An electric guitar is a guitar that uses one or more pickups to convert the vibration of its strings into electrical signals. The vibration occurs when a guitar player strums, fingerpicks, slaps or taps the strings; the pickup uses electromagnetic induction to create this signal, which being weak is fed into a guitar amplifier before being sent to the speaker, which converts it into audible sound. The electric signal can be electronically altered to change the timbre of the sound; the signal is modified using effects such as reverb, distortion and "overdrive". Invented in 1931, the electric guitar was adopted by jazz guitar players, who wanted to play single-note guitar solos in large big band ensembles. Early proponents of the electric guitar on record include Les Paul, Lonnie Johnson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, T-Bone Walker, Charlie Christian. During the 1950s and 1960s, the electric guitar became the most important instrument in popular music, it has evolved into an instrument, capable of a multitude of sounds and styles in genres ranging from pop and rock to country music and jazz.
It served as a major component in the development of electric blues and roll, rock music, heavy metal music and many other genres of music. Electric guitar design and construction varies in the shape of the body and the configuration of the neck and pickups. Guitars may have a fixed bridge or a spring-loaded hinged bridge, which lets players "bend" the pitch of notes or chords up or down, or perform vibrato effects; the sound of an electric guitar can be modified by new playing techniques such as string bending and hammering-on, using audio feedback, or slide guitar playing. There are several types of electric guitar, including: the solid-body guitar. In pop and rock music, the electric guitar is used in two roles: as a rhythm guitar, which plays the chord sequences or progressions, riffs, sets the beat. In a small group, such as a power trio, one guitarist switches between both roles. In large rock and metal bands, there is a rhythm guitarist and a lead guitarist. Many experiments at electrically amplifying the vibrations of a string instrument were made dating back to the early part of the 20th century.
Patents from the 1910s show telephone transmitters were adapted and placed inside violins and banjos to amplify the sound. Hobbyists in the 1920s used carbon button microphones attached to the bridge. With numerous people experimenting with electrical instruments in the 1920s and early 1930s, there are many claimants to have been the first to invent an electric guitar. Electric guitars were designed by acoustic guitar makers and instrument manufacturers; the demand for amplified guitars began during the big band era. The first electric guitars used in jazz were hollow archtop acoustic guitar bodies with electromagnetic transducers. Early electric guitar manufacturers include Rickenbacker in 1932; the first electrically amplified stringed instrument to be marketed commercially was designed in 1931 by George Beauchamp, the general manager of the National Guitar Corporation, with Paul Barth, vice president. The maple body prototype for the one-piece cast aluminium "frying pan" was built by Harry Watson, factory superintendent of the National Guitar Corporation.
Commercial production began in late summer of 1932 by the Ro-Pat-In Corporation, in Los Angeles, a partnership of Beauchamp, Adolph Rickenbacker, Paul Barth. In 1934, the company was renamed the Rickenbacker Electro Stringed Instrument Company. In that year Beauchamp applied for a United States patent for an Electrical Stringed Musical Instrument and the patent was issued in 1937. By early-mid 1935, Electro String Instrument Corporation had achieved mainstream success with the A-22 "Frying Pan" steel guitar, set out to capture a new audience through its release of the Electro-Spanish Model B and the Electro-Spanish Ken Roberts, the first full 25" scale electric guitar produced; the Electro-Spanish Ken Roberts was revolutionary for its time, providing players a full 25" scale, with easy access to 17 frets free of the body. Unlike other lap-steel electrified instruments produced during the time, the Electro-Spanish Ken Roberts was designed to play standing vertical, upright with a strap; the Electro-Spanish Ken Roberts was the first instrument to feature a hand-operated vibrato as a standard appointment, a device called the "Vibrola," invented by Doc Kauffman.
It is estimated that fewer than 50 Electro-Spanish Ken Roberts were constructed between 1933 and 1937. The solid-body electric guitar is made without functionally resonating air spaces; the first solid-body Spanish standard guitar was offered by Vivi-Tone no than 1934. This model featured a guitar-shaped body of a single sheet
Gibson Brands, Inc. is an American manufacturer of guitars, other musical instruments, consumer and professional electronics from Kalamazoo and now based in Nashville, Tennessee. The company was known as Gibson Guitar Corporation and renamed Gibson Brands, Inc. on June 11, 2013. Orville Gibson founded the company in 1902 as the "Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. Co. Ltd." in Kalamazoo, Michigan, to make mandolin-family instruments. Gibson invented archtop guitars by constructing the same type of carved, arched tops used on violins. By the 1930s, the company was making flattop acoustic guitars, as well as one of the first commercially available hollow-body electric guitars and popularized by Charlie Christian. In 1944, Gibson was bought by Chicago Musical Instruments, acquired in 1969 by Panama-based conglomerate Ecuadorian Company Limited, that changed its name in the same year to Norlin Corporation. Gibson was owned by Norlin Corporation from 1969 to 1986. In 1986, the company was acquired by a group led by David H. Berryman.
