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Publication numberUS3237502 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 1, 1966
Filing dateMay 11, 1964
Priority dateMay 11, 1964
Publication numberUS 3237502 A, US 3237502A, US-A-3237502, US3237502 A, US3237502A
InventorsSemie A Moseley
Original AssigneeSemie A Moseley
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Stringed musical instrument
US 3237502 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 1, 1966 s. A. MOSELEY 3,237,502

STRINGED MUS ICAL INSTRUMENT Filed May 11, 1964 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 I'm/e A M01 6/7 ##orwy March 1, 1966 s. A. MOSELEY 3,237,502

STRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENT Filed May 11, 1964 a Sheets-Sheet 2 M/I E/VTOK fem/e 4. Mara/e March 1, 1966 s. A. MOSELEY 3,237,502

STRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENT Filed May 11, 1964 :s Sheets-Sheet s United Sttes Patent 3,237,502 STRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENT Semie A. Moseley, 1500 P St., Bakersfield, Calif. Filed May 11, 1964, Ser. No. 366,505 12 Claims. (Cl. 84-267) The present invention relates to a lute-type stringed instrument, such as a guitar, or the like, and it relates more particularly to an improved stringed instrument which includes, for example, a vibrato tuning capability, and and which also includes other unique features.

Many present day guitars, and similar stringed instruments, are equipped with a vibrato tuning unit. The musician, by a manual manipulation of the vibrato unit, can control the tone of the instrument. However, difficulties have been encountered in the past in providing a vibrato tuning unit which will operate satisfactorily.

Specifically, most of the prior art vibrato tuning units are incapable of varying the tone of all the strings of the instrument by an equal proportion of the musical tones produced by the strings. This means that when the vibrato unit of the prior art instruments is actuated, the tone of the particular chord being sounded by all the strings does not remain in tune.

An object of the present invention is to provide an improved vibrato control in a stringed musical instrument such as a guitar, which control may be manually operated so as to change the tone of the musical instrument without mis-tuning effects.

It is also common practice to provide a stringed musical instrument, such as a guitar, with a bridge adjacent the vibrato control unit, the strings of the instrument being stretched by the vibrato control unit across the bridge.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved bridge in a stringed instrument which is adjustable for the individual strings, so that each string may be adjusted by the musician to as near perfect pitch as is humanly possible.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide such an improved bridge which is equipped with wooden inserts so as to enhance the richness of the tone of the instrument.

A still further object of the invention is to provide such an improved bridge which includes rollers for receiving the strings of the instrument; so that when the tension of the strings is loosened or increased under the control of the aforesaid vibrato unit, the rollers of the bridge roll with the strings so as to prevent rubbing or dragging of the strings across the bridge, thereby to increase string life and to decrease string breakage.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide such an improved stringed instrument having a uniquely formed and conceived shoulder carrying strap assembly.

The features of the invention which are believed to be new are set forth with particularity in the following claims. The invention itself, however, together with further objects and advantages may best be understood by reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a plan view of an electric guitar constructed in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is a sectional view of the guitar of FIG- URE 1, taken substantially on the line 2-2 of FIG- URE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary plan view of certain of the components of the guitar of FIGURE 1, these components being shown on an enlarged scale, with respect to FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 4 is a cross-sectional view of the assembly of FIGURE 3, taken along the line 44 of FIGURE 3;

3,237,502 Patented Mar. 1, 1966 FIGURE 5 is a cross sectional view taken along the line 55 of FIGURE 4;

FIGURE 6 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view, substantially along the line 66 of FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 7 is a side sectional view, taken on the line 7-7 of FIGURE 6;

FIGURE 8 is a perspective view of a modified form of one of the components of the guitar of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 9 is a side elevational view of the component of FIGURE 8, essentially on the line 99 of FIG- URE 8;

FIGURE 10 is an illustration of a bass electric guitar incorporating certain features of the invention;

FIGURE 11 is an enlarged perspective view of a bridge which may be used in the guitar of FIGURE 10;

