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Beating a dead horse? Tuner accuracy....come on!


watch4king
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Just out of curiosity, what's that most-stable-tuning guitar you have?

I am not sure which guitar is most stable but anything well made with a set-neck that is not too susceptible to temperature changes, decent machines nut and bridge, good setup, and no whammy is generally the most stable. In regards to tuners, and I do hate to appear critical about the new tuner which certainly allows me to get closer in tune, every tuner (and I have several) from my strobe to my clip-on cheapos and every tuner in between is more stable than the Helix. I hope they stabilize the display in the next firmware release.

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I do hate to appear critical about the new tuner which certainly allows me to get closer in tune, every tuner (and I have several) from my strobe to my clip-on cheapos and every tuner in between is more stable than the Helix. I hope they stabilize the display in the next firmware release.

Agreed.

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ITT: DI still doesn't know what "user experience" means.

 

Who cares that someone uses the wrong words? It's not their job to define the technical problem, it's the customer's job to tell you what task they find hard to solve. It's yours to translate that to technical specifications / changes or usability changes when the problem is user error.

 

I find your attitude towards your customers very tiring. People can be entitled, they can be stupid, they can have the wrong ideas or be using the wrong words to describe something. It doesn't matter. In the end they are using the product and are feeling friction or are unable to do something they should be able to. There's a lot of energy spent here on trying to disprove what someone is feeling - as if that is possible - instead of on what exactly the cause of the issue is.

 

The Helix is a beautiful evolution of UX for guitar, it absolutely beats the hell out of anything before it in terms of usability. If you want to keep evolving it and maintain that quality you really need to take your customers experiences more seriously.

This may be a response to an old post by DI but it still has merit, is still relevant and is absolutely right. The dismissiveness of some of the responses by Line 6 and their ardent defenders is uncalled for, unproductive and doesn't help anyone.

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There may be unforeseen reasons as to why the tuner doesn't take priority..., like say new amps cabs an more effects the Line 6 devs "may be" working on at the moment. Pure speculation but I'm betting this holiday season may be a big one for Line 6. Maybe the biggest in several years, and so they are stacking the deck in preparing a surprise that we will all like come November, but might not include for right now, a better tuner. Pipe Dream? Maybe, maybe not...

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This may be a response to an old post by DI but it still has merit, is still relevant and is absolutely right. The dismissiveness of some of the responses by Line 6 and their ardent defenders is uncalled for, unproductive and doesn't help anyone.

The thing is that if product developers listen to every opinion or complaint they hear, they'd never be able to make or own any decision. It's impossible to satisfy every critic out there. Not saying it's easy to know when and where to draw the line, but I'm certain it needs to be drawn.

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The thing is that if product developers listen to every opinion or complaint they hear, they'd never be able to make or own any decision. It's impossible to satisfy every critic out there. Not saying it's easy to know when and where to draw the line, but I'm certain it needs to be drawn.

"I'm talking about a line in the sand, Dude!";)

post-1838810-0-87471000-1474379476_thumb.jpeg

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The thing is that if product developers listen to every opinion or complaint they hear, they'd never be able to make or own any decision. It's impossible to satisfy every critic out there. Not saying it's easy to know when and where to draw the line, but I'm certain it needs to be drawn.

 

 

This comment is exactly what I mean.  You take an adversarial and condescending approach to the things people ask and talk about on this forum.

A line in the sand? Seriously? A perfect example of "listening to reply, not to understand".

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This comment is exactly what I mean.  You take an adversarial and condescending approach to the things people ask and talk about on this forum.

A line in the sand? Seriously? A perfect example of "listening to reply, not to understand".

 

Nothing I said was adversarial or condescending. I mean, people complained about the tuner, so they changed it. If they made further changes, there would likely still be people who wouldn't be pleased (there were people on Facebook saying they liked the previous version of the tuner better, for example). It's just the way it goes. I actually didn't say anything about drawing a "line in the sand"... That was the comment after me. I did say that they would have to draw a line at some point. I don't think that investing a ton of time and energy into a feature like the tuner is the best way for them to use their resources, but it's not my decision.

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Again, you're "listening to respond, not to understand". Although your particular post was indeed not condescending, you are in fact defending the way Line 6 sometimes responds to some of their customers here. I've seen far too many from others that are very flippant and condescending also. The fact that you even mentioned "drawing a line" exemplifies the adversarial approach I'm talking about. It's very "Us against them" - nice attitude towards customers who've spent $1500 on their product.

