Technical Library

TUNING VI: Electronic tuners

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How to use an electronic tuner sensibly…

Fear of tuning commonly enters peoples’ minds when they are considering owning an instrument. But if the weather is stable, a good harpsichord will stay in acceptable tune a surprisingly long time. Even this can be prolonged if you adopt the attitude of most violinists or guitarists, who quickly check the tuning of their instrument each time before playing, and make any necessary adjustments on the spot. Tuning a harpsichord is much more akin to these string instruments, and doesn’t require perfect pitch, nor the full time training for one year undertaken by modern piano tuners. It’s a task quite within reach of the average owner, although like playing a simple piece, it does require a little practice.

If you must play in equal temperament, you can use an electronic tuner to help you divide the notes of the scale. These vary from the most simple, through various meter and digital versions to the only model we now stock, the Korg OT-120, a sensitive tuner with eight popular historic temperaments built in and an array of professional features. All the various early Korg models we have stocked over the years are shown on the Previous Korg Tuners page, and you should feel free to contact us if you require an up-to-date replacement, service, parts, advice or instruction manuals for any of those Korg models.

Because they aren’t as discerning at the extremes of the compass and do not adjust for the tricks the human ear plays on the brain, you’ll probably get the best results with the less sophisticated tuners if you use them just to set the bearings for an octave in the middle of the keyboard, and then tune down and up in octaves by ear. After all, we listen to the music with our ears, not with electronic boxes (boffins excepted).

All our Korg tuners are sold at discount prices with one year warranty and batteries. If you already own the superseded MT-1200, you might like to consider our world exclusive laminated Temperament Card detailing sixteen most-needed temperaments and simple programming instructions: We also have manuals and accessories for this once-popular model. (Over the years, more of our customers choose the MT-1200 model than all the others put together—despite its high price tag.)

We do not recommend the use of these electronic machines for amateur piano tuners. Piano tuning is a complicated art which takes a not inconsiderable amount of sensitivity and refinement to be able to accomplish well. You will not be able to do justice to your instrument without proper training to handle the tuning hammer and to understand the piano’s acoustics. Please contact your local guild for a qualified piano tuner instead.


OT-120 Orchestral Tuner
Popular model for early keyboards
  • Dual display—LCD & needle
  • Adjustable needle response
  • Pitch can be set from A349 to A499 in 1Hz increments
  • Eight popular temperaments built in
  • Dimensions 74(W) x 120(H) x 36(D)
  • Weight 193g including batteries
  • Tilt stand attached
  • Approximately 100hr battery life
  • Was $150: Our price now only $110 including 2 x AAA batteries & black carry case
  • Export price AUD100 + AUD30 packing & insured airmail.

Instruction Manual

Order Form

Korg OT-120 Electronic Tuner 20K jpeg

The Contact Microphone 13K jpeg The Contact Microphone
Avoid background noise
  • Clips onto your instrument
  • Fits Korg & other models with MIC socket
  • Uses 1/4˝ male phono jack
  • 900mm cord
  • L-shaped plug for durability
  • Our price $9
  • Export price AUD8.18

World Exclusive Temperament Card
We used to include this with the popular MT-1200 tuner, and although that model has now been discontinued, many enquiries have led us to offer the card separately, especially for those overseas who may not have bought their original tuner from us.

  • Laminated card
  • Fits in the MT-1200 soft case for ready reference
  • Details the eight built in temperaments
  • Includes eight other often requested temperaments
  • Reverse side shows easy programming instructions
  • Our price only $20
  • Export price AUD18.18
Temperament card 9K jpeg

We also stock tuning forks in various pitches—please ask for details.

Tuning index:


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