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Publication numberUS3412638 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 26, 1968
Filing dateJun 16, 1966
Priority dateJun 16, 1966
Publication numberUS 3412638 A, US 3412638A, US-A-3412638, US3412638 A, US3412638A
InventorsPease John W
Original AssigneeJohn W. Pease
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tuner for stringed instruments
US 3412638 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 26, 1968 J, w. P sE 3,412,638

TUNER FOR STRINGED INSTRUMENTS Filed June 16, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 /s sa l fse Fr 11* l INVENTOR.

ill JOHN w F543;:- 68 G6 J. W. PEASE Nov. 26, 1968 TUNER FOR STRINGED INSTRUMENTS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed June 16, 1966 INVENTOR. JOHN W PEAsE United States Patent 3,412,638 TUNER FOR STRINGED INSTRUMENTS John W. Pease, Mamaroneck, N.Y.

(1730 Winchester Drive, Winter Park, Fla. 32789) Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 472,597,

July 16, 1965. This application June 16, 1966, Ser.

8 Claims. (Cl. 84-455) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The invention relates to a tuner for stringed instruments having magnetic elements and a force transmitting member arranged to provide an adjustable deflection to a string to be tuned in a direction away from the instrument and to provide a fixed releasable force to hold the string in deflection, characterized by a multiple threaded connection of elements to utilize scale markings spaced well apart, while at the same time retaining maximum sensitivity of adjustment, and characterized further by a C-shaped housing foot with projecting fin means to utilize an adjacent instrument string to hold the tuner in place on an instrument neck.

This application is a continuation-in-part of US. application Ser. No. 472,597, filed July 16, 1965.

This invention relates to an improved device for tuning stringed musical instruments mechanically rather than by use of the ear.

In my copending US. application Ser. No. 472,597, filed July 16, 1965, there is disclosed and claimed a device and method of mechanically tuning a stringed musical instrument by the application through a force transmitting member to a string a limited force and deflection.

The subject invention is an improvement over the above mentioned device in the provision of a force transmitting member having a hooked end portion for connection to the string to raise the string away from the neck of an instrument and is especially useful for low strung instruments.

A further improvement lies in the provision of a C- shaped foot portion to the body of the device to provide stable support, center of gravity force application and clear view of the force transmitting member.

Another improvement resides in an improved arrangement of elements producing multiplication of cooperative elements to utilize scale markings spaced well apart for easy reading while at the same time retaining a maximum sensitivity of adjustment in the device.

In general, the above results are accomplished by the combination and cooperation of the hook type force transmitting member, the C-shaped foot portion and an arrangement of left and right handed threaded elements cooperatively arranged in the device.

Other objects and advantages will appear from the following description of an example of the invention, and the novel features will be particularly pointed out in the appended claims.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a tuner embodying the invention and shown in position on a portion of the body of an instrument adjacent to a string to be tuned,

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view partly in cross section taken on line 2-2 of FIG. 1,

FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the several elements comprising the tuner of FIGS. 1 and 2,

FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing the tuner of FIGS. land 2 as applied to a stringed musica1 instrument only 1 string being shown to simplify the drawing,

3,412,638 Patented Nov. 26, 1968 FIG. 5 is a front elevational view partly in cross section of a modified tuner incorporating the invention,

FIGS. 6 and 7 show a modified tuner incorporating the invention, FIG. 7 being an elevational view of the tuner and FIG. 6 being an elevational view partly in crosssection, and

FIG. 8 is an elevational view of a modified foot portion of the tuners of FIGS. 1 to 7.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 4 of the drawings a tuner 10 embodying the invention is shown resting on the neck 12 of an instrument 14 and adjacent a string 16 passing through a hooked portion 18 of a force transmitting member 20 of the tuner. The elongated housing of the tuner is formed of separate concentric relatively rotatable portions including a mainhousing 22 and a rotatable upper housing or cap 24. Rotation of the upper housing as will hereinafter be described in detail will cause the force transmitting member to move vertically to adjustably deflect the string 16. Turn scale member 26 having a scale 28 together with an indicator 30 on the upper housing 24 and a vernier or part turn scale 32 on the main housing 22 are provided to indicate the deflection setting of the tuner.

