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BOSS TU-88 Guitar/Audio Tuner and Timer


BOSS keeps the packaging simple, showing the product and the three touted features.

Box Front Box Back
Front Back
Wrapped Closeup
Bubble Wrapped Up Close

A Closer Look:

It’s not uncommon for guitarists to carry a metronome and tuner around with them in their gig bag. This is usually a separate device for each function. Some may have an all-in-one, but the functionality can be lacking in some of the departments. Luckily BOSS didn’t cheap out in the construction of the TU-88. In our testing, we found both the tuner and metronome functionality to be exceptional. The tuner can be used either in microphone mode or straight line in. The microphone turns off whenever a line is plugged in, which is nice for eliminating noise contamination when tuning. The metronome supports many different time signatures, from standard time to clave style timing. One useful function is the Tap button. It allows the musician to tap the button in time with the music piece and have the metronome figure out the BPM.


The TU-88 is touted as a micro-monitor and tuner. The monitor portion is a headphone monitor. This means you can play your electric guitar and hear it through connected headphones. This is a feature loved by parents and roommates alike, as they won’t need to hear your practicing. A man can only stand hearing Smoke on The Water played so many times, and chromatic scales aren’t much for listening to. The Mix-In jack means that you’ll be able to play along with your jam tracks and favorite guitar virtuosos. I found the volume to be good even on half setting. I nearly missed a phone call in the process of testing, as I couldn’t hear it! The sound quality was very good as well, but your mileage will vary, depending on the quality of your headphones.


While the TU-88 may be more expensive than a regular tuner, when you compare the cost of a tuner, metronome and micro-monitor, you are actually getting a really good deal. The whole unit runs off a single 9v battery (and has the ability to use an AC adapter), so you won’t need to worry about constantly recharging batteries. The TU-88 has everything built in that you would need to practice on the go (sans maybe an effects pedal). This is the perfect accessory for someone just starting out that doesn’t own a tuner and metronome, or a veteran that is looking to consolidate all of their accessories into a single device. I can see this being used backstage before a concert to warm up, or while sitting outside enjoying the breeze and rocking out. Overall this device exceeded my initial expectations and has found a nice spot in my gig bag.


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