Tom's Guitars Manila

Tom's Guitars Manila
Vintage and rare guitars!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Bye Snark, Hello Son of Snark

My Snark guitar tuner broke. While Snark made affordable clip-on tuners with excellent color displays, its neck design makes it so fragile that some guitarists put them in special containers for protection. In my case, the claw holding the ball joint snapped while I was adjusting the angle. I was able to glue it back, but I doubt it will hold. I can imagine it breaking again and I can no longer locate the missing part. It is time to find a replacement.

Snark SN-1

While pedal tuners are generally better than clip-on tuners, it is not as flexible as the latter. You cannot use them on acoustic guitars. They are not easy to pass around to tune other guitars. They are bulky. Most of all, good pedal tuners are quite expensive.
Thin plastic claw holding the ball joint
My first clip-on was a Korg with grey LCD. It was hard to read even with the backlight on. That is why I liked the Snark’s bright, color display. Most importantly, it was very cheap compared to my Korg. As a satisfied Snark user, my obvious replacement would be another Snark—the Son of Snark (SOS).
Son of Snark
I was hesitant to order the SOS. Many reviewers complain that the display is hard to see since positioning is limited. However, I really like Snark’s display and the absence of a movable neck makes the SOS more durable in my opinion. I went ahead and ordered the Son of Snark.
I had to clip it way from the sticker
I tested the SOS on my telecaster as soon as I got it, placing it at the back of the headstock and at an angle. It has a clear, bright, color display as expected. Tuning was quite fast, but you have to position the display so that it is directly in your line of sight. I had to point the headstock away so I can easily see the display, and tune the upper E string in an awkward position so that my hand will not cover the display. Other than that, it is perfect for my telecaster.
A slight angle and it's perfect on my travel acoustic
Next is my travel acoustic. Clipping the SOS at the back of the headstock gives you a clear view of the display, but my hand is covering the display when I am adjusting the upper tuning pegs. I transferred it to the front of the headstock with the display upside down and the view was perfect.
Will I recommend the Son of Snark? Yes, it is a very good guitar tuner that I believe is more durable than the original Snark due to the absence of movable parts. However, be aware that positioning the SOS is quite tricky and it may be best to try it on your guitar before buying. Also, be careful when pressing the handles since they can slip.

EDIT: It turns out that you can clip the tuner at the front of the telecaster headstock so that your hands will not block the display. I am still wary about rubbing off the sticker though. 


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