US 2793556 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
M. MACCAFERRI May 28, 1957 NECK JUNCTION FOR STRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS Filed Feb. 17, 1953 5 Sheets-Sheet l ATTORNEY y 1957 M. MACCAFERRI 2,793,556
NECK JUNCTION FOR STRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS Filed Feb. 17, 1953 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 1/ 70b Md;
. N 75 /Za 1 8O 70a a 85 70b 3 1 f se I 70 T ,2, I i 73 INVENTOR'.
ATTORNEY) May 28 1957 M. M ACCA ERRI NECK JUNCTION FOR STRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS Filed Feb. 17, 195; i
5 Shets-S eet 3 miw m I l I a ll,
INVE TORZ ATTO NEYS May 1957 M. MACCAFERRI 2,793,556
NECK JUNCTION FOR STRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS Filed Feb. 17, 1953 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTOR',
May 28, 1957 M. MACCAFERRI 2,793,555
NECK JUNCTION FOR STRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS Filed Feb. 17, 1953 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 United States Patent NECK JUNCTION FOR STRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS Mario Maccaferri, Rye, N. Y. Application February 17, 1953, Serial No. 337,398
12 Claims. (Cl. 84-267) This invention relates to a neck junction for stringed musical instruments, and particularly such instruments of the guitar types, or stringed musical instruments which generally present certain of the characteristics of and conditions encountered with the guitar types of instruments. However, it is to be understood that certain of the features of my invention are of general adaptability to various other types of stringed musical instruments where such features may be found to be adaptable and useful.
The nature and objects of my invention will be readily recognized and understood from the following detailed description and explanation of the accompanying drawings illustrating what I at present consider to be preferred embodiments or mechanical expressions of the several features of the invention as applied to a stringed musical instrument of the guitar type, such embodiments or mechanical expressions having been selected from among various other forms, expressions, embodiments, modifications, designs, constructions and combinations, of which the invention and the several features thereof are capable within the broad spirit and scope as defined andcovered by the claims hereto appended.
Stringed musical instruments of the general guitar type or class as now made and as presently available on the market are almost universally comprised of a body or hell with a head and neck structure built-up in the main by hand labor from wooden components and parts in accordance with musical instrument fabrication practices which have been followed in the musical instrument art for many years. The wooden head and neck structure of such an instrument is cemented, glued or otherwise securely attached and built into the body or bell of the instrument. This general guitar class or type of stringed musical instrument is characterized by a body or bell and neck of substantial dimensions, and is equipped with a set of six (6) playing strings which are connected between tuning keys mounted on the head of the instrument and the tail piece attached to the outer side or end of the instrument body opposite that from which the neck extends, or between the tuning keys and a bridge on the sounding board of the body or bell. The playing strings are usually of steel Wire, gut, nylon or silk, wire covered and when tuned are stretched under high tension between the keys on the head of the instrument and the tail piece or bridge, and over a first or master fret at the outer end of the finger board, so that the bell and neck assembly is subjected to high tension forces tending to warp and deform the sounding board from its proper shape and to twist and displace the bell and the neck assembled therewith from their positions of precise relationship and alignment. These conditions result in the necessity for expensively made and assembled bell and neck structures to withstand the loads and stresses to which subjected, together withprovision for strong attachment of the neck to the bell and a substantially thick neck to withstand string tension, in an effort to obtain an instrument which will have the necessary light weight for handling and playing and the requisite musical efliciency and yet provide sutlicient strength and dimensional sta bility to stand up under storage, handling and playing conditions. As such instruments are generally made and built-up from wooden components glued or otherwise at tached together, there is required in addition to the basic cost of the hand labor required to build and precisely assemble and form such an instrument, the substantial cost in time and labor of suitably surface finishing and polishing such an instrument before its completion for the market.
It is a general aim and object of my present invention to provide a guitar type or class of stringed musical instrument which is capable of being manufactured by quantity production methods at low cost from materials which do not require any substantial surface finishing after completion of an instrument, while retaining for the completed and finished instrument satisfactory musical and structural characteristics comparable to the corresponding specific type of wooden instrument, yet which can be placed in the hands of the user at substantially lower cost than the cost of presently available corresponding instruments. 1
Another object is to provide a design, construction and assembly of the bell and the neck component by which the bell is completely unloaded in tension from the forces developed by the tensioned playing strings, with only compressive forces being applied and equally distributed to the bell by the strings, so that the bell can be formed as a relatively thin-walled, light-weight, hollow, shelllike structure of a plastic material adapted to low cost precision production by plastic molding methods and equipment.
Another object is to provide a tension or support member as a part of the neck component and to assemble the bell, neck component and support member so that the neck component and support member will have distributed directly thereto and carry substantially all of the tension forces developed by the strings with the bell thereby relieved and unloaded from such forces.
Another object is to provide a design and construction by which the neck component can be angularly adjusted relative to the belly by utilizing the flexible characteristics of the material ofthe bell to thereby permit of the neck component and bell being positively, rigidly attached together in assembled relation.
A further object is to provide for angular adjustment of the neck component relative to the body or bell in order to vary or adjust the spacing between the strings and the frets of the fingerboard on the neck component without interfering with or affecting the tuning of the instrument.
Another object is to provide an improved design, construction and assembly of string tuning keys and -neck head by which the tuning keys and associated gearing are mounted in a completely preassembled, self-contained unit for mounting on the head solely by the keys and spindles of the unit and without the use of separate and additional fastening or attaching elements.
And another object is to provide such a tuning key unit which is capable of being as readily removed from assembled position for repair orreplacement, as mounted and attached on the head of an instrument in original assembly.
With the foregoing and various other objects, features and results in view which will be readily apparent from the following detailed description and explanation, my invention consists in certain novel combinations. and arrangements of parts, elements, and' components, and in the design and construction thereof, all'as will be more" fully and particularly referred to and specified hereinafter. Referring to the accompanying drawings in which similar reference characters refer to corresponding parts and members throughout the several figures thereof:
Fig. l is a view in top plan of a guitar embodying the several features of my invention.
Fig. 2 is a view in longitudinal vertical section through the gtjitar of Fig. 1 taken as on the line 2--2 of 1.
Fig. 3 is a detail view in vertical section through the adjustable attachment mechanism connecting the end of the support bar of the neck with the adjacent end of the body or bell of the instrument.
Fig.4 is a detail view in vertical longitudinal section, taken as, on the line 4-4 of Fig. l, through the mounting of neck and tension barunit on the body or bell and the fixed attachment of the bell to such unit.
Fig. 5 is a view in top plan of the tuning key unit mounted in assembled attaohed position on the head of n neck of. th i st m n o s- U Fig. 6 is a vertical longitudinal view through the tuning to uni and hood h a se e p i ion h o tak n a on. the ne Q F siia-v 7 s v e n trans erse e ca on hr u he. assemb ed. e ni and. head tak n s, on the line o Fig. 5, and showing par -ticularly the attachment o the key un t o he he d. o ely y mea of e ys n k p nd es of e nit- Fig. 8 is a vertical, longitudinal section through a modified form of body, sounding board and string atackl n b idg o my n ention.
Fig. 9, is a vertical, longitudinal, section through a portion of a modified form of necktcomponent and moun -inst Fig, 10, is a perspective view of the coremember of the neck component of Fig. 9.
Fig. 151, is, a perspective view of the neck end of the body and; sounding board thereon showing the neck mounting saddle with the neck removed.
