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Publication numberUS3191480 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 29, 1965
Filing dateJun 26, 1962
Priority dateJun 26, 1962
Publication numberUS 3191480 A, US 3191480A, US-A-3191480, US3191480 A, US3191480A
InventorsThomas Lowe Charles
Original AssigneeThomas Lowe Charles
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Musical instrument
US 3191480 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 29, 1965 c. T. LOWE 3,

MUSICAL INSTRUMENT Filed June 26, 1562 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 uvmvrox 6% ar/ea Mamas 0402 ATTORNE).

J n 2 1955 c. "r. LOWE 3,191,480

MUS I CAL INS TRUMENT Filed June 26, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet 2- INVENTO if;- (flak/es fwd/770d ATTORNEY.

United States Patent C) M 3,191,480 MUSIAL INSTRUMENT Charles Thomas Lowe, 9'1 4 Stocker Ave., Flint, Mich. Filed June 26, 1962, Set. No. 205,263 12 Ciaims. (Cl. 8 1 318) This invention relates to improvements in stringed musical instruments particularly instruments of the plucked string type.

The main objects of this invention are:

First, to provide a stringed musical instrument of the plucked string type such, for example, as abanjo which has means for producing a very wide tone variation.

Second, to provide a stringed musical instrument of the banjo type which includes a fifth string which extends the full length of the neck and is provided with an adjusting post mounted on the head.

Third, to provide a plucked string instrument which includes a fifth string provided with an adjustable nut element having a wide range f adjustment and which may be quickly positioned and is effectively held in its adjusted position.

Fourth, to provide a stringed musical instrument in which each string is provided with an individual nut which is in noncontacting relation to the nuts of other strings.

Fifth, to provide a stringed musical instrument with a capotasto unit which may be easily adjusted lengthwise of the neck and without disengagement therefrom and which includes a nut element operatively associated with at least one of the strings.

Sixth, to provide a stringed musical instrument with a capotasto unit in which the first fret is so positioned that the unit may be adjusted to an inoperative position without removing it or disengaging it from the neck.

Objects relating to details and economies of the invention will appear from the description to follow. The invention is defined and pointed out in the claims.

A preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawing, in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates a stringed musical instrument of the banjo type embodying my invention including the capotasto unit which is shown in one position by full lines and in retracted or nonuse position and in second use position by dotted lines.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the capotasto unit with a portion of the shield for the securing spring broken away.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged transverse section through the neck on a line corresponding to line 3-3 of FIG. 1 illustrating the relationship of the capotasto unit to the neck when adjusted to a use position.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary view on a line corresponding to line 4-4 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary cross sectional view on a line corresponding to line 55 of FIG. 1' showing some details of the post arrangement.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary view taken on a line corresponding to line 6-6 of FIG. 7 of the adjustable nut for the fifth string.

FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view on a line corresponding to line 7-7 of FIG. 6, the adjustable nut element being shown in full lines.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of one of the nut elements.

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary plan view of a modified form or embodiment of my invention in which a unitary nut member is used.

' FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the nut member of FIG. 9.

In the accompanying drawing, FIG. 1 is a plan view of a stringed musical instrument ofthe banjo type, the

ilhidfid Patented .Iune 29, 1965 body 1 being shown conventionally. The neck 2 is provided with a plurality of frets 3 varyingly spaced as is common practice in instruments of this type. The neck is provided with a fixed or integral head 4 disposed in angular relation to the neck and is provided with posts 5, one for each string. The details of the mounting of the posts are not illustrated as they form no part of my present invention.

The strings are conventionally illustrated and they are attached to the tailpiece 6, the bridge 7 also being conventionally illustrated.

The embodiment of my invention illustrated comprises four conventional strings, 8, 9, 10 and 11, and a fifth string 12, see FIG. 7. A nut 13 is provided for each string and the head adjacent its juncture with the neck is provided with bore-like sockets 14, one for each nut 13, see FIG. 5.

The neck is provided with longitudinally extending series of peg socket recesses 15 disposed below the fifth string 12, see FIG. 6. Peg socket members 16 are seated in these sockets 15 and fixedly secured to the neck by the screws 1'7, see FIG. 7. These peg socket members 16 have keyhole slots 13 therein adapted to receive the shank 19 of the adjustable peg 20 which has an opening 21 therein through which the fifth string 12 is threaded, see FIGS. 6 and 7. The openings 18 in these peg socket members being of keyhole shape, the adjustable peg can be easily engaged with, and disengaged from, these peg socket members and to facilitate such manipulation, the peg 2i) is provided with an upwardly projecting fingerpiece 22. When the peg Ed is in engagement with one of these keepers or support members as illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7, the fifth string 12 is clutchingly held against the adjacent fret. This provides for a wide range of tuning adjustment of the fifth string.