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Again, you're "listening to respond, not to understand". Although your particular post was indeed not condescending, you are in fact defending the way Line 6 sometimes responds to some of their customers here. I've seen far too many from others that are very flippant and condescending also. The fact that you even mentioned "drawing a line" exemplifies the adversarial approach I'm talking about. It's very "Us against them" - nice attitude towards customers who've spent $1500 on their product.

 

Well, of course I'm listening to respond here, as I'm personally powerless to make any design decisions as to what we're talking about here. I'm not a Line 6 customer service rep. These aren't CS forums. They're user forums. They're meant to be a place where users can interact with each other and discuss how they're using the unit. The fact the there is some amount of involvement from the product management side of things is a big plus, imo. It's a relatively new development here. But the thing is people like DI aren't going to give the standard PR answers to questions, and I'm glad they don't. I actually want them to honestly defend their design decisions and state why they did things and explain why they can't do certain things... It's refreshing to me.

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Well, of course I'm listening to respond here, as I'm personally powerless to make any design decisions as to what we're talking about here. I'm not a Line 6 customer service rep. These aren't CS forums. They're user forums. They're meant to be a place where users can interact with each other and discuss how they're using the unit. The fact the there is some amount of involvement from the product management side of things is a big plus, imo. It's a relatively new development here. But the thing is people like DI aren't going to give the standard PR answers to questions, and I'm glad they don't. I actually want them to honestly defend their design decisions and state why they did things and explain why they can't do certain things... It's refreshing to me.

 

This may be a users' forum but as a company, Line 6 should treat it as a customer service forum.  I'm not saying the shouldn't defend their design decisions.  They definitely should.  It's the tone they and their supporters take towards their customers that I take issue with.

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This may be a users' forum but as a company, Line 6 should treat it as a customer service forum.  I'm not saying the shouldn't defend their design decisions.  They definitely should.  It's the tone they and their supporters take towards their customers that I take issue with.

 

My recommendation is to try to be a bit understanding that everyone's human and the posts here from Line 6 folks are not exactly polished press releases or anything.  And I'm glad they're not.  If you got what you are asking, you'd likely have zero involvement from Line 6 folks, and you'd have to go to the official Line 6 website and read PR glossies that told you nothing instead of getting the real deal.

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This may be a users' forum but as a company, Line 6 should treat it as a customer service forum.  I'm not saying the shouldn't defend their design decisions.  They definitely should.  It's the tone they and their supporters take towards their customers that I take issue with.

 

We all have different things we take issue with. For me, sometimes it's the tone the customers (including me) take towards Line 6 and their supporters (including me).

 

We can all express our different opinions without being disrespectful or dismissive. Sometimes we can all fall a bit short of that. But for the most part I find this to be a very respectful place - much more so than other forums I visit.

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We all have different things we take issue with. For me, sometimes it's the tone the customers (including me) take towards Line 6 and their supporters (including me).

 

We can all express our different opinions without being disrespectful or dismissive. Sometimes we can all fall a bit short of that. But for the most part I find this to be a very respectful place - much more so than other forums I visit.

 

That's all I'm saying.

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Trying to wrap my head around why this would be the case. I'm a fan of low action and as little relief as I can get away with...but with the exception of one remarkably stable neck I have, all my guitars are as susceptible to temp and humidity changes as the next guy's. I don't see how straight the neck is or isn't, or where the strings live relative to the frets would confer any sort of immunity to temperature changes. Heat things up and they expand, cool them off and they shrink...their relative positions at the outset, seems to me would be largely irrelevant. Some necks are just more stable than others. Quality of the craftsmanship and the individual piece(s) of wood in question (a newer build, vs. a 20 year old neck that has "settled") play far bigger roles than anything else.

Well, I've never really gone hardcore scientific and tested my theory, because it'd be a pain, so it's really just notional, and it goes like this: The strings and the fretboard make for two sides of a near equilateral triangle, and let's just call the bridge end of things the "base". Higher action means that base is wider, whether there high or low relief. Temperature affects the tension of the strings more so than the neck side of our triangle, and that tension is counterbalanced by our trusty truss rod and neck. However, the wider that base is, the more leverage is impacted upon the neck side of things. Picture if the action was 12" high, for arguments sake - pulling on the strings would impart more lateral force against the neck. I.e., it would be easier to flex the neck by varying the tension of the strings by way of leverage.. (it's just a matter of vectors).

 

There are so many other factors with tuning and intonation.... thankfully I've worked out a lot of issues over the years, thank to all the great ideas of friends and folks out here on the internets. One of my most stable guitars is a tele with Warmoth 1/4 sawn baseball neck, with a Nitro finish. I often joke that I could put it an oven, then a freezer and it'd still play great! Action doesn't seem to affect that guitars tuning fluctuations w/r temperatures at all, low or high.

