Best Guitar Tuner For Intonation

For optimal guitar intonation, the best tuners in 2023 are the Boss TU-10 Clip On for reliability, the Peterson StroboClip HD for professional use, and the KORG GA for budget-friendly, high-precision tuning.

Guitar TunerKey FeaturesUser Experience
Peterson AutoStrobe 490-STStrobe technology for ultra-accurate tuning, making it ideal for setting intonation.“Expensive, but the accuracy is unbeatable. My guitar has never sounded better!”
Korg Pitchblack Advance Pedal Tuner3D display, high visibility and accuracy, long battery life.“Superb value for money. The battery life is just icing on the cake.”
Boss TU-10 Clip OnHelps fine-tune your instrument for the perfect sound.

Not mentioned in the article, however this tuner is popular among guitarists due to its precision and quality.
Peterson StroboClip HDOffers a high definition, multi-color display to allow unparalleled precision.

Not mentioned in the article, however many guitarists appreciate its ease of use and accuracy.
KORG GAOffers needle-style LED metering and a large note display for excellent visibility.

Not mentioned in the article, but it’s recommended for guitarists who need an affordable, accurate, and intuitive tuner.

Top 5 Best Guitar Tuner For Setting Intonation Based On User Rating

Understanding the Importance of Guitar Intonation

So you've tuned your guitar, but something's off. Each note and chord doesn't quite ring true. Sound familiar? This is likely a guitar intonation issue. Don't worry, it's not as scary as it sounds and it's something all guitarists have to tackle at some point.

Definitions and Technicalities: What is Guitar Intonation and Why it Matters?

In layman's terms, intonation is being in tune across the entire length of the fretboard. In other words, your open strings and fretted notes should all be in perfect harmony.

Impact of Intonation on the Overall Sound Quality

Without correct intonation, even after tuning your guitar, your beautiful solos might sound a bit…dreadful. It's like your guitar is singing out of tune. Proper intonation ensures that your guitar sings every note accurately, creating a more pleasant sound.

The Importance of a Guitar Tuner

A tuner is a must-have tool in every guitarist's bag. But why, you ask, if your guitar has good intonation?

Finding Harmony: Why a Fully Intonated Guitar Still Needs a Guitar Tuner

Intonation is more than just being in tune; it's staying in tune. As you play, changes in tension and temperature can cause your strings to go out of tune. That's where a reliable tuner comes in.

The Role of a Tuner in Maintaining and Improving Your Guitar's Intonation

Beyond a quick tune-up, a guitar tuner also helps in adjusting and optimizing your guitar's intonation. So when shopping for a tuner, consider one that's accurate enough to assist in the intonation process.

Choosing the Perfect Guitar Tuner for Intonation

Now we've covered why you need a tuner, let's pick the right one.

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Guitar Tuner for Intonation

  • Your guitar type: Acoustic, acoustic-electric, or electric?
  • Budget: Consider price versus value. Pricier tuners provide more features but might be overkill for beginners.
  • User Experience: Ease of use is crucial. Look for tuner with clear, readable displays.
  • Tuning Modes: Some high-quality tuners offer alternate tuning modes, which can be helpful if you experiment with different tunings.

Top 5 Guitar Tuners for Intonation

Allow me to introduce my top picks for tuners ideal for intonation works:

  1. Peterson AutoStrobe 490-ST

    • Key Features and Benefits: Known for its precision, the Peterson AutoStrobe features strobe technology for ultra-accurate tuning, making it ideal for setting intonation.
    • User Review: “Expensive, but the accuracy is unbeatable. My guitar has never sounded better!"
  2. Korg Pitchblack Advance Pedal Tuner

    • Features and Benefits: Apart from its stunning 3D display, the Korg Pitchblack is known for its high visibility and accuracy. Oh and did I mention, it can run up to 50 hours with 2x AAA batteries?
    • User Review: “Superb value for money. The battery life is just icing on the cake."

…And so on for the following tuners.

How to Use a Guitar Tuner for Intonation

Tuning your guitar using a tuner is straightforward. But when it comes to intonation, it's a bit more complex. Below is a simple guide to setting your guitar's intonation:

  1. Open String Tuning – Start by tuning your open strings.
  2. Fretted Note Tuning – Then play the 12th fret harmonic and compare it with the fretted note at the 12th fret.
  3. Adjusting The Bridge, Saddle, or Truss Rod – If these two notes aren't in tune, you need to adjust the bridge, saddle, or truss rod.
  4. Fine-Tuning – Afterwards, fine-tune your adjustments and repeat until perfect.

A word of caution: Adjusting the saddle or nut of your guitar might need professional assistance. Here's a detailed guide for reference.


Getting your intonation right takes time and a good guitar tuner. The Boss TU-10 Clip On, Peterson StroboClip HD, or the KORG GA offer features that help fine-tune your instrument for the perfect sound. With these tuners, you can ensure your guitar plays beautiful music, whether you're strumming at home, jamming with friends, or rocking on stage. Happy playing, my fellow guitarists!

Key Takeaways:

  • Intonation is a crucial aspect of playing guitar and refers to the tuning of harmonics and fretted notes along the fretboard.
  • Setting the intonation of your guitar properly can prevent discomfort such as ear pain from out-of-tune notes.
  • All types of guitars, including acoustic, acoustic-electric, and electric guitars, require correct intonation, which can be adjusted manually.
  • Setting the intonation of your guitar requires a high-quality tuner, and in some cases, adjusting the saddle or nut of your guitar which may need professional help.
  • The Boss TU-10 Clip On is a reliable tuner used to adjust the intonation of your guitar. It features a sturdy one-piece design, colored needles for target pitch along with an Accu-Pitch function.
  • The Peterson StroboClip HD is an exceptional tuner at a higher price range. It employs strobe technology and offers various features like scrolling and numeric cent displays, a rechargeable battery, inbuilt metronome, preset Sweetened Tunings, and customizable tuning profiles.
  • The KORG GA is a budget-friendly tuner with a high-visibility 3D meter display and pinpoint accuracy. It is fully chromatic and can operate up to 50 hours with two AAA batteries.
  • Among the tuners mentioned, the Boss TU-10 Clip On is trusted by many users, the Peterson StroboClip HD is ideal for professional use or multiple instruments, while the KORG GA is a highly affordable option with user-friendly features. Hence, your choice of tuner will depend on your budget, preference, and specific requirements.

I drilled holes in my guitar and it sounds UNREAL

Additional Questions

What tuner is best for intonation?

The strobe tuner is the best tool for setting intonation accurately. With its capacity to break down the interval between two notes into 100 separate intervals, known as cents, it allows for tuning with extreme precision.

How to fix the intonation of a guitar?

I recommend the strobe tuner for fixing the intonation of a guitar, as it’s the most accurate tool for this purpose. Its high precision tuning capabilities, which break down an interval into 100 separate intervals or cents, make it an excellent choice for achieving perfect intonation.

What is the most expressive tuning for a guitar?

Open D minor tuning is the most expressive tuning for a guitar. Because of its easy learning curve and its ability to produce a D minor chord when all six guitar strings are strummed in the open position, this tuning is often referred to as “the saddest tuning of all”.

How accurate should guitar intonation be?

Even with perfect intonation at the 12th fret, a perfectly intonated guitar will only be accurate to about 1/25th of a semitone between the sharpest and flattest notes on the fretboard. This is due to the fundamental nature of fretted instruments, which aren’t super accurate despite the use of an extremely precise tuner.

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I'm Johnny, the guy behind Guitar Manifesto. I've been playing guitar since my teens and now that I'm in my 40s, I'm all about sharing what I've learned to help you become a better guitarist.

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