To provide tone adjustment of other strings, I provide a capotasto unit designated generally by the numeral 23 and comprising a body member 24 disposed transversely of the neck and having downturned ends terminating in outwardly and upwardly facing hooks 25 with which loops on the ends of the coil spring 26 are engaged, the spring being disposed around the underside of the neck. The spring is desirably provided with a tubular flexible sheath 27 as is conventionally illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3. This permits the adjustment of this capotasto unit lon: gitudinally of the neck, it being shown in one operative position by full lines and another operative position by dotted lines and in its fully retracted position by dotted lines in FIG. 1.

The loop-like nut element 28 of the embodiment illustrated is mounted on the holder or support member 29 and the fingerpiece 30 is provided with a stem 31 which is in threaded engagement with the body portion 2-9 and has thrust engagement with the string numbered 9 and it serves as an adjustable nut, providing for a very wide range of tone or key adjustment.

This capotasto unit may be positioned in retracted position as shown by the outer dotted lines of FIG. 1.

While the individual nut members 13 are highly desirable, I illustrate in FIGS. 9 and 10 a unitary nut member 32 seatably mounted on the neck at the inner end of the head and provided with string-receiving seats or rests 33, a portion 34 of the nut being cut away so that the string supportedly engaged with the nut at 35 is variably tuned as compared with the other strings.

I have illustrated and described my invention in a highly practical embodiment thereof. I have not attempted to illustrate or describe other embodiments or adaptations as it is believed that this disclosure will enable those skilled in the art to embody or adapt my invention as may be desired.

Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to secure by Letters Patent is:

1. A stringed musical instrument of the class described comprising a neck provided with a plurality of fixed frets, a head provided with string tensioning posts, and a plurality of strings, nut means operatively associated with said posts, said neck having a longitudinally extending series of peg socket recesses therein disposed below one of the strings, said peg socket members having keyhole peg-receiving openings therein disposed in said recesses with their outer surfaces flush with the face of the neck, a peg having an opening therein through which the string above said socket members is threaded and having a headed stem selectively and supportedly engageable with said peg socket members and provided with a fingerpiece which projects upwardly from the string, the fret at the front of said peg constituting a nut for the string threaded through the peg and the string acting to hold the peg in engagement with the peg socket, a capotasto unit mounted on the neck for adjustment longitudinally thereof and comprising a string-engaging body member disposed transversely of the neck above the strings for clasping engagement therewith and having downwardly projecting lugs at its end slidably engaging the edges of the neck, a coiled spring embracing the under portion of said neck and having loops on its ends detachably engageable with said lugs on said body member, there being a yieldable neck engaging sheath on said spring, a loop-like nut element mounted on said body member to project forwardly therefrom and with the bight thereof disposed below one of said strings in supporting engagement therewith and supportedly engaged with the neck between the frets between which the unit is positioned, and means mounted on said body member for clamping said nut element thereon against the neck and the string engaged therewith against said nut element, the fret adjacent said nut members on said head being spaced therefrom so that said capotasto unit may be disposed in inoperative position between them.

2. A stringed musical instrument of the class described comprising a neck provided with a plurality of fixed frets, a head provided with string tensioning posts, and a plurality of strings, nut means operatively associated with said posts, a capotasto unit mounted on the neck for adjustment longitudinally thereof and comprising a stringcngaging body member disposed transversely of the neck above the strings for clasping engagement therewith and having downwardly projecting lugs at its end slidably engageable with the edges of the neck, a coiled spring embracing the under portion of said neck and having loops on its ends detachably engaging said logs on said body member, there being a yieldable neck engaging sheath on said spring, a loop-like nut element mounted on said body member to project forwardly therefrom and with the bight thereof disposed below one of said strings in supporting engagement therewith and supportedly engaged with the neck between the frets between which the unit is positioned, and means mounted on said body member for clamping said nut element thereon against the neck and the string engaged therewith against said nut element, the fret adjacent said nut members on said head being spaced therefrom so that said capotasto unit may be disposed in inoperative position between them.

