On September 24, 2013, I started a thread on a popular guitar forum asking about the possibility of a PolyTune 2 Mini. The post was something along the lines of, “I really like what TC Electronic did with the PolyTune 2, but the size of the mini is much more appealing. Would love to see the strobe mode loaded into a brighter and more accurate mini.”
Now, I don’t want to take all the credit here—the manual does mention “many requests” from the gear community—but imagine my delight when exactly one year later I was able to place an order for a TC Electronic mini tuner with precisely the features I had requested.
You’ve gotta love it when companies listen to their customers.
The PolyTune 2 Mini takes everything that’s great about its full-size big brother and crams it into a package that’ll fit just about anywhere. For real. The polyphonic and chromatic tuning modes, automatically stored preferences, “Drop-D” and capo tuning adjustments—it’s all in there. And at only 3.5 inches long by 1.5 inches wide, the PolyTune 2 Mini is capable of being tucked into the smallest vacancy on your pedalboard.
It also features a newly designed (and aesthetically brilliant) ultra-bright LED screen. The wizards at TC Electronic loaded more than 100 “retina-scorching” LEDs into the display, making it super easy to quickly see whether or not you’re in tune—no matter where you’re playing.
Full Stream Ahead
When it comes to pedal tuners, accuracy is king. And while some may argue the necessity of a pedal tuner that boasts +/- 0.1 cent accuracy for live situations, there’s certainly something to be said for the peace of mind that kind of precision offers. Bottom line: whether you’re rocking it on stage or using it for a guitar setup, the PolyTune 2 Mini is a valuable tool.
At the core of this tuner is, of course, the namesake polyphonic tuning technology that took the industry by storm back in 2010. PolyTune allows players to simultaneously check the tuning of all their strings with a single strum. Conversely, striking a single string will engage the MonoPoly mode and switch the PolyTune 2 Mini over to the standard chromatic needle-style tuning you’re likely familiar with, or the new stream-style strobe tuning mode (accessible on-the-fly by briefly holding down a button on the side of the pedal).
It is worth pointing out here that the three styles of tuning offer varying accuracy levels. According to TC Electronic, there can sometimes be a slight mismatch between the polyphonic and chromatic mode due to monophonic vs. polyphonic pitch detection technology. The long and short of it is that to tap into the listed ±0.1 accuracy, you must use the new strobe mode. Otherwise, in chromatic mode, the accuracy drops to ±0.5 cents, which is more in line with the industry-leading pedal tuners available today.
What we like: All the good stuff is listed right on the side of the box. The accurate new strobe mode, bright LED display and ultra-small size combine with a crazy low price to make this tuner a surefire win for your pedalboard.
Concerns: Some people want a tuner that has a buffer in it. Others don’t. So if you fall into that first category, you may want to pass on the true bypass PolyTune 2 Mini. If you’re on the fence though, don’t let that hold you back.