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Clockwork Electric Guitar

A guitar with a built in speaker powered by clockwork
  (+16, -1)(+16, -1)
(+16, -1)
  [vote for,
against]

Guitars with speakers exist but you either have to plug them in, or use batteries, no good if you're on a lengthy spirit journey in the middle of the desert. Therefore I propose a small dynamo powered by a clockwork motor that would power the guitar, in very much the same fashion as the clockwork radio. This leaves you free to complete your spirit journey. I think I'll build this actually.
Clockwork Monkey, Jul 31 2010

Joe Satriani - One Robot's Dream http://www.youtube....watch?v=e_xyyLWrnbo
He taught a few people how to play as well. [gnomethang, Aug 02 2010]

Combination bagpipe guitar? Bagpipe_20airturbine_20mobile_20power
[James Newton, Aug 04 2010]

Kelvin water amplifier / Phlogistonic Vehemence Attenuator http://www.halfbake...emence_20Attenuator
As referenced by [MB] [csea, Aug 05 2010]

[link]






       I said the clockwork motor powers a dynamo. Have you never heard of a clockwork radio?
Clockwork Monkey, Jul 31 2010
  

       He did, you know.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 31 2010
  

       Gets my [+] not so much for the guitar part but for the idea that we might use clockwork as a stand by source for electornic devices with suitably low energy requirements.   

       Maybe there's scope for a generic clockwork generator capable of delivering 1.5, 3, 4.5, 6 or even 9 volts through a range of connectors (Nokia, Samsung, PSP, USB, Mini-USB, Micro-USB, etc.)   

       [21], don't be so picky. We know clockwork isn't actually a power source, but in common language its a lot easier to say 'clockwork' than to say 'energy stored in a spring and released at a controlled rate by means of gears and governors to drive a rotating spindle'.
Tulaine, Jul 31 2010
  

       //no good if you're on a lengthy spirit journey in the middle of the desert.//   

       Good luck with that.
(+) btw
  

       Wow. Just wow.
daseva, Aug 01 2010
  

       dunno which I'd prefer: the guitarist having to wind up during the entire song in order to do the solo, or having to wind up *while* playing.   

       Either way I'm fascinated by the concept of a clockwork amplifier... not what you mean of course, but whereby the piezo crystal vibrations are somehow mechanically (not electrically) amplified: "somehow" being the difficult bit.
FlyingToaster, Aug 01 2010
  

       Since you might be carrying this around, I suppose an acoustic guitar with a microphone would be lighter. Furthermore, get the timing of the clockwork system right and it will be picked up by the microphone and be a useful metronome.
Ling, Aug 01 2010
  

       Well, that kind of defeats the object. An electric guitar can be played in a very different style to an acoustic guitar. And in this particular case, I'd like to play an electric guitar.
Clockwork Monkey, Aug 01 2010
  

       We'd prefer it if you didn't.   

       We'd rather you took up the violin, or alternatively be found face down in a gutter, choking in a pool of your own blood.   

       Or, well, anyone's blood, really, just as long as you're choking in it.
8th of 7, Aug 01 2010
  

       Any reason why you want me dead?
Clockwork Monkey, Aug 01 2010
  

       You're "new" here.... did you not know that you must be "broken" in? [8th of 7] does all that type of work. (+ for your idea by the way) - Look I made you your first croissant - Don't eat it all at once!
xenzag, Aug 01 2010
  

       [Flying_Toaster]//clockwork amplifier// Lets see ... a set of piano wires, or something, tuned to resonate at particular, narrowly spaced frequencies. Each is connected to an escapement which lets a spring unwind at a controlled rate tick-tick-tick corresponding to that string's resonant frequency (something like a quartz-crystal electromechanical movement). The spring-unwinding impulses are transmitted back into the string, to increase the amplitude of its oscillations. Would that work? Paging Dr. [Buchanan], Dr. [Maxwell_Buchanan].
mouseposture, Aug 01 2010
  

       it'd work for a clockwork piano or guitar I half-imagine.
FlyingToaster, Aug 02 2010
  

       What did he say? I was only half-listening...   