 

In the end, the way most guitarists "fret" about tuning you'd think they don't know the difference between equal temperment and well temperament. ;-P

 

Cheers!

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...

 

In the end, the way most guitarists "fret" about tuning you'd think they don't know the difference between equal temperment and well temperament. ;-P

 

Cheers!

 

LOL. The natives are getting restless, picking at nits, time for a new firmware release, let's have something new and significant to clamor about  B)

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I think it's a good indicator that you've done pretty solid work when you create amp/cab/effects modeling platform as powerful and complex (although impressively intuituve to operate) as Helix and the most persistent and active thread on the forum is about the particulars of the built-in tuner. At least thats how I'd look at it.

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I think it's a good indicator that you've done pretty solid work when you create amp/cab/effects modeling platform as powerful and complex (although impressively intuituve to operate) as Helix and the most persistent and active thread on the forum is about the particulars of the built-in tuner. At least thats how I'd look at it.

 

Right. Typical case of 'luxury problem', obviously ;)

 

This horse has been beating to absolute threashold of pain

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgpWyB56KdI

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LOL. The natives are getting restless, picking at nits, time for a new firmware release, let's have something new and significant to clamor about B)

Amen. I need new incredibly minor, borderline insignificant issues to b1tch about...

 

Now if you'll excuse me, the glove compartment in my new Ferrari is too small...I'm writing a letter. ;)

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I think it's a good indicator that you've done pretty solid work when you create amp/cab/effects modeling platform as powerful and complex (although impressively intuituve to operate) as Helix and the most persistent and active thread on the forum is about the particulars of the built-in tuner. At least thats how I'd look at it.

 

+1

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I have actually tried using the on board tuner recently and it really is dreadful. Thankful I have my PitchBlack's. 

One of the issues I have with the Helix is why the reach back into the past all the time? There are plenty of new tech pedals these days which do not cost that much that are polyphonic tracking and tuners than cost less than $100, the Helix with all its technology cannot do that which a $130 pedal can do?? So many octave pedals out now and the new version V Whammy which are polyphonic tracking but we have to have copies of the older crap pedals, why??? The same detune technology offered by EHX, tc, DIgitech, TRex, and also makes for the myriad of stable tuning pedals I mean Helix Engineer's WTF? 

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I have actually tried using the on board tuner recently and it really is dreadful. Thankful I have my PitchBlack's. 

One of the issues I have with the Helix is why the reach back into the past all the time? There are plenty of new tech pedals these days which do not cost that much that are polyphonic tracking and tuners than cost less than $100, the Helix with all its technology cannot do that which a $130 pedal can do?? So many octave pedals out now and the new version V Whammy which are polyphonic tracking but we have to have copies of the older crap pedals, why??? The same detune technology offered by EHX, tc, DIgitech, TRex, and also makes for the myriad of stable tuning pedals I mean Helix Engineer's WTF? 

 

Tuning stability would be something inherent to the guitar, not the tuner, wouldn't it? I guess I don't get it... People complained the tuner wasn't sensitive enough before, but now it's too sensitive. You just have to find a level of "tuning uncertainty" you can live with I suppose. Usually, on the Helix tuner, as long as I have the small little bar light up a few times, I'm good. Chances are, it won't stay there, but that's not really the tuner's fault - that's just the guitar.

 

If other tuners are showing you "locked in", but the Helix is still moving, doesn't it mean that those tuners are actually offering you a false sense of tuning security? I mean this is the reality of tuning a guitar. It's very hard to get locked into a pitch within +/- 2 cents. Download the Peterson Strobe tuning app and set the display to cents... You can see the pitch oscillate like crazy. It never really does get locked in completely.

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Tuning stability would be something inherent to the guitar, not the tuner, wouldn't it? I guess I don't get it... People complained the tuner wasn't sensitive enough before, but now it's too sensitive. You just have to find a level of "tuning uncertainty" you can live with I suppose. Usually, on the Helix tuner, as long as I have the small little bar light up a few times, I'm good. Chances are, it won't stay there, but that's not really the tuner's fault - that's just the guitar.

 

If other tuners are showing you "locked in", but the Helix is still moving, doesn't it mean that those tuners are actually offering you a false sense of tuning security? I mean this is the reality of tuning a guitar. It's very hard to get locked into a pitch within +/- 2 cents. Download the Peterson Strobe tuning app and set the display to cents... You can see the pitch oscillate like crazy. It never really does get locked in completely.

