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Thread: How to Keep a Headstock Tuner from Damaging Your Instrument

  1. #51
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    Default Re: How to Keep a Headstock Tuner from Damaging Your Instrument

    Get this clip-free D'Addario tuner and your damage worries are over. Just about invisible too.

    https://www.daddario.com/products/ac...ip-free-tuner/
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  2. #52
    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Keep a Headstock Tuner from Damaging Your Instrument

    Quote Originally Posted by DCHammers View Post
    Get this clip-free D'Addario tuner and your damage worries are over. Just about invisible too.

    https://www.daddario.com/products/ac...ip-free-tuner/
    That looks interesting. I have the same tuner but with a clip-on base.

    Does anyone have one of these?

  3. #53

    Default Re: How to Keep a Headstock Tuner from Damaging Your Instrument

    That looks really cool!

  4. #54
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    Default Re: How to Keep a Headstock Tuner from Damaging Your Instrument

    I had a varnished Eastman that had headstock damage from the PO leaving the tuner clipped on. I donít think it would be a problem with nitro, but I still remove mine after every session.
    Livingí in the Mitten

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  6. #55

    Default Re: How to Keep a Headstock Tuner from Damaging Your Instrument

    I thought of another advantage of the clip-free d’addario mentioned above. Your buddy can’t borrow it and forget to give it back

    Holy cow...I just checked and they’re on sale for less than $12 at Musician’s Friend so I ordered a couple. (NFI)

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  8. #56
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    Default Re: How to Keep a Headstock Tuner from Damaging Your Instrument

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherry Cadenhead View Post
    That looks interesting. I have the same tuner but with a clip-on base.

    Does anyone have one of these?
    I have one on my newer Collings and I love it. That said, I couldn't seem to find the "right" screw and ended up using what came with it. It still bothers me though. I wish I could find which screw they use for the tuner mounts and get a version that's 2mm or so longer. If anyone knows which screw they use...hit me up.
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  10. #57

    Default Re: How to Keep a Headstock Tuner from Damaging Your Instrument

    Quote Originally Posted by NDO View Post
    I thought of another advantage of the clip-free díaddario mentioned above. Your buddy canít borrow it and forget to give it back
    FWIW, I have a "buddy" who, in 40 years of playing professionally and semi-professionally part-time, has never bought a pick, a set of strings, a tuner, a guitar cable, etc. -- he has managed to get by "on the cheap" by "borrowing" a string when one breaks, a pick when needed, etc. -- otherwise, a wonderful, intelligent, talented person and musician. Somehow he did manage to purchase a couple guitars and an amp over the years that are his. Some people.....

  11. #58
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    Default Re: How to Keep a Headstock Tuner from Damaging Your Instrument

    I know that if I took my tuner off, I'd lose it immediately. I would go through tuners faster than milk through someone who's lactose intolerant. I would spend enough on replacements to otherwise afford a Loar-signed fern.
    As you might be able to guess, I go through a lot of picks.
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  12. #59
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    Default Re: How to Keep a Headstock Tuner from Damaging Your Instrument

    So what's wrong with this picture? (OK, video.) And I don't mean, Robert Fripp covering Judas Priest, nor him "singing" - all good on those scores. No, it's the tuner on his headstock, and also his friend's. I'm sorry, but I just don't see the point of leaving it on for a video; they do not look cool. Does he think he might have to stop in the middle of a two-minute song and tune up? I find it irritating. Capos, too. It's the sheer thoughtlessness that enables this behavior. I admit it's a pet peeve, but I just don't understand ... why?



    PS: This thread has ruined me, somewhat. I keep seeing these, and can't not notice. I saw a photo of a nice old A-4 the other day, hanging on the wall, and all I could see was he flip-on tuner. Take the dang thing off if you're not using it!
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    Default Re: How to Keep a Headstock Tuner from Damaging Your Instrument

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    FWIW, I have a "buddy" who, in 40 years of playing professionally and semi-professionally part-time, has never bought a pick, a set of strings, a tuner, a guitar cable, etc. -- he has managed to get by "on the cheap" by "borrowing" a string when one breaks, a pick when needed, etc.
    Hey, I think I was in a band with him! Well, probably someone else. In addition to the above, a guitar strap. And even a couple of my harmonicas. And he was the leader of the band. Maybe he thought that put him in a position where everyone else was supposed to serve him. Yep, pretty annoying.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  14. #61

    Default Re: How to Keep a Headstock Tuner from Damaging Your Instrument

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    So what's wrong with this picture? (OK, video.) And I don't mean, Robert Fripp covering Judas Priest, nor him "singing" - all good on those scores. No, it's the tuner on his headstock, and also his friend's. I'm sorry, but I just don't see the point of leaving it on for a video; they do not look cool. Does he think he might have to stop in the middle of a two-minute song and tune up? I find it irritating. Capos, too. It's the sheer thoughtlessness that enables this behavior. I admit it's a pet peeve, but I just don't understand ... why?
    Well, for me itís pretty simple...if I take it off Iíll leave it somewhere! The capo never comes out of the case, but the tuner never comes off the headstock. Thatís why Iím going to try one of these newfangled clipless ones