FIGURE 12 is a sectional view of one of the adjustable brackets included in the bridge of FIGURE 11, taken along the line 1212 of FIGURE 11;

FIGURE 13 shows, on an enlarged scale, a muted bridge which may be included in the guitar of FIGURE 1, and which may replace the bridge illustrated in the guitar of FIGURES 1 and 3;

FIGURE 14 is a fragmentary view of an improved carrying strap for the guitar;

FIGURE 15 is a plan view of an elcctro-magnetic pick-up used in the guitar;

FIGURE 16 is a sectional view of the pick-up, taken substantially on the line 16-16 of FIGURE 15;

FIGURE 17 is a further sectional view, taken substantially on the line 17-17 of FIGURE 16;

FIGURE 18 is a view of a neck re-enforcing rod included in the guitar;

FIGURE 19 is a sectional view of a bracket which may be included in the bridge of FIGURE 11; and

FIGURE 20 is a perspective view of a string guide used in the guitar.

The electric guitar illustrated in FIGURE 1 includes a head 10 and a body 12. The guitar also includes a neck 14 which inter-connects the head and the body. A plurality of strings 16 extend from the head 10 to the body 12. These strings are anchored on the head 10 by usual adjustable pegs 18. As is well known, the strings 16 may be tuned individually by rotatably adjusting the corresponding pegs 18.

The guitar of FIGURE 1 includes an adjustable vibrato unit 20 which is mounted on the body 12. The vibrato unit serves to anchor the other ends of the strings 16, in an adjustable manner, as will be described.

The strings 16 pass over a guide 17 and a pair of pickups 22 and 24 which are mounted on the body 12, and they are stretched over a bridge 26 which will be described in detail. The guide 17, as best shown in FIG- URE 20, may be conveniently formed from brass round stock, which has been grooved and split. The guide 17 may be cemented, or otherwise affixed to the neck of the guitar. The pick-ups 22 and 24 are electromagnetic transducers, and they function to convert the vibratory motion of the individual strings into corresponding electric signals.

The bridge 26 is supported on shoulders formed in screws 27, as shown in FIGURES 1 and 2. The tension of the strings 16 holds the bridge 26 down on these shoulders. Then, merely by adjusting the screws 27, the height of the bridge can be set to any desired level, so as to make the strings as high or as low with respect to the surface of the body 12, as desired.

The pick-up units 22 and 24 may be similarly constructed. The pick-up 22, for example, as shown in FIGURES 15-17, includes a plurality of screws 23. The screws 23 are composed of magnetizable material and they are disposed under the respective strings 16, as shown in FIGURE 1. The upper ends of the screws are adjustable with respect to the strings to produce a desired tone and amplitude balance between the strings.

The pickup unit 22, as shown in FIGURE 16, includes an electric coil 25 which is wound on a bobbin 29 (FIG- URE 16) to surround the screws 23. As shown in FIG- URF. 17, the screws 23 extend into individual pole pieces 31, each composed of magnetizable material and disposed in spaced relationship between a pair of permanent magnets 33 and 35.

The pole pieces 31 serve to intensify the magnetic field between the permanent magnets in the region of the individual screws 23. Therefore, a sensitive pick-up is provided, with the changes in magnetic flux produced by the vibrating strings 16 being transduced into corresponding electric signal currents in the coil 25.

A quantity of foamed plastic 37 is disposed under the pick-up 22, as shown in FIGURE 16. This plastic serves as a damping means so that mechanical vibrations in the body of the guitar will not be reproduced by the pick-up.

The unit 22 is held assembled by a cross strip 39 which is held in place by a pair of screws 41.

A toggle switch 28 (FIGURE 1) is mounted on the body 12, and this toggle switch is manually adjustable to three distinct positions, so as to connect one or the other, or both, of the pick-ups 22 and 24 to an external electric amplifier and reproducing system (not shown).

A pair of control knobs 30 and 32 are also provided on the body 12 to control the volume of the electric signals produced by the respective pick-ups 22 and 24.