I would say you were correct if the sole objective of a tuner was to show that a string's pitch fluctuates after it is picked. But that is not the objective of a good tuner. A good tuner should get us as close to the reference pitch as possible given the innate fluctuations inherent in a picked string. That means that ideally a moment is chosen fairly soon after the initial pick attack and the display freezes for long enough to see how close that is to the reference pitch. That enables us to get perhaps not in perfect tune but close. After the initial freeze the tuner is free to go back to hyper-granularity mode and show us what the string is really doing without a "false sense of tuning security", but that momentary freeze is what allows us to keep our sanity and get in tune. That is not what is happening on the Helix tuner. The Helix tuner is fluctuating fairly wildly, even on guitars that don't have any tuning problems. As has been expressed many times most of us are grateful for the increased granularity but there is a happy medium and a compromise to be had here. Increased granularity can be combined with tuner stability. Again all we need is a couple of moments where the display freezes long enough to show us where the initial pluck of the string is located. This discussion seems so pointless to me. To me the Helix tuner is not behaving like any other tuner I have seen on the market and I don't want to give up the excellent improvement it made in the last firmware upgrade. I would just like it to be easier to use for practical things like playing and recording and not be a science experiment that demonstrates how much the pitch actually moves around when you pick a string. Just looking for a compromise between granularity and usability here. I genuinely respect how sensitive the Helix tuner is (and its users). :)

 

Btw, even if the Peterson Strobe app does exhibit the same exacting behavior as the Helix tuner there is no reason that can't be improved on.

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As has been expressed many times most of us are grateful for the increased granularity but there is a happy medium and a compromise to be had here. Increased granularity can be combined with tuner stability. 

 

 

Exactly On Point.  

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giphy.gif

Lol, indeed...but it will never end. Both sides have their heels so firmly dug-in, that nobody will throw in the towel at this point...too much time and energy invested in being "right" to give up now, no matter how pointless the conversation. Just like politics...;)

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After reading this thread, several other posts and seeing a few YouTube vids about the somewhat overly reactive/sensitive behavior of the rotary knob parameter controls (when turned too far, too fast), it seems that a dampening control added to the responsiveness to these (either a user adjustable parameter or hard coded) would be a sensible feature enahncement.

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I thought I would revive this thread just in case people were waxing nostalgic for it. Once again kudos for the enhanced tuner a few firmware versions ago but I still find it way too jumpy. I really think this should be addressed. It makes the tuner very difficult to use and it slows me down during performances and generally fails to do an expert job of tuning. I am surprised there are not more people having an issue with this. Let's fix this rabid mongoose on meth once and for all. Don't make me have to take out my tuning fork, divining rod, and sextant. ;)  

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There may be unforeseen reasons as to why the tuner doesn't take priority..., like say new amps cabs an more effects the Line 6 devs "may be" working on at the moment. Pure speculation but I'm betting this holiday season may be a big one for Line 6. Maybe the biggest in several years, and so they are stacking the deck in preparing a surprise that we will all like come November, but might not include for right now, a better tuner. Pipe Dream? Maybe, maybe not...

Well part pipe dream. Although I am apprecative of the patch fixes, we still have no workbench or DT series amp integration. And yes the tuner needs tweaking on some more to a less "hyper" like setting while still being accurate. I much prefer the controllers tuner versus the screen. And I may not have mentioned this before, but it'd be nice to have a tuner for the editor.

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I thought I would revive this thread just in case people were waxing nostalgic for it. Once again kudos for the enhanced tuner a few firmware versions ago but I still find it way too jumpy. I really think this should be addressed. It makes the tuner very difficult to use and it slows me down during performances and generally fails to do an expert job of tuning. I am surprised there are not more people having an issue with this. Let's fix this rabid mongoose on meth once and for all. Don't make me have to take out my tuning fork, divining rod, and sextant. ;)  

I was thinking about this recently. There have obviously been an improvement made, but still jumpy. This is the ONLY negative I have about the Helix, but still live with it. I have come close to connecting a TC Polytune to it. It's frustrating when I can let a note ring out through the Helix tuner and I watch it bounce around anywhere in between +/- 2 cents. 

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I was thinking about this recently. There have obviously been an improvement made, but still jumpy. This is the ONLY negative I have about the Helix, but still live with it. I have come close to connecting a TC Polytune to it. It's frustrating when I can let a note ring out through the Helix tuner and I watch it bounce around anywhere in between +/- 2 cents.

