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Publication numberUS3530228 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 22, 1970
Filing dateApr 23, 1968
Priority dateApr 23, 1968
Publication numberUS 3530228 A, US 3530228A, US-A-3530228, US3530228 A, US3530228A
InventorsRobert C Scherer
Original AssigneeBaldwin Co D H
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electric guitar piezoelectric transducer bridge with replaceable string height adjustors
US 3530228 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 22, 1970 R, c. sc 3,530,228

ELECTRIC GUITAR PIEZOELECTRIC TRANSDUCER BRIDGE WITH REPLACEABLE STRING HEIGHT ADJUSTORS Filed April 23, 1968 INVENTOR 16 ROBERT C. SCHERER 1 2 I BYM/ ATTORNEYS United States Patent O 3,530,228 ELECTRIC GUITAR PIEZOELECTRIC TRANS- DUCER BRIDGE WITH REPLACEABLE STRING HEIGHT ADJUSTORS Robert C. Scherer, Cincinnati, Ohio, assignor to D. H. Baldwin Company, Cincinnati, Ohio, a corporation of Ohio Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 483,679, Aug. 30, 1965. This application Apr. 23, 1968, Ser. No. 723,535

Int. Cl. G10d 3/04, /00

U.S. Cl. 84-116 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE CROSS REFERENCES This application is a continuation-in-part of my application, Ser. No. 483,679, entitled Electric Guitar Bridge, filed Aug. 30, 1965, now US. Pat. No. 3,396,284 issued Aug. 6, 1968, and assigned to the assignee of this application.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Electric guitars are conventionally provided with transducers, capable of providing output in response to the vibrations of the strings when the latter are picked or plucked. In such guitars the modes of vibrations of the strings vary with time, from initial excitation to final decay, and, in particular, picking or plucking a string may induce a vibration in one plane in space while the free vibration in one plane in space while the free vibrations of the string may be in another plane, or the plane may oscillate in space, depending on the precise character of the excitation.

Guitar players desire that the sound of an electric guitar be similar to that of an acoustic guitar, but the conventional electromagnetic transducers employed in electric guitars are not capable of responding to all planes of vibration of a string, and usually can respond only to vertical vibrations, whereby the initial excitation of the string, which is predominately horizontal, is lost. Nor can such transducers operate in conjunction with nylon or other non-metallic strings.

It is a function of the present invention to provide a string transducer, especially for an electric guitar, which responds to vibrations of a string occurring in any plane, and which responds equally well to metallic and nonmetallic strings.

My prior application discloses an aluminum extrusion of U-shaped transverse cross section, one arm of which is supported on a guitar body, and the other arm of which has slots to define separate cantilevers for each string of the guitar. Piezoelectric transducers are provided under each cantilever. The slots acoustically isolate the several strings, and the several cantilevers. Provision is made for string length adjustment, and each cantilever is provided with a string locating notch.

It is found that the sophisticated musician desires individual adjustment of string heights. Such adjustment can be provided by filing the bone to adjust individual string heights. The difiiculty ensues that if the bone is overfiled the entire bridge must be discarded. The present invention concerns itself with providing a nylon or other acoustically isolating readily filable element, as part of the bridge, which can have its height individually formed, to adjust string heights on an individual or group basis, and which can be readily replaced if desired. Provision is additionally made for closely coupling the bridge acoustically to the body of the guitar via a wooden spacer, while providing for screw adjustment of the extrusion bridge with respect to the spacer.

Briefly describing a preferred embodiment of the invention, an elongated metallic extrusion is provided, having the cross section of a U. One arm of the U forms a base which is supported on the body of a guitar, at the usual bridge location. The other arm is arranged to provide plural cantilever arms, for separately supporting each string of the guitar. Considering one string only, for simplicity of explanation, a piezoelectric crystal is placed between the base and a cantilever arm. Overlying the crystal is a thin sheet copper; i.e. shim stock or the like. Underlying the crystal is a further shim and under the latter is a sheet of insulation whichhas acoustic damping properties. The two copper sheets then make contact with the electrodes of the crystal and can be conveniently connected to output leads.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A transducer string bridge includes provision for string length adjustment while enabling close acoustic coupling of the transducer to the body of the guitar, and also provision for individual string height adjustment in terms of a readily replaceable nylon filament on which the strings rest, the filament providing operatively negligible acoustic coupling between strings. o