The body 12 also includes a pair of end pins 34 and 36, and a shoulder strap 38 is removably mounted on the pins, so as to form a loop, as shown. A form fitting pad 40 is mounted on the strap 38. The strap extends through loops 39 in the pad 40, so that the pad may be moved along the strap 38 to a selected position, so as to provide a comfortable carrying means for the musreian.

The pad 40, as best shown in FIGURE 14, is configured so that it curves around the musicians neck, holding the strap in place on the musicians shoulder. The pad fits over the musicians shoulder, so as to provide a comfortable and stable carrying means for the instrument. The strap is padded, for example, with foam rubber, so as to enhance the comfort with which the instrument may be carried.

The unique configuration of the pad 40 also permits the strap 38 conveniently to be pulled through the loops 39 by shifting the guitar, while the pad 40 is on the shoulder, until the most comfortable position of the guitar is reached.

The vibrato control unit 20, as shown in FIGURES 3-5, includes a base 50 which may be mounted on the body 12 by means of screws, such as the screws 52. The base 50 defines a pair of side brackets 50a, and a plate 54 is pivotally mounted in the side brackets by means of a pair of pins 56.

A top plate 58 is affixed to the plate 54 and extends at right angles to the plate 54. A handle 60 is pivotally mounted on the top plate 58 on a pivot mount 62. This mount permits the handle 60 to be pivoted out of the way, when not in use. A spring 64 is mounted between the base 50 and the top plate 58, so as to bias the plate 54 about the axis of the pivot pin 56 in a first angular direction. The handle 60, on the other hand, when moved down into the plane of the body 12, turns the plate 54 in the opposite angular direction.

The plate 54 includes a plurality of misaligned apertures for receiving respective ones of the strings 16 as' shown, for example, in FIGURE 4. The strings are passed through the apertures and held by suitable anchors, such as the anchors 68 (FIGURE It will be appreciated that the spring 64 normally biases the vibrato unit 20 so that the strings 16 are under a predetermined tension. However, when the handle 60 is moved down into the plane of the body 12, the tension on that the strings 16 are stretched over it to provide the desired tonal quality for the instrument. This bridge may be mounted on the base 50, as shown in FIGURE 3. The bridge 26 includes a plurality of rollers 70, such as shown, for example, in FIGURES 6 and 7, and the strings 16 pass over the rollers 70. The rollers themselves are supported on individual brackets 72 which, in turn, are adjustable back and forth in the bridge, longitudinally with respect to the instrument by means of individual screws such as the screws 74 in FIGURES 6 and 7.

As mentioned above, the individual adjustment provided by the screws 74 enables the musician to adjust each string to as perfect a pitch as humanly possible. This adjustment is accomplished by turning each screw, such as the screw 74, so as to move its associated bracket 72 back and forth to the desired position. The screw 74 is fastened at both ends, so that when it turns, only the bracket 72 moves back and forth in the bridge 26.

The roller bracket 72, for example, may be made of brass, from one-quarter inch rod stock. A slot for the roller 70 is milled out of the bracket, and the roller is held in place by an axle, such as the axle 76. The axle may be made from inch stainless steel. The axle is pressed into the roller 70 and it fits loosely in the bracket 72. In this way the roller and axle turn inside the bracket, so that there is less vibration than would be created if the axle were stationary and only the roller turned. The bracket 72 is preferably hollow, as indicated 72a in FIGURE 19. The cavity in the brackets 72a creates a tone cavity under each string. This improves the tonal qualities of the guitar, and lengthens the ringing time of the strings.

As mentioned above, an advantage of having rollers, such as the roller 70 for the individual strings arises particularly when a vibrato unit, such as the unit 20 is included in the guitar. Then, when the tension on the strings is loosened or increased by the vibrato unit, the string is caused to roll along the roller, rather than to be rubbed or dragged across the bridge. This, of course, vastly increases the string life and decreases string breakage to a minimum.

