Korg tuners for classical guitar: CA model vs GA model

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
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joachim33
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Korg tuners for classical guitar: CA model vs GA model

Post by joachim33 » Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:37 am

Many guitar products are marketed towards the electric/acoustic guitar market (steel strings) and serious playing on nylon string guitars is a niche business.

For a classical guitar would you recommend a dedicated Korg guitar Model (e.g. Korg GA-1, GA-2, GA-40, ...) or a general purpose chromatic model (e.g. Korg CA-1,CA-2, CA-40, ...)? Considerations are general usability, efficiency of note detection, accuracy of result. CA models are marketed towards orchestral instruments. In certain aspects a classical guitar has more in common with a violin than an electric guitar, while on the other hand both are guitars.

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Peter Frary
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Re: Korg tuners for classical guitar: CA model vs GA model

Post by Peter Frary » Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:35 pm

Which ever one you get, be sure to purchase the Korg CM200BK Clip-On microphone. Makes a big difference in tuner performance, especially tuning in noisy environments like backstage and classrooms full of twanging guitars. Having owned both CA and GA models, I haven't noticed much difference in accuracy or ability to pickup the guitar sound. The difference seems to be mainly the choice of tuning modes. There's also the TM series, i.e., metronome and tuner combo. It's a real space saver if you tend to keep 'em in your guitar case.
I play a Cordoba Mini so I look taller on stage!

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joachim33
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Re: Korg tuners for classical guitar: CA model vs GA model

Post by joachim33 » Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:39 pm

Hi Peter

Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated. I am considering a CM-200 contact mic.

Joachim

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joachim33
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Re: Korg tuners for classical guitar: CA model vs GA model

Post by joachim33 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:45 pm

Does anyone here know whether the 40 models (e.g. CA-40) offer a more precise read out than the lower classed 1/2 models? The later's display goes in 2.5 cent steps (CA-1/2) or single Hz (GA-1/2). I couldn't find that info anywhere for the 40 models.

For classical guitar the out connection of the GA/CA-40 is of limited interest.

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joachim33
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Korg CA-2 for classical guitar - first impressions

Post by joachim33 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:45 pm

I thought I give an update on this. I bought a smallish Korg CA-2 chromatic tuner and the CM-200 contact microphone. The tuner is pretty light weight and smaller than my iPhone. I compare to a typical pack of guitar strings:

Image

I figured from pictures I found on the web and manuals, that the higher specified models (CA-40, GA-40, TM-50) do not offer a better read-out accuracy than the smaller and lighter CA-2 and GA-2. To tune a classical guitar, I don't need an output to an amp and I personally prefer a mechanical clockwork metronome with a swinging arm, so the 40/50 models were not of strong interest. I'd quite like the fold out stand of these - there is nothing on the rear of the CA-2 to make it tilt up. Though in the end with me the smaller size wins. Specification of the tuner detection accuracy is the same for all of these: +/- 1 cent.

I like the design and colour scheme of the GA-2 (guitar version) a lot better then the white/yellow colour scheme of the CA-2 (general chromatic tuner). Though I figured that the GA-2 is a lot more limited. It can only tune open strings, checking pitch for fretted strings is not naturally supported. For strings 2 to 6 one can sort of do this using the "flat" feature, if you think a bit, but it isn't meant for this and the usability would be inferior to a chromatic tuner. The read out of the GA-2 scale is by a factor 1.6x less accurate (steps of 1 Hz for the concert pitch, approx 4 cent) than the CA model (steps of 2.5 cent). Apart from Peter's answer above I haven't seen any statement, regarding whether or not the GA tuners make positive use of the information: "Hey I am tuning a guitar". Peter thought there is not much in it.

Having used it for a few days to tune a student quality instrument with D'Addario EXP46 (60h to 80h of action) I'd like to share the following comments:
  • Overall I am quite happy with the tuning I get. I think better than the iPhone apps I had before.
  • Damping the guitar between strings to stop sympathetic ringing is advisable
  • Sometimes it misidentifies the tone, e.g. showing a B-flat instead of an E on the first string. Changing the right hand position, stopping sympathetic ringing (dampen the guitar) and/or moving closer to the tuner typically solves this.
  • Compared to Guitar Tuna, which is the "sharpest" app I have on my iPhone 6s, the Korg is about 4 cent (1 Hz regarding concert pitch sharper). However I have apps on my iPhone that are by a similar amount flatter than Guitar Tuna. So this seems a typical level of accuracy, how a given signal is translated into pitch. Please note, I have been using Guitar Tuna as a reference here, but do not want to say it is more accurate than any of the others. To me it shows, that when doing e.g. an ensemble, one should use a common tuner/tuner app.
  • I find the accuracy of the readout reasonable, not to fuzzy and still accurate.
  • You are risking your fingernails when opening the battery cover (2x AAA-batteries). Since Korg claims a battery live of 100 to 200 hours, depending on battery quality, you shouldn't need to open it very often.
  • The CM-200 contact microphone is quite large, when compared to the tuner. The signal seems to improve and the tuner seems slightly more responsive when using this. It opens wide enough to fit the headstock of my guitar, which the D'Addario micro NS doesn't. I am currently not sure I would buy the CM-200 again.
I hope someone here, finds the information useful.

simonm
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Re: Korg tuners for classical guitar: CA model vs GA model

Post by simonm » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:57 pm

I have two Korg clip-ons - an older Korg AW-2 and one of its later replacements (model number escapes me).

Happy with both but actually prefer to older one slightly. I never use the microphone option. I always have them switched to piezo. If I had to buy a model which was either microphone or piezo, I would go with piezo.

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joachim33
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Re: Korg tuners for classical guitar: CA model vs GA model

Post by joachim33 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:19 am

simonm wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:57 pm
I have two Korg clip-ons - an older Korg AW-2 and one of its later replacements (model number escapes me).

Happy with both but actually prefer to older one slightly. I never use the microphone option. I always have them switched to piezo. If I had to buy a model which was either microphone or piezo, I would go with piezo.
Hi Simon

Thanks for contributing. This is the first time I saw any of the clips being switchable. I looked up the AW2 manual. Korg recommends the mic for flutes and when using it on a note stand, not attached to your instrument.

simonm
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Re: Korg tuners for classical guitar: CA model vs GA model

Post by simonm » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:36 am

I bought it originally because I reckoned if it was good enough for Kaori Muraji it would be good enough for Simonm. On the Korg site there is a photo Sharon Isbin with one of these. I reckon for guitarists piezo is the way to go. For ultimate tuning apparently strobe tuners are the best but it is more for experiments and tests than day to day practice.

astro64
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Re: Korg tuners for classical guitar: CA model vs GA model

Post by astro64 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:17 pm

I also have an AW-2, it has worked well for many years and is accurate enough (I compared it against the strobe clip-on).

googoobaby
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Re: Korg tuners for classical guitar: CA model vs GA model

Post by googoobaby » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:40 am

Another vote for the Korg clip-on mic. I've had mine for close to 10 years now (no visible model number though) and it lets my tuner lock in and tune accurately even with considerable background noise.

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