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Publication numberUS3453920 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 8, 1969
Filing dateJun 29, 1966
Priority dateJun 29, 1966
Publication numberUS 3453920 A, US 3453920A, US-A-3453920, US3453920 A, US3453920A
InventorsRobert C Scherer
Original AssigneeBaldwin Co D H
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Piezo guitar bridge pickup
US 3453920 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

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y 3, 1959 R. c. SCHERER 3,453,920



l I W 1 v H ATTORNEY 5 United States Patent 3,453,920 PIEZO GUITAR BRIDGE PICKUP Robert C. Scherer, Cincinnati, Ohio, assignor to D. H. Baldwin Company, Cincinnati, Ohio, a corporation of Ohi Filed June 29, 1966, Ser. No. 561,486 Int. Cl. (310d 1/08, 3/00 US. Cl. 84-416 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The present invention relates generally to mechanicoelectrical tranducers for stringed instruments and more particularly to piezoelectric transducers capable of providing response to vibrational components in one plane, to the exclusion of vibrational components in a plane orthogonal to the one plane.

The problem exists, in transducing the vibrations of a string, and particularly of a picked or plucked string, that while the steady state vibration of the String subsists in a preferred plane, the initial transient vibration, occurring on picking or plucking, involves a complex vibration in three dimensions. In some types of guitar playing, it is desired to accentuate the sound of the plectrum as it actuates the stirng of the guitar. I have found that this objective can be accomplished by accentuating response of string transducers to horizontal vibrations of the string. At the same time certain types of noise, and microphonics, can be eliminated from the transducer outputs if responses due to vertical string vibrations are reduced, or responses due to horizontal vibrations relatively increased. Microphonics, in guitars, are due to noise-like vibrations of the guitar body. These may occur due to handling of the body, finger movements, and the like. Such vibrations are transmitted from the body of the guitar to the transducers, primarily via the bridge of the guitar, and are largely vertical. Finger noise is noise due to movements of the fingers along the strings. Such movements appear to cause largely vertitical string vibrations. Accordingly, by providing a string transducer which responds only, or primarily to horizontal string vibrations, not only do we obtain accentuation of the sounds of the plectrum in actuating the strings, but at the same time there occurs a reduction of microphonics and string noise.

It is, accordingly, a broad object of the invention to provide a novel piezoelectric mechanico-electric transducer for the string vibrations of stringed instruments, which shall be selective of one mode of vibration to the exclusion of others.

It is a more specific object of the invention to provide a mechanico-electrical transducer system employing two piezoelectric crystals mounted at an angle to each other under a vibrating element, such that vibratory modes of the vibratory element in a horizontal plane are additive while vibratory modes in the vertical plane are subtractive, or vice versa, in respect to the electrical responses of the crystals.

The above and still further objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description of one specific embodiment thereof, especially when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a view in transverse section through a bridge and transducer arranged in accordance with the invention;


FIGURE 2 is a view in transverse section of a portion of the transducer system of FIGURE 1, including one vibratory element;

FIGURE 3 is a view in transverse section, according to FIGURE 2, but showing interconnections of two piezoelectric transducer elements, which result in zero electrical response to the horizontal vibratory mode;

FIGURE 4 is a view in transverse section of a modification of the system of FIGURE 3, showing interconnections of transducer elements which result in zero response to the vertical vibratorymode; and

FIGURE 5 is a view' of a modification of the system of FIGURE 3 employing a zero angle between the piezoelectric transducers.

Referring now to the accompanying drawings, in FIG- URE l, 10 represents a portion of the body of a stringed musical instrument, specifically a guitar. On the body portion 10 rests a base plate 11 for supporting the usual bridge 12, of the instrument. The bridge 12 includes at its upper edge, V notches as 13, 14 for each string, as 15, 16. Interposed between each string and notch, considering string 15 as exemplary, is an interposer of triangular cross section, 17, conforming in shape geometrically to the notch 13, and a pair of piezoeleg'tric crystals 18, 19 having the usual electrodes and responsive in the thickness mode. The crystals 18, 19 are each laid on a different side of the notch, symmetrically thereof, and the interposer 17 rests on the crystals 18, 19 and supports string 13 centrally of its upper surface.

The vibrations of string 15 are transmitted to the body portion 10 of the guitar, in the usual fashion except for the interposition of the transducer system.

The angle a, FIGURE 2, which exists between the horizontal plane and a side 20 of the interposer can have a wide range of values, i.e.,from zero degrees to an angle approaching However, the amplitude of response of the piezoelectric crystals, for either mode of vibration, is a function of a, vertical and horizontal modes providing equal response for a=45.

Piezoelectric crystals possess polarity, i.e., indentical crystals provide output voltage of one sign for a positive increment of compressionand of the opposite sign for a negative increment of compression, for one orientation of the crystal, which are reversed if the crystal is turned over, i.e., one plate of the crystal is positive going and the other negtaive going in response to compression.

If it is desired to suppress horizontal mode responses, as in FIGURE 3, the crystals are identically oriented, for example, with their positive faces in contact with interposer 17, and positive electrodes are interconnected by lead 22, and negative electrodes by lead 23. Vertical movement of interposer 17 then generates cophasal outputs from the crystals. For horizontal vibrations of interposer 17, the outputs of the crystals 18, 19, being one in compression and one in decompression, are out of phase and equal in amplitude, and therefore cancel.