3. A stringed musical instrument of the class described comprising a neck provided with a plurality of fixed frets, a head provided with string tensioning posts, and a plurality of strings, nut means operatively associated with said posts, said neck having a longitudinally extending se ries of peg socket recesses therein disposed below one of the strings, said peg socket members having keyhole pegreceiving openings therein disposed in said recesses with their outer surfaces flush with the face of the neck, a peg having an opening therein through which the string above said socket members is threaded and having a headed stern selectively and supportedly engageable with said peg socket members and provided with a fingerpiece which projects upwardly from the string, the fret at the front of said peg constituting a nut for the string threaded through the peg and the string acting to hold the peg in engagement with the peg socket.

4. A stringed musical instrument of the class described comprising a neck provided with a plurality of fixed frets, a head provided with string tension posts and with a plurality of strings, nut means operatively associated with said posts, said neck having longitudinally extending series of peg socket recesses disposed between the frets and below one of the strings, a manually adjusted peg having an opening therein through which the string above said socket members is threaded and having a headed stem selectively and supportedly engageable with said peg socket members and associated with the frets so that the fret in front of the peg constitutes a nut for the string threaded through the peg, the tension of the string acting to hold the peg in manually releasable engagement with the peg socket, a capotasto unit mounted on the neck for adjustment longitudinally thereof and comprising a string engaging body member disposed transversely of the neck above the strings for clasping engagement therewith and selectively positionable between frets, springable extensible means engaging the under portion of the neck and connected to the ends of said body member, said springably extensible means being housed within a yieldable guard and neck engaging sheath, a nut element mounted on said body member to project therefrom with a portion thereof disposed below on of the strings in supporting engagement therewith, and means mounted on the body member for clamping said nut element against the neck, the fret adjacent said nut means at the head end of said neck being spaced to permit positioning of said capotasto unit at the outer side thereof.

5. A stringed musical instrument of the class described comprising a neck provided with a plurality of fixed frets, a head provided with string tension posts and with a plurality of strings, nut means operatively associated with said posts, a capotasto unit mounted on the neck for adjustment longitudinally thereof and comprising a string en.- gaging body member disposed transversely of the neck above the strings for clasping engagement therewith and selectively positionable between frets, springable extensible means engaging the under portion of the neck and connected to the ends of said body member, said springably extensible means being housed within a yieldable guard and neck engaging sheath, a nut element mounted on said body member to project therefrom with a portion thereof disposed below ,one of the strings in supporting engagement therewith, and means mounted on the body member for clamping said nut element against the neck, the fret adjacent said nut means at the head end of said neck being spaced to permit positioning of said capotasto unit as the outer side thereof.

6. A stringed musical instrument of the class described comprising a neck provided with a plurality of fixed frets, a head provided with spring tension posts and with a plurality of strings, nut means operatively associated with said posts, said neck having longitudinally extending series of peg socket recesses disposed between the frets and below one of the strings, and a manually adjusted peg having an opening therein through which the string above said socket members is threaded and having a headed stem selectively and supportedly engageable with said peg socket members and associated with the frets so that the fret in front of the peg constitutes a nut for the string threaded through the peg, the tension of the string acting to hold the peg in manually releasable engagement with the peg socket.

7. A stringed musical instrument of the class described comprising a neck provided with a plurality of fixed frets, a head provided with string tension posts and with a plurality of strings, nut means operatively associated with said posts, said neck having longitudinally extending series of peg sockets disposed between the frets and below one of the strings, a peg having an opening therein through which the string above said socket members is threaded Selectively and supportedly engageable with said peg socket members, the fret in front of the peg constituting a nut for the string threaded through the peg, a capotasto unit mounted on the neck for adjusment longitudinally thereof and comprising a string engaging body member disposed transversely of the neck above the strings for clasping engagement therewith and selectively positionable between frets, springable extensible neck engaging means for bolding said body member in its adjusted position, a neckengaging nut element mounted on said body member and slidably engageable with one of the strings, the fret adjacent said nut means at the head end of said neck being spaced to permit positioning of said capotasto unit at the outer side thereof, said nut element thereon being adjustable to string releasing position.

