Boss TU-2 vs TU-3: Stick with the Old Model Or Upgrade to the New?

You don’t need to worry about your guitar being out of tune when you have a Boss tuner. Everybody knows Boss tuners are the best and most reliable studio and live stage tuners. And, when it comes to using pedal tuners, it’s Boss TU-2 vs TU-3. You’ll get to know more about these two in this article.

Boss Chromatic Tuner Pedals

Tuners are essential for guitarists and Boss is just very passionate to provide every musician a reliable tuner. A pedal tuner is just a digital tuner that can easily be added to your effects setup. So, your guitar has a direct link to the tuner for a more efficient tuning without any interference from ambient noise or other distractions.

Boss has released different tuners under its TU series. But, when it comes to stompbox tuners, it’s just either a TU-2 or the TU-3. The former is the older model, while the latter is the newer one. These tuners are designed both for guitarists and bassists to quickly tune their instruments on the fly.

The TU-2 incorporates the Boss’ renowned technology to accurately tune with just a stomp. For the TU-3, as the latest model between the two, offers a more enhanced LED display with Guitar/Bass tuning modes and more exciting features. Check the following succeeding comparisons to learn more and pick the one that appeals to your heart.

Boss TU-2 vs TU-3: Quick Specs Comparison

It’s no surprise that you can see more exciting features in the TU-3. Given the fact that it’s the newer version, it incorporates some ‘must-haves’ of the previous models. The table below will show the features you should know about these two.

SpecificationsBoss TU-2Boss TU-3
Tuning RangeC0 (16.35 Hz) to C8 (4186.00 Hz)C0 (16.35 Hz) to C8 (4,186 Hz)
Reference PitchA4 = 438 to 445Hz (1Hz step)A4 = 436–445 Hz (1 Hz step)
Tuning Accuracy+/-3 cent+/- 1 cent
LED Display​7-segment​21-segment
Power SupplyDC 9 V Dry BatteryCarbon-zinc battery (9V, 6F22) or Alkaline battery (9V, 6LR61)
ConnectorsInput, Output, Bypass, DC InINPUT jack, OUTPUT jack, BYPASS jack, DC IN jack, DC OUT jack
Dimensions (w x d x h)2 7/8 x 5 1/8 x 2 3/8 inches2 7/8 x 5 1/8 x 2 3/8 inches
Weight (battery included)15 oz14 oz
ModesChromatic, Guitar: Flat, Regular, Double Flat, Bass: Regular, Flat, Double FlatChromatic, (2) Chromatic flat, Guitar, (2) Guitar flat, Bass, (3)

Bass flat

ControlsMODE button, STREAM/CENT buttonPedal switch, MODE button, STREAM/CENT button

Boss TU-2 vs TU-3: Operation

Both pedal tuners are chromatic tuners, meaning they can tune just any type of instrument. As you can see, the tuner is simple and very straightforward with a readable label — input, output and the bypass. The purpose of the bypass (muting) is for silent tuning.

These two tuners have a MODE button that you can use to access different tuning modes for each pedal tuner. They both have LED indicators and an LED display that shows the note names and the string.

The TU-2 has memory storage of the tuning modes and the display. You can save the tuner’s battery by simply reaching out to the foot-operable switch to turn the LED display off. The TU-3, on the other hand, seems to be more comprehensive. It supports both 7-string guitars and 6-string bass guitars, while for guitar flat tuning, you can get up to six semitones down the standard pitch tune.

Boss TU-2 vs TU-3: Performance

It’s good to have a tuner that will help you set the tuning to the right frequency of the string. However, if you can’t get the exact frequency, at least the +/- 1 cent tuning accuracy of TU-3 is better than the +/- 3 cent of the TU-2. So, with the use of these reliable tuners, you can fix the tuning and intonation yourself, without heading out to the guitar tech.

Both pedals have Boss quality — sturdy and road-ready. They are perfect for tuning both electric guitars and basses. However, in terms of responsiveness, the TU-3 is better and quicker, although the difference is just less than a few seconds. The 11-LED indicator of the TU-2 isn’t as great as the 21-LED of the TU-3. This YouTube video will help you appreciate the beauty of these two in terms of performance.

Boss TU-2 vs TU-3: Price

A lot of good things are said about the TU-3, but not much on the price. It’s a bit expensive, yet it’s worthy to buy, don’t you think? Yes, the TU-2 has been the standard for years and the TU-3 is the updated version. If you want to keep things simple and affordable (well, not much difference, really) the TU-2 is a great grab. Unfortunately, it’s already a discontinued model, so what you see in the market is either old stock or used model. It’s either a bit expensive TU-3 or the used/old stock TU-2.

Conclusion

Boss isn’t just a good brand, it’s the best brand when it comes to effects pedals and pedal tuners. The Boss TU-2 vs TU-3 comparison is always the most discussed topic when it comes to pedal tuners. Now that you know everything about these two, their specs, performance and price, you know that you need one or both tuners.

The TU-3 is more responsive with a better display, but with a more expensive price tag. The TU-2, on the other hand, as an older model, has been discontinued, so you can either get a used one or an old stock sold at a fairly low price. But, whichever of these two is your choice, the Boss will always make you the “boss” in the studio or live performances — that’s guaranteed.

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