       [ClockM], you're taking a physical guitar on a spirit journey? In the desert you say? This brings to mind that old conundrum about the sound of one hand clapping and whether trees falling in the forest make any sound if no one's around to hear them. And... oh, nevermind, there aren't many trees in the desert anyway. The thing is I imagine if it is a spirit journey the amplified sound might only be noticeable at the quantum level, and that is only if no one is in the desert to hear it. Maybe I'm missing something, thank goodness.
Grogster, Aug 02 2010
  

       A deleted anno, [21Q]? Musta been pretty juicy... Do tell! Do tell!
Grogster, Aug 02 2010
  

       "Yep... still wrong. You can keep deleting my anno's all day. Ask the people who've been here for a while how easily I give up."   

       That's fine, I really don't care anymore. You've won! Perhaps in days to come you will look back with teary eyes telling your grandchildren about how you won the great clockwork wars of 2010 (Oh shit! sorry, Hand crank generator wars). Or perhaps, you will just see it as another moment of your life frivolously wasted away on displays of pedantry. A victory perhaps, but a hollow one. And as that void slowly fills up with the thick hate that has already begun to consume you, you can only look back at how much time you wasted on such pursuits until you finally succumb to death. And upon your headstone is nothing, but your name and a carving of two and a half rotting fish.
Clockwork Monkey, Aug 02 2010
  

       That's a good idea, personal ratings on tombstones... I almost posted it just now but... nah.
daseva, Aug 02 2010
  

       // Any reason why you want me dead? //   

       I think you'll find the answer in the phrase, "electric guitar" (Not to be confused with a musical instrument).   

       // frivolously wasted away on displays of pedantry //   

       Time spent on pedantry is NEVER wasted.
8th of 7, Aug 02 2010
  

       "I think you'll find the answer in the phrase, "electric guitar" (Not to be confused with a musical instrument)."   

       Care to elaborate?
Clockwork Monkey, Aug 02 2010
  

       //a clockwork amplifier// - well old gramophones are halfway there. I am thinking that you want a little rod that transmits the vibration from the strings, to a diaphragm at one end of a horn (like a Stroh violin). But the clockwork element... presumably you could use some kind of AM system? Could the clockwork power some kind of unstable flip-flap device, so that every vibration of the rod trips the flip or flap, thus adding power to the diaphragm?
pocmloc, Aug 02 2010
  

       Unstable flip-flap device? Sounds like vocal cords...
Grogster, Aug 02 2010
  

       Wow, guys. Way to be unfriendly!   

       Love the idea (*bing +*). I can just see my fella, standing on a wind-carved rock formation, his hair blowing in the desert wind and eyes glowing orange in the last rays of the sun. He picks up his clockwork guitar, winds it up for a while and slowly begins to play. In his mind, he sounds like Neil Young.   

       Watching him, I wish I bought him a book for his birthday instead, or was standing out of earshot.
squeak, Aug 02 2010
  

       // Care to elaborate ? //   

       Delighted.   

       The classical guitar produces a gentle, mellow tone and is equally adaptable to music of either a fast or slow tempo, much as a violin or cello. The loudness of the acoustic instrument is entirely satisfactory for its normal operational environment.   

       The "electric guitar" is a despicable and entirely unwarranted perversion of the instrument described above, being the favoured medium of expression of several decades-worth of drug-raddled, talentless oiks and giftless bastards who manage, with some effort and the employment of every scrap of talent they possess to produce a noise which is, on balance, not quite so pleasant as listening to a cat that's been fed chilli con carne trying to do a shit through a sewed-up bum, played off-key at a pitch and volume guaranteed to leave the audience with their ears bleeding, and to turn milk sour up to ten kilometers away.   

       And then they try to sing .....   

       Does that answer your question?
8th of 7, Aug 02 2010
  

       Well, you ellaborated, but you're very wrong.   

       Firstly, a classical guitar does not produce a tone anything like a violin or cello, both of these are capable of being much, much louder than a classical guitar. One of the main problems with a classical guitar (especially on older romantic period guitars) is that they are not loud enough for everyone in a concert hall to hear fully unless amplified. In a smaller, intimate setting, a classical guitar is fine, when played alone, but can still be drowned out if played alongside other instruments.   

