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Publication numberUS3678795 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 25, 1972
Filing dateNov 15, 1971
Priority dateNov 15, 1971
Publication numberUS 3678795 A, US 3678795A, US-A-3678795, US3678795 A, US3678795A
InventorsGeorge W Fullerton
Original AssigneeEarthwood Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Neck mounting for a string instrument
US 3678795 A
Abstract
The present invention relates to a string type musical instrument; and more particularly relates to a neck mounting for attaching the instrument neck to the instrument body. The various problems associated with this mounting are discussed and the disclosure teaches how an improved neck mounting may be achieved to overcome these problems.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent I Fullerton [54] NECK MOUNTING FOR A STRING INSTRUMENT [72] inventor: George W. Fullerton, Fullerton, Calif.

[73] Assignee: Earthwood, Incorporated, Costa Mesa,

Calif.

22 Filed: Nov. 15, 1971 21 Appl.No.: 198,536

[52] US. Cl ...84/293, 84/267 [51] Int. Cl. ..Gl0d 3/00 [58] Field of Search ..84/267, 293, 268, 269, 274,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,932,975 10/1933 Kuhrmeyer ..84/293 [4 1 July 25, 1972 2,793,556 5/1957 Maccaferri ..84/267 3,196,730 7/1965 Daniel ..84/293 3,204,510 9/1965 Hopf ...84/29l 3,550,496 12/ 1 970 Fender ..84/293 Primary Examiner-Richard B. Wilkinson Assistant Examiner-John F. Gonzales Attorney-Harvey C. Nienow et a1.

[ 5 7] ABSTRACT The present invention relates to a string type musical instrument; and more particularly relates to a neck mounting for attaching the instrument neck to the instrument body. The various problems associated with this mounting are discussed and the disclosure teaches how an improved neck mounting may be achieved to overcome these problems.

10 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures FAYENFEDJHLZBIBH 3,678,795

SHEET 1 [IF 2 FIG.3

NECK MOUNTING FOR A STRING INSTRUMENT BACKGROUND It is well known that a guitar, and other string instruments, are a complex intermix of parts that are chosen for their own particular characteristics and for the way that these parts interact with each other. This interaction, and the final tonal characteristics of the instrument, are determined to a great extent upon the manner in which the various component parts of the instruments are assemblied relative to each other.

For example, the instruments body must be carefully shaped in order to bring out the desired tonal characteristics but the material of which the instrument body is made has a great deal to do with the resultant tones. Moreover, the strings must be carefully selected, carefully mounted, and carefully tensioned in order for them to produce the desired musical notes; but a suitable bridge" must transmit the string vibrations to the instrument body. Furthermore, the strings must be fingered to vary their pitch and this requires a finger board that is matched to the rest of the instrument components. In addition to all of this, the tensional forces produced by the stretched strings are such that they tend to distort the instrument; and in order to prevent this distortion, the entire instrument must be designed and made in such a way that this distortion either does not occur or is minimized.

. One of the most preplexing problems of instrument design is the attachment of the finger board to the instrument body; as this should be done in such a manner that it provides an esthetic appearance, suitable structural strength, satisfactory operative length, ease of adjustment, etc.

OBJECTS AND DRAWINGS It is therefore the principal object of the present invention to provide an improved musical instrument.

It is another object of the present invention to provide an improved musical instrument of the string type.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide an improved means for attaching the instruments neck and finger board to the instruments body.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide an improved adjustable means for attaching the instrument neck to the instrument body.

It is a still further object of the present invention to provide a method for easily attaching the instrument neck to the instrument body.

The attainment of these objects and others will be realized from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the drawings of which:

FIG. 1 shows a pictorial view of a string type musical instrument, specifically a guitar;

FIG. 2 shows a schematic, exploded, cross sectional view of the neck mounting;

FIG. 3 shows a plan view of the neck mounting;

FIG. 4 shows a longitudinal cross sectional view of the neck mounting in a preliminary state; and

FIG. 5 shows a longitudinal cross sectional view of the neck mounting in a final state.

SYNOPSIS Broadly speaking, the present application discloses a neck mounting that causes the neck end of the instrument to mate with a neck socket; the mating being accomplished by means of quasi-parabolic curvatures that obviate binding, and additionally produce a pressure abutment that eliminates shear stress on other elements of the neck mounting.