Fig. 12, isa vertical transverse section through the assembledbody and sounding board taken as on the line 12.-12 of Fig. 11'.
The example embodiment incorporating the various features of my invention which I have selected and which is disclosed and described herein for purposes of explanation, is a stringed musicalinstrument of the general guitar type utilizing and equipped with the-standard or conventional six 6) playing strings, and of generally. standard size and dimensions representative of this type. or class ofstringed musical instrument. The example instrument of the invention utilizes structure and materials of a design, construction and characteristics by whichI: am able: to manufacture this instrument by quantity production methods at low cost while providing an instrument of high musical. efiiciency. and structural characteristicsin strength and stability; equal or superior to wooden or the like instruments of comparable type and size.
The guitarconstituting the example instrument; referringnow to Figs. 1 and 2 of the accompanying drawings, is essentially comprised of ahollow resonant body or hell B- with a. neck component N assembled with the bell toextend from one end ofthe latter, this neck component having at-its outer end a head Hon which a tuning key unit 10' is mounted and attached in assembled relation therewith, The tuning key unit 10 includes and mounts thereon the series of tuning keys designated generally by the reference character K and specifically as strings K1, K2, K3, K4, K5 and K6. A tailpiece A is attached in position at the outer end of the body or bell B opposite the neck N, and six (6) playing strings 1, 2,3,- 4, 5 and-6 are connected between the tailpiece A and the keys, which for this example may be considered' to be steel wire playing strings. The strings I, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 extend from the keysK engaged over' a first or. master'fret. F and then engaged over and across a bridgell onthe sounding-board forming top wall' 12 of body B, and'to tail piece. A to which they are connected. These playing strings when tuned are stretched under high tension between the tuning keys K of unit 10 and the tail piece A.
The guitar of this example may be taken to have the bell B as of an overall length of substantially 18", with a width at the widest portion of approximately 13 /2 and a depth or thickness varying from approximately 3 /2" to 4 /2". The neck component including head H, has an overall length of approximately 24", thus making the overall length of the instrument approximately 37". The length of the finger board of the neck component N is in this instance approximately 17'', while the width of the neck component at its inner and widest end is approximately 2%" with the neck component progressively and continuously decreasing in width to a width of approximately 1%" at and adjacent the inner end of the head portion H of the neck component.
The neck component N forms and provides along the outer top side thereof between the bell B and the head H a fretted finger board 30 having thereon the series of frets F disposed transversely thereacross in parallel relationship spaced apart longitudinally along the neck component. These frets F are, in accordance with the conventional fret system for a fretted finger board for this type of instrument, spaced apart progressively decreasing distances inwardly of the neck component from the head H to the bell B. As will be understood by those skilled in the art, the precision of the fret spacing is a critical factor in the musical efiiciency and results attainable from the instrument by a player in the fingering and stopping of the playing strings. In the instrument ofthis example there are twenty-one (21) frets, including the so-called first or master fret P, which is located at the outer end of neck N immediately adjacent the head H and the key unit 10 mounted thereon.
The bell The body or bell B is, in this example, formed of a suitable plastic material, preferably an injection moldable plastic, such for example as a formula of polystyrene thermoplastic compound, so that there is produced what in effect is a resonant, hollow shell which can be relatively thin-walled and of light weight due to another feature of my invention by which the bell is relieved from forces acting thereon in tension and need only carry and be loaded by compression forces applied and equally distributed thereto by the playing strings which are engaged over the master fret F and the bridge 11. This resonator shell or bell B formed of plastic includes an integral-wall; one-piece body structure comprised of the bottom wall 14, opposite side walls 15, outer end wall 16 and inner orneck mounting wall 17, with the top side of this body structure open. The bottom wall 14 may, as in the example hereof, be belted or arched outwardly (see Fig. 2), and is shaped. along its opposite side edges to conform to the plan shape or contour of the bell as formed by the opposite side walls 15. The planshape of the bell Bis shown in Fig. l, and is formedby the inwardly curved opposite side wall portions 15a or side walls 15 to provide the bell with an intermediate waist portion of reduced width transversely of the bell.
The bell B is completed by the separate top or outer side closing wall formed; by the sounding board 12 consisting of a relatively thin plastic, plate-like member cemented on and welded directly to the body forming wall structure by means of a suitable cement, so that, there results in effect an integral or one-piece hollow structure. In the instant example of body or bell so designed and constructed of the injection moldable plastic, the walls 14, 15, 16 and 17, and the top closing wall or sounding board 12 may each be considered to have a thickness of an order of approximately 0.08".
Referring to Figs. 1, 2 and 4, it will be noted thatithe bell B atthe neck end thereof is formed with a reentrant portion formed by the wall 17a which extends inwardly a-distance transversely across the body from OHC'fSldC wall 15, to integrally join with a forwardly extendingwall portion 17b at its upper portion and a forwardly extending Wall portion 170 at its lower portion. The lower wall portion 170 extends forwardly a distance substantially less than the upper wall portion 17b, and integrally joins with a transversely disposed front wall portion 17d which in turn integrally joins with aforwardly extending wall portion 176. The wall portion 17e is integrally joined and merged with the front wall 17 for the height or depth thereof. The bottom wall 14 is correspondingly recessed and the wall 17a and the wall sections or portions 17c, 17d and 17e, are integrally joined along their lower edge portions with and merging into the bottom wall 14.
A cradle or saddle structure identified generally by the reference character C, is formed integrally with the end wall structure 17, 17a, 17b, 17c, 17d and 17a, for mounting and attaching thereon the neck component N of the instrument. In the specific example hereof, this integral saddle structure C includes the transverse wall 20 disposed in a plane generally parallel with the bottom wall 14 and spaced a distance below a plane passing through the upper edges of the body side walls 15. This wall 20 of the saddle structure C extends between and is integrallyjoined with the upper edge portions of the walls 17c, 17d and 17a, and with the lower or under edge portion of the wall 17b. The wall 20 along and across its forward edge portion between wall 17b and the wall 17 is formed with an upwardly extending wall 21 integral with wall 20, and at its opposite ends is integrally joined with and merges into the end wall 17 and the wall portion 17b, respectively. The upper edge of wall 21 is provided with a forwardly extending flange 22 which provides along its upper side the saddle seat 23 having its opposite ends terminating in the upwardly and outwardly curved portions 24 adapted to generally conform to the transverse contour of the under side of the neck component N as will be again referred to hereinafter. The major length of the seating flange 22 is disposed in a plane spaced below the plane passing through the upper edges of the side walls and end walls 16 and 1717a but above the plane of the Wall of the saddle structure C.
The wall 20 of the saddle structure is formed with the bosses 25 integral therewithand extending upwardly therefrom at locations thereon at opposite sides of and spaced equidistant from the longitudinal axis of the body B.' The upper ends of bosses 25 provide the seating surfaces 26 located in a plane spaced below the seating flange 22. Each boss 25 is formed with an axial bore 27 therethrough having the enlarged diameter counterbore 27a opening at its lower end through the wall 20, to form recesses for receiving the heads of suitable attaching screws to be described hereinafter. This neck component mounting saddle structure C thus formed integral with the walls 17' and 17a and the connecting wall sections 17b, 17c, 17d and 17a, is, due to the relative thinness of such walls and to the inherent resilient and flexible characteristics of the material of which formed, itself defiectable or rockable as a unit structure to angularly adjust the seating surfaces 23 and 26 relative to the general plane of the top surface of the sounding board 12. The range of such angular adjustment is relatively limited but is sufficient for the purposes for which it is to be utilized, as will be more fully explained hereinafter.
