Planet Waves PW-CT-10 clip-on tuner

The Planet Waves PW-CT-10 is a little clip-on chromatic tuner made by Planet Waves, which is D’Addario‘s musical accessories company. It’s great as long as it works, which meant about 3 years to me. It’s made of light, black plastic, which is not the most rigid kind, so you don’t have to worry about breaking it by dropping it accidentally. At least not if it only happens a few times I assume, but more on its rigidity later. It has a clip made of the same material, with a thin rubber pad at the end to lean against your headstock (or any part of your instrument you are able to clip it onto).

Wasn’t built to last

Planet Waves PW-CT-10 headstock clip-on tunerThe clip has a steel spring and it is pivoted at the other end of the tuner with two eyelets and a miniature metal tube across both of them functioning as a bearing. I didn’t have a problem with clipping it on any headstock thickness, up until it worked. It does work with electric and acoustic instruments, including bass or all kinds of bowed ones. After 3 years, one of the tiny ears that held the axle broke off. There’s no easy way to fix it. Bye-bye, tuner. They have changed the design since the 2009 version. Not sure if the new one is any more sturdy.

The sensor works fine

The piezo sensor is at the bottom of the tuner, as well as the battery, which is a 3V CR2032 type Lithium/manganese dioxide button cell. As I said, it still works great after a year, with the same battery it came with. The tuner automatically shuts down after a period of inactivity to preserve battery life.

Good LCD display

The display is a back-lit LCD kind, so you can use it in the dark. It has a battery indicator, several radial lines with the note indicator in the middle, and a frequency indicator. The display’s red color changes to green when you are in tune. It also indicates the note you are tuned to with two indicator lines on each side of it, and a little arrow on the top.

Change the frequency

The PW-CT-10 has two buttons, one of them is the power button that you can turn it on with, the other one is to change the tuning frequency. The default is 440Hz. Hopefully you’ll be luckier with the current designs, and they’ll last for you even longer.

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