30 Pedals in 30 Days: Rocktron Unity Tuner


Don’t forget to check out the video at the bottom of the page.

The most important part of your rig is your tuner. You can have fast hands, primo gear, and attitude, but if you ain’t in tune, you ain’t got nothin’. Since the early ‘80’s, Rocktron has been focused on the gigging musician. And their Unity Tuner is no exception. For 30 Pedals in 30 Days, TheToneKing.com took a look at Rocktron’s Unity Tuner to see if it is a player’s must have.


When Bob Waller founded Rocktron in 1983, he came from a long backround of playing live gigs on several circuits. Since then, Rocktron has managed to pay attention to those details that usually get ignored by other companies. “Their HUSH technology was the first single-ended noise reduction designed specifically for guitar.” The attention paid to the needs of players is obvious in Rocktron’s Unity Tuner.


One facet of stompbox tuner technology that seems entirely lost to many manufacturers is that you have to see the damn thing for it to do you any good. Dark stage. Bright stage. Indoors. Outdoors. Sober. Alcohol induced haze. No matter the situation, you had better be able to tell if that note you’re hitting is an E or an F#. Lest you be beaten to death by the flying bottles of angry patrons.


Rocktron’s Unity Tuner is equipped with LEDs that you could probably see from space. Red LEDs let you know that you are out of tune, sharp or flat, and by how much. When you’re in tune, bright green let’s you know it’s time to go. You remember the game Red Light Green Light, right?


If you’ve ever been playing a dark venue then caught a spotlight in the eye, you think that your retinas have just been burned out of their sockets. The same effect can happen if your pedals are too bright. The Unity Tuner includes unique photocells that sense the surrounding light level and adjust the brightness of the display accordingly. If you’re playing in sunlight, the LEDs will get brighter. And, if you’re in a dungeon, they’ll dim.


The Unity Tuner also includes a “STROBE” tuning function. The “STROBE” function is a much more accurate form of tuning but more difficult to do on the fly. The range that the tuner will accept as being “in tune” is narrowed significantly from a standard tuning funtion. When you tune, you have to be a bit more delicate with the guitar. “STROBE” function is better for pre-performance tuning, when you have plenty of time to get it right. Then, go back to your standard function during the performance.


Into Zepplin or AC/DC? Then you’ll need a calibrate button to play along with their tunes. If I remember right, Stairway to Heaven was at 432Hz. And, if you don’t think those Zep purists will know that you’re not playing in 432, you got another thing coming. Or, if you’re playing with somebody playing an old piano that nobody can quite get into pitch, the Unity Tuner can be calibrated to match that too.

Two outputs are available depending if you want to hear yourself when you’re tuning or not. The jack marked “OUTPUT” gives you a constant signal to your amp. If you like to wank around with your tuning peg for some crazy effect during a tune, you’ll be able to land back on pitch without cutting off your signal. For players that prefer the sweet sound of silence while they tune, or if they want to banter with the crowd, then choose “OUTPUT (MUTE)”


Rounding out Rocktron’s Unity Tuner is a 9VDC Input jack or a 9V Alkaline battery can also be used. The chassis is a rugged metal enclosure that can double as a bludgeoning peacemaker if your singer and bass player happen to get out of hand.


Rocktron is a name everybody knows. They’ve been in the business for a long time. And, they have the experience behind them to know what players need. A good tuner should be at the top of everybody’s list, and Rocktron’s Unity Tuner wants to be the name that gets on that list. Good tone is key. But, we here at TheToneKing.com know that being out of tune can kill your tone quicker than anything.



For prices on the Unity Tuner as well as all Rocktron gear, check out: Sweetwater.com

Official RD1C Give-Away Page: https://thetoneking.com/gear-give-away/2013-2/randall-rd1c-give-away/

Randall Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/randallamplifiers

Product Page: http://www.rocktron.com/unity-tuner.html

Unboxing Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P252zJoWAtA

Official Full-On Demo & Reviewhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pV9_ud9x0tc

[youtuber youtube=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pV9_ud9x0tc’]

Tiny URL for this post:


Filed Under: FeaturedPedals3P3D-2013


About the Author: Marc published his first novel Becoming in 2010. It’s a kick-ass book with monsters and dreams and stuff, and you should buy it. Since then, he’s written thousands of articles for TheToneKing.com, many of which have been picked up for circulation by manufacturers and other news outlets. His next book, Drugs and Pancakes, should be available early 2014 if his alcoholic editor can find time to work on it in-between destroying his liver and screaming about punctuation. He graduated from Roosevelt University with honors, which means that he’s not as dumb as he looks. He’s been playing guitar for over 25 years, which is almost twice as long as most of his students have been alive.

RSSComments (2)

Trackback URL

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

%d bloggers like this: