Tired of constantly readjusting your guitar strings? Check out today's featured Invention Award winner, EverTune, a bridge that keeps your instrument continually in tune.
In a small engineering studio in Bronxville, New York, Cosmos Lyles and Paul Dowd eagerly take turns at the dry-erase board, sketching out diagrams of springs, levers and tension curves. This may not seem very rock 'n' roll, but what they're creating will let the musicians on their current client list, including Slash and Rob Zombie's guitarist John 5, shred harder than ever: a bridge that keeps the instrument continuously in tune.
Inventor: Cosmos Lyles and Paul Dowd
Time: 5 years
Is It Ready Yet? 1 2 3 4 5
Guitar strings need constant tension to stay tuned, but they're easily loosened or tightened if the temperature changes, the instrument gets knocked around, or the guitarist just plays too hard. In an EverTune-equipped guitar, the bridge, which holds the strings in place, contains six spring-and-lever contraptions, one at the end of each string. These keep the strings' tension constant even if the tuning pegs get turned or the strings become loosened or tightened accidentally.
Each string is attached to a lever, which is in turn attached to a spring. To tune up, the guitarist tightens an adjustor screw at the bridge that alters the position of its corresponding spring, changing its leverage to obtain the right tension. If the guitar string loosens or tightens after being set, the lever shifts, but it is counteracted by the spring so that it holds the desired tension, until it needs to be replaced. (The guitarist can change the tuning anytime simply by readjusting the screws.)
For musicians, this elegant design translates to less time spent fiddling with guitars, and more time onstage and in the studio. While recording, Dowd says, "everyone talks about being annoyed waiting for the guitarist to tune up. They'll tune every take." And during live shows, guitarists may swap out for a new guitar with every song.
In 2005, Lyles, a Duke University engineering graduate and an avid guitarist, built his first tuner out of plywood, two screws, a skateboard bearing and some spare guitar parts.
That version (based on a different concept than EverTune) kept only two segments of a guitar string in tune with one another. Next he attempted to figure out how to keep all six strings in absolute tune using springs. But after a year of toiling alone, he grew eager to find a partner to help refine his idea. "I basically Googled 'prototype engineer,' " he recalls. This led him to Dowd, the owner of Creative Engineering, a product-development company, and an amateur guitarist himself.
The partnership paid off. Dowd came up with the essential lever-and-spring system that makes EverTune work. Together the two also devised a bend stop, a metal stopper that prevents the lever from moving past a certain point, allowing musicians to move strings sideways and "bend" notes, a common technique in guitar solos.
Now the two are on their 16th prototype and are honing the final design. And they're getting noticed. They have about 35 EverTune guitars either on the road, in the studio or waiting to be retrofitted. They are also in talks with guitar makers, and hope to have electric guitars and basses embedded with EverTune by next January. EverTune retrofits for old guitars should be on the market by the following May. After that, the inventors say, they would like to tackle other instrument strings—like the 230 or so on a piano.
These have anything to do with this technology?
Does this invention kill normal bends and vibrato? Sounds like it does.
This definitely does not kill bends and vibrato.
The technology in the EverTune Bridge and more FAQ's can be found at www.evertune.com.
There is full instructions and explanations regarding bending, vibrato, intonation, etc..
This is an all mechanical constant tension system and not an auto tuner. EverTune is a "Stay in Tune System"
EverTune technology is patented.
Please check our website for more info
This seems kinda like a floyd rose system. Which is the biggest pain in the ass ever!!!! Try finding replacement parts. I know these two systems are different but still this thing just looks like a hassle. Most people don't realize that if you have good tuning machine heads and a good nut, maybe graphite, and know how to sting a guitar correctly, it will pretty much stay in tune no matter what.
Their website basically says that, yes, this system will negate your bends. Their suggestion is to set it up at the edge of its tensioning range so that bending will drive it beyond its auto-tensioning capability and therefore work.
In other words, if you want to bend, you lose much of the benefit of the system (I guess it would still keep you from going flat but not from going sharp).
I'd nominate this for the "solution in search of a problem" award, myself.
Sounds like you just want to tune out ... >:p
JGM: You sound like a man of real vision. I'll bet you didn't think much of it when they invented sliced bread, either, right? You remind me of Albert Brooks in Defending Your Life, when his Asian college roommate couldn't convince him that getting in on the ground floor at a company called "Casio" was a good idea. Check out the you tubes on Evertune--buddy if that's not note bending, I'll kiss your grits.
JGM, actually this is a "problem with a solution". If you're in the studio recording, you're spending a lot of time tuning. If you have an Evertune, you're not. Better for creativity, quality, sanity, and saves money. If you're playing 3 sets a nite you will kiss the feet of the people who developed this.
I've installed a couple of these and I can tell you it acts like a regular guitar as far as bending goes, but simply doesn't go out of tune. I don't gush much about guitar technology...I've seen a lot of it. The Evertune is pretty incredible and true innovation.
Does this fall into the catagory of "One more thing that can go wrong" or is it a fix all for an industry that far to often produces useless junk that is either made wrong or never tuned right!?