Top: Peterson Model 490 Autostrobe 

Bottom: Peterson Model SC5000-II Strobe Center

Real Strobe Tuners Means Extreme Accuracy

Peterson tuners, having the mechanical rotating disc and flashing bulb displays, are utilized.  These devices are:

  • capable of 1-cent [1] resolution with 0.1 cent (1/10% of a cent) accuracy, and

  • capable of instantaneously showing exact pitch in a fraction of a second.  This means the eye can immediately discern whether the pitch is sharp or flat without guess work.

Pitch Standard

The pitch standard is typically A-440Hz for bass marimbas, marimbas and vibes, and A-442Hz for xylophones and orchestra bells.[2] 


Bars are tuned between 68 and 72-degrees F.  Several readings are taken on the entire bar set throughout the tuning process.  The tuning tolerance is within +1/-0 cents.


[1] The precision  required of musical instrument tuning is accomplished by dividing the octave into extremely small divisions called "cents."  There are 1,200 cents per octave or 100 cents per half step (e.g. C to C#, C# to D, etc.).  It is these fractional sub-divisions that the strobe tuner is aligned with and which makes accurate pitch measurement possible.

[2] Why A-440 and why A-442?  The difference in these pitch standards has to do with the ear's ability to perceive higher pitches as being in tune.  Typically, pitches in the higher octaves tend to be heard or rather perceived as flat.  A-442 is a compensation technique that makes the higher register xylophone and orchestra bells sound "more in tune," as well as the ear perceiving these tones as being "brighter" sounding. 

Technically A-442 is about 7 cents sharper than an instruments tuned to A-440.

Bar Tuning Has Limitations

Melodic bar percussion instruments are a limited tuning opportunity.  Unlike a piano string or horn, which are capable of endlessly repeatable tunings, bar tuning is not endlessly repeatable. 

When correcting the pitch of an out-of-tune bar, the bar requires material to be removed in specific amounts from specific regions within the bar.  Once the material is removed, the bar will (most likely) be in tune.  Should the bar flatten from further stresses placed on it (e.g. aggressive heavy-handed playing), subsequent tunings become much more difficult.  The bar can only be retuned a limited number of times, and in extreme cases the client may only get a single tuning out of it. 

At some point, it will not be possible to restore the bar's original pitch and replacement becomes the only option.  


Quality of Sound

When the client receives their tuned bars, the accuracy of the tuning will allow them to take the instrument into a precision musical performance environment, such as a recording studio, a live orchestral or ensemble performance venue, and have the confidence that the instrument will sound in perfect unison with the other instruments.


CCBANTA Bar tunings are guaranteed for one (1) year from the date of release back to the client.

Guarantee is void when damage to the bar is obvious, such as: dents, scratches, chip-outs, splitting, cracking, and excessive over-exposure to outdoor elements.  Clients will be charged accordingly to bring the bar back to a functional condition, presuming it is still possible to do so, or for the replacement of no-longer-functioning bars due to damage.