The Art of Sweetened Tuning — Guitars & Basses

Peterson tuners feature unique SweetenerTM presets not found in any other brand of tuner. This comes from an almost 70-year legacy reaching back to the dawn of popular music as we know it today.

Decades of research and the experience of musicians the world over has led to the creation of the “Sweetener”, a system of preset tuning offsets designed for specific instruments, only available on Peterson tuners, and used worldwide wherever precise and professional results are demanded.

Electric and acoustic guitars are imperfect instruments when it comes to tuning and need to be treated on the basis of their scale length, string gauge and action, just as you would select a guitar for a particular genre of music or sonic effect. There are long scale guitars, guitars with shorter scales, guitars with light strings and those with much heavier strings, guitars with high action and guitars with low action. Based on these differences, allowances must be made when tuning.

Equal temperament, the only system found on most (if not all) other brands of tuners, was conceived prior to the advent of the guitar as we know it today. It makes no such allowances, leaving the player to tweak by trial and error until the guitar sounds good and in-tune.

Peterson tuners are in a different league, featuring ready-made and specifically-tailored solutions for the exacting musician whose ear is not satisfied with being “in the ballpark”. Each Sweetener preset is designed to compensate for the physical attributes of a particular guitar type.

The following is a guide to the use of guitar-related Sweeteners featured in the SP-1 Peterson StroboPlusTM tuner. This tuner is capable of being updated with new features as they become available. Check the Peterson ConnectTM site for periodic updates.

6-String/6-Saddle Standard Scale Electric Guitar

Example: Fender™ & Squier™ Stratocaster, Gibson™ L5, G&L™ ASAT, PRS™,Gretsch™,Schecter™, Danelectro™, Ibanez™, Jackson™, Kramer™

If using Extra Super Light, Extra Light or Light Gauge strings, tune using the GTR Sweetener and intonate using EQU.

If using Regular, Medium or Heavy Gauge strings, tune & intonate using EQU.

 

Changing Strings – Tips

Intonation instructions here

6-String/6-Saddle Short Scale Electric Guitar:

Example: Gibson & Epiphone Les Paul,Les Paul Jr., SG, ES335, Byrdland, Fender Mustang, Guild™, Rickenbacker™, Godin™

Tune using GTR, intonate using EQU.

Changing Strings – Tips

Intonation instructions here

 

 

6-String/3-Saddle Electric Guitar:

Example: Fender & Squier Telecaster,Fender Duo-Sonic & Musicmaster

Tune using GTR, intonate using EQU. In the case of an original straight-barrel three-saddle bridge, you can only intonate three of the strings correctly. Drop-in replica angled saddles are available for improved intonation if required.

Changing Strings – Tips

Intonation instructions here

 

6-String Archtop Floating Bridge/Fixed Saddle Guitar

Example: Gibson L7, ES-150

If your fixed bridge archtop guitar has a wound G (3rd) string, tune using EQU preset, intonate using EQU. If the guitar has an unwound G (3rd), tune using the GTR Sweetener, intonate using EQU. If the action is set high and the 3rd string is wound, use the ACU Sweetener, intonate using EQU.

Changing Strings – Tips

Intonation instructions here

 

7-String Electric Guitar:

Example: Ibanez™ Universe, JEM & RG models, Dean™ Razorback, RC7X & EVO 7, ESP™ LTD 7-string models, Schecter 7-string models,

Tune using 7ST Sweetener, intonate using EQU

When tuning your 7-string guitar, be sure to strike the open string only. Do not use a flageolet tone (commonly referred to as a “harmonic”). The reason for this is that the StroboPlus contains offsets for each individual open string on your 7- string guitar, including separate offsets for both E-strings and both B-strings. Using harmonics will cause the wrong offsets to be applied. If you prefer to tune using harmonics, or are in the habit of doing so, use the EQU setting instead.

Changing Strings – Tips

Intonation Instructions here

Guitars with Floyd Rose™, Kahler™, Kramer™/ESP™ Flicker floating tremolo bridges:

Short scale guitars with a Floyd Rose floating tremolo bridge installed should be tuned using the GTR Sweetener and intonated using EQU.

Long scale guitars with a Floyd Rose floating tremolo bridge installed should be tuned using EQU and intonated using EQU.

Changing Strings – Tips

Intonation and calibrating instructions here

 

Guitars with a Steinberger TransTrem™:

Tune using EQU, intonate using EQU

This type of trem system has a transposing feature which requires calibration after the usual saddle intonation is completed.

