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An ingenious and discrete Humbucking pickup surround/ guitar tuner from guitar electronics gurus, Shadow.

Words: Hayden Hewitt Light fantastic: E-Tuner’s LEDs indicate when you are in tune.

There is certainly no shortage of options when it comes to tuning your guitar. You could get a small pocket sized tuner for home use or if you’re gigging you are most likely already using a pedal tuner or possibly a rack mount strobe tuner just to show how jolly amazing you are with all your flashing lights. But innovation doesn’t stand still and Shadow has developed the E-Tuner, which could well be the ideal solution for stealthy, ninja like guitarists who use guitars with pickup rings.

Ring of confidence The concept is rather simple, you replace your existing bridge humbuckers pickup ring with the Shadow model and its built-in chromatic tuner allows you to get down to some seriously effective tuning while adopting a moody downward looking pose on stage or



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Barnes & Mullins Ltd. T:

W: 01691 652449 £42.95

anywhere else you fancy striking a pose. The tuner itself comprises of three components: The ring itself which is available in three separate variants for flat topped, carved top and vibrato-equipped electric guitars, the tuner unit and the battery pouch, which both mount underneath your pickup. The simple layout comprises a on / off button and a row of small LEDs indicating the chromatic tuning status.

Installation Fortunately, the E-Tuner doesn’t demand particularly amazing soldering skills and all but the most uncoordinated should be able to install it easily. After removing the control cavity cover and the existing pickup ring, place your guitar’s standard pickup into the E-Tuner ring, then simply run a couple of wires from the tuner through the guitar’s pickup wire channel leading to the control cavity. Luckily for us the plug on the end threaded through the channel without snagging but if your channel is a little snug you can simply remove the plug, pass the wires through, and clip it back together inside the cavity. The last job on this side of the

guitar involved placing the small box containing the guts of the tuner beneath the pickup and then screwing everything back together. This is where you need to be careful, you don’t want to twist or crimp the ribbon connecting the gubbins to the mounting ring. So far so good.

28 3 Flipping the guitar back over it

was time for soldering and anyone who knows me is well aware of how utterly awful I am at any kind of guitar wiring hence me getting the job of doing this review! With the soldering iron up to operating temperature and the smell of burning flesh, the screaming, and profanity seemingly over it was simply a case of connecting one wire to the output of the volume pot for the neck pickup and one to the pot casing itself. After this you simply connect up the battery and we recommend that you find a way of stowing the battery pouch in the cavity where it won’t move around too much (I used some foam and

electrical tape, result!) and all that’s left is closing up the patient, putting some fresh strings on and giving it a go. In use the tuner is everything

Shadow claim. Discrete, fast and accurate. Simply hit the button and tune as you go. The unit has three vertically stacked LEDs on the left with two red LEDs sandwiching a green one. These indicate if you are sharp or flat or bang on. The notes themselves are illuminated with blue LEDs which represent one light per note. To execute flat or sharp tunings it’s simply a case of tuning until the two notes on either side of your sharp/flat note are illuminated and the left hand LED goes green. PM


With a battery life claimed to be some 2000 tunings and the batteries freely available in pound shops and the like there is a good practical consideration to the unit, the fact that it isn’t too expensive also helps and although we actually rather like the Shadow E-Tuner we’d still have another tuning device on stage if only to enjoy silent tuning or a bypass function. That being said, for home use and those times when you’ve wandered away from your pedals at a gig but fancy bringing a stray B string back into tune whilst your drummer does his utmost to give you tinnitus then you’ll be very happy for Shadow’s small, yet perfectly formed tuning gadget.

Shadow E-Tuner

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