Wittner Tuning Fork Violin Tuner Review

When I first started violin lessons, I was always confused about which violin tuner I should get. Now with 10 years of experience, this question is a bit clearer, but no less complicated than it was when I first began playing.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Violin Tuner

The sheer variety of tuners available can be intimidating, ranging from controlling specific frequencies, having only drones, or even being acoustic or digital. What type of performer you are or want to be is the first step to figuring this out—if your goal is to play baroque or early music that is typically tuned lower than A=440 Hz, then you will want to get a tuner specifically made for that. Similarly, if your goal is to play music that intentionally uses different tunings for each string or note, it might be best to find a digital tuner that allows you to specify frequencies for optimal accuracy.

For those who are simply learning how to play violin in a broad sense or will be focusing on mainly folk or classical music, any general tuner that outputs A=440 Hz will do. When deciding these, though, it is important to consider the technological ease of purely digital tuners, sure, but also to remember the thoroughness that comes with using a traditional tuning fork and resonator.

The Wittner Tuning

Wittner Tuning Fork with Wood Resonator Box: A. This tuning fork emits an A at 440 Hz, providing an authentic sound to tune your violin to. On the surface level, though, this can be underwhelming: striking a tuning fork and then pressing it against your violin allows the sound to resonate, but usually isn't loud enough, especially if you are tuning your violin while using the tuning fork.

Typical tuning forks only come with the fork and an object to strike it with, but the Wittner package also includes a resonator box; the included resonator box helps amplify the sound of the tuning fork so you can hear the sound with your violin from a distance.

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    Comes with resonator box
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    A=440 Hz pitch allows you to stay in a comfortable range. Despite debates on proper intonation, 440 is the widely-accepted universal frequency for A
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    Chrome plated fork gives an authentic, natural sound
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    Only emits A=440 Hz
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    Volume cannot be adjusted like a digital app can
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    Fork is mounted on the resonator box, providing for little flexibility

Features and Benefits

Clear Sound

Wittner Tuning Fork with Wood Resonator Box: A

One of the benefits of this tuning fork package is that the fork is conveniently mounted on top of the resonator box. This provides easy access and the clearest sound to come out of the box itself. However, this can be frustrating if you want to use your fork in other places or on other surfaces.

Sturdy

Out of all of the tuning forks on the market, though, the Wittner package is definitely one of the most sturdy and effective for the amount of money. It also has elegant packaging and is intuitive, allowing for no confusing instructions or app glitches that might make other digitally-based tuners more complicated than worthwhile.

Light

It is also pretty light, running only 12 ounces. This makes it easy to incorporate into your desk setup or bring on the road without having to worry about it being strenuous. However, the simple, non-flexible design of it can make finding a suitable travel case or method a daunting task.

Rating

Design

4

Performance

5

Construction

4

Value for the Money

5

User Satisfaction

5

Alternatives

Korg TM50BK

Korg TM50BK Instrument Tuner and Metronome, Black

For example, the Korg TM50BK Instrument Tuner and Metronome not only comes in a variety of colors (black, yellow, red, silver, or white) but also with a variety of functions. It lets you change the outputting frequency in order to change the note you tune to while having an adjustable volume for the resulting sound. There is also a microphone attached that is designed to hear the pitch you are playing and say if it's too sharp or flat, a useful tool for those moments where you feel like you truly can't discern if you should tune further up or down.

  • Functions as a metronome, letting you decide the beat and tempo
  • Includes a "tap tempo" option 
  • The digital aspect of this tuner makes it easier to break, though

Digital Clip Tuner

Digital Clip on Tuner for Guitar Bass Ukulele Violin Chromatic 4 and 6 Strings Instruments

Another alternative in digital tuners is the Digital Clip on Tuner. For the price, this is the most logical option, as it is both affordable and accessible. However, this digital tuner approximates the pitch you play and tells you whether or not to tune sharper or flatter to get to your desired pitch. This is a good function in most situations, but if your A string ever goes so out of tune it more resembles a G, this tuner will try to help you tune to G. Not the most intuitive tuner out there, but also not impossible, as it is an option to just use that to tune to whichever note you need to get to.

  • Supports Multiple Tuning
  • User-friendly
  • Excellent flexibility, being able to fit into your pocket and clip onto any instrument you need to tune.

Subang Tuning Fork

SUBANG Tuning Fork with Soft Shell Case, Standard A 440 Hz

The SUBANG Tuning Fork with Soft Shell Case is also an option when looking into purely acoustic tuners. Like the aforementioned Wittner model it is a tuning fork, but doesn't come with an object to strike it with nor a resonator box. This doesn't mean you can't use it effectively, but does mean you'll lose the volume and quality of the sound depending on how you want to hear the fork. Hold it up to your instrument or ear to hear the sound, but the steel isn't the highest quality and you are getting what you pay for. It does come with a convenient carrying case, though!

  • Easy to carry and bring anywhere
  • Delivers clear tune
  • Can also be use for science project

Final Thoughts

Despite these alternatives, the Wittner Tuning Fork with Wood Resonator Box: A is still the most logical option for violin players of any proficiency when looking for a new tuner. For those looking to play folk music or classical music, it gives you the universal basis of A=440 Hz, making it easy to tune to. Its natural, authentic sound combined with its sleek, simple resonator box makes this package efficient!

Stephanie Su
 

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