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Progressive Machine Head

easier tuning
  (+3, -1)
(+3, -1)
  [vote for,

Guitar strings are adjusted with little dealies, which collectively are referred to as the machine head. The strings wrap around a pulley and are wound up or loosened to obtain the correct string tension.

When the tension is near-correct, the difference between in-tune or out-of-tune is very small - maybe one-sixteenth (or less) of a turn of the dial.

So this is to make the pulleys on a machine head in the shape of spiral grooves that start out large and become progressively smaller. Choosing the correct starting point on each spiral will align the string with a very small diameter section, for greater ease and precision of tuning, and reduced sensitivity to random jostling of the instrument.

afinehowdoyoudo, Mar 16 2010

Boy, that sure takes me back... http://www.tomamusi...-1972-Delantera.jpg
[normzone, Mar 16 2010]

Friction pegs http://www.earlyrom...stock_pegs_robb.jpg
Machine heads are for wimps [pocmloc, Mar 16 2010]

Steinberger high-ratio tuners http://www.stewmac....earless_Tuners.html
[angel, Mar 16 2010]

Stringwinders http://www.stewmac....ge_pin_pullers.html
[angel, Mar 18 2010]

sketch http://howdymam.dev...hine-head-159029733
[afinehowdoyoudo, Mar 31 2010]

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       I string my guitars with only a couple of turns around the post, so this really wouldn't help me (not that I've found it to be an issue anyway). You can get Schaller machines with 12, 14 or 16:1 ratio, or try 40:1 Steinbergers (linky) if you're really picky.
angel, Mar 16 2010

       but strings stretch, don't they? I don't think I'm understanding the point of the spiral pulleys. edit; forget the former. I think I got it.
dentworth, Mar 16 2010

       its a good idea but how would you assure that the string was going to be in the "fine" rather than the "coarse" section of the spool when properly tensioned?
WcW, Mar 17 2010

       Cellos are often built with two tuning pegs - the big wooden ones at the head, plus small metal 'fine-tuners' at the other end of each string. I imagine guitars could be approached the same way. [+] for sheer ingenuity, though.
gisho, Mar 17 2010

       Floyd-Rose trem units also have fine-tuners, as do many others.
angel, Mar 17 2010

       Ian, I'd be more than happy to take that off your hands, I would... hmm... <sigh> I'd add it to the Stage73 with a warped soundboard I've been meaning to figure out how to unwarp, and an M3 which is in approximately a million pieces (but the generator now turns freely) which I don't want to put together again 'cuz I'd then find out something else is wrong with it and have to take it apart again... almost certainly needs re-capping at the very least.   

       2600's have those wax or plastic-filled circuit bins or something don't they ? intellectual-property protection c.1970.   

       [iron horse] I'm almost positive that there's a crank you can fit onto a peg handle that lets you wind very quickly. Then you could use small diameter pegs, but it wouldn't take an hour to get each one into fine tuning range.
FlyingToaster, Mar 17 2010

       Those Steinbergers are cool. Likewise, using a secondary fine-tuning mechanism would help (me).   

       A coarse ratio is only useful when installing strings, i.e. to make the number of turns needed to retain the strings to the posts. If there is a different method of retaining the strings, they can be installed with no slack, and the tension immediately applied (through a high ratio mechanism). I think the amount that strings stretch is in the 'fine' range rather than the 'coarse'.
afinehowdoyoudo, Mar 18 2010

       [iron_horse], if you lock the strings to the posts, you only need a couple of turns when you install them. This also means that there's less likelihood of the turns collapsing onto those underneath, with resulting flattening of the note.

The //crank you can fit onto a peg handle//? Mine is Dunlop- pattern (but Gibson branded - I bought a Gibson goody-bag shortly after I got my Les Paul), but there are others (linky).
angel, Mar 18 2010


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