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POD HD500 Tuner Accuracy
by MagusB on 2011-05-16 19:40:08

Hello guys, this is my first post here. I've been a lurker for quite some time since I have previously owned Line 6's Distortion Modeler, then Floor POD, the Floor POD Plus and finally managed to snag a decent priced used POD HD500 ($300 @ Guitar Center) and after watching countless videos, reading tons of reviews, searching these forums and reading all the pdf's about said unit that are on this site I would like to ask any of the senior members of this forums the following question: is there any info available over the HD500's chromatic tuners accuracy?

The only information I could find was one review site that claimed it was "accurate" but that is no good in the current market. If you have a $10 korg you can get within +/- 3 or 4 cents which in itself is very, very bad when considering how out of tune the whole guitar can be (given the intonation limitations of the modern guitar)

I am almost finished with my fairly "simple" pedalboard: pedaltrain pro + HD500 + E-H Knockout EQ + Boss AC-3, my Vox's footswitch and BBE Sonic Stomp...but there is room for a quality tuner and I am heavily inclined over a Turbo Tuner, Polytune or even a TU-3.

Any info regarding this would be realy appreciated.


Re: POD HD500 Tuner Accuracy
by mdme_sadie on 2011-05-16 19:47:28

It's accurate to within a tolerance that you can just about get using a guitar.  Guitars really are never that accurate (and god please no-one mention the abhorance that is the new antares guitar autotune) and due to the way they're constructed, the friction, slippage etc then it's pretty hard ot tune more precisely than the tuner will work on a Pod.  As you have one I suggest you try it yourself and also make use of your own ears to determine how in tune it is.

Having said all this I personally use Polytune for iPhone/iPad just because of the convenience factor being able to tune all the strings at once (once you use such a system it's pretty hard to go back to a normal tuner).

Re: POD HD500 Tuner Accuracy
by gtrman100 on 2011-05-16 19:55:05

All digital tuners are clocked to a quartz occillator which have accuracy beyond anyones ability to determine pitch. The HD's are the same. Much more important would be your ability to turn the tuning peg in micro adjustments. I wouldn't worry about it. Plus you can adjust the pitch reference to a different frequency if A-440 doesn't work for you.

Re: POD HD500 Tuner Accuracy
by MagusB on 2011-05-16 20:10:25

I do appreciate the helpful answers but, even though (AFAIK) the HD uses quarts "technology" in its chromatic tuner, the Korg CA-40 uses very similar technology and has a published accuracy of +/- 1 cent. The Boss TU-2 has +/- 3 cents, the new TU-3 has +/- 1 cent, the Polytune by TC Electronics has +/- 0.5 cents when used in needle mode and Petersons Strobostomp mk II and Sonic Researchs Turbo Tuners approximate +/- 0.2 cents [all this from googling and their respective product details]

I am in no way bashing mi HD500, I love it and have been a longtime Line 6 and digital modeling supporter, but I just find that my $15, 0.25 pounds, handheld Korg CA-1 has practically the same tuning ability as the HD500's one (as it has been noted, as far as the human ear will go)

As a last note, it is obvious that the human ear cannot even fathom the difference between 1 cent and 0.2 cents but with a given accuracy you can easily estimate the limits of tuning: a lower limit (good) where every string is as close at it can be within the accuracy presented, and an upper limit (very bad in the case of the classic TU-2 or even worse a Fender stompbox tuner) where every string is as far as it could possibly be within the limits presented.


So mdme_sadie, hows the Polytune in needle?

Re: POD HD500 Tuner Accuracy
by mdme_sadie on 2011-05-16 20:56:34

Surely you didn't buy the HD500 to be a tuner? o_O

Polytune is ok in needle mode, neither better nor wore than anything else out there.

Fact is with any tuner once you've done tuning you should go over the strings yourself playing them side by side and bring them into harmonic phase (just out of perfect phase) with each other.  However if you're unable to hear the difference between the results of the various tuners then I don't see why you should worry about their accuracy, a more expensive tuner really wont give you a better result.

The guitar is a natural instrument.  If you want perfect pitch then it's just not the instrument for you (maybe a synth as they use even temprement).  No natural instrument is perfectly in tune, even grand pianos are actually tuned to be out of perfect tune towards the treble and bass, simply because that actually sounds better.

