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Helix Guitar Tuner

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Does anyone else experience lack of accuracy with the Helix on board tuner? I cant get a solid guitar tune with the Helix tuner at all. Below is a process of how I have checked them. 

On the helix, I have the tuner set to standard 440 pitch, and on my Boss TU-3 I have the same settings. The TU-3 accurately tunes my guitars, but the Helix is off by about -3cents on the some of the higher strings. There is no offsets, and the tuner is set to Guitar. 

Any ideas? Is this a known issue? 

 

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(See manual p.20:) Only choose the input block you actually really use (not the 'Multi' position).

This makes tuning more 'stable' ;)

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Does anyone else experience lack of accuracy with the Helix on board tuner? I cant get a solid guitar tune with the Helix tuner at all. Below is a process of how I have checked them.

 

On the helix, I have the tuner set to standard 440 pitch, and on my Boss TU-3 I have the same settings. The TU-3 accurately tunes my guitars, but the Helix is off by about -3cents on the some of the higher strings. There is no offsets, and the tuner is set to Guitar.

 

Any ideas? Is this a known issue?

 

 

Oh yeah. It’s known.

I don’t think it’s a matter of inaccuracy so much as over sensitivity. It’s like the Helix tuner has a severe case odd attention deficit disorder and is very easily distracted by the accompanying harmonics that a guitar produces. It helps, to some degree, to only use the neck pickup and to turn the tone know all the way down when tuning.

 

I put partial blame on us users when we complained that the tuner was too coarse and thus inaccurate. Line 6 added more granularity to the tuner but did nothing about its over sensitivity to harmonics.

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(See manual p.20:) Only choose the input block you actually really use (not the 'Multi' position).

This makes tuning more 'stable' ;)

I am past that. My blocks are pretty simple. I am using Snaps, so I I generally am I only using one chain, and the Input is set to Guitar. It just does not work, like the above posted, it seems to sensitive. 

 

Solution, I am just gonna keep my TU-3 plugged in. lol

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I am past that. My blocks are pretty simple. I am using Snaps, so I I generally am I only using one chain, and the Input is set to Guitar. It just does not work, like the above posted, it seems to sensitive. 

Solution, I am just gonna keep my TU-3 plugged in. lol

You want to set the input for the TUNER to guitar, too.

 

It doesn’t work for everyone. It works fine for me. As with all tuners, neck pickup, tone rolled off, tune to the attack of the note as much as possible,fresh strings matter...

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You want to set the input for the TUNER to guitar, too.

 

It doesn’t work for everyone. It works fine for me. As with all tuners, neck pickup, tone rolled off, tune to the attack of the note as much as possible,fresh strings matter...

I have both set for Guitar. Have you checked yours, side by side with another Tuner? 

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I have both set for Guitar. Have you checked yours, side by side with another Tuner?

 

yes. No problems here between Helix and my strobostomp 2

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(See manual p.20:) Only choose the input block you actually really use (not the 'Multi' position).

This makes tuning more 'stable' ;)

 

I do find the tuner a bit more stable when set to 'Guitar' rather than 'Multi' although still feel it needs improvement. I also don't understand why it is more stable when set to 'Guitar'. I have wondered why this is the case and if other operations on the Helix are "disturbed" when "Multi" is selected for the input block. IMHO it should not make a difference and the fact that it does begs the question of whether the processing of the input signal is changed somehow other than just allowing multiple sources for the input. I wonder if this has an impact on other facets of the input signal's processing?

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The weird thing mine is doing is on the first string (High E) , its about 3 cents off, and even when not playing, it moves around. All the other strings seem to work fine. Both tuners set to 440hz. I will try to post a video soon. I am not sure what is going on. I should also add that I am on the latest firmware of 2.3. 

 

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Is it possible the nut is off (cut to wrong height) for that string?

The g string slot on the nut of my Tokai is a little high; When the string is in tune, if I fret it at the fret it at the second fret, it's sharp.  I need to have it filed a bit.

