Boss TU-2 Chromatic Tuner
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Overview

The Boss TU-2 Chromatic Tuner has become the industry standard for the one pedal that everyone needs. Accurate, easy to read and bulletproof, there's no reason to think hard about this one. Join the millions of players both famous and bedroom-bound who start their signal chain with this little white box.

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Product Specs

Brand
Model
  • TU-2 Chromatic Tuner (Dark Gray Label)
Finish
  • White
Year
  • 1998 - 2009
Made In
  • Taiwan
Categories

From the Price Guide

More Information

What do the guitar player from your local church's praise band and John 5 of Marilyn Manson's band have in common? They both need tuning pedals. In fact, if you play any sort of stringed instrument, you need a tuner. If you play an acoustic instrument with no output jack, you'll want a clip-on tuner like the $3 Reverb Tuner. If your instrument does use a 1/4" out, you need a tuning pedal. Period. This one simple piece of gear can save tons of time and prevent potential cringe-worthy, audience-scattering performances and yet it is probably the cheapest pedal you'll buy (aside from maybe a well-loved Boss DS-1). And no tuning pedal is more ubiquitous and vouched for than the Boss TU-2 Chromatic Tuner.

The Goldilocks Zone

Part of the reason the Boss TU-2 (and its successor the TU-3) appear on nearly every pedalboard you'll see is that it is reliable, accurate and has just enough capability without overcomplicating things. The LEDs oscillate at a rate indicating how close you are to the note, while a clear green light in the center tells you when your job is done for that string. The TU-2 has an eight octave range and seven modes, for standard guitar and bass frequencies and de-tuned setups down to a whole step below standard. There is even an option to set a difference reference pitch above or below A 440 (438 - 445 Hz). Beyond this, anything else is just unnecessary in a tuning pedal. Anything less than this leaves you somewhat confined in the way tune your guitar.

More Than Just A Tuner

Some people overlook the fact that when you are not tuning your guitar, your tuner still serves a purpose. For one, your guitar signal is usually going to be running through your tuner during the whole show, so it's critical that your tuning pedal doesn't dampen your tone or dirty it with noise. This is part of the reason why people rely on the TU-2. It disappears when you turn it off, leaving your signal chain mostly unaffected. On the flip side, if you are switching guitars or need to abruptly stop or just be completely silent during a bandmate's solo, the TU-2 acts as a great mute, giving you a chance to re-check a few strings if needed in the meantime. I've even seen players like Tommy Emmanuel use it as an attack remover, quickly engaging it while picking and then disengaging it while rolling the volume knob on his guitar to create a Slow Gear swell-like effect.

How does the Boss TU-3 differ from the TU-2?

These are essentially the same pedal, with some upgrades for durability and faster response on the TU-3. Literally the only improvements to be made on the TU-2 were brightening up the display and adding more lights into the spectrum while increasing response time by a few hundred milliseconds. That's about it. Both are great pedals. There's no need to give up one for the other, though.