As will be noted hereinafter the tuner comprises force applying means for applying a limited releasable deflection force to the string in a direction away from the body of the musical instrument when the tuner is positioned thereon, and deflection setting means for adjustably setting the tuner for a predetermined deflection of the string.

Referring to FIG. 3 for a detailed description of the several elements of the tuner it will be seen that the elements include the main housing 22 and rotatable upper housing or cap 24 within which are housed, as shown in FIG. .2, the force transmitting member 20 carrying an armature 34 fixed thereto, a screw 36, magnet 38, locking member and the flanged and recessed turn scale member 26. Also shown in FIG. 3 are tubular inserts 42 and 44. Insert 42 is internally threaded as at 43 to receive the threaded screw 36and is press fit or otherwise secured in the turn scale member 26. Locking member 40 is externally threaded as at 46. Insert 44 is internally threaded as at 48 to receive the threaded locking member 40 and is press fit or otherwise secured in the cap 24.

Locking member 40' is formed with a flanged portion 50 and radial threaded aperture as at 52 to receive a combination set screw and guide member 54. Set screw 54 in conjunction with locking member 40 serves to lock the magnet 38 on the screw 36 and in conjunction with a groove or guide slot 56 in the main housing 10 to prevent rotation of the screw and armature. Main housing 22 is formed with the guide slot 56 to slidably receive a portion of set screw 54 projecting beyond the periphery of the flange portion 50 of locking member 40.

Means are also provided to releasably lock the housing portions 24 and 22 together against longitudinal displacement while maintaining relative rotatability between the two. Any suitable means such as a circular groove and annular snap in ring on adjacent portions of the housing can be employed. However, in the embodiment of FIGS. 1 to 5, I have provided an annular groove 58 in the main housing and a lateral projection 60 on the cap insert 44.

The force transmitting member 20 and armature 34 could be formed of one integral piece of magnetic material. However, it is preferred to form the member 20 of plastic with a carrier head 62 and to cement, mold or otherwise fix the armature 34 thereto. The shaft portion of the member 20 is recessed to form the hook portion 18 to lift upwardly on the instrument string 16 as shown in- FIG. 1.

The bottom portion of the housing 22 is formed with an L-shaped leg 64 to rest on the instrument neck, indicated at 12 in FIG. 1, when the tuner is in use. The bottom wall 66 of the housing is apertured as at 68 and the leg 64 formed with a concavely curved recess 70 to slidably guide the force transmitting member 20.

The turn scale 26 is provided with ribs 72 and 74 to be slidably received in grooves 76 and 78 formed in the cap 24 to lock the scale member 26 and cap 24 together for rotation in unison.

The magnet 38 is apertured as at 80 to pass the screw 36 and grooved or recessed as at 82 to receive the head of the screw 36 and contain the same Within the magnet 38 to permit the armature 34 to engage the lower face of the magnet without interference. The groove is chevron shaped to provide the necessary width for the head of the screw.

Assembly In assembling the elements to the condition shown in FIG. 2, the armature 34 and force transmitting member 20 are dropped as a unit into the bottom of the housing portion 22.

The magnet 38 is dropped on the screw 36 followed by the locking member 40. Inserts 42 and 44 are press fit respectively into the turn scale member 26 and cap 24. Obviously the member 26 and cap 24 could have been threaded. Inserts were used to reduce molding costs. The cap 24 is threaded on the locking member 40 until the upper surface of the members 40 and 44 are flush. Scale member 26 is slid into the cap 24 to rest on the insert 44. Screw 36 is then threaded into the insert 42 until the screw head is in firm engagement with the magnet 38 and the scale member 26 is firmly pressing the locking member 40 against the upper face of the magnet 38. Set screw 54 is then secured against the screw 36 to lock the'magnet in place. The screw and elements assembled thereon is lowered into the main housing 22, the set screw 54 being received in the groove 56 of the housing. When fully inserted the projection 60 of the insert 44 is aligned with annular groove 58 of the housing which prevents removal of the cap except when the projection 60 and groove 56 are in alignment.

