Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I'm looking for a new metronome

My little Boss electronic tuner includes an electronic metronome, but I just can't get used to it. There are way too many features, with tiny buttons and incomprehensible icons on small screens. Besides, those electronic tick-tocks just don't sound right. Mainly though, I find it hard to change settings in the midst of playing (especially in the early morning semi-darkness) without having to put down my bow and trying to figure out which of those dang buttons to mash without messing up all the other settings. (I'm working on a rant about those incomprehensible icons, tiny buttons, and confusing menus on consumer electronics - stay tuned.)

A while ago I picked up a "pocket" version of a windup metronome called a "Pacemaker". I have been using this one when I play, but it's pretty lame. It's really hard to see the settings behind the pendulum, which I frequently need to change. When I adjust it, I have to use so much pressure to move the weight that it usually slips several notches. But at least it "sounds" like a metronome.

So, now I'm looking for a full-size windup metronome one with a large easy-to-read scale. There seem to be three major brands - Wittner offers by far the largest selection, Seiko has a few, then there's one by Cherub. Many of these have a bell that can ring on the downbeat to help you keep your place in the score. I think I would like this feature. What I'd really like is a battery-operated mechanical metronome - how's that for messed up?

Any recommendations? What metronome do you use? If you could buy a new one, what would you choose?

I can't cope with the electronic ones either. Here's mine. It's not quite a full-size. My only gripe is that it has sort of a one-two beat, so it's confusing on 3/4 time. It's also not quite loud enough. Maybe a full-size would be a tad bit louder.

I understand your desire for a battery-powered mechanical one. And why not? They make battery-powered mechanical clocks.
Yours looks like a Wittner... Which model? I sure need one that I can hear over my cello... I'm guessing that yours doesn't have one of those downbeat bells? It seems that would help with the 3/4 time.
It's the Taktell Piccolo in mahogany (i.e. brown plastic). Now that I looked up the models I'm disappointed to find it's 20 bucks cheaper on the web, and comes in RED, which my music store didn't have :-(
Not in pink?
A long time ago I had a cheap mechanical metronome, but its beat was a little uneven - not a good thing. Plus it was annoying having to keep winding it up. I like the sound of my current metronome, but it's too hard to change the BPM - I have to press up and down buttons to change. A dial would be much faster and easier. An advantage of electronic metronomes is that if you're playing chamber music and it's hard to hear, you can plug it into some speakers and make it as loud as you want!
I think there are some with dials, that might be an acceptable compromise...

Maybe Perfect Fifths could do a review of metronomes - features and flaws, etc.?
I love my Boss Dr. Beat DB-88. (See for example.) It looks complicated, but the little wheel changes the tempo quickly, and you can set emphasis at the beginning of the bar or anyplace in the rhythm. And there is a voice option that will count out loud for you. (I call her the Dominatrix.) Unfortunately, this model is recently discontinued, and I'm not thrilled with the looks of the new DB-90, though I haven't tried it yet. You might be able to come up with one at a local music store, or check eBay ( today, for instance.)
I hate my electronic metronome. I bought the cheap Koss one you can get everywhere, because I know I knock it off my stand constantly (only by mistake OF COURSE) and I can't be arsed to pay loads for another one when I break this one.

My old electronic one was much less irritating I could have sworn. I have no idea what it was though.

I can't play with a downbeat bell, it confuses me entirely.

And like Jennifer, I like dials better than up and down buttons, which my crappy current one has.

So I'm no help with suggestions, just really weighing in on what I don't like!
I'm using the Intelli IMT-301 Metro-tuner.
I know you don't like the electronic ones, but give this one a chance.

It has the temperature and humidity. Then you can choose your rhythm and also the beat.
You can also get it to pulse red on the first beat of each bar.
It only has 2 buttons!
And best of all you can use it as a tuner, it shows if you're in tune, too low or too high.
I love it and so do the kids.
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