The sounding board 12 is formed with a cut-out, recess or opening 28 therein opening through the inner edge thereof in line with and having a width substantially equal to the maximum spacing between the wall portions 17b and He, that is, approximately equal to ihespacing between the outer ends of the curved portions 24 of the flange wall 23. (See Fig. l.) The sounding board 12 is formed along the opposite side edges of the opening 28 therein with the downwardly extending flanges 29 curved inwardly transversely thereof and being formed integral with the sounding board. A transverse bulkhead or open frame 29a is formed integral with the sounding board 12 across the inner end of the opening 28 in position depending therefrom. The transverse bulkhead 29a is joined integrally with the flanges 29 at its opposite ends, respectively, and forms transverse closing Walls across the inner ends of the flanges.
The sounding board 12 is also formed with a flange 12a extending therefrom at the inner or under side thereof spaced a slight distance inwardly from the outer or peripheral edge of the sounding board. This flange 12a is preferably formed to provide a slip fit and joint with the upper edge portions of the walls 15, 16, 17 and 17a, with the sounding board in mounted and assembled position thereon to thus seat and position the sounding board and permit by the proper application of a suitable cement to the engaging surfaces to thereby weld and join the sounding board to the walls 15, 16, 17 and 17a, as, in effect, integral structure therewith. A
Sound openings or f holes may be provided in the sounding board 12 at opposite sides of the longitudinal axis of body B opposite and adjacent the waist forming walls 15a.
The bell structure B constituted by the wall structure 14, 15, 16, 17a and 17, and the saddle structure C, with the sounding board 12 cemented or welded thereto to form the substantially integral bell, may be suitably braced and reinforced by providing the strengthening rib 14a extending longitudinally of the bottom wall 14. Similarly, if desired or found expedient, bracing and stiffening ribs 14]) may be extended upwardly along and extending inwardly from the inner side of the outer end wall 16 as integral portions of that wall, spaced at opposite sides of the longitudinal axis of the body. However, due to the fact that the bell B of an instrument of my invention is substantially unloaded and relieved from forces acting in tension thereon from the playing strings, it is possible to utilize a minimum of bracing and stiffening structure and to rely essentially upon the inherent strength of the primary Wall structure 14, 15, 16, 17, 17a and 12, of the bell itself.
The sounding board 12 is provided with a bridge 11 which can be formed integral with the sounding board or may be a separate component of plastic cemented or solvent welded to the upper side of the sounding board, or may be formed of other materials and suitably fastened in position on the sounding board. Thebridge 11 is positioned disposed transversely across and extending a distance outwardly from the upper side of the sounding board, between the center of the body and the inner adjacent end of the tail piece A at the outer end wall 16 of the bell. As the tensioned playing strings 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, of this example, extend across bridge 11 in contact and engagement therewith, these strings apply compressive forces to the bridge, which in turn are distributed by the bridge to the sounding board 12. As the plastic material of which the sounding board 12 of the present example is formed has relatively low resistance to forces acting in compression, I have provided a system of interrelated stiffening ribs and bracing bars for the sounding board of the instrument of the example embodiment.
At the under side of the sounding board 12 I have formed an integral, relatively narrow rib 14c disposed transversely thereacross at a location immediately adjacent the bridge 11 on the outer side of the sounding board. Spaced, parallel ribs 14d and 14e similar in cross section to rib 14c, are formed integral with the under side of sounding board 12, integral therewith and extending longitudinally thereof. Ribs 14d and 14e are spaced equidistant from the longitudinal center line of the sounding board in locations spaced outwardly from the flanges 29 and between such flanges and the sound openings 12. The rib 14d extends from the flange 12a adjacent end wall 17a of the bell, while rib 14e extends from flange 12a adjacent the end Wall 1'7. Both ribs 12d and 12e extend inwardly of the sounding board 12 to the transverse rib 14c, the latter rib being preferably broken or interrupted to provide gaps therein aligned with and opposite the inner ends of the ribs 14d and 14e.
A wooden bracing bar MI is mounted over stiffening rib 14c, the bar being longitudinally grooved to receive and fit over the rib, with bar 14 extending transversely across the under side of the sounding board 12 to the opposite side walls 15 of body B. The brace bar 14f has the upper edge thereof curved or arched longitudinally to conform to and fit against the transversely arched under surface of the sounding board 12. The bar 14] thus braces the sounding board transversely at a location at the under side thereof beneath or immediately adjacent the bridge 11 at which the compressive forces applied by the tension'ed playing strings are distributed to the sounding board; Wooden bracing bars 14g, each being suitably longitudinally grooved in the upper sides thereof, are mounted and fitted onto the spaced longitudinally disposed ribs 140. and 14e to provide longitudinal bracing for the sounding board 12. The upper edges of brace bars 14g are each curved longitudinally to conform to the arching longitudinally of the sounding board. The bars 14g extend to and through the transverse brace bar 14 the latter bar being suitably notched or recessed through the upper sides thereof to receive the bars 14g therethrough. Preferably, as in the instant example, the longitudinal brace bars 14g terminate at their inner ends at or at a point immediately adjacent the transverse bar 14 These wooden bracing bars 14f and 14g are suitably cemented to the ribs on which mounted and to the areas of contact with the sounding board under surface.
By the foregoing or an equivalent system of integral transverse and longitudinal stiffening ribs and wooden or other suitable material brace bars mounted thereon at and secured on the under side of the sounding board 12, the deformation or warping of the sounding board 4.
under the compressive forces applied thereto through the bridge 1-1,'is prevented. The system is structurally simple and of relatively low cost in materials and assembly while being of low weight and of a design and character to have a minimum of interference with the vibratory and and neckhandle forming portion thereof, is in this example in the form of a tubular or hollow metallic shell identified generally by the reference character S, which provides on its upper or outer side the finger board 30 with the integral frets F and F thereon, and which is completely encased or jacketed by the plastic jacket or casing P, except for the exposure therethrough at the outer side thereof of the frets. Suoh construction, by utilizing relatively thin metallic material for the shell and the plas tic jacket P of substantial thickness relative to the thickness of the shell completely enclosing and covering the exterior of the shell as a substantially unbroken casing, provides a neck component of light weight yet of substantial strength and rigidity which can be quantity produced as a precision component at relatively low cost. The inventions as to the body and as to the body and neck combinations and as to the adjustable mechanisms for adjusting the neck relative to the body are not limited or restricted to the particular design and construction of the neck'component or to the materials of which formed and are not limited to the neck component N here shown as an example, asany-type, design or construction formed of" any desired material or materials may be utilized if desired brfound expedient, as will be apparent to those skilled in thisart.
Atthe under side of'the inneror bell mountingend of the shell S of this neck component N, a pair of transversely spaced bores 55 is provided through the bottom wall 52 thereof immediately adjacent the inner end edge of the bottom wall. An identical pair of transversely spaced bores 56 are formed through the bottom wall 52 a distance inwardly from the bores 55. The bores 55 and 56 happen in this example to be of equal diameters and are for a purpose to be hereinafter described. Spaced inwardly from the bores 56, another pair of bores 57 are formed through the bottom wall 52. These bores 57 in this example are of larger diameter than the bores 55 and 56, and are for the purpose of receiving therethrough and mounting therein the fastening bolts or screws to be hereinafter described, by which the neck component N is securely and rigidly attached to the saddle structure C of the bell B in mounted and assembled position of the bell and neck component in the completed instrument.