But that's what's really happening, though. Try the Peterson Strobe app and set it to see cents on the display, and it does the same thing. Unless you're using heavier gauge strings, it's difficult to get much better than +/-2 cents. Other tuners that show you dead on are just lying. :-)

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But that's what's really happening, though. Try the Peterson Strobe app and set it to see cents on the display, and it does the same thing. Unless you're using heavier gauge strings, it's difficult to get much better than +/-2 cents. Other tuners that show you dead on are just lying. :-)

Yeah, that's why I live with it. They really aren't lying, they just do some extra "averaging" in their algorithms. I am just super OCD when it comes to tuning/intonation. It's a sickness really, but I am getting better. 

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I was thinking about this recently. There have obviously been an improvement made, but still jumpy. This is the ONLY negative I have about the Helix, but still live with it. I have come close to connecting a TC Polytune to it. It's frustrating when I can let a note ring out through the Helix tuner and I watch it bounce around anywhere in between +/- 2 cents.

This is not an academic exercise to me. I find it really frustrating as well as it causes a more noticeable delay when I try to tune between songs during a show. It needs to freeze for a second and then go back to hyper-granularity mode. Before we had a tuner that was not granular enough and therefor showed you in tune with a stable display even when you were not quite at the reference tone. Now we have a tuner that is so sensitive and jumpy that you can't get a stable readout for long enough to figure out where to stop tuning. There has to be a compromise between granularity and usability here. I am hoping we don't go through months more of debate regarding tuner technology and how accurately the tuner is reflecting what the string is actually doing. The requirement here is entirely practical. We just need a tuner that can be quickly and accurately tuned while we have an audience and a band impatiently waiting for the next song in the setlist. The idea of having to employ an external tuner is just repugnant to me when the tuner on the Helix is so convenient and has such an awesome display and so much potential.

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I am definitely going to check out the Peterson Stobe app. I had not idea it existed. It has some spectral stuff on there too. Just what an OCD guy like me needs!

 

I have found myself doing a quick pluck of the string then muting it quickly on the Helix tuner to give me the quickest results. I agree with the assessment from HO.  

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I wanted to make one more observation about why stability in a tuner is so important as a complementary feature to granularity. Although it is wonderful if everyone in the band can tune perfectly to let's say for example A 440, what is of greater importance is that all of the strings on the guitar be in tune relative to each other. Being a few cents off from other instruments in the band is not nearly as noticeable as when the strings on the guitar are out of tune with each other.

 

I know if we take into account 'true temper' this discussion could get a lot more complicated so I will intentionally sidestep it. Though not ideal, usually it is no big deal if every one of my strings is 2 cents below tune as long as they are all 2 cents below or somewhere in that immediate neighborhood and in relative tune to each other. What I am getting at is that if the display freezes for a second or two, for example 500ms after a string is plucked then, I have a better chance of tuning my strings correctly relative to each other. Yes, maybe in actuality the string's frequency is changing slightly in real time and the moment I selected to freeze is not exactly reflective of the current tuning of the string but I have the same frozen moment or 'snapshot' on each string to tune to (I am not referring to the 'snapshots' in Helix parlance). Perhaps different string gauges (thinner higher strings, thicker lower strings) require a slightly different moment to grab that 'snapshot' but even that could be accounted for to some extent. Making a truly great tuner is clearly not easy, but there might be ways to improve this one. Anyway, I digressed and started to get caught in the technical weeds for a moment there. I should just return to my point that I would give up some granularity for stability although I hope we can get both.

 

Ultimately the goal in my opinion at least for performance is to get as close to in tune as possible as quickly as possible. I am not trying to set the intonation on a stage or at practice, just tune as quickly and accurately as I can. Just having a solid anchored moment of reference is what is most critical so I can stop tuning and move on to the next string. I am assuming the closer that 'anchored moment' is to an average of the string's actual tuning shortly after being plucked, since it is never completely constant, the better.

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Ultimately the goal in my opinion at least for performance is to get as close as possible as quickly as possible. I am not trying to set the intonation on a stage or at practice, just tune as quickly and accurately as I can. Just having a solid anchored moment of reference is what is most critical so I can stop tuning and move on to the next string. I am assuming the closer that 'anchored moment' is to an average of the string's actual tuning shortly after being plucked, since it is never completely constant, the better.

Indeed. I think that with the increased granularity, Line6 could decrease the tuner's sensitivity to the minute and momentary variances in the detected pitch and analyze fewer samples of the incoming pitches. The increased granularity is appreciated but trying to tune while that tuning indicator is jumping around like a hyperactive child on the day after Halloween is crazy makin'.

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