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS 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:

FIG. 1 is a view in perspective of a guitar having a transducer bridge according to the invention;

FIG. 2 is a view in perspective of a transducer bridge assembly according to the invention;

FIG. 3 is a view in plan of the transducer bridge assembly of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a view in transverse cross section taken on the line 4-4 of FIG. 3; and

FIG. 5 is a view in transverse cross section taken on the line 55 of FIG. 3.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the accompanying drawings, 10 is an elongated extrusion, which may be made of aluminum, brass, or the like, and which has a U-shape when taken in cross section. Arm 11 of the U is a base arm. The further or upper arm 14 of the extrusion is provided with transverse slots 15, which extend into the end wall 10a, of the U, and form plural cantilever arms 14a. An in verted V-shaped riser 17 is provided near the forward edge of each arm 14a.

The cantilever arms form individual supports for the strings, which are acoustically largely isolated from one another by the slots 15.

Located under each cantilever arm 14a is a piezoelectric crystal 20. Under the crystals is a strip of thin shim stock 21. Under each strip of shim stock 21 is a strip 22, of

insulation, which is resilient mechanically and which damps acoustic vibrations. Overlying crystal 20 is a further strip of shim stock 23. Strip 21 thus forms one electrode for all of crystal 20, and strip 23, grounded to the extrusion, forms the other electrode. Leads 25 are connected to strips 21 and 23.

The use of acoustic damping material 22 is particularly important because it serves to damp out undesirable highs, as clicks, pops, finger noise and the like, and also serves to acoustically isolate the crystals 20 from one another.

The transducer bridge is slidably mounted on a wooden base plate 16, which is in turn glued to the instrument. Screw adjusting means 41, 41a are provided for longitudinally adjusting the position of the transducer bridge 10 with respect to the base plate 16, by turning nuts 41a on bolts 41.

Longitudinal grooves 42, of generally rectangular crosssection, are cut in the cantilevers 14a, in which is fitted a nylon filament 43. The latter is about A in width, and snugly fits the grooves 42. The filament 43 is sometimes called a bone. It possesses a high degree of acoustic insulation longitudinally, so that crystals remain acoustically isolated from each other. In the thickness mode, however, the filament 43 closely couples the strings 44 to the cantilever 14a, and thence to the body of the guitar.

A wooden string support 40 includes two wings 45, 46 which are cemented to the body of the guitar G. The extrusion 10 extends between the wings 45, 46, resting on a wooden spacer 16, which in turn rests on the body of the guitar, and behind the extrusion 10 is located a wooden bridging member 47, integral with wings 45, 46, resting on and cemented to the body of guitar G. Extending rearwardly of the extrusion 10 are the two bolts 41, which are immovable with respect to the extrusion. The bridging member 47 includes horizontal apertures 50, through which bolts 41 extend, into a rearward slot 51. The bolts 41 are immovably secured to the extrusion 10 by means of vertical pins 52, extending through the extrusion 10 and also through the bolts 41.

Nut 41a, pertaining to the screws 41, extend into the slot 51. By turning the nuts 41a the screws 41, and similarly the extrusion 10, may be moved longitudinally of the guitar G, to adjust string length.

The bridging member 47 also includes openings 55 for the strings 44, through which the strings extend and are knotted around the bridging member 47.

The extrusion 10 may be potted with soft rubbery material, which does not appreciably reduce amplitude of vibrations of the crystals 20, but which does maintain the elements of the transducer in place and enhance its aesthetic appeal. Suflicient pressure exists on the crystals 20 to assure that these will operate linearly with respect to vibrations imparted thereto.