It is to be here noted that the shell S is precision formed and shaped to correspond with and to determine the final shape and contour of the neck component N which is to be formed therewith by the plastic casing or jacket P of substantially uniform thickness thereon and there around. And, as with the completed neck component N, the shell 5 progressively decreases in both width and iii) 1 head end of the shell.
depth from the inner, bell mounting end to the outer, head end thereof. Not only is this a preferable shape for the final neck component but it also contributes to the operation of molding the plastic jacket P thereon, as it permits of the withdrawal of a molding core which is inserted into and occupies the space Within the shell S.
In this example, the portion 60 of shell S, wit-h which is formed the plastic jacketed head of the neck component, is pressed, drawn or stamped-up from a separate blank of cold rolled steel. The head forming member 60 is pressed-up, drawn or stamped from a suitable blank to provide the base or bottom wall 61 having the upturned opposite edge flanges 62. At one end the head member 60 is shaped into the shank 63 of a width to be received and fit snugly into the open outer end of the shell S. The opposite side flanges 63 are extended and continued as flanges or sidewalls 64, along and form with the narrowed width extension of the bottom wall 61, the shank 63 which is open at its upper side. In this instance the head forming member 60 is rigidly fixed and secured in the end of the shell by spot welding, although any other suitable fastening technique may be utilized if desired. Bores 66 are formed through the bottom wall 61 of head member 60 for receiving the spindles or shaft members of the key unit 10 when the latter is assembled on member 60, as will be described and explained in detail hereinafter.
In the particular embodiment of the selected example of a shell S, the head member 6t? is formed as a separatc element suitably secured by the shank 63 into the open, However, if desired, the head member 60 may be formed integral with the shell.
The shell S which forms the frame or base structure for the composite neck component N, is suitably encased or jacketed by the outer side or exterior covering jacket P of high impact type plastic, which in the example here given, may be considered to be formed on and covering the exterior of the shell by injection molding a high impact type polystyrene thermoplastic, or other suitable plastic such as butyrate, ethocel or the like having the characteristic of withstanding elongation forces, on the shell while the latter is mounted in the molding cavity of a suitable injection mold. The thickness of the plastic jacket P of this specific example, may be taken to be of the order of and this thickness is preferably although not essentially substantially uniform throughout the width, depth and length of the jacket, that is, throughout the area of the jacket walls. The pieformed, integral frets F on the top wall of the shell S have a depth or height from: the adjacent upper surfaces of the top wall of theorder of with the result that these frets pro ject upwardly or outwardly beyond the outer surface of the wall 31 of the plastic jacket P. Hence, these frets are exposed through the plastic wall 31 of the jacket P which covers the top wall of the shell S, and wall 31 forms with the exposed frets F the fretted finger board 30 of the neck component N. There is thus formed and provided a fretted finger board having precision formed, positioned and spaced frets P which are of metal and integral with the top wall of shell S, the base or string stopping surface of this finger board 30 between the frets F being formed and provided by the wall 31 of the plastic jacket P.
In the form of this example, the plastic jacket P is molded on the shell S in an injection mold with a core or mandrel removably inserted within and completely contact fitting the inner surfaces of and occupying the interior of the shell. In the mold set-up suitable core pins may be provided aligned with the bores 55, 56 and 57, respectively, to form the bores or openings 55a, 56a and 57a through the jacket P in continuation of bores 55, 56 and 57. Similarly suitable core pins may be provided to form the circular recesses in which are formed the position markers 31 in the finger board plastic wall 31. There is thus provided a completely enclosing plastic casing or jacket P which at the outer or upper side of shell S is interrupted only by the integral frets P which extend therethrough, and at the underside is interrupted only by the bores 55a, 56a and 57a through the inner end port-ion thereof. The wall 31 of the jacket P provides the completely tight, unbroken plastic wall portions 31a between the frets F.
The head forming member 60 in this example is only covered by the plastic jacket P over the underside thereof and along and over the outer sides of the opposite side wall forming flanges 62. The plastic jacket P thus forms a covering wall 61a over the underside of the head memher and the outer side covering walls 62a over the opposite side flanges, with the walls 61a and 62a forming an integral continuation of the walls of the jacket which encases the finger board and handle forming portion of the shell structure S. The thickness of the plastic walls 61a and 62a on the head member 60 is substantially the same as the thickness of the walls of the remainder of the jacket, namely of the order of In the molding of the jacket, suitable core pins may be provided in the mold to form-openings 66a in continuation of the bores 66, respectively, through the bottom wall 61 of the head forming member 60 for receiving therethrough the key shafts of the tuning key unit 10, in a manner to be hereinafter described. As will be clear by reference to Fig. 7, the outer edges of the opposite side forming wall flanges 62 may be bent or flared outwardly to thus form when imbedded in the plastic walls 62a, suitable locking flanges to prevent lateral bending and displacement or separation of the plastic walls 62a from the wall forming flanges 62. In this particular example, the outer end of the head forming member 60 is formed open between the side wall flanges 62 for receiving and mounting therein the tuning key unit 10, as will be referred to hereinafter, or as indicated in Fig. 6, an end wall 65 of plastic may be formed integral with the bottom wall 61a and side walls 62a as a part of jacket P.
The neck component N which includes the composite structure formed of the shell S encased or jacketed by the plastic casing P, provides a new article of manufacture which may be produced for sale and use as a complete fretted finger board neck and handle component separate from any particular instrument. Such a neck component forms a complete unit which may be used as a replacement for other fretted finger board and neck structures, or in the assembly of new instruments. The neck component unit N may, of course, be formed in any desired size and with any number and spacing of frets as may be required for assembly in and to 10 provide the neck and fretted finger board for any ee ticular instrument, other than the specific size and type of guitar of the selected example disclosed herein.
As with the molded plastic bell B, the plastic jacket P requires no substantial finishing operations in the sense required by a wooden component, when it comes from the mold but provides a polished and finished surface immediately ready for the market. Such plastic materials also offer a wide variety of colors and color effects.
The adjustable mounting and assembly of the bell and n ck components In accordance with the teaching of my invention, I have provided a mounting and assembly of the neck component N and the bell B into the completed instrument, by which the bell is unloaded and relieved from the forces acting in tension which would be applied thereto with the playing strings 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 under tension and connected directly to the bell. In carrying out this teaching and in applying it to the particular instrument of the guitar type of the present example, I attach rigidly to the inner end of the neck component and before assembly of that component with the bell B, a support bar or rod T in position extended from and forming an outward continuation of the neck component at the inner end thereof. Referring now to Figs. 2, 3 and 4 in particular, this support bar T may be taken to be formed as a solid member of wood, although other materials and other structural forms may be used, such for example as a tubular bar or cast beam of desired shape and of a suitable metal. The tension bar T is attached rigidly and tightly to the underside of the inner portion of the neck component N which is extended into and received in the mounting cradle or saddle C formed in and by the plastic wall structure of the bell B. The rigid connection of the support bar T and neck component N is carried out in this example by providing a metal attachment plate or strip 68 which is positioned Within the shell S of the neck component N, with screw members 69 extended through the inner length of the bar and through the bores 5555a and 5656a formed through the plastic jacket P and the bottom wall 51 of the shell lower member 50, into threaded bores 69a provided in the attachment plate 68. The neck component N with the tension bar T attached thereto and forming a part thereof, is assembled with the bell B by seating the inner end of the neck component N in the saddle C with the bores 57 through the bottom member 50 of shell S and the plastic jacket P, over and axially aligned with the bores 20a, respectively, which are provided by the wall structure 20 over the re-entrant or recessed portion of the bell body wall structure. Headed attaching screws 69b are then inserted inwardly through bores 20a and 5757a and suitable bores aligned therewith which are formed in the support bar T and into the internally threaded bores 690 of the attachment plate 68. These screws 6% are then threaded into positions tightly securing the bell B to the neck component and support bar T, with the heads thereof in recesses 20b clamped against the underside of wall 20 and the support bar being extended through the interior of bell B to the outer end wall 16 of the bell wall structure.