Adjustment screws permit the control of the vertical angle between the instrument neck and the instrument body; these resultinG in a long lasting metaI-to-metal contact.

INTRODUCTION The Overall Instrument FIG. I shows a pictorial view of a guitar 10 having a body 11; a plurality of strings 12 having one end thereof fastened in a suitable manner to the table 13 of guitar body 11. The other ends of strings 12 are attached in a tensional manner to a like plurality of tuning pegs 14 that are rotatably positioned in a head 15.

To play the instrument 10, the player's fingers pinch selected strings 12 against the raised frets" 16 of a fret board 17 that is affixed to the instruments neck 18. Thus, the instantaneous string length may be controlled to provide different tones.

In a manner that is not completely understood, when the strings are plucked or are otherwise set into motion, the string vibrations are transmitted to the body 11 of the instrument, and thence to the volume of air enclosed by the instrument body. Various factors (e.g., body shape, body volume, body material, body reinforcements, string tension, string mass, bridging between the strings and the body, etc.) co-act to produce the instruments overall tonal characteristics.

As may be understood from FIG. 1, when the strings 12 are tightened, the resultant tensional forces tend to raise the instruments head 15 and the distal end of neck 18; and this raising tendency places a great strain on the neck/body jointure 19 where the instrument neck 18 is attached to the instrument body 11.

BASIC CONCEPT The improved neck/body jointure 19 is achieved, in part, as indicated in the partially cutaway, exploded, schematic representation of FIG. 2; this indicating how the proximal end of neck 18 is shaped to form a neck end 20 having a convex tongue like termination 21 that fits into concave arched neck socket 22 of a neck saddle 23. It will be noted that the neck end 20 is shown to have a substantially flat bottom 24 that engages the substantially flat bottom of the neck base 25.

Further details of the neck/saddle jointure will be seen in the top view of FIG. 3. This view shows the strings 12 and the top of the fret board 17, which has been partially cutaway to reveal the neck saddle 23 and the tongue 21 of the instrument neck 18.

It will be noted that the tongue 21 is a narrow quasoparabolic shape whose sides fit somewhat loosely into a more rounded quasi-parabolic shape 22 of neck socket 23. The extreme end 26 of tongue 21 abuts the extreme end 27 of the arch 28. The neck end 20 is fastened to the neck saddle 23 in a manner to be more fully described later.

It should be noted at this time that the non-matching quasiparabolic curvatures of tongue 21 and arch 28 assure that the string tensional forces cause a pressure-abutment at the tongue/arch contact area of the two quasi-parabolic curvatures;

and that, moreover, there is no pinching or binding of the sides at the relieved curvature portion 21.

Attention is now directed to FIG. 4 which shows a partial, longitudinal, cross sectional view of the neck/body mounting in a preliminary state; this view being taken where indicated by the arrows and numerals 4" of FIG. 3. In FIG. 4, a fret board 17 is indicated to be affixed to the upper surface of the instrument neck 18; the right hand end of the fret board 17 extending a short distance over the neck saddle 23 and the table 13 of the guitar body, primarily for esthetic purposes, but also for providinG improved control of string length.

A pair of so-called knife edged" inserts 35 and 36 are driven into the base 25 of the neck saddle 23; the knife edges positioning the inserts, and holding them firmly in position. A

' pair of flat metal pressure pads 37 and 38 are placed in the ASSEMBLY As indicated in FIG. 4, the instrument's tongue 21 is first positioned in neck socket of neck saddle 23, with the extreme end 26 of the tongue 21 abutting the extreme end 27 of the arch of .the neck socket. At this time, one or more wood screws 32 are driven through clearance holes in the base of the neck saddle 23, and into the neck end 21; these wood screws 32 holding the parts juxtaposed for the final aligning and tightening.

ADJUSTMENT At this time it becomes desirable to finalize the position of the neck 18 relative to the neck saddle 23. Obviously, the instrument neck 18 should project longitudinally along the instruments axis; and this transverse relation is readily obtained by means of the above mentioned quasi-parabolic curvatures of neck end 21 and of neck socket 22; and by the use of wood screws 32. Also, obviously, the upper surface of the fret board 17 shOuld be substantially parallel with the table 13 of the instrument; and this relation is easily obtained by means of the above-mentioned flat surfaces of the neck end 21 and of the base 25.

