G&L tech resources: Parts & patents

 
 

On February 23, 1976, Leo Fender filed US Pat. 4,046,050 under the title “String post for musical instruments”. Interesting, isn’t it? A patent on just the post. How the post was being operated was only of secondary importance. But that post was a great breakthrough and is an integral part of the lore of G&L instruments. The post is tapered with the narrow end close to the headstock. This taper forces the string windings to come down thereby improving the angle over the nut in a natural mechanical way. The inventions even intends the string winding to come “... into contact with the instrument head.” This invention was implemented on tuning machines provided by the German Schaller Electronic GmbH, still headed up by Helmut Schaller when G&L started out. All non-Locking Schaller tuning machines included below hence have a split post, ranging from bass tuning machines, to vintage style open tuning machines, to closed tuning machines w/tab, and closed tuning machines w/location pin. When G&L wanted to start using Locking tuning machines in 1987, Schaller did not have one but US company Sperzel did, and hence was used as the sole supplier for this use. Their Enclosed Housing Trim-Lok tuning machines have the usual hole in the post in which the string literally gets pinned down. And stagger but no taper. After Leo had passed and the company was absorbed into BBE, Sperzel also became an alternate supplier of closed tuning machines. These also have the conventional post with usual string hole. Only around 1997-1998, Schaller’s version of a Locking tuning machine was added, likewise void of a split, tapered post. Hence post-1998 guitars can come with tuning machines, Locking or non-Locking, made by either of these 2 brands. Note that for these guitars, Locking tuning machines of a particular brand are direct drop-in replacements for the non-Locking tuning machines of the same brand, because the pin positions are slightly different between the brands. I added a separate album for the space saving LSR tuning machines Dean Coy used on the Z-12 guitars he built. Finally, the CLF Research Espada introduced in 2019 uses Kluson tuning machines.

 

Tuning machines - The index