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Is it possible the nut is off (cut to wrong height) for that string?

The g string slot on the nut of my Tokai is a little high; When the string is in tune, if I fret it at the fret it at the second fret, it's sharp.  I need to have it filed a bit.

I totally get that, but why would it only do that on the Helix tuner, and NOT my Boss TU-3. Its a brand new guitar btw. Fender Deluxe Tele. 

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I think the bottom line here is that you basically have to try to find a tuner that’s worse than the Helix’s tuner. Even the $12.91 (w/Amazon Prime 2-day shipping) Snark SN-8 is more stable. Oh well, at least I have my Polytune Clip.

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Yeah brother...you are hitting the infamous Helix Tuner. 
It turns out (according to some here) that the Helix Tuner is just TOO GOOD to be able to actually work like it's supposed to. lol

It does actually work better once you set the tuner to guitar only. But it's still a piece of garbage. 

It's just barely stable enough to be used onstage (of course no professional guitarist is going to be trying to tune with only a few seconds between songs and spend time turning down tone knobs...hell, I have a Floyd Rose Redmond Series Model K that doesn't even HAVE a tone knob).

But it's definitely not accurate enou...excuse me...it's definitely TOO GOOD to be able to use it quickly and efficiently in the studio. And even onstage it just takes too damn long to tune. 
I'd say go ahead and grab a SNARK and forget about the Helix tuner. 
I have fought with mine since I first got the Helix back in Oct. of 2015 AND I made vids with my guitar hooked up to a rackmount tuner and a boss pedal tuner at the same time as the Helix and showed the other 2 tuners accurately and quickly and with STABILITY "grabbing" the note and getting me in tune while the Helix was wavering about.

It sucks. But there's nothing you can do about it.
Snark is cheap. Grab one and enjoy the great sounds of the Helix.  The tuner is a lost cause.

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Yeah brother...you are hitting the infamous Helix Tuner.

It turns out (according to some here) that the Helix Tuner is just TOO GOOD to be able to actually work like it's supposed to. lol

 

It does actually work better once you set the tuner to guitar only. But it's still a piece of garbage.

 

It's just barely stable enough to be used onstage (of course no professional guitarist is going to be trying to tune with only a few seconds between songs and spend time turning down tone knobs...hell, I have a Floyd Rose Redmond Series Model K that doesn't even HAVE a tone knob).

 

But it's definitely not accurate enou...excuse me...it's definitely TOO GOOD to be able to use it quickly and efficiently in the studio. And even onstage it just takes too damn long to tune.

I'd say go ahead and grab a SNARK and forget about the Helix tuner.

I have fought with mine since I first got the Helix back in Oct. of 2015 AND I made vids with my guitar hooked up to a rackmount tuner and a boss pedal tuner at the same time as the Helix and showed the other 2 tuners accurately and quickly and with STABILITY "grabbing" the note and getting me in tune while the Helix was wavering about.

 

It sucks. But there's nothing you can do about it.

Snark is cheap. Grab one and enjoy the great sounds of the Helix. The tuner is a lost cause.

Bravo! C’est Vrai!!

The way my Polytune handles its tuning duties with speed and stability is a joy to behold.

I would suspect that the Unitune would offer the same performance.

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Using the guitar input a neck or neck/bridge pup combo plus rolling tone controls AND volume off a bit helps improve “huntingâ€.  I also refrain from tuning while using Variax models - mags only.  Harmonics can of course be another “aid†to help reduce hunting.  

 

 

It’s convenient and more than good enough, IMO...

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Yep, many users find the tuner to be frustrating, and a quality outlier in the Helix's otherwise superb features and tones. Then again, a lot of other people find it fine. I've never had any luck with any of the recommendations like turning the tone control, neck pick up etc - still jumps all over the place. Too bad.