The threads 46 on the locking member 40 are formed left-handed and of preferably 40 threads per inch. The threads on the screw 36 are formed right-handed and preferably of greater pitch, as for example, 20 per inch. This arrangement provides a multiplication of scale member movement in relation to movement of the magnet and force transmitting member for easier reading of the scale while maintaining fine adjustment of force transmitter movement, which corresponds to string displacement setting. Thus, for example, each complete turn of the cap 24 moves the force transmitting member 4 of an inch while at the same time moving the scale member of an inch in the same direction. As shown in FIG. 1, each complete turn of the cap 24 is indicated on the scale printed on the member 26 as indicated at 28. A Vernier scale 32 and indicator 30 are printed one on each half of the housing to register portions of each turn.

Operation In operation the tuner is placed on the neck 12 of the instrument with a string 16 in the hook 18 of the force transmitting member as shown in FIGS. 1 and 4. Rotation of the cap 24 adjusts the tuner for a string deflection corresponding to the string tension required to produce a desired note. The scale 28 indicates the number of complete turns and scale 32 indicates the portion of the last turn completed in arriving at the proper setting for a desired note. When the tuner is set and applied to the string as indicated increasing the tension in the string by turning the instrument key 84 will cause the armature 34 to break from the holding magnet 38 and force transmitting member 20 will snap downward toward the neck 12 of the instrument 14.

It is to be noted that when the cap is rotated counterclockwise a full turn, the left-hand thread on the locking member 40 will cause the magnet 38, the force transmitting member 14 and the scale member 26 to move up wardly of an inch. At the same time, due to the right-hand thread on the screw 36, the scale member 26 is caused to move upward an additional of an inch. Thus, the total string deflection is only 4 of an inch but the movement of the turn scale member 24 is of an inch. This enables the markings of scale 28 to be A of an inch apart instead of 4 thereby providing an easier scale to read without sacrificing sensitivity of adjustment.

It is to be understood that the screw 36 could be threaded into an insert (not shown) (replacing insert 44) and the turn scale member 24 could be fixed integral with the screw 36, thereby omitting the threaded portion of the member 40, the grooves 76 and 78 in the cap and the ribs 72 and 74 on the scale member. The tuner would then work as well, but the lines of scale 28 would be 4 of an inch apart and more diflicult to read. Other modifications are also feasible. For example, the threads 46 on element 40 could be right-handed and the threads on screw 36 could be left-handed.

Referring to FIG. 5 showing a modified tuner incorporating the invention the parts 36 and 40 of the tuner of FIGS. 1 to 5 are combined into one stepped shaft 86 having opposite hand threads on the respective stepped portions 87 and 88 and one of a pair of magnetic elements 89 and 90 in FIG. 5 is molded, cemented, or otherwise fixed to the end of the stepped shaft 86 to be carried thereby. Thus, in FIG. 5 one magnetic element, the armature 89, is connected to the lower flanged end 91 of shaft 86 and the other magnetic element, the magnet 90 is connected to a carrier head 92 of a force transmitting member 93. The lower end 91 of the stepped shaft 86 is formed with a projecting portion or guide element 94 to replace the set screw 54 of the tuner of FIGS. 1 to 5.

FIGS. 6 and 7 show a further example of a tuner, incorporating the invention. The tuner 102 of FIGS. 6 and 7 also includes a housing having separate elongated hollow portions including a main housing 104, and upper housing or cap 106, a force transmitting member 108 having a carrier head 110 and a hooked portion 112, magnetic elements including an armature 114 fixed as by cementing or other suitable means to the carrier 110 to be carried by the force transmitting member 108 and a magnet 116, and a screw member 118 having a carrier head 120 to which the magnet 116 is fixed as by cementing or other suitable means. An insert 122 is press fit or otherwise secured in the upper open end of the main housing 104 and is formed with a threaded aperture 124 to receive the threaded shank of screw 118. The screw 118 is non-rotatably fixed to the upper housing 106 by any suitable means, the means shown in FIG. 6 being a threaded aperture 126 to receive the screw 118 and a lock nut 128. A guide means such as a pin 130 passed through the force transmitting member 108 or any other suitable means is provided to prevent rotation of the force transmitting member 108.

