Review: Sonic Research Turbo Tuner ST200

March 27th, 2009 by Andres Gallo

Turbo Tuner


When it comes to music, every musician knows how obviously important it is to sound good. Out of all the things that can make us sound bad, being “out of tune,” is perhaps the worst of evils, a musician can face during a performance or any event for that matter dealing with making music. With that said, I am sure most, if not all musicians, have used a tuner, then again not all tuners are equal; although it can seem like that at first.
This tuner for example stands out with it’s strobe display, true bypass, and insane accuracy. Being one of the few strobe tuners, the display response is incredibly fast and accurate, aiding for quick reliable tunings. I want to emphasize that I say incredibly fast, I mean incredibly fast. There are some videos of it live here in the internet; check them out to see what I mean. At +/-0.02 cents of accuracy, not only it is the most accurate compact tuner in the planet, but at 5 times the accuracy of the Peterson StroboStomp tuner, it might be the most accurate tuner period.
Although not the only stompbox tuner in the market, what I found most attractive amongst its many features is that it is true bypass. But I will discuss more about that in the sound section. It’s other features include factory preset tunings, and user defined preset tunings with up to 5 strings, a reference pitch that may be set anywhere from 300Hz to 599Hz, in 0.1Hz increments, and a muted out (when the unit is on). Most of those are features I don’t use, and I think most musicians probably won’t either, but I thought they are worth mentioning.


Since it is a tuner, there is not much I can say about what it does to the sound. Bringing the instruments to glorious harmony, or in other words in tune, helps the instrument sound more musical. Then again I could say that about other tuners. Although the accuracy is indeed superior, it is inaudible to my ears if compared to the competing tuners. The big plus on the sound here, however, and in my opinion the coolest feature here is its true bypass. There is nothing worst than a pedal eating your tone when it’s off, which makes true bypass godsend, as it will keep your tone heaven just how it should be.


Physically this tuner is built like a tank. It’s definitely constructed to last. Furthermore, it is a very reliable tuner. When the strings are shown to be almost in tune, other tuners will show the strings as being in tune. It can get your instrument really in tune, which is really good, especially for techs and luthiers who need such precision for intonating and such. Overall, very reliable.

Customer Support

Have not dealt with their customer support so far.