While I have described and illustrated one specific embodiment of my invention, it will be clear that variation of the details of construction which are specifically illustrated and described may be resorted to without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. In a transducer bridge for a stringed instrument,

an aluminum extrusion of U-shaped transverse crosssection, said aluminum extrusion providing a base,

means for supporting said base on said stringed instrument,

said aluminum extrusion providing discrete cantilever arms extending parallel to said base, there being one cantilever arm for each string of said stringed instrument,

a separate piezoelectric element located between each cantilever arm and said bridge and compressed therebetween,

means for deriving voltages from said piezoelectric elements which are developed in response to vibrations of said strings and are communicated to said piezoelectric elements via said cantilever arms, and

a filament extending lengthwise of said cantilever arms and located between said strings and said cantilever arms,

said filament having operatively negligible lengthwise acoustic coupling and being sufficiently soft that string height may be readily adjusted by removing material from the filament,

said cantilevers including lengthwise of said extrusion a groove for locating and retaining said filament.

2. The combination according to claim 1 wherein is provided a non-metallic separator located between said base and said stringed instrument, and

screw means for adjusting the longitudinal position of said transducer bridge with respect to said string instrument.

3. In a transducer bridge for a stringed instrument,

a U-shaped elongated metallic member,

one of the arms of said member providing a flat base,

the other of the arms of said member being slotted to provide a plurality of cantilever arms extending parallel to said base,

a piezoelectric crystal element located intermediate each of said cantilever arms and said base and in contact with both one of said cantilever arms and said base,

a layer of electrically conductive material underlying and in contact with said piezoelectric elements,

an electric and acoustic insulating layer underlying said layer of electrically conductive material,

a further layer of electrically conductive material overlying said crystal and in contact with said cantilever arms, and

string loacting filamentary means extending longitudinally of said cantilever arms and supported thereby and separable therefrom.

4. The combination according to claim 3, wherein said filamentary means is a single filament.

5. The combination according to claim 3, wherein said filamentary means is a nylon filament.

'6. The combination according to claim 3, wherein said filamentary means is sufliciently soft that string height may be readily selected by removing material from said filamentary means to desired extends individual to each string.

7. The combination according to claim '6, wherein said cantilever arms include longitudinal grooves for locating said filamentary means.

'8. In a transducer assembly for a stringed instrument,

a wooden element extending transversely of said instrument and cemented thereto,

said wooden element including two wings separated by a bridging element,

an acousto-electric transducer bridge for said strings extending between said wings and movable with respect to said instrument, and

screw threaded means engaging said transducer bridge and said bridging element for moving said transducer With respect to said bridging element, thereby to adjust the eifective lengths of the strings of said stringed instrument,

wherein said acousto-electric transducer bridge includes an extrusion of U-shape in transverse section, and

acousto-electric transducers positioned between the arms of said extrusion, the strings of said instrument resting on one arm of said extrusion and the other arm resting on said instrument, and

slots in said one arm defining individual cantilevers for each of said strings.

9. The combination according to claim 8 wherein is provided filamentary interposer means located between said string and said one of said arms.

10. The combination according to claim 8, wherein said bridging element includes apertures through which said 6 strips extend, ends of said strings being secured to said 3,301,936 1/1967 Carman et a1 841.16 bridging element. 3,396,284 8/1968 Scherer 3108.3

References Cited 931689 s/l ggj G PATENTS UNITED STATES PATENTS 5 2,764,052 9/ 1956 McBride 84-1.15 WARREN E. RAY, Primary Examiner 3,066,567 12/1962 Kelley 84l.16 3,073,203 1/1963 Evans 841.16

