Strobe tuner repair

I love my Conn Strobotuner ST-11.

It’s an old strobe tuner. Inside there’s a patterned wheel and some strobe lights — one moves according to the pitch of the note on my dulcimer, and the other moves according to the correct pitch, and the closer I get to exactly in tune, the slower the movement. It’s so precise that even if it’s still moving a little, I know it’s going to sound good. So, for me, it makes tuning a little more relaxing, with a lot less second-guessing and waiting than I had with the digital tuners I’ve used.

It’s almost always made some noise on the B note, and recently it’s started having noise on C as well — and the movement for C doesn’t seem to be accurate any more. Sometimes it is — but sometimes it claims my dulcimer is far sharper than it actually is.

From what I’ve read at Peterson’s forums (they bought Conn), it sounds like the bearings in the motor are wearing down, so the motor will need to be replaced. Their service facility is about three hours away, so I could avoid shipping charges, which with something this heavy would probably cost more than six hours of gas. In 2008, the motor cost $80. That’s almost as much as I paid for the tuner.

So… I may look around Ebay for another one… or maybe look into having this one repaired… or maybe consider a newer model if I can get one used.

Peterson also makes virtual strobe tuners — I don’t know whether they have the same advantages a real strobe has, or whether it’s just about aesthetics. More research needed.