However, the vertical angle between the neck 18 and the body 11 is preferably adjusted for each individual instrument, or group of instruments depending upon the expected string tension, the neck length, the height of the bridge (if one is used), etc. This vertical angle adjustment is one of the very important advantages of the present neck mounting arrangement as it controls the height of the strings above the fret board in the area where the instrument neck joins the instrument body; and this vertical angle adjustment is achieved as follows. Set screws 41 and 42 are threadedly engaged in respective inserts 35 and 36; and are then tightened down until they are both snug against their respective pressure pads 37 and 38. This equal snuggness of the set screws causes the longitudinal axis of the fret board 17 to be substantially parallel with the longitudinal axis of the instrument, as indicated by the spacings 30 and 31.

However, it is ordinarily desirable that the fret board 17 (and the neck 18 to which it is affixed) be slanted slightly upward relative to the table 13; this causing the righthand end of the fret board to be a somewhat closer fit to the instrument body 11, and also eliminating the need for an adjustable height bridge.

In order to obtain this desired vertical angle, retaining screw 43 is loosened; and set screws 41 and 42 are either raised or lowered to obtain the desired angle. In the present illustration, the set screw 42 is backed off about half a turn; and the retaining screw 43 is then tightened to pull the tongue 21 down upon the base 25 of the neck saddle 23; and to prevent neck 18 from being moved any further. This operation has the effect of lowering the right side of the tongue; to produce the small tapered spaces indicated at 44, 45 and 46 of FIG. 5. Thus this angle adjustment, whether upward or downward, can be achieved very easily. By reason of the above-described vertical angle adjustment, the string height above the fret board can be adjusted for the players preference. It can also be used to accommodate any change in wood structure after the string tension has been applied. Moreover, this adjustment is convenient for compensating for bridge height variations if such should occur during manufacture.

Thus, all adjustments have a metal-to-metal contact; all string tension is connected by the tongue/arch abutment; and there is no shear strain on the mounting, or on the adjusting and the retaining screws. Moreover, the neck 18 is easily removed and/or replaced when this becomes desirable.

It is apparent that adjustment holes should be provided for reaching the ends of the set screws 41 and 42, and the end of the retaining screw 43.

Depending upon the way that the neck saddle 23 is to be affixed to the instrument, it is at times desirable to have the saddle supporting structure affixed to the body of the instrument; and one such structure is indicated at 47 at FIG. 2. ln this case, the adjustment holes required for the set screws 41 and 42, and for the retaining screw 43 may have to traverse the support structure 47. Thus, all mounting stresses are parallel to the grain of the wood of the support structure; and the construction is, therefore, both lightweight and strong.

What is claimed is:

1. A neck mounting structure for a string type musical instrument, comprising:

an instrument neck;

said instrument neck having a neck end;

said neck end having a convex tongue like termination;

a neck saddle;

said neck saddle having a neck socket for receiving said neck end;

said neck socket having a concave arch like termination;

the curvature of said arch of said neck socket being more rounded than the curvature of said tongue of said neck end whereby binding between the sides of said neck end and said neck socket is obviated.

2. The combination of claim 1 including a head affixed to the other end of the said instrument neck;

means, comprising a plurality of strings tensionally attached to said head, inducing stress into said neck mounting.

3. The combination of claim 1 including means for affixing said neck saddle to said musical instrument.

4. The combination of claim 1 wherein said tongue curvature is a quasi-parabolic curve.

5. The combination of claim 1 wherein said arch curvature is a quasi-parabolic curve.

6. The combination of claim 1 including means for attaching said neck end to said neck socket.

7. The combination of claim 6 wherein said attaching means comprises metal-to-metal pressure points.

8. The combination of claim 7 wherein said pressure points comprise set screw/pressure pad combinations.

9. The combination of claim 8 wherein said set screws are threadedly engaged with inserts located in said neck saddle; and said pressure pads are affixed to the bottom of said neck ends. I

