When Gibson introduced the Robot Guitar in 2007, the instrument’s innovative self-tuning technology was an incredible breakthrough — saving time and allowing one guitar to do the job of several, at least in terms of being quickly available to power through a series of open and alternate tunings on stage without disrupting the flow of a set.
The Min-ETune is the next step — a compact, battery powered device that affixes to the back of any standard sized 3x3 tuner headstock, installed when the guitar is purchased. If you’ve never tried the Min-ETune™, exactly how it works might seem a bit mysterious. So let’s explain.
First of all, the Min-ETune™ battery is also mini, a rechargeable lithium 3.7 volter that can last for 80 to 100 tunings, keeping the device’s weight and profile low. And Min-ETune™ works by physically adjusting your guitar’s strings, not creating a digital approximation of their tuned sound, so there’s no loss or change of tone, sustain and other critical sonic characteristics.
Once a guitar is strung and the strings are at a reasonable tension, the next move is to push the Min-ETune™ “on” button and strum all the strings. Min-ETune™ defaults to standard tuning and should have any guitar there within 10 seconds. So if your guitar goes out of tune during a performance, it’ll also take that long to get it ready to catch the down stoke of the next song.
What really makes Min-ETune™ exciting is its ability to work chromatically. Overall it’s possible to have any one of 18 tunings ready to rock at a literal moment’s notice.
One common question is, “What tunings can I use with Min-ETune™?” The answer is any tuning that you want to use. Here’s the lowdown. Min-ETune™ comes with two banks of presets the “RED” bank and the “GREEN” bank. Each bank can be accessed with the push of a button.
The “RED” bank offers the following tunings:
• “Low D” (D-G-C-F-A-D)
• Drop D (which puts the low E string down one step from standard)
• Eb (which drops all strings down a half-step from standard, like Stevie Ray Vaughan)
• Double Drop D (which drops the high and low E strings of standard down one whole step)
The “GREEN” bank of tunings covers:
• Open E (E-B-E-G#-D-E)
• Open A (E-A-E-A-C#-E)
• Open D (D-A-D-F#-A-D)
• Open G (D-G-D-G-B-D)
• Dobro (G-B-D-G-B-D)
• All 4ths (E-A-D-G-C-F)
If you’re not used to playing in open and alternate tunings, the Min-ETune™’s “GREEN” and “RED” banks of tunings give you a great chance to dive in without investing a lot of time in discovering how these tunings are comprised. And finally, there’s a “BLUE” bank with six more slots the user can program, which means you’re not locked in to any presets or any preconceptions about your playing. That’s how cool — and easy — Min-ETune is!