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[Note: All images on this page are reduced; clicking one will provide the full-sized photo.]

Several years ago, I bought a 1984 Les Paul "Studio" model quite cheaply, complete with an aftermarket whammy bar of unknown origin. Although I was cautiously optimistic, this bar proved to be even more prone to the standard problems associated with the hardware, such as not returning to perfect tune after using it and rapid loss of harmonics due to slight variations in string length. It appears in the photos on the main page under the letter "N".

Around this time, my excellent luthier was designing a conceptually new vibrato bar (to use the older term) to use with Les Pauls, and agreed to fit mine with one of the first models. In early September, he called to say it was finished! The finished product is pictured to the left. As it turned out, this whammy bar is prototype #3.

It's an amazing piece of engineering, requiring only a small footprint on the axe, but, most importantly, the guitar snaps back into perfect tune after pushing the bar down to the body - I have *never* experienced such perfection in a whammy bar.

Below is a series of close-ups to show the detail of this new technology. Patents have already been filed, so the next step is to locate an entity wishing to license and market the product. Once the word about this new design gets around, I think it will become the industry standard.

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Copyright ©2011 - T. Howard Black
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