10. A neck mounting structure for a guitar, comprising;

a guitar neck;

said guitar neck having a neck end;

said neck end having a convex tongue like termination;

a neck saddle;

said neck saddle having a neck socket for receiving said neck end;

said neck socket having a concave arch like termination;

the curvature of said tongue of said neck end being narrower than the curvature of said arch of said neck socket whereby binding between the sides of said neck end and said neck socket is obviated;

a head affixed to the other end of said guitar neck;

a plurality of strings tensionally attached to said head;

said tensional attachment inducing stress into said neck mounting;

means for affixing said neck saddle to said guitar;

means for attaching said neck end to said neck saddle;

said attaching means comprising metal-to-metal pressure points having set screws threadedly engaged with inserts located in said neck saddle and having pressure pads affixed to said neck end.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1932975 *Apr 7, 1930Oct 31, 1933Kuhrmeyer HenryStringed musical instrument
US2793556 *Feb 17, 1953May 28, 1957Maccaferri MarioNeck junction for stringed musical instruments
US3196730 *Jul 17, 1962Jul 27, 1965Francis L DanielMusical instruments
US3204510 *Dec 10, 1963Sep 7, 1965Hopf DieterStringed instrument
US3550496 *Jul 14, 1969Dec 29, 1970Columbia Broadcasting Syst IncTiltable guitar neck incorporating thrust-absorbing,pivot and locking element
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4616550 *Nov 29, 1983Oct 14, 1986Roger LacroixString support and neck device for stringed instrument
US4680069 *Feb 17, 1984Jul 14, 1987Weyts Johan J Magdalena EMethod for the fabrication of a double-walled construction element
US4793236 *Jun 24, 1987Dec 27, 1988Albert J. CarnessFor an electric guitar
US4905563 *Dec 23, 1988Mar 6, 1990Davies James SStringed musical instrument
US5125311 *Jun 18, 1991Jun 30, 1992Fender Musical Instruments CorporationGuitar, and method of manufacturing guitars
US5305819 *Apr 24, 1992Apr 26, 1994Fender Muscial Instruments CorporationGuitar, and method of manufacturing guitars
US5786539 *Jan 16, 1996Jul 28, 1998Steinberger; Richard NedNeck joint for stringed musical instrument
US6046393 *Jan 28, 1999Apr 4, 2000Rose; Floyd D.Stringed instrument having a replaceable head stock
US6046397 *Jan 28, 1999Apr 4, 2000Rose; Floyd D.Stringed instrument having a mechanical control assembly for slidable pick-up
US6051773 *Jan 28, 1999Apr 18, 2000Rose; Floyd D.Stringed instrument having a cover for slidable pick-up
US6111176 *Jan 28, 1999Aug 29, 2000Rose; Floyd D.String assembly including one or more anchors for use with a stringed instrument
US6137039 *Jan 28, 1999Oct 24, 2000Rose; Floyd D.Stringed instrument having slidable saddles
US6194645Jan 28, 1999Feb 27, 2001Floyd D. RoseStringed instrument having a hidden tremolo
US6198030Jan 28, 1999Mar 6, 2001Floyd D. RoseStringed instrument having improved neck
US7045693Jan 13, 2003May 16, 2006Floyd D. RoseTuning systems for stringed musical instruments
US7875782 *Mar 30, 2008Jan 25, 2011Thomas NechvilleAdjustable and removable neck for a stringed instrument
US8426709 *Dec 15, 2009Apr 23, 2013Christos ZervasAdjustable neck-angle joint for stringed musical instrument
US8536430Jan 13, 2010Sep 17, 2013Geoffrey McCabeFine tuning means for fulcrum tremolo
US20110226113 *Dec 15, 2009Sep 22, 2011Christos ZervasAdjustable neck-angle joint for stringed musical instrument
DE4019376A1 *Jun 18, 1990Jan 31, 1991Liebchen Lars GunnarAttaching neck of guitar to body - involves wood-screws with spring washers and ball bearings under head
WO1990007770A1 *Dec 21, 1989Jul 12, 1990James S DaviesStringed musical instrument
Classifications
U.S. Classification84/293, 84/267
International ClassificationG10D3/06
Cooperative ClassificationG10D3/06
European ClassificationG10D3/06