For over 60 years, I have wanted to broaden the sound from any stringed musical instrument’s strings. I developed such an innovation due to my work on the Dave Bunker “Touch Guitar,” originally patented as the DuoLectar.
I certainly do not discount the value of typical, 6+bobbin-wrapped string pickups that have been our standard for the last 100 plus years. But my intent over decades of research, beginning in the mid-1950s, was to make every string have its own controlled sound and character.
This can now be done.
I started working on this concept when I patented the first tapping/touch instrument (the DuoLectar) in 1962. (A special friend of mine, Eddie van Halen, called this the first tapping/touch instrument ever developed.) It’s now known as the “Touch Guitar“ and recognized as the second patented stringed instrument in America.
With the traditional all-in-one wrapping to accommodate all 6 – 7 or more strings on one bobbin, I thought this assembly could never achieve its ultimate sound potential. I am currently…and finally… building a guitar that addresses just this.
This revolutionary new guitar is the centerfold of a new book (not written by me) that I will announce when it is soon released. I have found that this new development broadens string-sound into a realm we have never heard.
Yes, many other factors pop into the picture of overall sound quality. But the real subject is, how do we get the ultimate sound from the string itself? If we could magnify or make ourselves small enough to be part of the string, we would see a torment of things that do not enhance the sound but actually mute or alter the sound we are searching for.
How? Strings that are located next to each other vibrate and consequently create vibration in the other strings nearby. In layman’s terms, this is called cross-talk. Plucking the string creates an oval frequency, which is out of tune with the desired pure circle frequency of tone you want. The harder you play, tap, or pick the note, the more distorted the sound. This is fine for Blues or Hard Rock. But not fine for many other applications.
Most of us are already aware of how important our instrument’s setup is to string height, string size, fret-level accuracy, and too many other must-haves to mention here. That is where we enter a new field of technology, which I have termed “The Electronic Mute.”
What is an “Electronic Mute,” and what does it do to accomplish what we want? I believe we are trying to get the full, pure natural sound from the picking or tapping/touching the string to the fret.
I’ll elaborate on that in my next Blog. Stay tuned. You’re reading about a radical new invention that will gradually make a huge impact on the musical world.