Upon first glance the Min-Etune looks just like a regular SG Standard but there is much more to this guitar than meets the eye. On the back of the headstock inbetween the tuners is the little black box that makes this guitar so intriguing.
The self tuning system has been used by Gibson before on the higher end Robot guitars, which required a different bridge and a lot more wiring in the back of the guitar’s body. This self tuning system is a more affordable option, it is available as an upgrade on most Gibson USA 2013 models.
The Min-ETune merely requires the black box on the back of the headstock, helping the guitar to maintain its original tone and allowing the guitar to retain its classic Gibson look.
Although to those who are less technologically astute it may seem a little daunting to get to grips with, fear not though as the Min-ETune has been made very user friendly. Simply press the power button, thus lighting up the LEDs for each string tuning, then with with a single strum you cause it to burst into life. It’s very impressive when you first see the self tuning mechanism at work. It has a smooth surprisingly quick action that can either be used on the multi string setting or the single string setting. It takes on average about 10 – 15 seconds to tune in, which is incredibly quick in comparison to manually tuning a guitar.The LEDs turn from red (when not in tune) to green (when in tune), each tuner reads the tuning of the string, and then retunes it to the selected tuning.
You can select from factory presets (Standard, DADGAD, Low D, Drop D, Eb Double Drop D) and a there is also the option to program your own alternative tuning, which was relatively straight forward.
It was hard to tell how long the battery lasted in the time I had the guitar, although it does feature a function which shuts off the tuning system when not in use to preserve battery life. Although if the worst case scenario was it ran out of battery during a gig there is the option to tune it manually.
Some guitar purists may just see the Min-ETune as a gimmick, but personally I think it’s a step forward in guitar design. In a world of ever technolgical advances I don’t see it as a bad thing that the world of guitar is keeping up pace.