A modification for the vibrato unit 20 is shown in FIGURES 8 and 9. In the latter unit, the base 50 supports by the pins 50a a plurality of individual blocks 54a. These blocks each contain an aperture for receiving corresponding ones of the strings 16. The blocks 54a are suspended from the top plate 58 of the unit by individual screws 90. The screws may be adjusted, so that the individual blocks 54a may be set at any desired elevation. This provides the desired misalignment of the respective apertures, so that the aforesaid effects may be achieved with a minimum amount of mis-tuning of the instrument. The different strings 16 extend through a front plate 92 (FIGURE 9) in the unit, this plate being equipped with slots 93 to receive the strings. The blocks 54a are supported behind the plate 92, with their apertures in respective alignment with the slots 93.

The bass guitar of FIGURE 10, like the guitar of FIGURE 1, includes a head 10, a neck 14, and a body 12. The strings 16 extend down the neck 14 from the head 10 to the body 12. The strings are anchored on the body 12 by a usual holding plate 100, and they are anchored on the head 10 by the aforementioned adjustable tuning pegs 18. The neck of the bass guitar is fretted by frets 102, and the strings are pressed against the frets,

as is well known, when the instrument is played. The bass guitar includes a single pick-up 104, and it has a bridge 106.

The bridge 106, as shown in FIGURES 11 and l2, includes a channel member 120. This channel member may be mounted on the body by means, for example, of a pair of screws 122. Individual brackets 124 are mounted on the channel member 120 by means, for example, of individual screws 126.

These screws 126 are adjustable, so as to move the brackets 124 back and forth to desired positions, in a manner similar to the adjustment of the rollers 70 in the bridge 26. Each of the brackets 124 includes a wooden insert 128 which receives the corresponding strings 16, and which provides a high degree of richness to the tone of the instrument.

The guitar of FIGURE 1 may also include a muting bridge 108, shown in FIGURE 13 in place of the bridge 26, as mentioned above. The bridge 108 may be mounted on the body 12 by means, for example, of appropriate screws 114. The muting bridge 108 includes an elongated member which extends across the strings, and which receives the strings. The bridge also includes a second member 112 which is positioned adjacent the elongated member 110, and which is pivotally attached to the member 110 by means, for example, of a screw 114. A pad 116 is mounted on the member 112 of the muted bridge, and this pad is formed of a resilient rubber-like material.

The pad 116 may be moved against the under side of the strings 16 by moving the member 112 pivotally, as shown by the arrow in FIGURE 13. Such motion is facilitated by the upturned end 112a of the member, so as to enable the musician to place his fingers under that end.

As shown in FIGURE 18, the neck 14 of the guitar may be strengthened by a truss 150. The truss is composed of a metallic strip 151 which is bent back on itself. The right hand ends of the strip are formed into an integral bracket 152 and a threaded portion 154 which extends through the bracket.

A threaded sleeve 156 fits over the threaded portion 154 of the strip 151. As the sleeve is tightened against the bracket, the upper strip of the truss is caused to bow in a direction to compensate for any tendency for the neck 14 to how. The truss can be inserted in the neck 14 in the manner shown in FIGURE 18 so as to compensate for normal bowing of the neck. Alternately, it can be inserted upside down, so as to compensate for abnormal, reversed bowing of the neck.

The invention provides, therefore, an improved guitar which incorporates unique and improved features, as described above. While particular embodiments of the invention have been described, modifications may be made. The following claims are intended to cover all modifications which fall within the scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. In a stringed musical instrument having a head, a body and an inter-connecting neck, and having a plurality of strings extending from said head along said neck to said body, the combination of: a manually adjustable anchor for said strings mounted on said body for simultaneously varying the tension in all said strings to produce a vibrato effect; and a bridge mounted on said body adjacent said anchor and over which said strings are stretched; said anchor including support means having a plurality of misaligned apertures therein for receiving said strings, means for anchoring said strings in respective ones of said misaligned apertures, means pivotally mounting said support means for rotation about an axis displaced to one side of said apertures and generally parallel to the plane of said body and displaced therefrom, resilient means for biasing said support means about said axis in a first angular direction, and manual control means for turning said support means about said axis in the opposite angular direction.

