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  • Auto tuning for a guitar

    A friend is staying with us and he is a musician. He brought a Japanese built wooden guitar with him. This guitar has an auto tuning mechanism on it to tune the guitar. He just presses certain combinations of buttons for different tuning preferences and you watch the knobs turn like crazy while he strums the strings. I had never heard of much less seen something like it. The mechanism fascinated me but when I reached for it to have a closer look he grabbed the guitar and told me to keep my hands off it. He commented that he knows me and I would take it apart to see how it worked. Guilty as charged I guess. He said that a lot of player don't like them and want a more hands on tuning. He likes it because he can play the guitar more and not spend a lot of time tuning it before. Gibson built and designed the system. Somewhere around $300 to buy it.
    Location: The Black Forest in Germany

    How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

  • #2
    It's 30+ year old technology. Jimmy Page was the first adopter, but despite his endorsement, it didn't catch on.

    See here: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/811834 And here: https://www.axcenttuning.com/about_the_company.php
    Location: Northern WI

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    • #3
      It sounds much too complicated when everyone just uses one of those little electronic gadgets which clip on the guitar neck. I saw somebody tune all six strings in less than a minute using one.

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      • #4
        It's not like using a phone tuning app is that slow, this seems like a solution in search of a problem unless you're a performer who likes open & odd tunings but only has one guitar on stage.
        Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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        • #5
          I have a six string with seven tuning 'knobs'. You turn one up to about 3/4 of its range, then tune the rest like normal. Then you can tune the other one and all strings go up or down together. This design is so you can take all the tension off, then remove the neck. It's a backpackers guitar. When you put the neck back on, all the strings come up to tune together- and they come back into perfect tune. One day I'll finish building the body.
          I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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          • #6
            Originally posted by gellfex View Post
            It's not like using a phone tuning app is that slow, this seems like a solution in search of a problem unless you're a performer who likes open & odd tunings but only has one guitar on stage.
            Yes, that's the main use. You can go from Standard Tuning to say EADADE and back again in a matter of seconds. Saves guitar changes when performing live.
            Location: Northern WI

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            • #7
              Originally posted by darryl View Post
              I have a six string with seven tuning 'knobs'. You turn one up to about 3/4 of its range, then tune the rest like normal. Then you can tune the other one and all strings go up or down together. This design is so you can take all the tension off, then remove the neck. It's a backpackers guitar. When you put the neck back on, all the strings come up to tune together- and they come back into perfect tune. One day I'll finish building the body.
              Did you build the tuning rig? Sounds interesting. I made my son a headless travel solid body electric with a Steinberger-like tuning machine in the end of the body. It has a built-in headphone amp. But of course it isn't out of prototype either, I made an MDF prototype body and had the blank of poplar ready, but then he lost interest in electric as he dove deep into folk. He's a total Deadhead now at 22. I ended up getting him a Martin accoustic travel guitar that has been from Alaska to Patagonia.
              Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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              • #8
                I did build the whole thing myself. There are no conventional tuning pegs- instead, each string fastens to a slider, and each slider rides in a slot. They are adjusted by turning a socket head bolt. The bridge rocks on a fulcrum, and when you loosen the single adjusting bolt the bridge lifts right off. Once set, the length of each string doesn't change. The guitar has the usual intonation adjustments and string height adjustments. The nut has 6 tiny rollers for the strings to ride across. All the tiny parts are brass and stainless- the neck and the structural part of the body are aluminum. The neck has maple inserts on either side. There is a long slot in the body where the pickups can go, so they can be positioned anywhere. The body will have a pair of speakers, an amp, and a battery pack built into it, along with some controls.

                I did play with the idea of electro-mechanical tuning, which is still an interesting concept for me. Not for this guitar, though.
                I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                • #9
                  Picture. please!
                  http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
                  Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
                  USA Maryland 21030

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by darryl View Post
                    I did build the whole thing myself. There are no conventional tuning pegs- instead, each string fastens to a slider, and each slider rides in a slot. They are adjusted by turning a socket head bolt. The bridge rocks on a fulcrum, and when you loosen the single adjusting bolt the bridge lifts right off. Once set, the length of each string doesn't change. The guitar has the usual intonation adjustments and string height adjustments. The nut has 6 tiny rollers for the strings to ride across.
                    A HA. So that's how it gets around not changing he tension on the strings like ordinary tuners do.
                    otherwise the strings would get all stressed and strained, and not hold a tuning from deformation.
                    Interesting, but just a gimmick like so many things in the world of musical instrument inventions.
                    I'm going to sound like a snob, but you don't need to change tunings to make music.
                    The technology will make some things easier, but a creative and skillful player will "make it happen" so long as he has at least a modestly adequate instrument.
                    Not far off from our world of machining.....

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