       You also seem to be confusing a type of music with a musical instrument. You have a dislike for rock music, so you hate the electric guitar? I appreciate the main goal of what you've written was to be amusing (and it was), but the electric guitar is used in so many different genres of music because it can do things that are not possible on acoustic guitars.Your misguided elitism is cute, but to dismiss it in such a fashion is idiotic.
Clockwork Monkey, Aug 02 2010
  

       // a classical guitar does not produce a tone anything like a violin or cello, //   

       This is correct. We said, "music of either a fast or slow tempo, much as a violin or cello." We were refering to the tempo, not the tone.   

       // both of these are capable of being much, much louder than a classical guitar //   

       This is not disputed.   

       The limited dBA available from a classical guitar is a feature, not a limitation.   

       We have no objection to modest and appropriate external amplification.   

       // the electric guitar is used in so many different genres of music //   

       Electronic instruments such as the Theremin, the Ondes Martenot and the Synthesiser or Synclavier can all be employed to great advantage on the concert platform; however, calls for electric guitars in the works of the great Classical composers are notable by their absence, and the things that can only be done on an electric guitar are quite frankly not worth doing anyway.
8th of 7, Aug 02 2010
  

       "Also look at Hank Williams, Sr. or Johnny Cash. At their concerts, people shut up and listen out of respect for the artist and to ensure they hear what they paid to hear."   

       Johnny Cash almost always had an electric guitarist on stage with him. I can't say I know anything about Hank Williams.   

       "Electronic instruments such as the Theremin, the Ondes Martenot and the Synthesiser or Synclavier can all be employed to great advantage on the concert platform; however, calls for electric guitars in the works of the great Classical composers are notable by their absence, and the things that can only be done on an electric guitar are quite frankly not worth doing anyway."   

       What a bizarre statement. Of course electric guitars aren't used in the works of the great Classical composers, in the same way that Synthesisers and other electronic musical instruments aren't used. Mainly because they weren't around to be used. Do you really think all of those great artists would have dismissed a way to create new and exciting sounds? No chance. Many contemporary composers do use the electric guitar. Perhaps you should stop talking about something you know nothing about and go back to playing your laser harp in your parents basement.
Clockwork Monkey, Aug 02 2010
  

       // Do you really think all of those great artists would have dismissed a way to create new and exciting sounds? //   

       Indeed not, but they would have composed with reference to concepts like "harmony", "melody" and "not causing irreversible hearing loss".   

       Except, that is, for L. Beethoven, who was audiologically challenged.   

       // Many contemporary composers do use the electric guitar //   

       Yes, they do. It is questionable if their compositions will display the same durability as those of Bach, Mozart and Handel.
8th of 7, Aug 02 2010
  

       //Or perhaps, you will just see it as another moment of your life frivolously wasted away on displays of pedantry.//
Excuse me, is this the Halfbakery?
On another note (and getting back to the idea somewhat (sorry!) - I havent seen any discussion as to why one might need to amplify one's instrument whilst on (e.g.) a Hajj. Shirley one would pick up the nearest rebec and bang out a decent respectful choon whilst having a spiritual moment, no?.


To add balance to my uninformed judgements- The Borg Collective appears to have no appreciation of the musicianship associated with the electric guitar. Joe Satriani rocks. I can prove it.
gnomethang, Aug 02 2010
  

       // musicianship associated with the electric guitar. //   

       Let us know when it starts.   

       // Joe Satriani //   

       Who ?
8th of 7, Aug 02 2010
  

       //musicianship associated with the electric guitar.// sp. drummer
pocmloc, Aug 02 2010
  

       He taught Steve Vai how to play. I'm not answering the next obvious question.   

       Basically, they are both better at what they do than you are at what you do.
daseva, Aug 02 2010
  

       Linky on the left. I have my tickets for October.
Granted there may be some "Cat's Bum" moments (and I would ask you to credit Terry Pratchett in 'Soul Music' next time you quote that!) but there are plenty of pleasant things you can do with an electric guitar.
Pleasewatch the whole thang!
gnomethang, Aug 02 2010
  

       // credit Terry Pratchett //   

       Acknowledged.   

