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Hands-On Product Review:
Korg Compact Tuners

Accurate, affordable, and absolutely necessary

Korg Compact TunersA terrible plague is upon us, fellow musicians. This pox—tuneus outofwhackus—is spreading like wildfire. Its symptoms are feuding fundamentals and horrible harmonics that result in a veritable clashing cacophony of out-of-place notes. While it seems to be focused among the younger members of our proud union, more experienced players fall to the infection as well. Thankfully, the cure is readily available. It’s the compact, easy-to-use, personal electronic tuner as perfected by Korg.

Korg has many models that range from as small as a Post-itŪ note to professional-size rack units. Each Korg tuner is made to be reliable for musicians on the go and offer tuning capabilities as flexible as they are accurate. That’s why they’ve sold over 20 million tuners! The familyof compact Korg tuners includes models for every player’s application.


Korg GA-30
Korg Compact Tuner GA-30

The GA-30 is an affordable, reliable tuner with a precision LCD needle meter that’s easy to read. A trio of LEDs just above the LCD reinforce the needle position by lighting when you’re flat, in tune, and sharp, respectively. Just plug into the standard instrument jack and play a single open string. You can tune down five semitones flat and tune seven-string guitars and six-string basses. The GA-30 can also tune baritone guitars down to five frets longer than a standard guitar. For acoustic players the GA-30 has an integrated microphone and produces a reference tone for audible tuning. 

Korg DT-10BR
Korg Compact Tuner DT-10BR

The big brother of the group is the near-indestructible, stage-ready DT-10BR.  It brings the precision and versatility of Korg’s professional tuners to your pedalboard. The bright LED meter is extremely accurate and quick. The note display is also bright and large enough to be read easily on a dark stage. The thick, extruded aluminum chassis is extremely rugged and should endure years of stomping. It has a 1/4" input, two 1/4" outputs, AC adapter jack, calibration switch, flat switch, and single footswitch. The included cascade cable lets you power other pedals on your board with a single power supply.

The DT-10BR has dual outputs to give you options for your signal: one is a bypass that always outputs the signal while the other mutes your signal when you engage the tuner. The calibration switch accommodates different reference pitches so you can match the key of any song. The flat switch lets you tune down seven semitones flat. On a standard guitar you can tune all the way down to A with precision and ease.

Whether you’re just starting out on an acoustic or electric or are a two-handed, seven-string shredding machine, good tuning is integral to your playing. It not only counts for what your audience hears, but makes a big difference in the development of your ear as well. Do yourself—and your audience—a favor: get a Korg Tuner and do your part to eradicate the evil scourge of tuneus outofwhackus.