I have determined that due to the inherent flexibility and resilience of the plastic wall structure at the positions of rigid attachment of the bell B to the neck component and support rod, it is possible by applying forces acting in the required direction to the free end of bar T to effect the relatively small angular adjustments of the neck component required in order to adjust the spacing between the frets F and the playing strings of the instrument, without the necessity for pivotal or other relative: ly movable connections between the bell and the neck component. In order to effect this angular adjustment;
the support bar T is coupled at its inner end with a manually operable adjusting mechanism by which selective adjustment can be carried out. Referring now to Figs. 2 and 3, I mount a base block 70 within the bell B at the inner side of the end wall 16 in position below the free end of the support rod T. Preferably a plate member 70a is mounted between walls 16 and the block 70 with the block engaged against this plate member and the plate member secured against the inner side of wall 16. The block 70 is formed with a transverse bore or opening therethrough in which there is mounted an anchor member 71 in position extended transversely through the block. The block 70 is secured in position in the bell B through the medium of a threaded stud 73 on the outer end thereof which projects outwardly through aligned bores in the plate member 7011 and the end wall 16 of the bell. The outer end of stud 73 is externally threaded at the exterior of the wall 16, and a fastening nut 74 is threaded thereon to positions securing the plate 70a, the block 70 and the anchor men ber 71 together in assembled positions.
An externally threaded adjusting screw 75 is threaded into an internally'threaded bore 75a disposed diametrically through the anchor member 71, and this adjusting screw is extended upwardly from the block 70 across the free end of the tension bar T. The adjusting screw 75 is positioned perpendicular or with its axis normal to the axis of anchor member 71. The block 70 is formed with a suitable bore or passage 70b for receiving and through which the adjusting screw 75 extends. The ad justing screw 75 is provided with the axially spaced flanges 77 thereon opposite the end of tension bar T. A slotted head 7? is provided at the upper or outer end of the adjusting screw 75, and the sounding board 12 of bell B is provided with a suitable opening 12c therethrough in line with the adjusting screw head 79 for ready access to that head from the exterior of the bell for adjustment purposes. The free end of the tension bar T is slotted in this example, and a link bar 80 is secured in the slotted end of the tension bar by means of suitable fastening members 81. The outer free end-of the link 80 is slotted or bifurcated to provide the fork 82 which is movably received and rockably constrained between the flanges 77 on the adjusting screw 75 for effecting angular displacement in either direction of the support bar by axial movements of the adjusting screw 75 through anchor member 71 inwardly or outwardly of the base block and from or toward the sounding board 12.
By' adjusting the screw 75 inwardly the free end of the support bar T is correspondingly displaced inwardly and the plastic saddle structure C to which the neck component N and the tension bar are attached rigidly by the attachment screws 6%, yields or gives sufficiently to effect angular deflection of the neck component about the rigid fastening as a fulcrum, so that, the inner end of the fretted finger board will move inwardly and the outer length thereof outwardly to thereby correspondin ly vary the spacing between frets F and the strings 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 which extend longitudinally over and along the finger board in positions spaced outwardly therefrom. Adjustment of the screw 75 outwardly will correspondingly move support bar T outwardly and the angular displac ment of the fretted finger board F will be effected in the reverse directions from that above described with respect to inward adjustment of screw 75.
The plate member 70a is formed at opposite ends of the upper edge thereof with the spaced lugs 7012 which extend upwardly through suitable slots in the sounding board 12 and terminate with their outer edges spaced a distance outwardly beyond the sounding board. The tail piece T is attached on and over the nut 74- and is thus anchored to the externally threaded nut 73 of the adjusting-screw anchor member 71 and extends upwardly therefrom along the outer side of end wall 16 and then is extended forwardly over the sounding board 12 to terminate in the string attaching spreader A spaced a distance outwardly from the bridge 11 and from the outer side of the sounding board 12. The tail piece extends across the outer ends of the plate lugs 7% in engagement therewith and supported thereby. The tail piece A is secured in position on and over the fastening nut 74 by means of a cap nut member 35 which is threaded onto the end of stud 73. A washer 86 providing an inturned annular flange 86a is secured in position between nut member 85 and the tail piece A with the flange 86a adapted to be engaged tightly against the outer side of the tail piece around the nut 74, as will be clear by reference to Fig. 3.
The ends of the playing strings 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 are suitably attached to and in spaced relation across the spreader A in the more or less conventional manner familiar in the art. The playing strings extend from the spreader A across and spaced from sounding board 12 in engagement on and across the bridge 11 and across and in engagement with the first or master fret F, to the key unit 10 to which they are attached and by which they may be tensioned for tuning. It will be clear that these highly tensioned playing strings will apply and distribute forces acting in compression to the sounding board 12 through the bridge 11 with which these strings are engaged. Such compression forces are absorbed by the wall structure of the bell B, aided by a minimum of strengthening and stiffening ribs and bracing bars. It will also be clear that as a result of the construction and mounting of the neck component N and support bar T, the forces acting in tension developed by the playing strings will be distributed directly to the support bar T through the adjustable connecting. mechanism between that bar and the tail piece T. Hence, the bell B becomes unloaded in tension and may be provided as the relatively light weight, thin-walled structure of this example with its minimum of bracing or other structure to interfere with resonance, volume and tone.
While I have shown the support bar T in the present example as a separate member attached to the neck component N, it is to be understood that such bar may be formed as an integral extension of the inner end of the neck component.
Neck con'zponent and core The neck component N may in one form thereof be provided with a core 110, as disclosed in Fig. 9 of the drawings. This core 116 in the illustrated example is formed of a solid wooden member having a cross sectional shape along and throughout its length to provide a contour tofit tightly within and solidly fill the hollow shell S of a neck component N. This core in this specific example, has a length to extend within the component N from the head member H at the outer end thereof to the inner end of the neck component where the core may terminate with its inner endsurface lying substantially in the transverse plane of the inner end edge of the component N.
In accordance with a further feature of this form of neck component of my invention, the core 110 may be slightly bent or curved longitudinally to give to the core a slight longitudinal arching before insertion and mounting into a neck component. Such longitudinal arching of the core 119 is such that the convex side of the core is at the upper side of the neck with the arching thus being in a direction to oppose. the direction in which the tension forces are applied to the neck component N by the tensioned playing strings. Such arching of the core will effect a correspondingly slight arching of the shell S and plastic jacket P forming the neck component N, and the degree thereof in any particular component will be such that upon tuning the playing strings of the instrument the tension forces applied to the cored neck component will tend to overcome the slight arching and thereby bring the component to a straightened position. Similarly it might here be pointed out that both the core 110 and the neck component N can be correspondingly slightly arched before assembly of the core into the neck component. This feature of my invention may also be applied and utilized with the uncored neck component N by giving to such neck component a slight arching longitudinally before assembly into the instrument.