Re: POD HD500 Tuner Accuracy
by MagusB on 2011-05-16 21:12:30

Yes, the guitar has many limitations and on that topic we are getting into the esoteric realm of guitar limitations (its interesting to watch Van Halen go on about how bad the modern guitar is designed) but I've been playing guitar for 8 years, on and off as a weekend warrior and my thing is Metal and Jazz (fusion I adore but I have my metal days and my jazzy days)

I will end up buying a separate and accurate enough stomp tuner for live usage on my Pedaltrain Pro alongside my HD500 but I do wonder if its possible that somebody from Line6 can answer the question of the non-posted accuracy of its chromatic tuner (remember that the HD500's tuner is different than the one in the HD400/HD300 though they probably share the same technology. Again, if Korg does publishes their 1 cent accuracy on their $15, 0.25 pound hand chromatic tuner, why can't we know the accuracy of Line 6's hottest product around? (with respect to M13 lovers)


Nobody in this planet (as far as I know) can tell the difference over 1 or 2 cents on one note strummed in one string but added together (specially in extended range guitars) it is very easy to tell the difference, just try tuning with the HD500's tuner then reutning by ear, like you suggested, and try some open chords (A and D one after the other come to mind) and you can hear the "imperfections" of the guitar. Now use a Peterson Stroboflip (over $200 but many luthiers use it for intonation) and try the same chords and you can definitely hear the difference!


Re: POD HD500 Tuner Accuracy
by spaceatl on 2011-05-16 21:14:19

If you really need a tuner with more precision than the HD is capable of then you will not need to ask any of us. I would save the slot for a mod, screamer or something...I get it...I intonate with a Peterson strobe...but Line 6 tuners have always worked fine for me for rehearsals, shows etc...I think HD is an improvement over XT...Easy to see...display is more responsive...Not a strobe, but darn good I think...

Re: POD HD500 Tuner Accuracy
by MagusB on 2011-05-16 21:20:05

Thanks for the quick responses guys but maybe I seemed to come from another direction in my interest to present myself and my situation.

Ill try to briefly rephrase my question as simply as I can: as a proud HD500 owner, does anybody know the cent accuracy of it's included chromatic tuner?

Hope this helps and sorry for the chattering.

Re: POD HD500 Tuner Accuracy
by tim1953 on 2011-05-17 20:47:27

The HD 500's tuner is okay for a quick reference but it is not as accurate as my Conn Strobe Tuner or even my Peterson Strobe Clip digital tuner.

I'm one of those guys that has never really liked any of the cheaper digital tuners and I certainly won't trust them setting up the intonation on my guitars.

That's why I've been using the trusty (and crusty) old Conn Strobe tuner which in my opinion is still the most accurate tuner I've ever used.

The little Peterson Clip does a pretty nice job and is my second favorite but I still prefer the Conn.

I hope this helps and as always this is my opinion and not meant to create a backlash of arguing....

Re: POD HD500 Tuner Accuracy
by rcdiver57 on 2011-09-04 17:53:26

I would like to know the same thing. I used the Peterson Strobe which is great, but would like to know the published accuracy of the HD 500. Seems like someone form Line 6 would know this.

Re: POD HD500 Tuner Accuracy
by grimm26 on 2012-01-19 08:58:01

I'm tempted to get the TC polytune not only for the accuracy and ability to tune all strings at once, but also because sometimes I play with just guiat + amp or just have the HD500 in the loop.  Plus, I can power a wah and wireless unit through the polytune and only take up one plug spot.

Re: POD HD500 Tuner Accuracy
by jimsreynolds on 2012-01-19 09:20:34

I would love to play in a band where I have enough time between live songs to care whether or not all my strings are within 1% of true !  98.275% of the audience won't appreciate the benefits you bestow on them. 

I let the guitars warm up to the room temperature and give the guitars a close tune when I start including a little of Sadie's 'harmonic' tuning if it 'feels wrong'.  Thereafter I will tune it maybe once or twice during the set and that will be quick and dirty.  The HD built-in tuner is good enough for me in a gig situation.

For recording or intonating a guitar I would be more concerned and might  but for live: speed of tuning is much more important to me than getting into some tight loop about whether I am completely below the limits of human perception.

Re: POD HD500 Tuner Accuracy
by jimsreynolds on 2012-01-19 09:48:44

And now that Mr Ranty has left the house ... I do like the idea of the polytune, less for its accuracy but more for the idea that you can just give the guitar a quick strum and see immediately how far out the tuning is.  I don't know if it is that good in practical use but it catches my fancy for sure,

Incidentally, one of the best tuners I own is a tiny little Planet Waves strobe tuner.  Size (and shape) of a pic and uses two strobing LEDs to measure frequency - you hold it over the 12th fret and the string strobes faster when further out of tune.  Works brilliantly and is really accurate (to my ears).  Works in a loud environment and on a dark stage.  Works on acoustics just as well.  Only major drawback is that it is useless in direct sunlight, outside.

The information above may not be current, and you should direct questions to the current forum or review the manual.