JVB TMT 500 3-in-1 Metro Tuner + TMC 511 Clip-On Tuner/Metronome + TMC 515 Mini Clip-On Tuner + JCT 615 Multi-Function Capo
THE TUNER IS A CRUCIAL PIECE OF GEAR FOR ANY GUITARIST WORTH THEIR FRETS. WHERE DOES JVB’S LINEUP STAND AMONGST ITS BEVY OF COMPETITORS? REVIEW BY ALEX WILSON.
The tuner is one of those essential pieces of guitar kit that comes in many shapes and sizes. Most ordinary players have some kind of mixed interest between acoustic and electric guitars, so will need something more than just the trusty pedalboard tuner. This is where JVB comes in – they sent us four of their no-stomp tuners to test drive.
Before jumping into specifics about each item, we can say that these are well-built accessories. While the low price points would indicate inexpensive manufacturing, they are nonetheless responsive, bright and accurate across the board. Things like battery compartments and buttons feel solid enough, and the tuners feel up to years of work. The second thing that distinguishes this JVB line in the crowded tuner market is their highly functional design. JVB are seemingly intent on giving you a tuner that can multitask, and at a low price. To cap off the good vibes, batteries are even included.
The most extensive design is the TMT 500. In tuning terms, you get switchable inputs for guitar and bass to keep accuracy high.
Different instruments or tunings can be easily accommodated by the chromatic mode, which is also very accurate – however there’s also a tone generator onboard for folks that want to do it by ear. The metronome is equally fully-featured; manipulated by five buttons on the front, its loud, steady and very customisable. Not only do you get a brilliant tempo control, but also swing and time signature controls. As well as the built-in mic, you get an attachable clip-on pickup to emulate the tuners described later in the article. There’s even an earpiece included, which would be great for warming up in loud environments (say, backstage).
While the TMT 500 is less streamlined than other options, it covers all bases. This makes it not only a good choice for a jack-of-all-trades musician, but also a beginner who doesn’t yet know what really interests them. Not only will the tuner help them sound good and the metronome sharpen their chops, but the bevy of options in the TMT 500 will cover any instruments or gigs they might want to try out. For these same reasons, the TMT 500 would also be welcome in the desk drawers of a teacher or music production studio. The one useful addition we can think of would be some kind of case or bag to help transport the tuner as well as its earpiece and clip tuner.
Next in line is the JCT Guitar Capo and Tuner. This is a great way to economise a singer/ strummer setup. The tuner itself, attached via a small joint to the capo, is a lot more spartan than the TMT 500 or the other clip-ons we’ll get to. But it doesn’t need to do all the extra features the TMT 500 does, considering it’s always going to be attached to a six-string guitar neck. It was certainly up to the task of keeping our guitars in tune, regardless of where the capo was. We compared the JCT capo to a couple of others in our studio – not only does it feel sturdy and reliable, but it holds the strings stably.
The JVB Digital Mini Clip Tuner – or TMC 515 – takes a bit of the complexity of the TMT 500 and splits the difference with the straightforward simplicity of the JCT. You get tuning settings for chromatic, guitar, bass, violin and ukulele, but it’s all controlled by one button. In practice, this means you choose an instrument setting, adjust the 360-degree swivel, tune, then play. In this respect, the TMC 515 differs from the rest of the JVB family in that it basically does one thing and does it well. If that’s all you want from your clipon tuner, this is a fine choice.
But, for only a few bucks more, you can get yourself the JVB TMC 511. Doing everything its spartan sibling can, it also packs a better display and a straightforward metronome. For us, this is the MVP: the best in show and the model we’d pick if we were only able to grab one. While the TMT
500 is great, we don’t miss the extra functionality it offers too much, and the compact form factor here and colour options are cool. Everyone needs a good clip-on, and as an owner of similar items from big-hitters like Korg and TC Electronic, we can say that this works just as well for a smaller price. The metronome makes it a no-brainer.
There’s something here for everyone if a new tuner is calling for you. At the end of the day, all of these JVB pieces hold their own, performance-wise, while hurting the hip pocket a little less than the competition. Oh, and one final pro-tip: don’t rock a clip on tuner when you’re performing! As great as they might be, you’ve still gotta look cool.