With a neck component N having therein the wooden core 110, the mounting and assembly of the bell and neck component is preferably changed to the form shown in Fig. 9, in which the metal attachment plate 68 is eliminated and wood screws 69 are substituted for the metal or machine screws 69 by which the neck component N is rigidly attached to the support bar T in the form of Figs. 1 to 4. Similarly the attachment screws 69b as used with the uncored neck component N are eliminated and wood screws 690 are substituted therefor in order to attach the cored component to the bell B on the saddle C.
The tuning key unit and head assembly By a feature of my invention I provide a completely pre-formed and assembled operative tuning key unit which may be removably mounted and assembled as a unit on and attached to the head H of the neck component N solely by the use of the keys and key shafts of the unit and without the requirement for any additional fastening means. Embodiments of this feature of my invention are adaptable generally to any musical instrument which provides a head or its equivalent and tuning keys on such head to which the playing strings of the instrument are adapted to be attached for variable tensioning in order to tune the strings.
In the exemplification of this feature as applied to the guitar type of instrument of the present example, the preformed key unit includes an enclosing case 90 with the string spindles 91 journaled therein in positions disposed transversely thereof for operation by key shafts 92 through the medium of suitable gear trains 93 for transmitting power from the key shafts to the spindles. The case 90 of unit 10 may, as in this example, be formed of a suitable plastic material. The case 90 has a shape in plan to fit onto the outer or upper side of the head H of the neck component N, and is comprised of a bottom member or section 96a and a top member or section 9012 which are assembled and attached together in any suitable manner as by cementing, or as in this example by the machine screws 900. The width of this case 90 is such as to snugly fit between the opposite side flanges 62 of head member 60 of head H, while the length of the case in this example is less than the length of the head with the opposite ends thereof spaced from the opposite ends of the head. The upper member 90a of the case is provided with opposite side flanges 9011 which are adapted to extend over and seat on the outer edges of the plastic walls 62a of the jacket covering the outer sides of flanges 62, as will be clear by reference to Fig. 7 of the drawings. The lower member 9% of case 90 is formed with six (6) depending or outwardly extended bosses 94 having axial bores 94a therethrough, with the bosses being positioned and spaced so that with the case 90 mounted on head H these bores 94a are aligned with the bores 6666a formed through the head member 69 and the plastic wall 61a of the jacket covering the outer side of this member. The ength or depth of bosses 94 is such that with the case 90 in assembled position these bosses seat on the bottom wall 61 of head member 60 and thus provide positioning support for case 90 and the unit 10 when in assembled position on head H.
The upper member or section 90a of case 90 is formed with six (6) bosses 95 having axial bores 95:: therethrough. The bosses 95 are positioned and located on member 90a in axial alignment with the bores 94a of the bosses 94 on the lower or under member 901) of case 90. A key operated shaft 92 is journaled in each bore 94a of the lower member bosses 94 and these shafts 92 extend outwardly a distance from the case 10 and removably and adjustably mount on their outer ends the manually operable knobs or keys K. Each of the bores 95a of the bosses 95 of the case top member a has journaled therein a string attaching spindle 91. Any suitable gear train generally identified by the reference character 93, operatively connects each key shaft 92 with the string spindle 91 which is journaled in the bore 95a of a boss 95 that is aligned with such key shaft. These gear trains 93 are mounted and assembled within and enclosed and housed by the case 90, as will be clear by reference to Figs. 6 and 7.
The keys K may be of conventional or any other desired form and each key is mounted with a sliding fit on and over the outer end of its shaft 92 and is attached and secured in position thereon by a screw 98 which is threaded into an internally threaded axial bore 960 in the end of the shaft 92. A resilient or spring washer member 99 is mounted and positioned between the inner end 96b of a knob K and the plastic wall at the under side of head H for frictional engagement with the key end 96b under compression between that end and the plastic wall of head H. In this example the inner end 96b of each key K is formed with a conical surface and each washer 99 is formed with a complementary conical and annular recess 99a into which the conical surface of the key end 9611 extends in frictional engagement with the annular surface of the conical recess 99a in a washer 99.
The key unit 10 is mounted as a unit on and attached to the head H in the assembly of the complete instrument of this example. In carrying out such assembly, the unit 10 with the keys K thereof removed, is merely placed in assembled position on head H with the key shafts 92 extended through the bores 6666a, respectively, in the bottom wall of head H. The keys K are then remounted in position on the ends of the key shafts 92 at the exterior of the head H and the screws 98 are threaded into the bores 96a in the ends of these shafts to a degree or extent to frictiona-lly engage and compress the washers 99 to thus tightly and rigidly secure and attach the unit 10 in position on the head. In mounted and assembled position of unit 10 each key K remains manually rotatable for the purpose of rotating that string attaching spindle 91 with which it is operatively connected through its gear train 93. It will be obvious that a key unit 10 may be just as quickly and easily removed for repair or replacement by simply removing the screws 98 and the keys K from the key shafts 92.
In the instant example I have provided an end cover plate 111 formed of a plastic which is suitably cemented in position on the upper side of head H between the outer end of unit 10 and the end wall of the head. This cover plate 111 has a width and a length to extend over and across the side and end walls of head H with its outer edges substantially flush with the outer side and end surfaces of the head.
An inner end cover plate 112 which may be generally similar in construction and mounting to the outer end cover plate 111 is provided for closing the space between the inner end of unit 10 and the outer end of the fretted finger board forming section of the neck component N. However, in accordance with a further feature of my invention I have provided'across the inner end of the cover 112 the string divider 114 molded integrally with plate 112. This string divider is in the form of an upwardly extending transversely disposed rib having the string receiving, transversely disposed and spaced slots 115 formed therein and opening through the upper edge thereof. The cover plate and string divider unit 114 is preferably formed of plactic and is so dimentioned that when mounted on the head H it extendes between the inner end of unit 10 and the outer end of neck com- I ponent N, with the string divider immediately adjacent to and parallel with the first or master fret F across the outer end of the finger board at the upper side of the neck component.
The outer end cover plate 111 may if desired be suitably cemented along its inner end edge to the adjacent outer end wall of case with which it abuts. Similarly, the inner end cover plate 112 may be cemented along its outer end with the inner end wall of the case 10 with which it abuts, and the inner end of cover plate 112 may be suitably cemented if desired to adjacent portions of the end of the neck component N with which it abuts.
Jhile I have shown the cover plates 111 and 112 as separate components cemented into assembled positions on head H, I contemplate and intend Where a key unit it) may be designed and intended for assembly with a particular neck component N and its head H, to form the cover plates 121 and 112 as molded integrally with and constituting opposite end extensions of the top member or section 9% of unit it After mounting and assembly to complete the instrument, the strings 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 are attached to the spreader A of the tail piece A and extended across the bridge 11 of the sounding board 12 of bell B, on and across the master fret F and through string divider 114,
- to the spindles 91 of the key unit 19 to which they are respectively attached. Each string may then be individually tensioned to the extent required to tune the in- 'strument by rotating the spindle 91 by manual rotation of that key K with which such spindle is connected.