       // there are plenty of pleasant things you can do with an electric guitar //   

       Use it as fuel for a barbequeue ?
8th of 7, Aug 02 2010
  

       Was it Montreux, or the Isle of Wight?. One forgets.
gnomethang, Aug 02 2010
  

       No doubt. The extremely loud noise causes brain (if any) damage and memory loss.
8th of 7, Aug 03 2010
  

       //no good if you're on a lengthy spirit journey in the middle of the desert.//   

       Of course, this idea has the downside that your spirit guide may dislike electric guitars. What if, as it turns out, [8th of 7] is actually our spirit guide? I believe the ironing would be delicious.
shapu, Aug 03 2010
  

       Basically, you're suggesting that instead of powering the amplifier using a rechargeable battery, and using a hand-cranked dynamo to charge that battery as needed (as is commonly done in hand powered flashlights and radios), you'd power the amplifier directly from the dynamo, and use a spring for power storage.   

       This gets a bone from me, since springs have lower power density and higher cost than batteries.
goldbb, Aug 03 2010
  

       How completely sad that bullies have invaded the half bakery. I'll now spend less time here.   

       How completely inhuman that anyone could wish physical damage on another over something so minor as a dislike for a specific musical instrument.   

       Does Jutta approve?   

       I personally enjoy the sound of the electric guitar, and bun for the idea of one that can be "cranked up" while camping or otherwise away from a source of fresh batteries.
James Newton, Aug 03 2010
  

       "This gets a bone from me, since springs have lower power density and higher cost than batteries."   

       Fair enough, but the batteries wouldn't last forever, whilst a spring would. I think.   

       It's also interesting that Joe Satriani was mentioned to showcase how good the electric guitar sounds, because to me, it always sounded like he was molesting a SNES. Just goes to show that it's far more about what you play, rather than what you play it on :)   

       Anyway, I am a luthier by trade and truly do intend to make this some time.
Clockwork Monkey, Aug 03 2010
  

       No, not literally forever, sorry, I forgot you were here. Just a lot longer than a rechargeable battery.
Clockwork Monkey, Aug 04 2010
  

       Well, rechargeable batteries don't just stop, they just store less charge as they get used, so although your phone hasn't stopped working, you probably need to charge it more often than when it was new. I don't know how long a spring would be able to store it's full, or close to it's full potential for. There wouldn't be a "stop" feature on the guitar, so the spring would always return to it's unwound state.
Clockwork Monkey, Aug 04 2010
  

       // Anyway, I am a luthier by trade //   

       We thoroughly approve. The lute is a sadly underused instrument.   

       // and truly do intend to make this some time. //   

       A clockwork amplified lute would be much more acceptable, and indeed understandable, as lutes are rather quiet.
8th of 7, Aug 04 2010
  

       //calls for electric guitars in the works of the great Classical composers are notable by their absence//

Tish & pish, 8th! Tish & pish I say! In evidence I give you 'Noise, Noise, Noise!' by The Damned, 'Noise Annoys' by The Buzzcocks and 'Sound of the Suburbs' by The Members. These are just a small handful of the many wonderful electric guitar pieces and ensembles from the great age of Classical music!

+ for the idea, by the way. I rather like the concept of the Pete Townshend, windmill arm action (TM) being utilised to keep the clockwork (and, apparently, 8th of 7) wound up whilst you play.
DrBob, Aug 04 2010
  

       If an electric guitar is simply used to produce loud versions of an acoustic (note that classical is a specific style of acoustic) guitar, it is not a unique instrument. Likewise, if it is simply used to produce massively distorted noise, it is a unique instrument, but only of questionable musicality.   

       If it used to produce unique sounds that truly are musical, it is well worth listening to. (See Jimi Hendrix, or TSO).
MechE, Aug 04 2010
  

       Look at all this witty banter you have precipitated, CM! Not to mention postings by 8th! Well done. Please sir, may I have some more?   

       I must say that rather than a hand crank, I pictured a double weight arrangement like a grandfather clock. Perhaps yourself, high atop an Anasazi cliff dwelling, legs akimbo, improvising a paen to the rising sun as the glistening twin weights of your guitar mannishly descend to the desert floor far below. It turns out your spirit animal is a burrow owl that likes to peck, but the owl is cool with your tunes.
bungston, Aug 04 2010
  

       // keep ... wound up whilst you play //   

       You're going to Hell, [DrBob], and whn you get there, the soundtrack to your eternal sufferings will be provided by Barry Manilow ...
8th of 7, Aug 04 2010
  

       //clockwork amplifier// ...// Paging Dr. [Buchanan], Dr. [Maxwell_Buchanan]//   

       My apologies. I was attending to an urgent and particularly challenging topological problem. Fortunately it worked out well, and we have re-united the foot with its owner.   

