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Ha! I finally managed to dredge up one of the things I filed away to be posted later. I really have Got to start writing stuff down...
  [vote for,

Torque wrenches only allow for a certain amount of tension before they will torque no more.
Guitar strings need a certain amount of tension to remain in tune.
I propose that the tuning pegs themselves could be miniature torque wrenches with a central control to manually change overall pitch.

Anyone could tune any guitar instantly just by turning all of the pegs until they began clicking.

Tronical tune https://www.youtube...watch?v=cfOreJ29r0U
Clever [bhumphrys, Oct 17 2018]



       The resonant frequency of a string is dependant on the mass, tension, and length. By changing the length - using the tuning pegs - the tension and hence the resonance can be varied.   

       But the untensioned length of the string is also temperature-dependant.   

       Thus, the tension for a given resonance varies; a constant-tension device would be possible but would not deliver consistent note tuning.
8th of 7, Oct 15 2018


       This sort of plays to a limited audience...get it [fried]? hahaha
blissmiss, Oct 15 2018

       The guitar neck will expand and contract as the temperature and humidity change, too.   

       Experienced musicians know that you should always bring your instruments into the venue and let them acclimatise for a while before trying to tune and play them.
Wrongfellow, Oct 15 2018

       That explains where I've been going wrong, [Wrong]. The harpsichord in the northeast breakfast room has only been there since about 1820, and whenever I play it, it sounds ghastly.   

       Oh and [+] for a brilliant idea let down only by practicalities.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 16 2018

       The clear solution is to have set torque levels for the temperature and humidity level thermostats...
RayfordSteele, Oct 16 2018

       You play the harpsichord yourself? How frightfully common of you.
Wrongfellow, Oct 16 2018

       Assuming the strings are made of steel, a set of very powerful magnets on cantilevers should do the trick.   

       Torque is cheap.
not_morrison_rm, Oct 16 2018

       //You play the harpsichord yourself? // It's a turn of phrase. As in "The seventh Earl built the Orangery and landscaped the village".
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 16 2018

       The pegs could be mounted in a frame of brass and steel, arranged so that their different expansions with temperature precisely compensates for the changing string length.   

       Alternatively the strings could be wound from invar, an alloy specifically designed to be stable with temperature.   

       With enough effort, everything can be compensated for. You could even mount a tiny metal bellows, like they had in early bomb computers, to compensate for ambient air pressure. However after a point it might just be easier to stick an electric motor on each peg, add a microphone and have a battery-powered auto tuning system.
mitxela, Oct 16 2018

       We ought to be able to devise a purely mechanical autotuning guitar. I'm thinking of clockwork mechanism that will measure a precise interval of time (eg, 1 second), coupled with a very delicate escapement driven by the vibration of the string. The mechanism can therefore determine how many vibrations occur in 1 second, and this in turn can be used to either tighten or loosen the string by a small amount before the process is repeated, iteratively.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 16 2018

       Another approach might be for the guitar to have some reference resonators (i.e. a row of tuning forks) one of which would be activated at the same time as the string is plucked. Then you'd use the beat frequency formed by the superposition of the two to drive the tuning mechanism.
hippo, Oct 16 2018

       I'm willing to learn otherwise, but I'd have judged that the effect of tension on pitch far outweighed the effect of length. Considering an infinitely stiff string and neck, a fractional increase in string length (say half a millimetre) will have negligible effect on the free length of about a metre on the guitar, but will cause the tension to drop precipitously. For a real case where both the string and the neck act as springs, the effect on tension will be less marked, but I bet it's still dominant.
david_scothern, Oct 16 2018

       Guitar strings don't vibrate at a specific, well-defined frequency during normal playing. The player's left hand sees to that.   

       The frets don't help you out here, either, because the player will often bend the strings sideways slightly to play slightly higher notes.
Wrongfellow, Oct 17 2018

       String pitch depends on length, mass per unit length, and tension, as [8th] correctly but quite wrongly pointed out.   

       The sounding length is the distance from the two fixed points the string bears against; this is fixed by the frame of the instrument and does not change except through structural distortion of the instrument frame (e.g. due to humidity or temperature).   

       Turning the tuning pins only affects the tension, and so therefore this invention would actually work just fine, so long as the torsion mechanism was sufficiently finely set. I suspect that would be the main challenge to actually producing such a device.   

       Thinking about weighing scales, there are spring scales and there are balances. Spring scales would work the same as a torsion wrench, using the springiness of a spring as a reference force. Balances on the other hand use gravity to provide the fixed reference force   

       Gravity tuners are baked and widely known to exist, in the form of violins mounted horizontally inside early 20th century self-playing Orchestrion machines. The violin strings are attached to weighted levers, and are tuned by adjusting the weights on the levers. Then, the tension is constant no matter the temperature, humidity etc.   

       Obviously this system does not compensate for the length changing due to flex or distortion of the instrument frame, or for the mass per unit length changing (e.g from dust accretion, or corrosion), but should be pretty effective.
pocmloc, Oct 17 2018

       //String pitch depends on length, mass per unit length, and tension// - and velocity as well; Guitars travelling close to the speed of light will increase in mass due to relativistic effects, which will affect the pitch of the note from the (now heavier) strings.
hippo, Oct 17 2018

       <Engages impulse drive and accelerates to 0.5 C>   

       <Strums sequence of power chords>   

       You're right ... the mass increases, and the guitar is compressed along the axis of travel.   

       // correctly but quite wrongly //   

       Eh ?
8th of 7, Oct 17 2018

       I already said it depends on mass, and I already suggested dust accretion as one way the mass might increase. There's not that much difference between dust accretion and acceleration to near light speed.
pocmloc, Oct 17 2018


       We've long suspected that James Dyson is up to something sinister... he has that smug "Ah, Mister Bond, I've been expecting you" look.   

       Seems we may be right.
8th of 7, Oct 17 2018

       This has to be worth using in shower conditions for guitarists who sing in the shower   

       and required like autotune for singers.
reensure, Oct 17 2018

       I really wanted to create the Gitoque but it was a total flop.   

       + because I think mini torque wrenches would be so cute, but I misread the title thinking it was some kind of guillotine made from a guitar! guitarotine
xandram, Oct 18 2018


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