FX12 Tuna Guitar and Bass Tuner
FX12 Tuna (1996), with original box (notice anything missing?)
The FX12 Tuna was introduced at the Summer 1996 NAMM meeting, but it appears production was delayed by a few months as its instruction manual indicates "Printed in U.S.A. 10/96" (and also "100% Dolphin Safe"). As noted in its user reviews, some FX12 Tunas stay on even after the pedal's footswitch is depressed. DOD's footswitches are not known for their reliability, but in this case the problem appears to be the fault of the circuit itself. The FX12 was produced into 1998, and its box was restyled to match the final series. However, the graphics on the pedal were not updated, and it appears that the FX12 was not part of the "made in China" VFX series.
- Displays: Note Indicator, Flat LED, and seven Precision Tune LEDs; also features a Bypass jack (signal is muted while tuning) in addition to the Output jack.
- From the manual: "The FX12 Tuner [sic] pedal is DOD's answer to all of the prayers of musician who have been on a dark stage, or at a recording session and out of tune with no place to go. Those days are gone thanks to the FX 12 Tuna pedal. The FX 12 will tell you what note you are playing and if the note is flat. The FX12 also has a Precision Tune LED graph to let you know how sharp or flat the current note being played is. "
The manual continues by stating the FX12 can be operated in front of an amplifier or in an effects loop, but should appear first in a chain of effects pedals "for the most accurate tune."
- Historical context: In the mid-1990s, pedal tuners were uncommon; quartz tuners (like the Boss TU-12) that sat on your amp or at the corner of your pedalboard were the norm. The DOD FX12 Tuna was one of the first pedal tuners offered by a major effects manuacturer. (The Arion HU-8500 pedal tuner was probably the first, as its instruction manual is dated July 1985.) Although the FX12 beat the Boss TU-2 pedal tuner to the market by at least a year, the FX12 quickly paled in comparison. In addition to being able to power other Boss pedals via a daisy chain, the Boss TU-2 was also easier to use as its array of LEDs was not nearly as "jumpy" as the FX12. Finally, the FX12's accuracy (+/- ?? cents) was apparently never published or listed anywhere, so it is difficult to compare the FX12 to other tuners.
- Made in the USA? In the photo above, the words "Made in U.S.A." are conspicuously absent from the black bar at the top of the FX12's box. However, the words "Manufactured in the U.S.A." appear in the FX12's instruction manual, and "Made in the U.S.A." is also indicated just below the serial number on the decal of the pedal shown. It is unclear why the box was labeled so ambiguously.
- Technical info:
- Notable IC chips: 4560D op amp, KA324 quad op amp, and a 20-pin chip marked 72-0002-01 V1.01 (???)
- Component-side circuitboard image: May 1996
- Related circuit: DOD T2 Chromatic Tuner (a smaller tuner designed to sit on your amp rather than on the floor)
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