8. A stringed musical instrument of the class described comprising a neck provided with a plurality of fixed frets, a head provided with string tension posts and with a plurality of strings, nut means operatively associated with said posts, a capotasto unit mounted on the neck and comprising a string engaging body member disposed transversely of the neck above the strings for clasping engagement therewith for adjustment longitudinally thereof and selectively positionable between frets, springable extensible neck engaging means for holding said body member in its adjusted position, a neck-engaging nut element mounted on said body member and slidably engaging one of the strings, the fret adjacent said nut means at the head end of said neck being spaced to' permit positioning of said capotasto unit at the outer side thereof, said nut element therein being adjustable to string releasing position.

9. A stringed musical instrument of the class described comprising a neck provided with a plurality of fixed frets, a head provided with spring tension posts and with a plurality of strings, nut means operatively associated with said posts, said neck having longitudinally extending series of peg sockets disposed between the frets and below One of the strings, and :a manually adjusted peg having an opening therein through which the string above said socket members is threaded selectively and supportedly engageable with said peg socket members, the fret in front of the peg constituting a nut for the string threaded through the peg.

10. A stringed musical instrument of the class described comprising a neck provided with a plurality of fixed frets, a head provided with string tensioning posts and a plurality of strings, nut means adjacent said posts, said neck having a longitudinally extending series of peg sockets disposed below one of the strings, said peg socket members having peg-receiving openings therein, and a manually :adjustable peg having an opening therein through which the string above said socket members is threaded and having a headed stem selectively and supportedly engageable with said peg socket members and provided with a fingerpiece which projects upwardly from the string, thefret at the front of said peg constituting a nut for the string threaded through the peg and the string acting to hold the peg in engagement with the peg socket.

11. A stringed musical instrument of the class described comprising a neck provided with a plurality of fixed frets, a head provided with string tensioning posts, and a plurality of strings, said head having a transversely disposed series of upwardly opening bores constituting nut member sockets, stud-like nut members supportedly seated in said bores and having holes therein through which the strings are threaded, said nut members being in noncontacting relation to each other.

12. A stringed musical instrument of the class described comprising a neck provided with a plurality of fixed frets, a head provided with string tension posts and with a plurality of strings, nut means operatively associated with said posts, a capotasto unit .adjustably mounted on the neck and comprising a string engaging body member disposed transversely of the neck above the strings for clasping engagement therewith and selectively positionable between frets, means connected to said body member engaging the under portion of the neck and connected to the ends of said body member, and a nut element mounted on said body member with a portion thereof disposed below one of the strings in supporting engagement therewith.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 294,832 3/84 Wichard 84-307 370,172 9/87 Wood 84318 692,751 2/02 Winchell 84-318 758,912 5/04 Halladay 84-318 1,924,854 8/33 Harmon 84--318 2,132,281 10/38 Adamson 84-317 2,214,957 9/40 'Furgiuele 843 14 2,491,788 12/49 Widowson 84307 X 2,625,849 1/53 Melita 84-309 FOREIGN PATENTS 277,458 9/27 Great Britain.

LEO SMILOW, Primary Examiner.

LEYLAND M. MARTIN, Examiner.

Patent Citations
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US370172 *Dec 2, 1885Sep 20, 1887 Banjo
US692751 *Oct 16, 1901Feb 4, 1902Charles W FarringtonCapo tasto.
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4006657 *Jan 2, 1976Feb 8, 1977Harry DunnetteStringed musical instruments
US4204454 *Sep 20, 1978May 27, 1980Sev Clare FInstructional apparatus for stringed instrument
US4377962 *Mar 17, 1981Mar 29, 1983Parker Alfred TCollapsible banjo or like stringed instruments
US4669350 *Jan 31, 1985Jun 2, 1987Gressett Jr Charles AClamping nut and method
US5016514 *Aug 6, 1990May 21, 1991Kaufman Jay SCapo for stringed instruments
US5097737 *Dec 18, 1989Mar 24, 1992Uhrig Ira JTuner system for a stringed instrument
US5753838 *Nov 20, 1995May 19, 1998Vanga, Ii; Val GeorgeGuitar string holder
US20130055877 *Jan 31, 2011Mar 7, 2013Jim DuncanCapo device
USRE32863 *Mar 25, 1988Feb 14, 1989 Locking nut assembly for a guitar
Classifications
U.S. Classification84/318, 984/114, 84/314.00N, 84/315, 984/108, 84/314.00R
International ClassificationG10D1/10, G10D1/00, G10D3/00, G10D3/04
Cooperative ClassificationG10D3/043, G10D1/10
European ClassificationG10D3/04B, G10D1/10