15 Reviews
4.6 out of 5 stars.
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By Brian Arnold on Monday, August 26, 2019
Edited on Tuesday, August 27, 2019

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Peterson Website
Plays Upright Bass, Double Bass, String Bass, 8 String Bass, 6-String Electric Guitar, 4 String Bass, 6-String Acoustic Guitar, 5 String Bass
I've never been a fan of LCD tuners, even though they have more advanced software and are far more economical and appropriate for working-musicians in small club settings than the larger mechanical tuners. However, there is just no substitute for an old-fashioned Strobe Wheel tuner for accuracy, versatility, and ease of use. I've been using genuine strobe wheels since the '60s, and the AutoStrobe 490-ST combines some of the best features of the modern digital devices with the precise mechanical function of the original analog units.

At first, I did not like the glaringly-bright orange backlight for the strobe display, so I sent it back to the factory for some modification. At the suggestion of Customer Service Representative Sue Haslam, they installed red LEDs and a brightness control, which makes my unit far more versatile and comfortable to gaze at for long periods in subdued ambient lighting, like in a studio, and bright enough to read in a sun-filled room when the need arises. It ...

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1 person found this review helpful.
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By Robert Mccollum on Monday, March 18, 2019

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The Music Doctor, Professional Tuner, 35 yrs. I have just purchased my second 490ST. The stretch tuning options of this unit have greatly increased my accuracy and saved countless hours of time.

4 people found this review helpful.
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By Peter Saunders on Friday, December 21, 2018

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This tuner absolutely lives up to it’s Legendary reputation. Very pleased to own the Peterson 490-ST.

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By Jim May on Sunday, October 7, 2018
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Plays Dobro® / Resonator Guitar
Reliable and dependable to provide stable tuning.

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By Glenn A. Fox on Thursday, February 22, 2018

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I just received a Peterson Strobotuner 490ST a couple of days ago and just used it for the first time today. I have been tuning pianos for over 30 years and this tuner is a "dream"! I used it on a 5'8" grand piano and the stretch tuning set the temperament just the way I like it. It cut at least an hour off my regular tuning time and I'm looking forward to using it on different kinds of pianos. I am very particular in my tuning and I think this unit will remove a lot of my "stress" on getting the right sound. I have tuned the piano I tested this unit on many times and this particular piano sounded the best it's ever sounded. Very pleased!!

4 people found this review helpful.
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By Pellerino Lorenzo on Thursday, December 14, 2017

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Autostrobe 490-ST is a very precise tuner and can be a valuable aid in the work, even for an expert tuner technician with a very refined ear. It also allows you to perform a piano tuning satisfactorily and in a shorter time than you can in other conditions.
Sometimes the reading of the stroboscopic disc is a bit 'difficult and the image is not clear. Probably this also depends on the quality of the instrument to be tuned. Perhaps the problem could be solved by using a suitable microphone.
Autostrobe 490-ST can also exercise the human ear to improve the ability to perceive even the smallest nuances of sound and allow you to make tunings always specific to each instrument as each has its own timbre, its voice and its defects like every single human being.
Even if we are at very high levels, that research continues ...

5 people found this review helpful.
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By Piano Tuna on Sunday, May 22, 2016
Reviewed on
I use this for tuning pianos - it is extremely accurate and easy to use. The built in stretch and temperament files make it easy to tune and gives excellent results. An electronic tuner is never a substitute for the skills of the piano tuner and there are always judgment calls and compromises to be made by ear, but honestly this tuner is AWESOME! I'm very impressed, it allows me to tune quickly and accurately because it's immune to background noise and false beats. I love that it has built in stretch and temperament files. I recommend buying this with both foot switch accessories if you are tuning pianos. I also use manual mode in my tunings so I won't comment on the auto tune functions. I don't use them.

I do wish someone had prepared me for the noise of the mechanical strobes, this thing doesn't run silently, you can hear the strobe discs turning. I didn't like that at first, but wow, when I tuned the treble section the first time and experienced how quickly and accurately this bab ...

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7 people found this review helpful.
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Anonymous on Saturday, August 1, 2015
Reviewed on
This machine takes some getting used to. I bought it because I was considering being a piano tuner as a profession. Tried to learn the "old school" method by ear...no success. This machine was recommended, so I bought it. Very expensive. Strobe patterns are hard to read at times...especially when you get up in the high treble section of the piano. When I get that far up, I have to just rely on my ear alone. Gets a little frustrating at that point. If you purchase this machine, give yourself a lot of time and practice getting used to it and using it before you attempt to go out and tune pianos for the public.

5 people found this review helpful.
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By bruce turpin on Wednesday, March 4, 2015

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I have had a Peterson 490ST for years and just love it. This was ordered for a back up.

3 people found this review helpful.
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By mctacet on Thursday, January 1, 2015

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Good machine. A little noisy but tunes well. Easy to haul to tuning jobs. The Peterson TP-3 tuning pickup doesn't seem to work at all when I plug it in so I would not advise using a pickup with it. Is it worth the money I spent? No, it is way too expensive for what it is. The price should be about 1/2 what you pay but what are you going to do? It's better than a standard chromatic tuner + your own ear.

1 person found this review helpful.
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