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Using the guitar input a neck or neck/bridge pup combo plus rolling tone controls AND volume off a bit helps improve “huntingâ€.  I also refrain from tuning while using Variax models - mags only.  Harmonics can of course be another “aid†to help reduce hunting.  

 

 

It’s convenient and more than good enough, IMO...

 

 

I have to say, rolling off the tone an using the neck pickup helps every tuner I've ever used, not just helix.

 

But...

 

I disagree about using harmonics, because you play the string differently when you do a harmonic and it will more easily result in an out of tune guitar.

 

Most important things imho... 1. tune to the ATTACK. Don't play a note and let it ring out and tune 3 seconds after you've hit the string. You'll be sharp. 2. tune UP... never down...

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I have a Polytune clip always, even if they do eventually work out the quirkiness with the on board tuner. Always have a backup, even when it comes to the tuner. Right now, the Helix tuner is my backup. It seems OK for that job now. 

 

You also get a free Polytune plugin when you purchase one of their tuners. It is worth it almost just for that. 

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Here we go again...

Yes, but I think this issue deserves reiteration.

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Yes, but I think this issue deserves reiteration.

Lol...

 

It's not even beating a dead horse anymore...the bones were picked clean nearly 2 years ago, and have been bleaching in the sun ever since. 😤😜

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Lol...

 

It's not even beating a dead horse anymore...the bones were picked clean nearly 2 years ago, and have been bleaching in the sun ever since.

 

But if you grind those bones up and mix them with super glue, they are EXCELLENT for fixing squirrelly guitar nuts...

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Yes, but I think this issue deserves reiteration.

I think it needs a fork stuck in it

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Lol...

 

It's not even beating a dead horse anymore...the bones were picked clean nearly 2 years ago, and have been bleaching in the sun ever since. 😤😜

If they’d done something about it, the horse would still be alive.

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If they’d done something about it, the horse would still be alive.

 

Dude, I met that horse. He was an *******e.

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I am good with just using my Boss TU-3. Helix will be used as a backup. No issues here. I play out every weekend, so I can't rely on the Helix tuner. No worries. Thank you all for the input. 

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I am good with just using my Boss TU-3. Helix will be used as a backup. No issues here. I play out every weekend, so I can't rely on the Helix tuner. No worries. Thank you all for the input. 

The good news is...the Helix sounds like a million bucks.  So yeah, just enjoy the great tones you can get and use another tuner (just like you would with a "real" amp anyway).  :)

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Dude, I met that horse. He was an *******e.

 

 

Yeah, his name was Helix Tuner, and he wouldn't stop bucking.  

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The good news is...the Helix sounds like a million bucks.  So yeah, just enjoy the great tones you can get and use another tuner (just like you would with a "real" amp anyway).  :)

YUP!

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Did I hear correctly in the video that you're turning the tone control off (i.e., rolling off the high end)? Interesting... What's the rationale for doing this? Thanks!

Fewer harmonics to fool the tuner’s pitch sensing algorithm.

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Fewer harmonics to fool the tuner’s pitch sensing algorithm.

Eddie Van Halen and many other guitarists over the years disconnected the tone controls because they see them as a detriment to their sound. Some guitars are even manufactured without tone controls (like my Redmond Series Model K)

 

I have never heard about anyone turning down their tone controls to use a tuner until a few months ago in this never-ending discussion on the Helix tuner.

 

I guess Van Halen, guitarists who have disconnected their tone control, people who own guitars the never had a tone knob, electric violinists, electric mandolin players, and people who use acoustic/electric models that don't include a tone control...can never use a tuner quickly, efficiently, and accurately.  

 

I'm unsure if this idea of turning your tone control off really helps you or not. I'm just saying that I never heard of anything like that ever. Played a long time, worked with hundreds of musicians, employed dozens of guitar techs over the years who restrung, intonated, tuned, and maintained my guitars when I was touring....but never once heard of this "turn the tone control down".

 

Matter of fact I remember going to Carlton Music in Winter Haven Fla. in 1979 to see a Gibson rep put on a clinic. 