There is thus provided as an article of manufacture, a tuning key unit which may be manufactured and supplied as a separate unit or component for assembly in an instrument or for replacement for a tuning key unit in an assembled instrument. The mounting of the unit solely by means of the keys and key shafts and without additional and special fastening means substantially reduces the costs in both labor and material in mounting and assembling the unit on the head of an instrument.
The tuning key unit It) in the selected form of this example when assembled provides a single unit, but if desired the key unit it) may be formed of two or more separate, assembled units for mounting on an instrument neck head, such as the head H, into assembled position on the head to provide the completed tuning key unit.
Modified bell, sounding board and bridge arrangement Instead of utilizing an instrument in which the playing strings are attached to a tail piece, as in the form of instrument disclosed in Figs. 1 to 4, various features of my in Fig. 3 such a modified form of instrument of the invention.
'The body 8' of the modified form of instrument is provided with a sounding board 12, which instead of being arched or belled outwardly as is the sounding board 12 of Figs. 1 to 4, is substantially flat and planar and has mounted thereon the bridge 116 having the transverse string receiving and attaching slots and spacing grooves 117. The bridge 116 may be formed integrally with the sounding board 1?. or as a separate component suitably attached thereto. The sounding board 12 is preferably provided with the transverse and longitudinal stiffening ribs and bracing members arranged in the system as disclosed and described in connection with Figs. 1 to 4. However, the support bar T for this modified form of instrument is lowered to a. position to enable it to clear the bracing bar 146, as will be clear by reference to Fig. 8. If desired instead of lowering support bar T, this bar may be curved or arched inwardly in order to clear the bracing bars.
With the elimination of the tail piece T, the metallic 13 plate 700 of the adjustment assembly at the outer end of the bell is eliminated. Except for the elimination of this plate a, the assembly remains substantially the same as that disclosed in the form of Figs. 1 to 4, with the support bar T-coupled with the screw '75 for angular adjustment of that bar to thereby adjust the neck component N and the spacing between the strings and the frets F on the finger board of that component.
The fiat and substantially planar sounding board 12 in the illustrated example, is formed of a suitable plastic but my invention contemplates and includes the use of a sounding board 12' formed of a suitable wood glued or otherwise suitably attached and secured in position on the plastic bell of the body B, which bell is formed as a one-piece, integral wall plastic structure. Where a wooden sounding board is utilized, a Wooden or other material bridge may be employed and attached to the sounding board in any conventional or other suitable manner.
In the form of instrument of the invention of Figs. 1
and 2, the outwardly arched or belled sounding board 12 which is in the example embodiment formed of plastic, may have substituted therefor an arched or belled sounding board formed of a suitable wood. Such a wooden sounding board may be attached to the plastic walls of the one'piece bell B by glue or other attaching and mounting means and methods, to complete the instrument body. Any suitable bridge of Wood or other adaptable material may be provided for attachment in position on such an arched wooden sounding board.
' It will also be evident that various other modifications, variations, embodiments, equivalents, substitutions, eliminations and additions may be resorted to without departing from the broad spirit and scope of my invention, and hence I do not desire or intend to limit my invention and the various features thereof in all respects to the particular example herein disclosed, except as may be required by any specifically intended limitations thereto appearing in any of the claims hereto appended.
What I claim is:
1. In a stringed musical instrument, in combination; a hollow resonant bell including bottom, opposite side and opposite end walls and a sounding board-forming top wall; a saddle structure integral with one end wall of said bell at the upper side thereof and including an upwardly open recess in said end wall providing at the inner side thereof a seat portion located spaced inwardly a distance below the general plane of said top wall and an inwardly extending wall providing a platform portion spaced below and generally parallel with said seat portion; said saddle structure being defiectable angularly relative to the top wall of said bell; a neck component seated on said seat portion of said saddle structure extending transversely thereacross and inwardly through said bell to a location adjacent the end wall thereof opposite said saddle structure; means rigidly attaching said neck component to said platform portion with said neck component thereby rigidly fixed in seated position on said seat portion of said saddle structure; and adjusting mechanism operatively coupled with the inner end of said neck component for selectively applying forces thereto acting to deflect said neck component and said saddle structure as a unit structure to angularly adjust said neck component relative to said sounding board-forming top Wall.
2. In a stringed musical instrument, in combination; a hollow, resonant bell comprised of a relatively thin, lightweight material Wall structure including bottom, opposite side and opposite end walls and a sounding board-forming top wall; one of said end Walls of said bell being formed with a centrally located vertically disposed recess therein opening through the upper edge thereof and providing thereacross at the lower side thereof a transversely extended seat portion; said end wall structure being also formed to provide an inwardly extended wall portion disposed generally parallel with said seat portion and proing bores; said top wall of said bell being formed with a longitudinally disposed opening therethrough aligned with and extending inwardly from said seat forming recess in said end Wall; a neck component mounted on and extending transversely across said seat forming portion and said inwardly extended wall portion of said end wall and inwardly along and through said top wall opening; fastening members extending through said bores of said inwardly extended wall portion of said end wall adapted to rigidly attach and fix said neck component in seated position on said end wall; said end wall and neck component being deflectable as a unit structure; and adjusting mechanism operatively coupled to said neck component within said bell for selectively applying forces thereto acting to deflect said neck component and said saddle structure as a unit to positions of angular adjustment of said neck component relative to and independently of said sounding board-forming top wall.
3. In a stringed musical instrument, in combination; a resonant, hollow bell comprised of a relatively thin, light weight material wall structure including bottom, opposite side and opposite end walls and a sounding boardforming top wall; one end Wall of said bell being formed to provide a saddle structure integral therewith comprised of a seat portion located spaced inwardly a distance below the general plane of said top wall and an inwardly extending wall portion spaced therebelow and generally parallel therewith, said end wall above said seat portion being formed to provide a recess therethrough open at the upper side thereof and said inwardly extending wall portion being formed to provide upwardly extending seat ing bosses having axial bores therethrough; said sounding board-forming top wall having an opening therethrough disposed longitudinally thereof and extending a distance inwardly therealong in alignment with said recess in said end wall; a neck component mounted in position seated on said seat portion of said end wall and being extended through said recess and into and along said top wall opening; fastening members extending upwardly through the bores of said seating bosses on said inwardly extending wall portion adapted to rigidly attach and fix said neck component in seated position to said saddle structure and said end wall of which it forms an integral part; and adjusting mechanism operatively coupled with the inner end of said neck component within said bell for selectively applying forces thereto acting to deflect said neck component and said saddle structure as a unit structure to selected positions of angular adjustment of said neck component relative to and independently of said sounding board-forming top wall.
4. In a stringed musical instrument, in combination, a hollow resonant bell comprised of an integral wall structure having bottom, opposite side and opposite end walls, and a top wall attached on and closing said integral wall structure; one end wall of said integral wall structure having a saddle structure integral therewith and extending transversely thereof; said saddle structure providing a seating surface disposed transversely of said end wall adapted to mount thereon a neck component; said end wall of said integral wall structure being deflectable transversely through a limited range by the application of deflecting forces thereto to displace therewith said integral saddle structure to selected positions of angular adjustment of said seating surface on said saddle structure relative to and independently of said top wall; a neck component mounted in said saddle structure on said seating surface thereof; means rigidly attaching said neck component in seated position on said saddle structure at a location spaced outwardly from the inner end of said neck component; and adjustable means mounted within said bell structure in operative connection with the inner end of said neck component for applying forces thereto to deflect said end wall and saddle structure as a unit to displace said neck component to selected positions of 18 angular adjustment relative to and independently of said top wall of said bell.
