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Dulci-Tune Electronic Tuner


#1

My new Dulci-Tune electronic tuner arrived the other day, I’ve been using it for a bit now, and would like to give a preliminary report:

Pros:

  • It seems vey well made. The top, round, read out portion is made by Snark, which is a reliable manufacturer of tuners for many different instruments. It looks good in black, with a bright yellow power switch. Most of the usual Snark options are included - visual metronome, A440 pitch calibration, power saving cut off feature, etc. I don’t know if Dusty Stings just bought a bunch of Snark tuners, took off the heads and re-fitted them to their own proprietary Hammered Dulcimer bottom portion, or if the entire tuning unit is a collaboration between the two companies. My guess is the latter.
  • The flexible portion of the tuner also seems very sturdy - stiff, but still flexible enough for customizing your view while tuning your instrument. And the very bottom metal potion that goes over the tuning pin also seems well designed - with a little pressure if fits nice and snug for maximum contact.
  • Other Nice Touches: They included two batteries, so you already have a spare for emergencies. They also included a magnetized pick, easily stored, when you’re not tuning, right on the tuner itself or on one of the metal damper supports.

Cons:

  • My older clamp on Snark tuners have the option of tuning by direct vibration or using the built in mic. This new HD tuner doesn’t offer that - you can only tune by vibration. For me this is a minor loss of functionality, because I always tune using the vibration choice, so there’s no loss for me. But if you prefer tuning using the built in mic, be aware this tuner does not offer that option.
  • The promo literature states that you can tune your entire instrument from just one position, not having to move the tuner around for better pick up. I’m finding that on my D650, when I mount the tuner in my preferred position on the middle C tuning pin, I have a hard time getting reliable readings on the bottom four notes of my super bass bridge. In other words, with my tuner sitting on the middle C tuning pin on the right side of my instrument, I can only get sporadic readings from my basement A string at the bottom of my super bass bridge. The pick up slowly improves as I move up the bass bridge, until I begin to get reliable readings on the D string and above. This particular issue may be specific to D650’s, with their larger sound boards and greater range, I’m not sure.

So all in all, it’s a four out of five star rating, and thanks go out to Dusty Stings for developing and marketing this tuner. It ain’t cheap, but seems to be a good solid tool for years of productive use if cared for properly.


#2

Thank you for the thoughtful comments! I agree that the tuner isn’t as quick to pick up the low super bass notes on the 650, but I’ve found that I can still get a reliable reading by giving those strings a good solid pluck with the pick and waiting a few seconds for the note to register on the tuner. Sometimes it seems to happen faster, and other times there’s a delay that can feel clunky, but tuning the note usually goes pretty smoothly for me once the Snark has initially registered it.

I thought I’d also add that while we did ask Snark’s permission to use their product, they weren’t actually involved in the design or manufacturing of the Dulci-Tune. So if anyone comes up with a creative way to repurpose lots and lots of tuner clips (from which the heads have been removed), we’d love to hear it!