As shown in FIG. 7 a turn scale marking 132 is provided on the main housing 104 and a Vernier or part turn scale 134 marking is provided on the adjacent portion of the upper housing. The main housing is telescoped into the upper housing to provide for relative longitudinal movement of the housing portions to provide adjustment readings on the turn scale. The same C-shaped foot as previously described is provided on the main housing.

Operation of this embodiment is the same as for the prior described embodiments. That is, relative rotation of the housing portions raises and lowers the magnet and the force transmitting member to adjustably set the deflection of the instrument string, the adjusted setting being read on the turn and Vernier scale markings.

In FIG. 8 is shown a modification 136 of the C- shaped foot (also incorporating the invention) to provide a holding means for the tuner deriving its force from the strings of the instrument. Thus, as shown in FIG. 8 the foot 136 may be extended rearwardly as at 138 and provided with a rib 140. The advantage of this feature is that a string 17 of the instrument 14 next to the string 16 to be tuned may be employed to apply downward force on the tuner to hold it in place while string 16 is being tightened. The result is that the tuner is self supporting and need not be held in place by hand. This allows one hand to tighten the key 84 and one hand to hold the instrument. It also avoids tilting the tuner which can occur in holding the tuner. Three foot pads, two being shown at 142 and 144 are provided to provide a stable three point support for the tuner.

One important advantage of the invention is that the degree of string deflection is not limited by the height of the strings from the neck of the instrument.

A further advantage resides in the simplicity and reliability of the scales arrangement.

Another advantage obtains from the simplicity of construction and adaptability to low cost manufacturing methods.

A further advantage resides in the L-shaped leg construction providing maximum strength and maximum accessibility to and view of the force transmitting member.

Another important advantage is obtained in the compact arrangement of parts, the actual device being pocket size of about A of an inch maximum diameter and about 3 inches in an extended length.

A further advantage of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-5 is the arrangement for multiplication of movement of the turn scale member with respect to string deflection movement to provide ease of scale reading while maintaining sensitivity of adjustment.

I claim:

1. A tuner for stringed instruments of the type having a body, a plurality of strings to be tuned, spaced supports suspending the strings and means for adjusting the tension in the strings comprising:

(a) force applying means for applying a limited releasable deflection force to the string to be tuned in a direction away from the body of the instrument when the tuner is positioned thereon,

(b) deflection setting means for adjustably setting the tuner for a predetermined deflection of the string,

(0) an elongated hollow housing having a main portion with a foot for positioning on the instrument adjacent the string, and an upper separate concentric portion rotatable relative to said main portion about a common concentric axis,

(d) a force transmitting member having at one end a magnetic element and having a hook portion adjacent the other end thereof,

(e) said main housing being apertured adjacent its foot end to pass the hook end portion of said force transmitting member therethrough,

(f) a second magnetic element dependingly supporting said first mentioned magnetic element to transmit an upward holding force through said force transmitting member,

(g) adjusting means including cooperative threaded elements connected to said second magnetic element and to said relatively rotatable housing portions to slidably move and adjustably position said force transmitting member and magnetic elements in said housing responsive to relative rotation of said .housing portions, and

(h) said main portion housing foot being C-shaped to position the tuner about a string to be tuned without space interference with an adjacent string While providing access to the hooked end of said force transmitting member and to provide protection of the instrument from a downward snap of said force transmitting member.

receive a string adjacent the string to be tuned to hold said tuner in place on the instrument.

