The Wishbone Bridge

Drawing of NOVA
Dave Bunker
Dave Bunker


The Wishbone Bridge eliminates the need for a trapeze style tailpiece to absorb the string tension. This unique design presents other advantages.

It allows the ball end of the string to be mounted very close to the bridge’s intone point. (Note to readers: The intone point is where the bridge stops the string oscillation and drives the sound through the bridge and into the top of the guitar.) This configuration enhances the transfer of vibration in the strings directly to the carved top.

Patent Filed For

After testing, proving, and perfecting this concept, I filed for a patent on this device (patented as the Wishbone Bridge). The patent identified a laminated (for strength) beam, which was an extension of the neck inside of the guitar body. While touching nothing, it extended to just under the wooden bridge. The beam was mounted to the bridge through an opening (not visible) under the bridge by the Wishbone tie piece. 

In the first year after the patent, I made several minor adjustments before larger production runs were attempted. Today the AT-200 Nova Hollow Body Guitar is perfect in all ways. It is lightweight, balanced, tone-perfect, and very comfortable to play.

One of the first Nova guitars built was delivered to one of the greatest guitar minds and teachers in the world, Arlen Roth. He is respected by everyone for his accomplishments in music and guitar. After he had played and wrung out the guitar for some time, he had only good things to say about the usability, versatility, and quality that he felt this guitar presented. He stands by that opinion today. The AT-Nova was a new innovative idea on how a guitar should be built to ring out the real sound of wood into musical tone quality.

Words of Arlen Roth

Now that I’m the proud owner of one of your great new archtop guitars, I find it hard to describe the joy of playing this instrument. All of my first good impressions certainly have been proven to be true. It’s perhaps the easiest and most forgiving instrument I’ve ever played. I certainly have found it hard to put down, and it’s already given me a ton of new ideas for tunes just by the virtue of its unique sound and playing qualities.

The Tension-free neck and the unique bridge treatment lend themselves to the incredible ease of playing, and it’s an absolute beauty to look at. That tobacco/maroon sunburst is totally unique, yet classic in appearance, and the satin finish only adds to the overall “warmth” of this beautiful guitar. It’s also hard to believe that it’s barely bigger than a Telecaster – something that I think Jazz players everywhere will be relieved about, and that will make the instrument more accessible to Rock players as well. I’ve also found that the guitar lends itself equally to both fingerstyle and flatpicking techniques. Another great feature I noted was that as a full hollow-body guitar it does not easily feedback when used in popular rock, blues, and other styles of music, as did other brands of hollow-body guitars I owned did. I also found that it was very easy to get feedback when desired. 

How can I find fault with an instrument like this? It’s just too pretty, too great sounding, and too wonderful to play! Thanks again for your incredible design work and musical vision. You’ve truly created a masterpiece that puts a “work of art” into the hands of other artists. This, I think can only lead to great things. I look forward to every minute I play this guitar, and it’s far and away one of the finest instruments I’ve ever owned. Please let me know if I can be of assistance in any way in helping you market this guitar. I’m already raving about it to everyone I know who should know about a guitar like this.

Gratefully Yours, Arlen Roth

Arlen Roth is a studio session artist and the founder of the popular “Hot Licks Video” Series. Check Arlen out at

Dave Bunker

Dave Bunker

Dave has been building guitars for more than 60 years. He has introduced many innovations that are now considered features of the finest, custom-made instruments.

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