AutoStrobe 490-ST
There is no substitute.
By Brian Arnold on Monday, August 26, 2019
Edited on Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Verified Purchase

Reviewed on
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 is much easier on the eyes than the unregulated orange display, and I will ask for this feature when I order another unit in the not-too-distant future.

I also asked them to install a few more temperaments and sweeteners for certain instruments I use most often. Unfortunately, their mechanical tuners do not have the volume of memory or processing power of the all-digital software and LCD models, which is the other reason I only gave this model 4 stars. If it were possible for Peterson to re-engineer their mechanical tuners to include all of their sweeteners and digital-connectivity, like in their much cheaper LCD models, then there simply would be no other tuner to buy. When adding a full compliment of footswitches, the 490-ST becomes the perfect tool for the busy professional instrument technician or builder, piano tuner, music teacher, touring band, and studio owner who needs to maintain a wide variety of instruments of every musical range with exacting precision, and without a lot of time-wasting fuss.

I absolutely love this tuner now, and I especially want to thank Pat and Sue for their dedicated personal service, along with the Peterson technicians, in providing a great machine that will help make my musical life much sweeter!


Brian Arnold
Arnold Audio Artists
Syracuse, NY

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