       Anyway, to the problem at hand. Your proposed mechanism would work, but you'd have a problem with harmonics.   

       However, if you're concerned with volume rather than fidelity, could I urge you to consider a water amplifier? In particular, a Kelvin water amplifier might meet your needs admirably.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 04 2010
  

       // but you'd have a problem with harmonics. //   

       And also harmonicas. Like you might find you have one inserted in that place where the sun doth not shine. A big one, with lots of spiky bits and sharp edges.   

       Go back to lutes, lutes are nice.
8th of 7, Aug 04 2010
  

       // The fact is, there are an awful lot of country music performers who manage to get their music //   

       Stop right there. Country is not music.   

       To the original poster, if you can fend off 21Quest and 8th of 7 in the same posting, you're okay by me.
RayfordSteele, Aug 04 2010
  

       oh I dunno, he did use the phrase "frivolous display of pedantry"... like it's a *bad* thing.   

       [ ] pending a mechanical clockwork amplifier.
FlyingToaster, Aug 04 2010
  

       //The springiness of metal, if I understand correctly, uses elasticity. Elasticity degrades over time, as the metal stretches back and forth so many times. I'm guessing a spring is going to last quite a bit less than a cellphone battery, which, if you always use it until it's depleted, doesn't have the same problem.//   

       Warning! Comment not necessarily accurate!   

       Yes, springs use the elasticity of the metal. The modes of spring deterioration are either via creep, or via one of several fatigue mechanisms. Either of which can be essentially negated by good design, craftsmanship and materials selection. (Read: Cost)   

       You didn't mention which type of rechargeable battery you have that does not suffer deterioration. I'm sure the electronics industry will be very intetrested in your findings.   

       I'm not aware, personally, of any battery type that has infinite, or even near infinite number of battery charge cycles.   

       Also please note, some batteries need to be fully discharged in order to take a full charge again, others are destroyed by fully discharging.
Custardguts, Aug 04 2010
  

       //near infinite... charge cycles// nickel-iron... or a capacitor.
FlyingToaster, Aug 04 2010
  

       clockwork testosterone.   

       never saw that Joe Satriani, I like his style but I get tired of the distortion sound rather quickly   

       This is a pretty good idea. +
dentworth, Aug 04 2010
  

       Edison batteries have last a ridiculously large number of charge discharge cycles. So do Lead Carbon batteries.
goldbb, Aug 05 2010
  

       I tire of pedantry easily. It's entirely to anal- retentive for enjoyment for that long, and my mother was an English major.
RayfordSteele, Aug 05 2010
  

       // to //   

       Sp. "too"   

       // my mother was an English major. //   

       That sort of thing seems to be more common in the Royal Navy, but you're sure to get one or two in any large organisation. What regiment was (s)he in ?
8th of 7, Aug 05 2010
  

       I went to a Jonathan Richman concert last year at which he asked for the air conditioning to be turned off as the noise was drowning out the quiet bits of his songs - now there's a performer who's not afraid to use low sound levels!
hippo, Aug 05 2010
  

       [Custardguts] you forgot bulk in your list of negating factors. If the load put on the spring is above the fatigue limit it will eventually fail. It has to be sufficiently over designed that the stress falls below the fatigue limit, which means it's going to be bulky for it's load.   

       (Note that the above applies to steel/iron only. Most other metals and plastics do not have a fatigue limit and will fail eventually no matter what)
MechE, Aug 05 2010
  

       "Johnny's upstairs in his bedroom sitting in the dark,
Annoying the neighbours with his clockwork electric guitar,
This is the Sound,
This is the Sound of the Suburbs"

//the soundtrack to your eternal sufferings will be provided by Barry Manilow //

Ooh, harsh!
DrBob, Aug 05 2010
  

       [MechE] - of course. Reducing stresses below the infinite cycle limit by increasing size was part of the "design" negating factor I mentioned.
Custardguts, Aug 05 2010
  
      
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