Hands-on review: Intellitouch PT30 tuner

(John Gorbe | Posted 2011-07-23)

Hands-on review: Intellitouch PT30 tuner

Onboard Research has been producing a terrific line of tuners since 1995. They are world-class designers and manufacturers of innovative musical accessories for musicians of all levels. When OnBoard Research invented the original clip-on tuner and named it "The Intellitouch Tuner," the name just stuck! The company is actually known as Intellitouch by many musicians. These unique tuners tune musical instruments by using vibration rather than sound, making them fast, easy and accurate - even in noisy environments.

I’m writing this article to introduce you to an interesting model called the PT30. I have used other models from this company and the nice thing about Intellitouch is that all their tuners share the same interface. This makes it very nice switching from one tuner to another. I use multiple models for all my guitars so I can appreciate that!

The PT30 attaches to your guitar by using a clamp. This is a strong clamp so you can keep it attached to your headstock during a performance and hop around on stage without concern that it will fall off. You also don’t have to be worried about it damaging the finish on your guitar because the clamp features rubberized feet to safely hold it in place. The clamp is well thought out because it contains a rubber grip on top of the clamp and a “rocking” rubber foot on the bottom. There is also a third rubber piece seated behind the “rocking” rubber foot so if you need to slip this clamp further onto your instrument it won’t come in contact with anything but rubber. The clamp is connected to the tuner by ball joints that allow the user to swivel the display in any direction to be clearly seen.

Now, for the meat and potatoes of this review…how well does it tune a guitar? Very well. I tested this on an electric guitar and after turning it on I noticed a very clean, blue backlight. I struck my low “E” string and it was very easy to balance 8 arrows: 4 to the left of the “E” and 4 to the right of the “E” on the display. Now, the Intellitouch line of tuners traditionally use 6 arrows to tune so 8 arrows makes me believe that it “feels” in finer increments giving me a slightly better response. The display also features the words, “flat” and “sharp” in the upper left and right corners of the display, respectively. This made the tuner feel very user-friendly.

The buttons on the tuner also have a rubberized feel to them that responds well to the fingers and gives the unit a quality feel. Buttons consist of: Power on/off and 2 buttons for selecting an “A” reference between 430Hz and 450Hz.

If blue isn’t your color, you can turn a dial on the back of the tuner and select a crisp white or red backlight. This is a really nice touch for performing live because you never know what type of lighting will be used on stage. Having the option of selecting colors for the backlight on the fly is a great feature that I know I’ll use.

I also tested the PT30 on a Martin GPCPA3 with a Fishman Aura FX pickup system, which features a tuner as well. I tuned with both units simultaneously and they matched perfectly. Needless to say, I feel very confident of the PT30’s capabilities.

The Intellitouch PT30 retails for $54.95 USD.

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