEDs are dimmed so your pedal doesn’t look like a small UFO on stage, but when a strobe light shines on you, the LEDs turns brighter for you to see.

PolyTune 3 Mini & Noir - Official Product Video

TC Electronic Polytune 3 (Review)

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Tuning operations:

There are three tuning operations for both guitar and bass on this pedal: Needle mode, strobe mode and polytune mode.

In neeedle mode it works like most other tuners, it shows which note you are playing, and a red needle is showing if the string is tuned flat or sharp. When you are in tune, the needle is in the center of the display and turns green.

When you push the display mode button on the front, it changes to strobe mode. This is a super precise tuner with an accuracy of +/- 0.1 cent with a wheel going left or right indicating if your string is flat or sharp. When the wheel stands still, you’re in perfect tune. There are also two lights over and under the wheel indicating where you’re at.

Tuning operations TC Electronic Polytune 3

The polytune mode is always on. When more than two strings are ringing simultaneously, the tuner goes over to polytune mode. It shows all the strings from left to right (low to high). It will only show 6 strings; 7-string players will have to tune the highest six first, and tune the low B separately.
For bass; E, A, D and G will be indicated as the four middle strings. 5- and 6-string basses will show a low B on the left side, and a high C on the right side.

By pushing the “tuning mode” button on the front, you can cycle through different tunings for when you want to tune down, or when using a capo. When you press and hold down the stomp button, the display shows a “d”. this means drop d tuning. When you are in Eb, it will mean drop Db and so on.

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Reference pitch:

You can change your reference pitch by pressing both buttons on the front simultaneously, and then cycle up and down from A435Hz to A445Hz.

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This pedal can run on both 9V batteries or 9V DC power supply (center negative).
It also has a power out for other pedals that uses 9V DC.

9V DC power supply TC Electronic Polytune 3

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Buffer circuit:

Where this pedal excels from its predecessors, is in the Bona Fide Buffer which is integrated in the tuner. A dip switch inside let’s you choose between true bypass, buffered bypass and buffered bypass with the display always on. If your pedal board is starting to look like the control panel of The Starship Enterprise, you should think about investing in a buffer becasue of the signal loss, which unfortunately takes up more space on your board. With this tuner you don’t need to think about it.

9.5 Total Score

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