3. A tuner for stringed instruments of the type having a body, at least one string to be tuned, spaced supports suspending the string and means for adjusting the tention in the string comprising:

(a) force applying means for applying a limited releasable deflection force to the string in a direction away from the body of the instrument when the tuner is positioned thereon,

(b) deflection setting means for adjustably setting the tuner for a predetermined deflection of the string,

said force applying means including:

(c) an elongated hollow housing having a main portion with a foot for positioning on the instrument adjacent the string, an upper separate concentric portion rotatable relative to said main portion about a common concentric axis,

(d) a force transmitting member having at one end a magnetic element and having a hook portion adjacent the other end thereof,

(e) said main housing being apertured adjacent its foot end to pass the hook end portion of said force transmitting member therethrough,

(f) a second magnetic element dependingly supporting said first mentioned magnetic element to transmit an upward holding force through said force transmitting member,

(g) adjusting means including cooperative threaded elements connected to said second magnetic element and to said relatively rotatable housing portions to slidably move and adjustably position said force transmitting member and magnetic elements in said housing responsive to relative rotation of said housing portions,

said deflection setting means including:

(h) a turn scale member slidably positioned in said hollow upper housing portion and connected to said screw means to move therewith and project to varying degrees above said upper housing portion depending upon the setting of said tuner,

(i) said turn scale having a scale marked thereon to indicate the number of complete turns of said relatively rotatable housing portions,

(j) said housing portions having marked on the outer periphery thereof a partial turn scale and on the other housing portion an indicator to indicate the degree of partial rotation of one housing portion in relation to the other housing portion.

4. A tuner according to claim 3:

(a) said threaded elements including a left hand thread combination of elements and a right handed thread combination of elements,

(b) one of said combinations of elements having relatively fine cooperating threads and the other combination of elements having relatively coarse connecting threads,

(c) said one combination being connected between said housing main portion and said second magnetic elernent to slidably move said second magnetic element in said housing,

(d) said other combination being connected between said second magnetic element and said turn scale member, and

(e) guide means for non-rotatable slidable coupling of said turn scale member to said housing portion to provide a multiplication of slidable movement of said turn scale member in said housing in relation to slidable movement of said second magnetic element and force transmitting member therein.

5. A tuner according to claim 4:

(a) said main portion housing foot being C-shaped to provide access to the hooked end of said force transmitting member and to provide a stable support for said tuner when positioned on the body of the stringed instrument.

6. A tuner according to claim 3:

said threaded elements including:

(a) an elongated main screw concentrically positioned in said housing,

(b) means for threadedly connecting said one end of said main screw to said turn scale member wtih a thread of one hand,

() means for fixing said second magnetic element to the other end of said screw,

(d) guide means for non-rotatably and slidably positioning said screw and second magnetic element in said main housing,

(e) means for threadedly connecting said screw adjustment its other end to said upper housing portion with a thread of the opposite hand, and

(f) guide means for non-rotatably and slidably positioning said turn scale member in said upper housing portion.

7. A tuner according to claim 6:

(a) said main portion housing foot being C-shaped to provide access to the hooked end of said force transmitting member and to provide a stable support for said tuner when positioned on the body of the stringed instrument.

8. A tuner according to claim 3:

(a) said main portion housing foot being C-shaped to provide access to the hooked end of said force trans- 10 mitting member and to provide a stable support for said tuner when positioned on the body of the stringed instrument.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,174,334 3/1965 McKernan 73-144 RICHARD B. WILKINSON, Primary Examiner.

L. R. FRANKLIN, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US317433 *Dec 22, 1884May 5, 1885 Eliza chester atwood
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4287806 *Feb 6, 1979Sep 8, 1981Neary John RMethod and apparatus for tensioning a drum
US4958550 *Sep 13, 1988Sep 25, 1990Kabushiki Kaisha Kawai Gakki SeisakushoTuning method and apparatus for keyboard musical instrument
US6888056Oct 16, 2002May 3, 2005Brant LeonardPiano string coil lifting and setting apparatus
US7109405 *Aug 31, 2004Sep 19, 2006Dave BrownD tuner
Classifications
U.S. Classification84/455, 73/862.451
International ClassificationG10D7/00, G10D7/02
Cooperative ClassificationG10D7/02
European ClassificationG10D7/02