Build Quality:4.9 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.8 out of 5 stars
Electronics:4.8 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.8 out of 5 stars
Value:4.9 out of 5 stars
Average:4.8 out of 5 stars

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Pros:

  • Great build quality
  • High accuracy
  • Good visibility
  • Nice upgrade from its predecessor

Cons:

  • Does not have a true bypass
  • No additional features

When brands come out with magnificent units, everybody loves them for a minute. But then time passes by, newer models come out and overshadow the previous pedal no matter how amazing it was. That is something that has happened to every brand out there, but they have turned into the motivation to come out with upgrades that will be even more phenomenal than the originals. It was 1998 when Boss created their TU-2. It made history with its features and capabilities, and set a really high bar for its competitors. But as technological development started affecting every single aspect of musical industry, their ubiquitous and prominent tuner suffered as well. After a decade, Boss finally brought to market an upgrade that incorporates everything the original version was famous for, but it has several modern touches that let it remain in the competition and fight really tough battles with its rivals. Though quite a lot of time has passed since the initial release of TU-3, it still remains in the top league till this day. If you had the chance to play with the original, you will know what I am talking about. But if not, then read this article attentively, since I have numerous juicy specs for you. Let’s begin our journey and see what makes Boss tuners so freaking special!

Features

Tuners don’t need that much to stand out among the crowd but some brands take things really seriously and manufacture the units that not only perform well, but also make a name that can hardly be washed away. The original TU-2 was just like that, but it had the +/- 3 percent accuracy, which is a bit dated for modern pedals. With TU-3 they upgraded that value and took things up in high gear: the new model has +/- percent accuracy. You know what that means? That means that has perfect tracking and detects your notes like a trained dog sniffs out the drugs. It has 21-segment LED display that has adjustable brightness. No matter how dim or brightly lit the stage is – this fella will still display everything with distinctive colors. TU-3 has an Accu-Pitch functionality that will display when the tuning process is finished. This way you will be able to make sure that all of your strings are in perfect shape. Speaking of which, this pedal is chromatic which means that it can detect all 12 notes on the scale and act accordingly while tuning. This bad boy has Guitar/Bass mode that enables you to tune according to the string number and supports 7 string guitars and 6 string basses. It allows you to utilize flat tuning as well and drop your signal down with up to 6 semitones. TU-3 mutes the output as soon as you switch the tuner, making sure that you can correct those strings without any sounds getting fed to the amplifier. You can also choose the type of the display depending on which one is more convenient for you during the tuning process. This puppy has a DC output that can supply other pedals with power, while it utilizes a battery and an adapter itself to get the needed current from the source. As you can see, the features of TU-3 are usable in everyday practices or special scenarios when you need that extra help.

Controls

Compared to other tuners out there, Boss TU-3 offers a wide range of controls. They tailor the pedal either to your setup or personal preferences, taking into consideration what you want and acting accordingly. When you see such precision from a pedal, you can do nothing but thank the manufacturer for the opportunities they gave you, plug the unit in and start correcting your strings.

The main control we have here is of course the footswitch that either activates the tuning process or triggers the bypass mode (which is not true by the way). This way you can quickly tap it whenever needed and use its emergency tools. Stream/Cent button lets you choose between different display types so that you can see perfectly well which notes are flat or sharp. Then you will see a Mode button, which enables you to select the desired mode of operation (Chromatic, Chromatic Flat, Guitar, Guitar Flat, Bass, Bass Flat). As you can see, the controls on this one do everything to fit the pedal into your needs and preferences. That is how it makes you fall in love with it!

Sound

Boss TU-3 operates as a real treat. It mutes the output when you activate the pedal and lets you tune in complete silence. This way your flat or sharp notes won’t be heard by the whole audience in case you have to tune mid-performance. This bad boy has +/- percent accuracy that means that it offers faultless operation. It has wonderful tracking capabilities, be it a regular 6 string guitar or bass. Due to its chromatic nature, it makes it possible to tune any note you want and the pedal will still track wonderfully. The features of TU-3 turn it into a perfect tool for live performances or daily practices as it is extremely simple to utilize and listens to your preferences all of the time. Even though it doesn’t have a true bypass, it still doesn’t color your tone in a weird way and suck in some of the high end frequencies. Once you plug it in, you can stay assured that nothing will go wrong with the setup. Wonderful, ha?

Conclusion

Boss has created a couple of hits back in the day, which made it even more popular and forced the customers to trust their products. More often than not, they still maintain that pattern and create capable units. TU-3 is the perfect example for that. It continues the legacy of its predecessor with modern touches and lets you tune your sound like a real professional. You can forget about the sounds that are out of tune with this one. It is as simple as that. Plug it in and you will be ready to tackle all those problems. Good luck!

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