2. The combination defined in claim 1 in which said support means comprises an apertured plate.

3. The combination defined in claim 1 in which said support means comprises individual apertured blocks, and means for mounting said blocks in said anchor for individual adjustment in a direction essentially perpendicular to the plane of said body.

4. A manually adjustable anchor for use in a stringed instrument, said stringed instrument having a head, a body and an interconnecting neck, and further having a plurality of strings extending along said neck from said head to said body, said anchor being adapted to be mounted on said body and being manually adjustable to vary simultaneously the tension in all said strings to produce a vibrato effect, said anchor including: support means having a plurality of misaligned apertures therein for receiving said strings, means for anchoring said strings in respective ones of said misaligned apertures, means pivotally mounting said support means for rotation about an axis displaced to one side of said apertures and generally parallel to the plane of said body and displaced therefrom, resilient means for biasing said support means about said axis in a first angular direction, and manual control means for turning said support means about said axis in the opposite angular direction.

5. The combination defined in claim 4 in which said support means comprises an aperture plate.

6. The combination defined in claim 4 in which said support means comprises individual apertured blocks, and means for mounting said blocks in said anchor for individual adjustment in a direction essentially perpendicular to the plane of said body.

7. The combination defined in claim 1 in which said bridge includes a plurality of rollers for receiving rcspective ones of said strings.

8. The combination defined in claim 1 in which said bridge includes a plurality of rollers for receiving respective ones of said strings, and in which said bridge further includes adjustable means for supporting respective ones of said rollers in positions individually adjustable longitudinally with respect to the instrument.

9. The combination defined in claim 1 in which said bridge includes a plurality of brackets for receiving respective ones of said strings, and a corresponding plurality of wooden inserts mounted in respective ones. of said brackets.

10. The combination defined in claim 1 in which said. bridge includes a plurality of brackets for receiving re-{ spective ones of said strings, a corresponding plurality of wooden inserts mounted in respective ones of said. brackets, and adjustable means for each of said brackets. to permit the same to be adjustably positioned longitudinally with respect to the instrument.

11. The combination defined in claim 1 in which said bridge includes a plurality of rollers for receiving respe tive ones of said strings, and in which said bridge further includes a corresponding plurality of brackets for support-= ing respective ones of said rollers and each of said brackets; having a tone cavity formed therein.

12. The combination defined in claim 1 in which said. bridge includes a plurality of brackets for supporting: respective ones of said strings, and each of said brackets having a tone cavity formed therein.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,152,783 4/1939 Beauchamp 84-313 2,335,244 11/1943 Gugino 84-293 2,573,254 10/1951 Fender 841.l6 2,612,072 9/1952 Armond 84l.15 2,740,313 4/1956 McCarty 84307 2,741,146 4/1956 Fender 843l3 2,788,694 4/1957 Dearth 84-312 (Other references on following page) UNITED STATES PATENTS Gregg et a]. 84-2 67 Paulsen 84-312 Daria 84-307 Lover 84-1.]5 Hoyer 84-307 Fender 84-313 Paul 84-1.16

Cunningham 84-327 Rzllei-gh 84-327 Coslen 84-313 X Boyd 84-313 Fender 84-293 LEO SMILOW, Primary Examiner.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification84/267, 84/327, 224/264, 84/313, 84/298, D17/14, 84/293, 224/910, 84/307
International ClassificationG10D3/14
Cooperative ClassificationG10D3/14, Y10S224/91
European ClassificationG10D3/14
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 10, 1982ASAssignment
Owner name: KIMBALL INTERNATIONAL, INC., 1549 ROYAL ST., JASPE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:WHIRLPOOL CORPORATION, A CORP. OF DE;REEL/FRAME:004053/0994
Effective date: 19820511