US 3685385 A
The top of a guitar body is provided on its underside with two pairs of braces, arranged as crosses, and a transverse brace. In addition, there are two transverse thin wood strips and a longitudinal wood strip, the grain of which strips extends transversely to the grain of the top.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Umted States Patent 1151 3,685,385 Rendell 1 Aug. 22, 1972  GUITAR 765,019 7/1904 Larson ..84/267  Inventor: Stanley E Rendell, Kalamazoo, 3,474,697 10/1969 Kaman ..84/29l x Mlch' FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS [731 818mm 414,158 5/1925 Germany ..84/291  Filed: June 22, 1971 Primary Examiner-Ricfiard B. -Wilkinson Assistant Examiner-Jo n F. Gonzales 155,554 Att0meyCarlton 1-1111 etal.
I52] U.S. Cl ..84/267, 84/291  ABSTRACT  Int. Cl. ..Gl0d l/08,Gl0d 3/00 The to p of a gultar body 1s provlded on its underslde  held of search A .7 with two pairs of braces, arranged as crosses, and a transverse brace. In addition, there are two transverse thin wood strips and a longitudinal wood strip, the  References Clted grain of which strips extends transversely to the grain UNITED STATES PATENTS of the p- 72,591 12/ 1867 Bini ..84/291 13 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAuszz m2 INVENTOR. STA/VA 7 4. REA/06L /5 Z! M Q H 5 13% WATTORNEYS GUITAR 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to musical instruments, and more specifically to bracing utilized on the underside of the top of a guitar body.
2. Prior Art Flat top guitars, sometimes referred to as classic guitars, are normally not electrified and therefore they depend to a great extent upon the construction of the body for the purpose of imparting the sound that the instrument gives off when a particular string is caused to vibrate at a particular frequency. Disregarding embellishments, the general appearance of a poor sounding guitar is not too different from that of a good sounding guitar. Nevertheless, there is quite a spectrum of quality than can be obtained from instruments which have quite strikingly similar appearance. Thus it has been the goal of serious guitar designers for a long time to provide a tonal response that will be as pleasing as possible to the musical ear.
I have found that superior tonal response can be obtained, all things else being equal, when the top is provided with appropriate unique bracing. This bracing ineludes two pairs of braces each arranged as crosses, there being other bracing in the forms of strips of wood which have their grain running transversely to the grain of the top.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a construction of a guitar by which improved tonal response is obtained.
A further more specific object of the present invention is to provide a guitar body that is so constructed that the sound will be exceptionally clear.
Another specific object of the present invention is to provide a guitar body having bracing so arranged that the tonal reponse of the instrument will be uniform along the length of all six of its strings.
Another specific object of the present invention is to provide bracing for a guitar body such that the ability of the body to sustain notes in all registers will be exceptional.
Thus it is an object of the present invention to provide a guitar body having a unique sound wherein the tones are sustained longer, where there is greater resonance, where there is clearness of sound, and where the high range and low range and middle range all sound better.
A still further object of the present invention is to provide uniformity of vibration of the top in various areas thereof.
Many other advantages, features and additional objects of the present invention will become manifest to those versed in the art upon making reference to the detailed description of the accompanying drawing in which a preferred structural embodiment incorporating the present invention is shown by way of illustrative example.
ON THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a plan elevational view of the underside of the top of the body of a guitar provided in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of such guitar top;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along line IIIIII of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along line lV-IV of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along line V-V of FIG. 1.
AS SHOWN ON THE DRAWING The principles of the present invention are particularly useful when embodied in a string instrument such as a guitar having a body to which is secured a bridge and a neck which supports strings, as is conventional. In order to understand the novel construction of this guitar, it is only necessary to consider the bracing that is applied to the underside of the top of the body.
The guitar body thus includes a top 10, its underside being shown in FIG. 1 as if it were viewed from the inside of the body. The top has an aperture 11 and is constructed of wood, such as spruce, and to assure symmetry in appearance and in performance, the wood is cut or sliced along a plane with the edges thereof abutted together to form a central seam 12. (If the seam 12 were a hinge, the two halves of the top could be moved back to the relative position in which the portions of the top grew.)
Spruce is preferred wood for the top, as is conventional, and bracing means are provided on the underside of the top 10.
According to the present invention, the bracing means lying on opposite sides of the central seam 12 is symmetrical, one side with the other.
The bracing means include primarily a first pair of braces 13,14, a second pair of braces 15,16 and a cross brace 17. The first pair of braces 13,14 form a cross having two arms 18,19 lying adjacent to the aperture 11. They are substantially tangent thereto except that they are set back, one reason being to minimize the extent to which they are seen. The first pair of braces 13,14 has two arms 20,21 which are disposed to be adjacent to the bridge. The bridge is not shown, but the dotted line 22 indicates an area on the upper side of the guitar approximately where the bridge is located. The second pair of braces 15,16 has two arms 23,24 which also lie adjacent to the bridge. The first pair of braces 13,14 has an intersection 25 and the second pair of braces 15,16 has an intersection 26 which overlie the central seam 12.
The four arms 20,21,23,24 jointly define a quadrilateral area over which the bridge is supported. In that the arm 24 is parallel to the arm 20 and the arm 23 is parallel to the arm 21, the quadrilateral area is a parallelogram. In that such arms are equal in length, such parallelogram is a rhombus.
