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US2295902A - Tuning device - Google Patents

Tuning device Download PDF


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US2295902A US38329941A US2295902A US 2295902 A US2295902 A US 2295902A US 38329941 A US38329941 A US 38329941A US 2295902 A US2295902 A US 2295902A
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Samuel M Kass
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Samuel M Kass
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    • G10G7/00Other auxiliary devices or accessories, e.g. conductors' batons or separate holders for resin or strings
    • G10G7/02Tuning forks or like devices


Sept. 15, 1942. s, ss 2,295,902

TUNING DEVICE Filed March l4, 1941 Patented Sept. 15, 1942 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE TUNING DEVICE Samuel M. Kass, Philadelphia, Pa.

Application March 14, 1941, Serial No. 383,299

3 Claims.

The present invention relates to the art of tuning musical instruments, particularly wind and string instruments and comprise primarily mechanism by which matching of tones of the instrument being tuned with th tandards set by the instrument is indicated visually.

One purpose of the invention is to use a visible indicator of small compass and rigid in construction to establish agreement in pitch of a device which is set to the proposed pitch and a note of an instrument which is being tuned.

A further purpose is to provide a musical chime or gong mounted upon a resonator and capable of responding to its characteristic pitch or tone and carrying a rider which gives visible evidence when the characteristic pitch of the chime or gong is sounded.

A further purpose is to mount one or more chimes or gongs over a sounding board relatively reducing or necking the individual chime or gong close to the mount compared to the adjacent chime or gong as one of th elements in tuning.

Further purposes will appear in the specification and in the claims.

I have illustrated my invention by two main forms only among various forms in which the invention may appear, selecting forms which are practical, efiicient, simple and inexpensive but which have been selected primarily because they well illustrate the principles involved.

Figures 1 and 3 are perspective views of preferred forms of my invention mounted each upon a sounding board.

Figure 2 is a section of Figure 1 taken upon line 22.

Figure 4 is a fragmentary section showing one of the chimes or gongs mounted from a different kind of bracket.

Figure 5 is a perspective showing a clifierent way of mounting chimes or gongs from that shown in the other figures.

In the drawing similar numerals indicate like parts.

Stringed and wind instruments intended for orchestra use require tuning in the setting in which they are to be used just before a performance is to begin. This final tuning i diflicult when attempted by the ordinary and accepted means of tuning. For example, the place in which it is necessary to tune may be unusually noisy. The tuning must be eifected by the player who may be partially deaf or may tune incorrectly, sharp or flat, preventing him from tuning accurately notwithstanding that he is still able to play acceptably after his instrument has been tuned.

The place at which the tuning must be done may be distant from the piano or other source of pitch.

In the tuning it may have been necessary to tune successively first from one instrument or standard and then from another which has been tuned to the standard and so on, leading to slight deviations from the pitch, which deviations become magnified due to the transfers. Time is also important, especially at radio stations.

My invention is based upon the idea that tuning of a string, for example, may be efiected under adverse conditions of noise and personal tuning disabilities of the tuner. using mechanical verification which is independent of the ear of the tuner and which gives visible indication when the pitch has been reached.

The freedom from necessity of effecting final tuning from a single instrument such as a piano makes it possible to determine the pitch of my mechanism under favorable circumstances as an entirely separate operation from the final tuning and under the care of one specially qualified for that purpose.

I am aware that a string has been tuned preliminarily, supplied with a rider and used as a standard from which selection of pitch may be determined, as seen in United States Patent to Schlittenbauer No. 467,203, issued January 19, 1892. However, the string device of this patent is delicate and is subject to the same difilculty in maintaining it in tune as is a violin, for example, for which it is intended to act as a standard. For this reason Schlittenbauers tuning string must itself be provided with tuning apparatus a by which to bring it into tune in addition to the slide 1" by which the string is intended to be changed from one pitch to another. It is also awkward and bulky because of the length of string which must be accommodated.

On the other hand applicants chime form is small and compact, is rugged in construction and when tuned retains its pitch indefinitely.

In th illustration I show any suitable resonator or sounding board IE! which in the present case has been combined with sides H and permissibly with a bottom l2 to form a sound box and in order to provide the convenience of a cover as a container to receive the remainder of the mechanism.

Taking up the description first of Figures l and 2:

Upon the resonator, I mount in any suitable way a support 13 of sound-conductive material which is shown as a metallic cylinder l4 apertured on both sides, at l5 for support of metal chimes or gongs 16, I1, [8, l9, hereafter called chimes by means of threaded plug 20 to which the chimes are rigidly attached, and at 2| for the passage of these chimes through the opposite side of the support Without making contact with the support. The support is rigidly held to the sounding board at 22.

The plugs 20 afford the mounts for the chimes having characteristics such as to cause them to respond to the individual notes to which the four strings, for example, of a violin are to be tuned.

The sound to which any individual chime responds is dependent upon a number of factors, including the material from which it is made, high carbon steel, Phosphor bronze, brass, etc., the diameter of the chime or gong and whether it be solid or hollow.

Assuming that the chimes are otherwise properly selected the pitch is dependent upon the length of the chime, any change in diameter and, because of the compressions and tensions involved, any bends in the metal.