In FIGURE 4, one, 19, of the crystals 18, 19 has its negative electrode, i.e., that electrode which responds with production of negative voltage to compressive force, ad jacent to interposer 17, while the other, 18, has its positive electrode adjacent to interposer 17. Thereby, the voltages generated by the crystals 18 and 19 are out of phase by for compression, and the connections previously recited for the embodiment of FIGURE 3 pro= vide zero response for vertical vibrations of interposer 17 and maximum response for horizontal vibrations. The latter is the configuration usually desired in guitar trans" ducers.

In the limit one may use a value of 11:0, as in FIG- URE 5. In such case a pair, 18, 19, of piezoelectric crystals, having oppositely poled electrodes rest on base 11..

trated and descrlbed may be resorted to without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention as defined inthe appended claims. What is claimed is: 1. A mechanico-electric transducer for a vibrating string, comprising:

a support for said string, saidsupport permitting vibration of said string in at least two orthogonal modes, a first piezoelectric crystal underlying said support, a second piezoelectric crystal underlying said support,

and means connecting said piezoelectric crystals to provide substantially zero joint piezoelectric response to vi= bration of said string in one of said modes and a relatively large joint response to vibration of said string in the other of said modes. 2. The combination according to claim 1 wherein said 4 support is wedge-shaped, having two surfaces terminating in a common line, said piezoelectric crystals underlying said surfaces, said string overlying said common line on said support.

3. The combination according to claim 2 wherein said surfaces make an angle of approximately to each other.

4. The combination according to claim 1 wherein said piezoelectric crystals occupy a substantially common plane under said support,

said support having a flat surface contacting said piezoelectric crystals, and

wherein said string is arranged to compress said support against said piezoelectric crystals and to apply torque to said support during vibration of said string in a direction parallel to said common plane.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,137,754 6/1964 Evans 84-116 HERMAN KARL SAALBACH, Primary Examiner.

F, P. BUTLER, Assistant Examiner.

US. Cl. X.R., 7370

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3137754 *Oct 12, 1961Jun 16, 1964Atuk CorpSignal generating system
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3624264 *Feb 18, 1970Nov 30, 1971Lazarus ArnoldMethod and apparatus for sound and vibration detection
US4292875 *Mar 27, 1980Oct 6, 1981Nourney Carl ErnstStrain-gauge sound pickup for string instrument
US4314495 *Nov 8, 1979Feb 9, 1982Baggs Lloyd RPiezoelectric saddle for musical instruments and method of making same
US4356754 *Oct 20, 1980Nov 2, 1982Fishman Lawrence RMusical instrument transducer
US4534258 *Oct 3, 1983Aug 13, 1985Anderson Norman JTransducing assembly responsive to string movement in intersecting planes
US4538498 *Oct 24, 1983Sep 3, 1985Marten Timothy JImprovements in and relating to an acoustic guitar bridge
US4860625 *May 16, 1988Aug 29, 1989The Board Of Trustees Of The Leland Stanford, Jr. UniversityBimorphic piezoelectric pickup device for stringed musical instruments
US4903566 *Feb 23, 1988Feb 27, 1990Mcclish Richard E DComposite pickup apparatus for stringed instruments
US4911054 *May 16, 1989Mar 27, 1990Mcclish Richard E DNoise-cancelling pickup for stringed instruments
US4951543 *Jun 29, 1988Aug 28, 1990Cipriani Thomas JIncreased torque bridge for guitars
US5153363 *Jul 19, 1990Oct 6, 1992Fishman Lawrence RStringed instrument piezoelectric transducer
US5206449 *Dec 14, 1989Apr 27, 1993Mcclish Richard E DOmniplanar pickup for musical instruments
US5347905 *Aug 28, 1991Sep 20, 1994Cipriani ThomasAdjustable bridge system for acoustical stringed instruments
US5877447 *Apr 16, 1997Mar 2, 1999Fender Musical Instruments CorporationCompensation circuit for piezoelectric pickup
US6075198 *Aug 13, 1998Jun 13, 2000Grant; W. GerrySolid body instrument transducer
US6271457May 19, 2000Aug 7, 2001Kaman Music CorporationPiezoelectric bridge-type pickup for a stringed musical instrument
US6392137Apr 27, 2000May 21, 2002Gibson Guitar Corp.Polyphonic guitar pickup for sensing string vibrations in two mutually perpendicular planes
US6515214Apr 19, 2002Feb 4, 2003Yamaha CorporationPickup unit incorporated in stringed instrument for converting vibrations of string to electric signal in good fidelity
US6605771Mar 23, 2001Aug 12, 2003Lloyd R. BaggsPickup assembly for musical instrument
US6888057Sep 8, 2003May 3, 2005Gibson Guitar Corp.Digital guitar processing circuit
US7138577 *May 27, 2004Nov 21, 2006Yamaha CorporationStringed musical instrument equipped with pickup embedded in bridge and bridge used therein
US7166794Sep 8, 2003Jan 23, 2007Gibson Guitar Corp.Hexaphonic pickup for digital guitar system
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U.S. Classification84/731, 84/743, 984/371, 84/DIG.240, 84/307, 73/649
International ClassificationB06B1/06, G10H3/18
Cooperative ClassificationG10H2220/471, Y10S84/24, B06B1/0644, G10H2220/525, G10H3/185, G10H2220/491
European ClassificationG10H3/18E, B06B1/06E
Legal Events
Feb 13, 1985AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Effective date: 19850102
Feb 13, 1985ASAssignment
Effective date: 19850102
Mar 7, 1983ASAssignment
Effective date: 19820728
Mar 7, 1983AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: 908 WEST CHESTNUT, CHANUTE, KS. 66720 A CORP OF TN
Effective date: 19820728