Since the original buzz began, about the Epiphone Min-ETune guitars, people have been asking me what I think about them. So, I'll use this blog to remark.
First, let me say that this is the diametric opposite to the EverTune Bridge that I podcasted about with such relish some time ago. They don't do the same thing and their prices are disparate. The EverTune Bridge keeps your guitar in tune. The Epiphone Min-ETune guitars are self-tuning.
Purist that I am, I always encourage beginner guitarists to get well acquainted with an A440 tuning fork and use it to tune their guitars. Yes, I know it takes much longer to learn to tune that way and in the beginning, it could take an inexperienced guitar player that doesn't hear pitches too accurately, 15 minutes to tune. I know. But with constant repetition, practice, if you will - the ears are trained. The eventual goal is to be able to hear that A, and eventually, all the open strings of the desired tuning. My purist suggestions aside, these Min-ETune guitars are an interesting addition to the family of affordable workhorse guitars the venerable Epiphone offers.
If you watch the video, it's remarkable and cool. I can just hear a collective sigh going up at the thought of not having to hassle with tuning your Les Paul Classic-T or your FT-350SCE. The price point is great, too. MSRP is $999 but street for each of them is $599 and possibly less, depending upon sales, promos, coupons etc. Don't forget, Labor Day sales are right around the corner.
I haven't had an opportunity (pardon the pun) to play either of the models, so I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the tuning. On the video, playing harmonic octaves was curiously absent. I'm not saying the Min-ETune isn't accurate - I'm just saying, I haven't played them and I don't know if it is. I hope it's dead on accurate and if it is, our friends at Epiphone have done something really noteworthy. This is not synthesized sound, like that of some other big name guitars that I have blogged and podcast about in the past.
There are great benefits to having a quickly self-tuning guitar - especially at this price point. First, if the tuning is totally accurate, a guitarist will always be hearing what they are playing "at pitch" and not at "whatever tuning." It's a quick transition from playing in standard tuning to another tuning. There are a dozen custom tunings that can be accessed in seconds. That's a real boon to pros and non-professional guitarists alike. I can't tell you how many guitarists I know who have a guitar for each kooky tuning in which they like to play. One I can think of has a guitar tuned to open C# Minor. Whether playing for yourself, your instructor, friends in your living room, or on stage, there's great advantage to be able to move from tuning to tuning without a lot of time and aggravation.
I'll post about these guitars again, if I have a chance to play them.
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