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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  • Extremely inexpensive
  • Good build-quality
  • Great tuning
  • Decent precision


  • Cannot be powered with battery
  • Not for acoustic guitars

There was a time when all guitarists had, for correcting the pitch of their instrument, was their ear and the ability to recognize the notes perfectly. While that method of tuning works perfectly well, it is not the easiest for beginners and probably can’t brag with its accuracy. Plus, it can be time-consuming to find the correct pitch by listening to each and every change in pitch as you mess around with your strings. Luckily, nowadays we have a wide variety of tuner options to choose from: some guitars have in-built variations, some companies produce clip-on types, others develop convenient apps and the rest of the market provides us with pedal shapes. Depending on your preferences, either of these might be the perfect match for you. But since I am a stompbox-guy, I prefer my tuners to be accessible with my foot. That way I can easily mute the output, correct the pitch mid-performance and continue whatever I was doing before my strings decided to mess with me. If you are someone who is looking for convenience, then such tuners might be the ones to consider. And to help you save some money, today I will present to you Donner DT-1 – an inexpensive variation that works just fine. If I have convinced you to splurge on a pedal tuner, then stay with me as I continue my mind games and provide you with all the needed details. Let’s get started!


I am sure you are already familiar with Donner as they are pretty famous in the affordable line. Their DT-1 is a chromatic tuner, which means it is capable of recognizing all 12 notes. The feature package here is a typical deal you get with most tuners, with the added bonus of being affordable. This little puppy looks and feels quite durable, so don’t be afraid of breaking it apart if you are considering to purchase this one. The insides might not have the best quality in the world, but they work perfectly for the purpose of this unit. This bad boy has LCD display that changes its colors depending on the state of your pitch. If you succeed at correcting it, the whole thing will turn green and you will be able to notice the change even from far away. The LEDs are bright enough for any purposes so they will guide you through the whole tuning process with ease. You have to keep in mind that DT-1 can only be powered with an adapter, so if batteries are your favorite way of supplying the unit, then you might be disappointed here. More importantly, this baby has a true bypass circuit, which means it won’t color or suck your tone as your signal passes through it. This way you can stay assured that the only thing that will be altered by DT-1 will be your incorrect pitch. The tuning range is between 27.5Hz and 4186Hz – pretty darn amazing for such an inexpensive tuner. The precision is +/- 1 cent guaranteeing accuracy and nice tracking. As you can see, this pedal has everything you would need for tuning your sound. It is extremely easy to operate and even though it’s not equipped with some versatile features, it will be perfectly enough for your daily needs. Tuning has never been cheaper and more accessible!


The control section is so scarce you might get depressed with loneliness. No matter how hard you try, you will have a hard time finding anything that will give you the possibility to tweak. Though this might seem to be a negative point, in reality, that is how things work with tuners. Donner DT-1 has the footswitch – the only control you will need here. It will activate the circuit and enable you to access the tuning part of the pedal. Then you simply strum the string you think is out of pitch and the displays will do the rest. You follow their guidance and that’s it, you will have the perfect pitch on hand. If all the devices out there were this easy to use, our job would become so much more enjoyable and less sweaty. But we as guitarists are used to hard work and know perfectly well what it takes to become professional. Anyway, DT-1 is a sort of a unit that you just plugin and play. You can leave it on all the time or just activate it whenever you feel like it is needed. And that is everything you need to know about the control section.

Donner Tuner Sound

When it comes to the sound, things aren’t that straight-forward with tuners. You know how you get excited by describing the sonic outcome of distortion pedals or delays and words just start jumping in your head? Well, tuners are definitely not in that category. They barely have any audible results, which makes it difficult to find the words. But there are some rules they have to satisfy and DT-1 succeeds at that. It operates noiselessly and corrects your pitch without interfering with your original signal. It won’t color your tone or deprive it off its qualities and that is a huge virtue at this price point. It has nice tracking and a decent amount of sensitivity, and your notes will be displayed as soon as you play them. All in all, DT-1 is hard to bash since its capabilities are hard to complain about.


To sum up, everything said above, Donner DT-1 is in the list of capable pedals from the brand. It has all the simple qualities that are required for easy tuning and it provides you with the ability to correct your pitch effortlessly. This is a perfect option if you are on a budget since it won’t break the bank. In fact, it will cost you less than a meal in a restaurant. Don’t think too much, go online and grab your hands on this one. Good luck! 

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