  15. #62
    Registered User sblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Keep a Headstock Tuner from Damaging Your Instrument

    Journeybear -- So here's a video of Chris Thile, playing on his late-lamented show "Live From Here" on NPR. And what's THAT thing attached to the headstock of his invaluable 1924 Gibson F5 Master Model, signed by Lloyd Loar? Could it possibly be -- yes! -- a D'Addario micro tuner?! And why on earth would he leave a tuner on for a live performance, I wonder? And do you find that personally "irritating?" I certainly don't mind. And I seriously doubt that he worries much about damaging the finish on his expensive Loar with it, either. C'mon, people!! Get perspective. Writing for myself, I'm glad that Chris Thile cares about staying in tune more than certain outdated and counter-productive notions of appearances. He's cool .


    Last edited by sblock; Apr-15-2021 at 7:46pm.

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  17. #63
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    Default Re: How to Keep a Headstock Tuner from Damaging Your Instrument

    Et tu, Thile!

    It takes a whole 2-3 seconds to pull a tuner out of one's pocket and clip it on, when needed, ready to tune. The rest of the time, leave it in the pocket, marring neither the appearance nor the actual instrument. I'm disappointed in the BGPD, slacking off, asleep at the job, letting this grievous garish gaffe go unpunished. They should confiscate his Loar for conduct unbecoming.

    Et tu, Thile!
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    Default Re: How to Keep a Headstock Tuner from Damaging Your Instrument

    ..and for what it's worth, before using the D'Addario MicroTuner clipped to his mandolin headstock, Chris Thile used to keep an even larger Peterson StroboClip tuner on his mandolin during performances, as shown in the video clip below. Michael Daves is using one, too. You can even hear Chris tuning with it.

    I guess the Bluegrass Police don't ticket for this sort of offense anymore. Like marijuana, the use of a headstock tuner during performance has been legalized in nearly all states. New standards of professionalism prevail!


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  21. #65
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    Default Re: How to Keep a Headstock Tuner from Damaging Your Instrument

    Quote Originally Posted by sblock View Post
    New standards of professionalism prevail!
    Yes, apparently standards have lowered to this extent.

    We're never going to agree on this. I think it's unsightly, lazy, and damaging (as several have attested) to leave the tuner clipped on; you think it's not that big a deal. We're not going to agree, so let's let it slide. OK?

    Way back in the dim, dark, deep-sixed days of I think it was the 80s I picked up an IntelliTouch tuner at Winterhawk. Remember those? They were enormous by today's standards - even bigger than that Peterson, like 2-3x - and expensive - like $50, I think - but they were the first I'd seen using this technology. Oh, and hell, no, I didn't leave it on.
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    Default Re: How to Keep a Headstock Tuner from Damaging Your Instrument

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    Et tu, Thile!

    It takes a whole 2-3 seconds to pull a tuner out of one's pocket and clip it on, when needed, ready to tune. The rest of the time, leave it in the pocket, marring neither the appearance nor the actual instrument. I'm disappointed in the BGPD, slacking off, asleep at the job, letting this grievous garish gaffe go unpunished. They should confiscate his Loar for conduct unbecoming.

    Et tu, Thile!
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    Default Re: How to Keep a Headstock Tuner from Damaging Your Instrument

    Thanks, I think (ignoring possible irony and/or sarcasm), but you can set your sights a little higher.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Default Re: How to Keep a Headstock Tuner from Damaging Your Instrument

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    Yes, apparently standards have lowered to this extent.

    We're never going to agree on this. I think it's unsightly, lazy, and damaging (as several have attested) to leave the tuner clipped on; you think it's not that big a deal. We're not going to agree, so let's let it slide. OK?

    Way back in the dim, dark, deep-sixed days of I think it was the 80s I picked up an IntelliTouch tuner at Winterhawk. Remember those? They were enormous by today's standards - even bigger than that Peterson, like 2-3x - and expensive - like $50, I think - but they were the first I'd seen using this technology. Oh, and hell, no, I didn't leave it on.
    Okay - that get's me to tell my favorite IntelliTouch story. I was an early adopter. During a jam not too long after, a very well known and respected musician saw it and asked if he could try it out. Sure, no problem. He proceeds to put it on his headstock and just started pushing buttons, not realizing that one turns it on and off and the other sets pitch. Well he ends up sending the A to something like A=446. So of course it's not in tune. After about 3 minutes he's visibly frustrated and hands it back to me saying it's nothing but a useless piece of c..p.

    To this day I don't know if he really didn't know he had thrown the pitch off or if he was messing with me. No matter, it still makes a great story around these parts.
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  29. #69
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    Default Re: How to Keep a Headstock Tuner from Damaging Your Instrument

    I took my mandolin over to my sister's house, and when I came home, I forgot my tuner. When I called her to have her lay it aside until I could swing by, she said something like, you should try to get over being dependent on that device. I don't think she's ever owned one (she's a sometime guitar player), and would likely be aghast at leaving it on the instrument in front of people.