Changing Strings – Tips

Intonation and calibrating instructions here

 

 

Baritone Electric Guitar:

Example: Danelectro™, Fender Jaguar™ & Baritone Tele, PRS SE Mike Mushok™ Baritone

Tune using the BRT Sweetener, intonate using EQU.

Changing Strings – Tips

Intonation instructions here

 

 

6-String Acoustic Guitar

Example: Martin™ D & OM series, Guild™ D, F, G & JF series, Gibson J, B & LG series, Goodall™, Bourgeois™, Breedlove™, Taylor™, Larrivée™ & Collings™.

Tune using EQU (low action – any tuning) or ACU Sweetener (medium to higher action – Standard tuning intervals). Use DAD Sweetener for DADGAD

Changing Strings – Tips

 

 

12-String Acoustic Guitar:

Example: Guild F & D series, Martin D series, Taylor 300 to 900 series, Gibson B series, Ovation™ Celebrity, Balladeer, Legend & Adamas.

Tune using 12S, intonate using EQU.

When tuning your 12-String acoustic guitar using the 12S Sweetener, be sure to strike the open string only. Do not use a flageolet (“harmonic”). The reason for this is that the StroboPlus contains offsets for each individual open string on your 12-string guitar, so when using “harmonics”, the wrong offsets will be applied. The harmonic note of one string generated at the 12-fret often matches the note generated by another different open string. If you prefer to tune using harmonics, or are in the habit of doing so, use the EQU setting instead.

Changing Strings – Tips

12-String Electric Guitar:

12-String Electric Guitar with 12 individual saddles:

Example: Rickenbacker 360/12, Steinberger, Fender Strat XII, Burns™ Double Six etc.

Changing Strings – Tips

Intonation instructions here

 

 

12-String Electric Guitar with 6 individual saddles:

Example: Rickenbacker 330/12, 360/12, 370/12, 440/12, 620/12, 660/12, Fender XII, Gretsch Electromatic 12, Danelectro 12 etc.

Tune using the 12S Sweetener, intonate using EQU.

Changing Strings – Tips

Intonation instructions here

 

 

4-String Electric Bass Guitar:

Example: Fender Precision, Jazz & Mustang basses, Gibson Thunderbird bass, MusicMan Stingray, Rickenbacker 4000 series basses

Tune using the BAS Sweetener, intonate using EQU

Changing Strings – Tips

Intonation instructions here

 

5-String Electric Bass Guitar:

Example: Fender Precision, Jazz, Musicman Stingray 5

Tune using the BAS Sweetener, intonate using EQU

Changing Strings – Tips

Intonation instructions here

 

 

Current Peterson tuners featuring all of the SweetenerTM settings above include:


 

Bourgeois is a registered trademark of Bourgeois-Pantheon Guitars LLC.

Breedlove is a registered trademark of Breedlove Guitars, Inc.

Collings is a registered trademark of Collings Guitars, Inc.

Danelectro is a registered trademark of the Evets Corporation

Dean Guitars is a registered trademark of Armadillo Enterprises, Inc.

ESP is a registered trademark of ESP Guitar Company

Fender, Stratocaster, Telecaster, Mustang, Duo-Sonic, Squier, Guild, Ovation & Jackson are all registered trademarks of Fender Musical Instrument Corporation (FMIC).

Floyd Rose is a registered trademark of Floyd Rose Inc. AP International.

Gibson, Les Paul, Les Paul Junior, SG, ES-335, Byrdland, Steinberger, Kramer are registered trademarks of the Gibson Guitar Corp.

Godin is a registered trademark of Guitares Godin

Gretsch & Bigsby are registered trademarks of Fred Gretsch Enterprises, Ltd.

Ibanez is a registered trademark of Hoshino Gakki

Kahler is a registered trademark of Kahler USA Inc.

Larrivée is a registered trademark of Jean Larrivée Guitars Ltd.

Martin is a registered trademark of C.F. Martin Inc.

Musicman and Stingray are registered trademarks of Ernie Ball/Musicman Inc.

Peterson, Sweetener & Sweetened Tuning, StroboPlus, StroboPlusHD, Stomp Classic, StroboRack, StroboSoft, and StroboSoft2 are trademarks of Peterson Electro-Musical Products, Inc.

PRS is a registered trademark of Paul Reed Smith Guitars Inc.

Rickenbacker is a registered trademark of Rickenbacker International Corporation (RIC)

Taylor is a registered trademark of Taylor Guitars, Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

®2013 John Norris for Peterson Electro-Musical Products, Inc. All rights reserved