FIG. 1 has been shaded to show the direction in which the grain of each component extends. Thus the braces 13-16 extend transversely, and more specifically diagonally, with respect to the direction of the wood grain, while the cross brace 17 extends at right angles to the direction of the grain of the top 10. The cross brace 17 is also adjacent to the aperture 11 but is remote from the intersection 25.
A stiffener plate 27, preferably of hard maple, substantially fully underlies the quadrilateral bridge area and provides a thickening of the top in such area.
A strip of wood 28 like the stiffener plate 27 is disposed to span the seam 12, and the strip of wood 28 has its grain running transversely to its length so that the grain thereof is at right angles to the grain of the top 10. Thus substantially all of the central seam 12 is spanned between the aperture 11 and the more remote end of the body.
A further strip of wood 29 is provided centrally, such strip here comprising a section 29a and a section 29b each extending from the intersection 25 to the adjacent edge of the top with its grain being parallel to its length and at right angles to the length and grain of the top 10.
A third strip of wood 30 has its grain running along its length and is also disposed parallel to the cross brace 17; thus the grain of the strip 30 is transverse, namely perpendicular, to the grain of the top 10.
Preferably, other strips of wood 31,32, and 33 may be provided as shown, they being conventional. It is also conventional to taper the end of any brace that extends up to the edge of the top 10, such tapering ending with virtually a feather edge that blends tangentially into the surface. This is shown at the opposite ends of the braces 13-17 and the strips 29,30 to provide clearance so that the top 10 with its bracing means can be attached to the side of the guitar body. The upper ends of the braces 15,16 have also been cut away slightly to provide constructional clearance. The stiffener plate 27 has a beveled edge as shown.
Intersections 25,26 are formed by each of the braces being provided with a notch that extends halfway therethrough whereby each of the braces is continuous.
With the construction of the present invention, the instrument produces an exceptionally clear sound and has uniformal tonal response along the length of each of the six strings associated with such guitar. Furthermore, when a string is plucked, the tone produced thereby is sustained irrespective of which string or which frequency is involved, to an improved extent.
Although various minor modifications may be suggested by those versed in the art, it should be understood that I wish to embody within the scope of the patent warranted hereon, all such embodiments as reasonably and properly come within the scope of my contribution to the art.
I claim as my invention:
1. A guitar having a body provided with an apertured top for supporting a bridge on its upper side, and bracing means secured to the underside of said top, said bracing means comprising:
a. a first pair of braces arranged as a cross with two arms thereof disposed adjacent to the aperture in said top, and with two arms thereof disposed adjacent said bridge; and
b. a second pair of braces arranged as a cross with two arms thereof disposed adjacent to said bridge.
2. A guitar according to claim 1 in which said arms adjacent to said bridge define a quadrilateral area.
3. A guitar according to claim 1 in which one arm of each cross is parallel to one arm of the other cross, whereby the area jointly defined by the arms adjacent to said bridge is a parallelogram.
4. A guitar according to claim 3 in which said area is shaped as a rhombus.
5. A guitar according to claim 2 in which said quadrilateral area is substantially fully underlaid by a stiffener plate secured to said top.
6. A guitar according to claim 5 in which said top and sai stiffe er ate are wooden the wood r in of the stif ener plate iiemg transverse to the W0 ti grain of said top.
7. A guitar according to claim 1 in which said top is wooden and has a central seam along its length, the intersections of both os said pairs of arms underlying said seam.
8. A guitar according to claim 7 in which the bracing means includes further bracing so that substantially the entire seam from the aperture to the more remote end of said top is spanned thereby.
9. A guitar according to claim 7 including a stiffener plate secured to said top and disposed in a quadrilateral area defined by said arms adjacent to said bridge, said plate spanning said seam, and a strip of wood secured to said top and having its grain transverse to its length and disposed in spanning relation to said seam remotely from said stiffener plate.
10. A guitar according to claim 1 in which said top is wooden and has its grain running along the length of the top, and at least one strip of wood secured to said top and having its grain parallel to the length of said strip and disposed in spanning relation to the grain of the top between the intersection of one of said pairs of arms and the adjacent edge of said top.
11. A guitar according to claim 1 in which said top is wooden and has its grain running along the length of the top, said bracing including a cross brace extending transversely to said grain adjacent to said aperture remotely from the intersection of said first pair of braces, and a strip of wood secured to said top parallel to said cross brace.
12. A guitar according to claim 1 in which the construction of said bracing is symmetrical along the length of said body.
13. A guitar according to claim 4,
a. said top being wooden and having a central seam parallel to its grain, said seam extending over the intersections of both of said pairs of arms; including b. a stiffener plate of hardwood substantially fully underlying said rhombus-shaped area with its grain transverse to that of said top and to said seam;
c. a strip of wood secured to said top and having its grain transverse to the length of said strip, and the grain of said strip being in spanning relation to said seam remotely from said stiffener plate;
d. at least one strip of wood secured to said top and having its grain parallel to its own length and spanning the grain of the top between the intersection of said first pair of braces and the opposite edges of said top;
e. a cross brace extending transversely to the grain of said top adjacent to said aperture remotely from the intersection of said braces; and
f. a strip of wood secured to said top parallel to said cross brace.