    I'm agnostic about displaying your tuner. If I were out playing for or with other people, I'd probably prefer to keep it in my pocket. But almost all women's jeans have totally inadequate pockets, so there's that.

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  31. #70

    Default Re: How to Keep a Headstock Tuner from Damaging Your Instrument

    Dependency on a tuner is probably the subject of another thread, but years and years ago - like 40-50 years - the mark of a professional musician was the ability to tune without such devices. There are no videos at Woodstock of musicians wasting time looking down at tuners. There are no videos of the Allman brothers either. Many times we DO see old videos of musicians grabbing their tuner knob and yanking it in mid-song. And, truth is, they probably missed it more times than they hit it, but it sure looked cool just going for it during a song! They tuned to each other or the keyboard or harmonica or simply didn't worry about it so. Sure, there were tuning forks and pitch pipes back then, but it was probably easier to learn perfect pitch than to mess with those. I know somebody is going to say what about tuning in a noisy bar? The time-honored way with an acoustic instrument is to simply put the instrument next to your ear or on your ear and you can hear it easily in a noisy bar -- assuming music will again be played live in bars and restaurants someday, probably the subject of another thread, as well. It does irk me to see (someone like) Thile with a peghead tuner, Loar or not, for those reasons.........FWIW. Yep, I'm old!

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  33. #71
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    Default Re: How to Keep a Headstock Tuner from Damaging Your Instrument

    I can remember somewhere in the late 70's or early 80's playing in a loud college bar and having to step outside to tune. You simply couldn't hear enough to tune in the bar, even thru the PA. Since it was winter my guitar probably went out of tune when I came back in, but it was better than when I started. I wished there was a clipon tuner in those days, and if I left it on the headstock for a quick tune I could care less.

    For those who think it looks so bad do you worry about your hair being out of place when you play too?
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  34. #72
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    Default Re: How to Keep a Headstock Tuner from Damaging Your Instrument

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    For those who think it looks so bad do you worry about your hair being out of place when you play too?
    You know, back when this thread started, there were lots of responses to the OP - and the title, too, which still refers to the main point concerning damage to your instrument, not appearances - and it would be a positive and productive approach to addressing this topic to read through the thread and see what people have said about this before commenting. Indeed, one would see the majority of responders advise temporary per-use-only tuner usage. Comments concerning appearances arose later, as an adjunct factor, not the main one - a sort of "oh, by the way, also ... " observation. Somehow some people have seized on this aspect and the thread has gone off on this tangent, resisting efforts to return it to its original course. I am well aware of my own guilt in adding to this misdirection, even with my light-hearted approach to addressing such off-topic if peripherally related concerns. But it seems to me comments have been pretty free of snarky attitude (yes, I said it) until now. I don't see what is to be gained by bringing dismissive ad hominem remarks into the conversation. I think that veers into unkindness, which is widely considered to have no place in the Forum.

    I will say this, though - I have curly hair, and always wear a hat at gigs. So no, I don't worry about that. Nor the other, as stated beforehand.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  35. #73
    Registered User Polecat's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Keep a Headstock Tuner from Damaging Your Instrument

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post

    For those who think it looks so bad do you worry about your hair being out of place when you play too?
    The mere idea fills me with dread.
    "Give me a mandolin and I'll play you rock 'n' roll" (Keith Moon)

  36. #74
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    Default Re: How to Keep a Headstock Tuner from Damaging Your Instrument

    Back to the original subject.

    I have had a Polytune on my guitar for several years, even in the case, no marks on the guitar. I just looked. I take them off the mandolins when I put them away, but leave them on when playing.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  38. #75
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    Default Re: How to Keep a Headstock Tuner from Damaging Your Instrument

    Well, this thread has veered off-course and back on once or twice . . ..

    Trying to stay on course: I tend to put a clip-on tuner on the headstock of a guitar or mandolin when I tune before playing, leave it on while playing, and then take it off when putting the instrument away. I haven't seen any marks on headstocks, but to be fair, I'm not carefully inspecting each time either. I do usually put the D'Addario micro tuner so that the works are on the back side of the headstock, and only the little black "finger" is on the front. And, at least for flat-top guitars with round soundholes, I use the little internal clip-on D'Addario that doesn't show much from the front. It hasn't left a mark on the top, either.

    I tend not to use clip-ons for dulcimer or violin; too difficult to find a place that both clips on well and also works with the vibrations. For those I just tune by ear or with my trusty (and, alas, discontinued) Strobo Flip. I have had a chinrest on the violins for decades, and there are some marks on the edge of them from the clamp, but I think that is "normal" for violins.

    I did once leave a capo on a guitar that ended up being stored for a while. Not on the headstock, clamped on the strings. It was an older Shubb in brass. When I opened the case, the rubber sleeve had deteriorated and stuck to the strings and fretboard. The pad on the back didn't do anything, and after a string change and a little cleaning of the fretboard and frets, no harm done.

    Dunno, if folks are not bothered by "honest play wear" and will pay extra to get a "distressed" finish, I don't think a little mark from a clip-on tuner should be much to get excited about. 🤷
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