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2764052 *Apr 21, 1951Sep 25, 1956Bantar IncElectrical pick-up for musical instruments
US3066567 *Feb 10, 1960Dec 4, 1962Kelley Jr Joseph JMagnetic pick-up for steel string instruments
US3073203 *May 12, 1960Jan 15, 1963Atuk CorpConversion of mechanical vibrations into electrical oscillations
US3301936 *Mar 4, 1964Jan 31, 1967Frank C CarmanStringed musical instruments with piezoelectric transducers
US3396284 *Aug 30, 1965Aug 6, 1968Baldwin Co D HElectric guitar bridge
DE931689C *Aug 29, 1953Aug 16, 1955Siemens AgMikrofon fuer Saiteninstrumente
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4084473 *Aug 13, 1976Apr 18, 1978Kabushiki Kaisha Kawai Gakki SeisakushoElectric piano
US4160401 *Oct 12, 1977Jul 10, 1979Chushin Gakki Seizo Kabushiki KaishaString vibration transducer bridge for electric stringed instruments
US4228715 *Aug 23, 1978Oct 21, 1980Nourney Carl ErnstStrain-gauge sound pickup for string instrument
US4282789 *Aug 1, 1977Aug 11, 1981Lamborn Steven HFinger mountable electric guitar pick-up
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
US4580480 *Aug 16, 1983Apr 8, 1986Turner William HAcoustic guitar
US5336845 *Oct 29, 1993Aug 9, 1994Actodyne General, Inc.Pick-up assembly for a stringed musical instrument
US5401900 *Jan 14, 1993Mar 28, 1995Actodyne General, Inc.Mounting assembly for an acoustic pick-up
US5418327 *Jan 4, 1993May 23, 1995Actodyne General, Inc.Mounting assembly
US5430246 *Jan 4, 1993Jul 4, 1995Actodyne General, Inc.Dual coil pick-up assembly for a springed musical instrument
US5438157 *Jan 14, 1993Aug 1, 1995Actodyne General, Inc.Acoustic pick-up assembly for a stringed musical instrument
US5464948 *Apr 22, 1994Nov 7, 1995Actodyne General, Inc.Sensor assembly for a stringed musical instrument
US5641932 *Jan 19, 1995Jun 24, 1997Actodyne General, Inc.Sensor assembly for stringed musical instruments
US5684263 *Jun 7, 1995Nov 4, 1997Actodyne General, Inc.Electromagnetic sensor assembly for musical instruments having a magnetic lining
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
US6888057Sep 8, 2003May 3, 2005Gibson Guitar Corp.Digital guitar processing circuit
US7166794Sep 8, 2003Jan 23, 2007Gibson Guitar Corp.Hexaphonic pickup for digital guitar system
US7220912Sep 8, 2003May 22, 2007Gibson Guitar Corp.Digital guitar system
US7220913Sep 8, 2003May 22, 2007Gibson Guitar Corp.Breakout box for digital guitar
US7285714Sep 9, 2005Oct 23, 2007Gibson Guitar Corp.Pickup for digital guitar
US7399918Oct 11, 2006Jul 15, 2008Gibson Guitar Corp.Digital guitar system
US7952014Jun 30, 2008May 31, 2011Gibson Guitar Corp.Digital guitar system
US20040103776 *Sep 8, 2003Jun 3, 2004Juszkiewicz Henry E.Digital guitar processing circuit
US20040144241 *Sep 8, 2003Jul 29, 2004Juskiewicz Henry E.Digital guitar system
US20040168566 *Sep 8, 2003Sep 2, 2004Juszkiewicz Henry E.Hexaphonic pickup for digital guitar system
US20040261607 *Sep 8, 2003Dec 30, 2004Juszkiewicz Henry E.Breakout box for digital guitar
DE3018730A1 *May 16, 1980Nov 26, 1981Shadow K & M Elektroakustik GmPiezoelectric pick up esp. for guitar - has sensors glued between two metal bars forming bridge beneath strings
Classifications
U.S. Classification84/731, 984/371, 84/DIG.240, 84/743
International ClassificationG10H3/18
Cooperative ClassificationG10H2220/485, Y10S84/24, G10H2220/525, G10H3/185, G10H2220/471
European ClassificationG10H3/18E
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 13, 1985AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: FRED W. GRETSCH ENTERPRISES, LTD., 715 GRAYS HIGHW
Owner name: GRETSCH COMPANY THE
Effective date: 19850102
Feb 13, 1985ASAssignment
Owner name: FRED W. GRETSCH ENTERPRISES, LTD., 715 GRAYS HIGHW
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:GRETSCH COMPANY THE;REEL/FRAME:004361/0184
Effective date: 19850102