N 21, 1967 J. D. WEBSTER FLOATING BRIDGE FOR MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS Filed Aug. 25, 1965 2 SheetsSheet 1 INVENTOR. \flwgs Q M5575? Arrow/5 1967 J. D. WEBSTER FLOATING BIRIDGE FOR MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS 2 Sheets-Shem Filed Aug. 25, 1965 INVENTOR. J4M$ 0. M555 75/? BY United States Patent 3,353,433 FLOATING BRIDGE FOR MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS James D. Webster, Northport, N.Y., assignor to The Fred.
Gretsch Mfg. Co., Brooklyn, N. a corporation of New York Filed Aug. 25, 1965, Ser. No. 482,379 8 Claims. (Cl. 84-4 94) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A musical instrument, such as a guitar, having a floating bridge with a tuning fork depending therefrom supported entirely by strings of the instrument.
The present invention relates to musical instruments of the guitar family and, more particularly, to a floating bridge for musical instruments.
In conventional stringed instruments a portion of the vibratory sound produced thereby is absorbed by the body of the instrument through its bridge. The body of the instrumentgthus picks up all sound impurities and at the same timeproduces rapid tone decay. In the caseof electronically amplified instruments such harmful effects produced by the instrument body are even greater.
Accordingly, an object of the present invention isito provide an arrangement for insulating the vibratory sound from the body of the instrument while playing a musical instrument of the guitar family.
Another object is to provide such an arrangement for producing purer sound tones and for eliminating rapid tone decay.
Another object is to provide such an arrangement which can be readily installed in existing or newly fabricated musical instruments.
A further object is to accomplish the foregoing in a simple, practical and economical manner.
Other and further objects will be obvious upon an understanding of the illustrative embodiment about to be described, or will be indicated in the appended claims, and various advantages not referred to herein will occur to one skilled in the art upon employment of the invention in practice.
In accordance with the present invention it has been discovered that the foregoing objects can be accomplished by an attachment carried by the strings ahead of the stationary bridge, so that the vibratory sounds produced on the strings are intercepted by the attachment and prevented from reaching the stationary bridge and thence the body of the instrument. Preferably, the attachment includes a tuning fork depending therefrom and extending through an opening in the sound board of the instrument. Accordingly, when the strings are struck either by a plectrum or the fingers and set into motion, the vibrations thereof activate the attachment including the tuning fork without reaching the stationary bridge. These vibrations activate the tuning fork which in turn feeds energy back into the attachment and strings, whereby the strings continue to vibrate and produce sound as long as the tuning fork vibrates. In other words, the tuning fork acts as a feed-back generator. Since the attachment is suspended in space, it vibrates freely without interference from the instrument body and as a result the instrument is effective in producing pure sound without tone decay.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary plan view of a guitar which is equipped with an attachment in accordance with the present invention.
3,353,433 Patented Nov. 21, 1967 FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary side elevational view of the attachment shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a further enlarged sectional view taken along the line 3-3 on FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a sectional view FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a portion of the attachment.
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an attachment having two tuning forks secured thereto.
FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary plan view of another form of an attachment.
FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken along the line 8-8 on FIG. 7.
Referring now to FIGS. 1 to 5 of the drawings in detail, there is shown a conventional guitar which generally comprises a hollow body 10 having a sound board 11, a neck 12 having a finger board 14, a fixed bridge 15, a tailpiece 16, strings S, and an attachment 17 in accordance with the present invention.
The attachment 17, shown in FIGS. 1 to 5, can be considered to be a second or floating bridge which comprises a first bar or rod 18 having spaced apertures 19 through which the strings S extend, a second bar or rod 20 near the bridge 15 and extending beneath the strings, side portions 21 connecting the bars 18 and 20, and a tuning fork 22 removably secured to the bar 18 by screw threads 24 (FIG. 3) and extending downwardly through an opening 25 in the sound board 11 and into the hollow body 10.
The tuning fork 22 may be of any suitable pitch, so that when a tone is produced by plucking the strings the tuning fork is excited and set into motion to feed-back vibrations into the strings through the floating bridge as long as the tuning fork vibrates. It has been also found that the floating bridge even without the tuning fork acts as a feed-back generator, although to a minor extent.
Also, as shown in FIG. 6, two or more tuning forks 22 can be used, with the sound board 11 being provided with an appropriate number of openings.
In FIGS. 7 and 8, another form of attachment or second bridge 17 near the bridge 15 is shown which comprises a bar or rod 26 formed with deep diagonal slots 27 in the top thereof for receiving the strings S and distorting or zig-zagging the path thereof, so that the tension of the strings in effect causes the strings to grip the bar and suspend the same; and a tuning fork 22 screw threadedly secured to the bar 26 and extending downwardly through an opening 25 in the sound board 11 and into the hollow body 10.
From the foregoing description it will be seen that the present invention provides improved sound for electronic or stringed musical instruments of the guitar family.
As various changes may be made in the form, construction, and arrangement of the parts herein, without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention and without sacrificing any of its advantages, it is to be understood that all matters are to be interpreted as illustrative and not in any limiting sense.
What is claimed is:
1. In a musical instrument of the class described including a body, a fixed bridge and strings, the improvement which comprises a second bridge adjacent the fixed bridge and having means for suspending the same on the strings, and a tuning fork secured to said second bridge and extending into the body.
2. The improvement according to claim 1, including a plurality of tuning forks.
3. The improvement according to claim 2, where said tuning forks are constructed to be excited at different pitches.
taken along the line 4-4 on 4. The improvement according to claim 1, wherein said second bridge includes a'first bar having spaced" apertures through which the strings extend and having said tuning fork secured thereto, a second bar extending beneath the strings, and side portions connecting said bars in spaced apart relation.
5. The improvement according to claim 1, wherein said second bridge constitutes a bar-having said tuning fork secured thereto and having diagonal slots of substantial depth in the top thereof for receiving the strings and distorting the path thereof.
6. In a musical instrument of the class described, the combination of a body having a sound board formed with an opening, a fixed bridge adjacent said opening, strings extending across said bridge, a floating bridge adjacent said fixed bridge and having means'for suspending the same on said strings, and a tuning fork secured to said floating bridge and extending downwardly through said opening.
7. An attachment for a stringed musical instrument of the class described, which attachment comprises a bar having means for suspending the same from the strings of the instrument, and a tuning fork secured to said bar.
8. An attachment according to claim 7, wherein said tuning fork-and said bar are formed with means for rern-ovably securing the same.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,236,138 2/1966 Graves 84---187 RICHARD H. WILKINSON, Primary Examiner.
E. C. SIMMONS, Assistant Examiner.