I find that the pitch of the chime for any given chime length is desirably changed by reducing the diameter of the chime as at 23 close to the support, relatively necking it for this purpose but avoiding excessive weakening of the metal.

Each chime carries a rider 24, 25, 25 or 2'! which is quiescent to pitches and notes difierent from those to which the chime is tuned but which is rapidly vibrated and caused to dance and to travel along the chime by reason of responsive vibration of the chime when the pitch and note to which it has been tuned is sounded. Due to this condition the chimes can be tuned to approved notes represented as E, A, D and G in the figures, the tuning being effected by experts and under favorable conditions such that the tuning can be eiiected very exactly. These tuned chimes are then used as test tuning devices by which the strings of a violin, for example, can be tuned under such adverse circumstances as arise during the tuning of many instruments on an orchestra floor. It is not necessary for the one who is effecting the tuning to judge by the sound of the string being tune-d. Instead he approximately tunes the string and then tightens or slackens it from time to time until he reaches a string tension such that the chime to whose note he is trying to tune his string vibrates rapidly as seen by the dancing of its rider.

In the Figure 1 construction the initial tuning is efiected by mounting the chime in a plug by which it can be inserted within the support, bending the end of the support up if desired as at 28 to prevent the rider from being lost past .1-

the end of the chime and necking as far as may be considered desirable and safe.

The chime initially is made slightly longer than is correct for its pitch so that the final correction may be made by clipping the length of the chime. The reason for making clipping the final operation is that the pitch is slightly altered by the necking and also by any bending which is eifected, making it undesirable to attempt to select the eXact length until after all such op erations as necking and bending have been completed.

In Figure 1 the up-turned ends are relied upon to prevent accidental or careless loss of the riders over the ends of the chimes.

In Figur 2 the ends are not shown as turned upwardly because of the use of a guard 29. It is apertured to permit free passage of each of the chimes at 3i but prevents loss of the riders.

I have had success with various types of riders and the exact material of the rider is not of the first importance. However I have had my best success with sections of large feather quills.

In Figure 3 the support is placed in vertical position and is held upon the sounding board by ears 32. It may be a laterally-apertured cylinder, as in Figure 1. In order to economize space the chimes after passing through the apertures 2! are bent as at 33 into circular form conveniently surrounding the support by arcs 34 of chimes. Except that the bend in the metal necessarily alters the pitch of the chime, requiring a different length of the metal rod or tube, the effect is much the same as if the tube were straight.

In the form of Figure 4 the character of bracket support is changed, using a bracket of flanged section having a flange 36 supporting the chimes and a flange 31 resting upon and held to a sounding board or box shown at 38.

In Figure 5 still another form of support is shown in which the bracket arm 39 is turned inwardly at 39 and is grooved at 40, H, 42 and 43 so that unthreaded plugs 44, 45, 45 and 41, each supplying a mount for a chime may be held by a cap 48 having grooves at 49, 50, 5| and 52. The cap is held in place by a bolt 53 and the bracket is held to the sound box or soundin board by a bolt 54. The construction shown permits mechanical determination of tuning for individual strings.

It will be evident that though tubular chimes or gongs may be used it will be the exception rather than the rule, as ordinarily solid rod of Phosphor bronze or tempered steel, as the case may be, will generally be used for this purpose.

In view of my invention and disclosure variations and modifications to meet individual whim or particular need will doubtless become evident to others skilled in the art, to obtain all or part of the benefits of my invention without copying the structure shown, and I, therefore, claim all such in so far as they fall within the reasonable spirit and scope of my invention.

Having thus described my invention what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:

1. A mechanical rod chime tuning device, a metallic support, a resonator on which the support is mounted, a rod metallic chime connected with the support and of reduced section close to the point of connection with the support, the chime corresponding in rate of vibration with a standard musical note and a rider surrounding the chime and adapted to vibrate with it to in dicate by the agitation of the rider when a note corresponding in vibration with that of the chime has been struck.

2. A resonator, a metallic bracket therein, a rod chime supported by the bracket and bent to curve circumferentially about the support, and reduced in section close to the support, a rider carried by the chime and means for retaining the rider on the chime.

3. A resonator, a metallic bracket therein, a plurality of rod chimes supported by the bracket, one over another and bent to curve circumferentially about the support and riders, one carried by each of the chimes.


US2295902A 1941-03-14 1941-03-14 Tuning device Expired - Lifetime US2295902A (en)

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Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3079555A (en) * 1958-01-21 1963-02-26 J B T Instr Inc Vibrating reed electro-responsive device
US3339446A (en) * 1965-01-25 1967-09-05 G M R Inc Device and method for tuning resonating instruments
US5811704A (en) * 1996-04-23 1998-09-22 Anderko; Wayne T. Guitar practice device

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3079555A (en) * 1958-01-21 1963-02-26 J B T Instr Inc Vibrating reed electro-responsive device
US3339446A (en) * 1965-01-25 1967-09-05 G M R Inc Device and method for tuning resonating instruments
US5811704A (en) * 1996-04-23 1998-09-22 Anderko; Wayne T. Guitar practice device

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