5. In a stringed musical instrument, in combination, a hollow resonant bell providing at one end thereof a saddle structure integral therewith; said saddle structure having thereon a seating surface adapted to receive and mount a neck component for the instrument; said integral saddle structure of said bell being deflectable by the application of forces thereto to displace said seating surface thereon to positions of angular adjustment relative to said bell; a neck component mounted in said saddle structure on said seating surface thereof and extending a distance into said bell; means rigidly attaching said neck component in seated position on said saddle structure at a location on said neck component spaced outwardly a distance from the inner end of said neck component; a
support bar rigidly attached to the inner end of said neck component and being extended inwardly through said bell to the opposite end thereof; and adjusting mechanism operatively coupled with the free, inner end of said sup port bar for selectively applying deflecting surfaces to said support bar to thereby deflect said bar, said neck component and said saddle structure as a unit to displace said neck component to angular positions of adjustment relative to said bell.
6. In a stringed musical instrument, in combination, a hollow resonant bell comprised of bottom, opposite side and opposite end walls and a top Wall forming a sounding board; a saddle structure on one end Wall of said bell; said end wall being deflectable transversely through a limited range to displace said saddle structure bodily therewith to selected positions of angular adjustment relative to said sounding board; a neck component mounted in and rigidly attached to said saddle structure for displacement therewith as a unit by deflection of said end wall; a support bar rigidly attached to the inner end of said neck component and being extended inwardly through said bell to the opposite end thereof; adjusting mechanism within said bell at the inner end of and being coupled with said support bar for applying forces thereto to deflect said end wall and thereby displace said neck component to'positions of angular adjustment relative to and independently of said sounding board; a bridge in rigid fixed position on said sounding board forming top wall of said bell; said neck component having a head at the outer end thereof; string tuning keys on said head; and playing strings connected to said bridge on said sounding board and to said keys on said head and being extended under tension therebetween.
7. In a stringed musical instrument, in combination, a hollow resonant bell comprised of bottom, opposite side and opposite end walls and a top wall forming a sounding board; a saddle structure integral with one end wall of said bell and providing a seating surface thereon transversely extended relative to said end wall; said end wall and said saddle structure being deflectable as a unit structure to displace said saddle structure and seating surface thereon to positions of angular adjustment relative to and independently of said sounding board forming top wall of said bell; a neck component mounted in said saddle structure in fixed position on said seating surface; means rigidly attaching said neck component in seated position in said saddle structure; said neck component extending a distance into said bell from said saddle structure; a support bar rigid with said neck component and extending inwardly into said bell from the inner end of said neck component; and an adjusting mechanism mounted in said bell adjacent the inner free end of said support bar and being operatively coupled with said support bar for ap' plying forces thereto and to said neck component for deflecting said end wall and saddle structure to thereby displace said neck component to selected positions of angular adjustment relative to and independently of said sounding board forming top wall of said bell.
8. In a stringed musical instrument, in combination, a
swan-see hollow, resonant bell comprised of a relatively thin, light weight wall structure including bottom, opposite side and opposite end walls and a sounding board forming top wall; a saddle structure formed integral with one end wall of said bell; said saddle structure providing thereon a seating surface disposed transversely relative to said end wall; said relatively thin end wall being inherently capable of limited transverse deflection for displacement of said saddle structure as a unit with said end wall to selected positions of angular adjustment of said saddle structure and seating surface thereof relative to said sounding board forming top wall of said bell; a neck component mounted in and ligidly attached to said integral saddle structure in fixed position on said seating surface thereof; and adjusting mechanism operatively associated With the inner end of said neck component for applying forces thereto acting to displace said neck component, saddle structure and end wall as a unit structure to selected positions of angular adjustment of said neck component relative to and independently of said sounding board forming top wall of said bell.
9. In a stringed musical instrument, in combination, a hollow, resonant bell comprised of a light-weight wall structure including relatively thin bottom, opposite side and opposite end walls and a sounding board forming top wall; a. saddle structure formed integral with one end wall of said bell; said saddle structure being formed to mount and have attached rigidly thereto a neck component for the stringed musical instrument; and said relatively thin end Wall with said saddle. structure integral therewith being transversely deflectable through a limited range for displacement of said saddle structure and a neck component mounted thereon to selected positions of angular adjustment relative to and independently of said sounding boardforming top wall of said bell.
10. In a stringed musical instrument, in combination, a hollow, resonant bell comprised of a light-weight wall structure including relatively thin bottom, opposite side and, opposite end walls and a sounding board forming top wall; a saddle structure formed integral with one end wall of said wall structure of said bell; said saddle structure having thereon a seating surface disposed transversely relative to said end wall; the portion of said relatively thin end wall immediately adjacent said integral saddlestructure thereon being defiectable transversely through a ment relative to and. independently of said sounding. board 1 forming top wall by angular deflection of said endwall with said integral saddle structure thereon.
11. In a stringed musical instrument, in combination, a hollow resonant bell including bottom, opposite side and opposite end walls and a sounding board forming top wall; a saddle structure integral with one'end wall of said bell at the upper side thereof and including an upwardly open recess in said end wall providing at' the inner side thereof a seat portion located spaced inwardly a distance below the general plane of said top wall and an'inwardly extending wall providing a platform portion spaced below and generally parallel with said seat portion; said integral end wall and saddle structure being deflectable angularly as a unit structure relative to and independently of said sounding board forming top wall of said bell; a neck component seated on said seat portion of said saddle structure extending transversely thereacross and inwardly through said bell in position spaced above said platform portion; a member mounted in position inter posed between said platform portion of said saddle struc ture and the portion of said neck component thereabove; means rigidly attaching said neck componet and said member to said platform portion with said neck component thereby rigidly fixed in seated position on said seat portion of said saddle structure; and adjusting mechanism operatively associated with the inner end of said neck component within said bell for applying forces to said neck component to deflect said end wall and saddle structure to thereby displace said neck component to selected positions of angular adjustment relative to and independently of said sounding board forming top wall of said bell.
12. In the combination of claim 11, said member being comprised by a support bar extending inwardly through said bell from said platform portion of said saddle structure and said neck component; and said adjusting mechanism being operatively connected to the inner end of said support bar within said bell.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS- 457,996 Kraske Aug. 18, 1891 1,074,458 Pileri Sept. 30, 1913 1,633,574 Dewey June 28, 1927 1,671,942 Strupe May 29, 1928 1,672,348 Sharpe June 5, 1928 1,785,266 Lange Dec. 16, 1930 1,795,825 Bonner Mar. 10, 1931 1,818,631 Larson Aug. 11, 1931 1,832,379 Gilberg Nov. 17, 1931 1,887,398 Chase Nov. 8, 1932 1,889,408 Larson Nov. 29, 1932 1,912,106 Turturro May 30, 1933 2,029,134 Stanley et al. Jan. 28, 1936 2,335,244 Gugino Nov. 30, 1943 2,489,408 Frost Nov. 29, 1949 2,597,154 Maccaferri May 20, 1952 2,649,828 Maccaferri Aug. 25, 1953 FOREIGN PATENTS 261,945 Germany July 3, 1913