The goal of these reviews is to help the community decide what they want to buy. Each review is based on my time with the actual items. I do my best to be objective but, ultimately, these reviews should be considered the personal opinion of just one person. If there are parts that I miss or details you think I should call out, please feel free to email me with suggestions.
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The Cherub WST-720B is a wired guzheng clip tuner, metronome, and pitch pipe. It’s one brand of a classic style of wired clip tuner that have been around for some time.
Americans may be more familiar with guitar clip tuners. Much like the MeIdeal clip tuner reviewed earlier, guitar clip tuners put everything into a small clip that can be attached anywhere on the instrument, drawing power from an internal button battery. The major issue with these is finding a place where the clip picks up the vibrations but where you can still see the screen. Wired clip tuners take a different approach.
Wired tuners expect you to place the tuner somewhere you can easily read them, perhaps on a nearby table or music stand, and then attach the clip sensor to a convenient place on the instrument. Guitar-style clip tuners can be left on the instrument. The Cherub WST-720B is a fine example of a wired guzheng tuner. I purchased this one in China for $13. That’s a reasonable price for the US and a little expensive for the Chinese market. Looking on TMall (in January of 2019) the listed price of ¥70 for this wired tuner puts it firmly in the middle of the price range. The all-in-one tuner and wrench from cherub goes for ¥120 while cheaper wired tuners go for ¥30-40.
Read on for more details.
The Cherub WST-600B is a guzheng multitool that I want to love but can’t quite. It combines a clip and microphone tuner with a wrench and nail storage compartment, but its clip mode only picks up vibrations 70% of the time.
The screen, tuning features, and ergonomics are great and it is overall a neat idea, but at $22 USD for a clip tuner that only sometimes works the value proposition is weak. (The microphone tuner works fine.) You probably already have a wrench if you have a guzheng, and a cheaper clip tuner will provide better tuning performance. Is combining those two items into a rather large, single object worth $25? For most people, no, not really. Read on for more details.
This is a simple clip tuner designed for the guzheng and guqin. Produced by Meideal, a company that got started in 2008 producing clip tuners for guitars, the T83Z provides exactly what you need to tune these instruments without getting lost in bells and whistles. Usage is straightforward: power it on, set the tuning mode and key you are using, clip it to your instrument and pluck away. The screen glows orange by default then changes to a dramatic green when your pitch is correct. Online retailers in China have it for the incredibly low price of $3 USD.
The typical tape used for taping nails for both guzheng and pipa are a simple cloth-backed multi-use tape. It comes in many colors and different lengths. The width is usually 10mm or 0.4 inches. This is the standard for adhesive finger pick tapes and is so mass produced you can find it on most every online retailer around the world. Brands are not usually advertised, it’s all just tape. a single roll will cost between $1-2 and will typically last you 1-2 months depending on how often you cut new sections and how long you cut them. Two months of daily practice is about when you will run out.
Ordering everything online can be annoying; it’'d be nice to go to a local store and just buy what you need. There are no Asian music supply stores in the area so I tried a generic Waterproof Adhesive Tape from a drug store. The adhesive is weak, the backing is stiff, and after a week of use I would not recommend it for guzheng use.
Leukotape is a fabric tape with latex adhesive that can be used to tape guzheng nails onto fingers. It comes in wide rolls that enable you to cut strips to whatever width you want. It stays rigid and firm for about 6 applications, after which nails move more and more. The latex adhesive can be a problem. It stays o your finger and on the fabric side of the tape, creating sticky spots that interfere with yáo zhǐ (摇指). Leukotape is an option for people who don't like the width of conventional guzheng tape, but more advanced users may be frustrated by the excessive stickiness and loss of rigor as the tape stretches. $10 for ~ 65 weeks of single-session daily practice. Rolls are 15 yards of 1.5in-width tape.