And after he played some sweet jazz licks on a ES-335...he pulled out a brand new Gibson Firebird and proceeded to tear it up on some rock licks.

 

Then he gave us a demonstration of re-stringing a guitar. It was where I first learned how to properly put on the unwound strings to keep them from "slipping" out of tune. 

And then he tuned up the guitar with a tuner. And he used 12th fret HARMONICS to tune all six strings. 

 

Told us that would be a life-saver when playing a big nightclub that had a DJ pumping music while the band was on break. And he was right. The strings on  my guitar would be vibrating from the damn DJ's many times in massive clubs while I was trying to tune. But using 12th fret harmonics while palm muting the other strings allowed me to get around that problem.

 

If I had used this "avoid harmonics" strategy...it would have been a disaster.

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Eddie Van Halen and many other guitarists over the years disconnected the tone controls because they see them as a detriment to their sound. Some guitars are even manufactured without tone controls (like my Redmond Series Model K)

 

I have never heard about anyone turning down their tone controls to use a tuner until a few months ago in this never-ending discussion on the Helix tuner.

 

I guess Van Halen, guitarists who have disconnected their tone control, people who own guitars the never had a tone knob, electric violinists, electric mandolin players, and people who use acoustic/electric models that don't include a tone control...can never use a tuner quickly, efficiently, and accurately.

 

I'm unsure if this idea of turning your tone control off really helps you or not. I'm just saying that I never heard of anything like that ever. Played a long time, worked with hundreds of musicians, employed dozens of guitar techs over the years who restrung, intonated, tuned, and maintained my guitars when I was touring....but never once heard of this "turn the tone control down".

 

Matter of fact I remember going to Carlton Music in Winter Haven Fla. in 1979 to see a Gibson rep put on a clinic.

And after he played some sweet jazz licks on a ES-335...he pulled out a brand new Gibson Firebird and proceeded to tear it up on some rock licks.

 

Then he gave us a demonstration of re-stringing a guitar. It was where I first learned how to properly put on the unwound strings to keep them from "slipping" out of tune.

And then he tuned up the guitar with a tuner. And he used 12th fret HARMONICS to tune all six strings.

 

Told us that would be a life-saver when playing a big nightclub that had a DJ pumping music while the band was on break. And he was right. The strings on my guitar would be vibrating from the damn DJ's many times in massive clubs while I was trying to tune. But using 12th fret harmonics while palm muting the other strings allowed me to get around that problem.

 

If I had used this "avoid harmonics" strategy...it would have been a disaster.

This technique of turning down the tone knob is, as far as I know, only necessary on the Helix. It does help but it does not completely eliminate the Helix tuner’s jumpiness. Your point about some guitars not having tone knobs is a case in point for the need to have the tuner reworked. It is quite impossible to tune one of my guitars which does not have a tone control to turn down. If your guitar has high output pickups, they likely don’t produce as many highs as lower output or single coil pickups. High output pickups also produce a lot of mids which helps the Helix’s tuner be more “focusedâ€.

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12 fret harmonics is another method of reducing the the harmonic modes, and better than turning the tone knob down - if you force the string into 12 fret harmonics (2nd Mode) you automatically eliminate all of the odd modes so you give a much purer signal to the tuner... but at a lower signal level. Middle pickup is picking up mainly mode 1 (fundamental) and mode 2 (octave) so the result is the same.

You are dependent on the guitar having perfect intonation otherwise you haven't tuned the fretted notes at all.

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I've been turning the tone control down to tune for many years, not just with Helix. It's not a new thing.

Eddie didn't have the tuners available we have now. He didn't complain because he's a great musician, and great musicians know how to get a guitar in tune.

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You also get a free Polytune plugin when you purchase one of their tuners. It is worth it almost just for that. 

 

How do you get it? I have a PolyTune 2 Noir and never got it - or mention of it in the box...

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