Gibson sells guitars under a variety of brand names and builds one of the world's most iconic guitars, the Gibson Les Paul. Gibson was at the forefront of innovation in acoustic guitars in the big band era of the 1930s. In 1952, Gibson introduced its first solid-body electric guitar, the Les Paul, which became its most popular guitar to date— designed by a team led by Ted McCarty. In addition to guitars, Gibson offers consumer electronics through its subsidiaries Onkyo Corporation, Cerwin Vega, Stanton, as well as professional audio equipment from KRK Systems, pianos from their wholly owned subsidiary Baldwin Piano, music software from Cakewalk. On May 1, 2018, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, announced a restructuring deal to return to profitability by closing down unprofitable consumer electronics divisions such as Gibson Innovations. Orville Gibson patented a single-piece mandolin design in 1898, more durable than other mandolins and could be manufactured in volume.
Orville Gibson began to sell his instruments in 1894 out of a one-room workshop in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In 1902, the Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. Co. Ltd. was incorporated to market the instruments. The company produced only Orville Gibson's original designs. Orville died in 1918 of endocarditis; the following year, the company hired designer Lloyd Loar to create newer instruments. Loar designed the flagship L-5 archtop guitar and the Gibson F-5 mandolin, introduced in 1922, before leaving the company in 1924. In 1936, Gibson introduced their first "Electric Spanish" model, the ES-150, followed by other electric instruments like steel guitars and mandolins. During World War II, instrument manufacturing at Gibson slowed due to shortages of wood and metal, Gibson began manufacturing wood and metal parts for the military. Between 1942-1945, Gibson employed women to manufacture guitars. "Women produced nearly 25,000 guitars during World War II yet Gibson denied building instruments over this period," according to a 2013 history of the company.
Gibson folklore has claimed its guitars were made by "seasoned craftsmen" who were "too old for war." In 1944 Gibson was purchased by Chicago Musical Instruments. The ES-175 was introduced in 1949. Gibson hired Ted McCarty in 1948, who became President in 1950, he led an expansion of the guitar line with new guitars such as the "Les Paul" guitar introduced in 1952, endorsed by Les Paul, a popular musician in the 1950s. The guitar was offered in Custom, Standard and Junior models. In the mid-1950s, the Thinline series was produced, which included a line of thinner guitars like the Byrdland; the first Byrdlands were slim, custom built, L-5 models for guitarists Billy Hank Garland. A shorter neck was added. Other models such as the ES-350T and the ES-225T were introduced as less costly alternatives. In 1958, Gibson introduced the ES-335T model. Similar in size to the hollow-body Thinlines, the ES-335 family had a solid center, giving the string tone a longer sustain. In the 1950s, Gibson produced the Tune-o-matic bridge system and its version of the humbucking pickup, the PAF, first released in 1957 and still sought after for its sound.
In 1958, Gibson produced two new designs: the eccentrically shaped Explorer and Flying V. These "modernistic" guitars did not sell initially, it was only in the late 1960s and early 70s when the two guitars were reintroduced to the market that they sold well. The Firebird, in the early 60s, was a reprise of the modernistic idea. In the late 50s, McCarty knew that Gibson was seen as a traditional company and began an effort to create more modern guitars. In 1961 the body design of the Les Paul was changed due to the demand for a double-cutaway body design; the new body design became known as the SG, due to disapproval from Les Paul himself. The original Les Paul design returned to the Gibson catalog in 1968. On December 22, 1969, Gibson parent company Chicago Musical Instruments was taken over by the South American brewing conglomerate ECL. Gibson remained under the control of CMI until 1974 when it became a subsidiary of Norlin Musical Instruments. Norlin Musical Instruments was a member of Norlin Industries, named for ECL president Norton Stevens and CMI president Arnold Berlin.
This began an era characterized by decreasing product quality. Between 1974 and 1984, production of Gibson guitars was shifted from Kalamazoo to Nashville, Tennessee; the Kalamazoo plant kept going for a few years a
Set-in neck is a method of guitar construction that involves joining neck and body with a fitted mortise-and-tenon or dovetail joint, secured with some sort of adhesive. It is a common belief that this yields a stronger body-to-neck connection than a bolt-on neck, though some luthiers believe a well-executed bolt-on neck joint is strong and provides similar neck-to-body contact. However, neither of these joints is as strong as a neck-through body construction, which requires more material and is only on high-end solid body guitars. Set-in necks are the most popular on acoustic guitars. All major acoustic guitar manufacturers use set-in necks, with notable exceptions being Taylor Guitars, Godin Guitars, Collings Guitars. In the electric guitar market, Gibson produces all of its electric offerings as set-in neck models—as opposed to Fender, which builds most of its electric instruments with bolt-on necks. In rare cases, maker use other solutions. Babicz Guitars makes a mechanically joined neck that can be "wound" up or down to adjust action height.
Wooden musical instrument construction relies on four used types of glues: Hide glue PVA Epoxy and Cyanoacrylate Typically cited advantages of set-in neck include: Warmer tone More sustain Often, better access to top frets compared bolt-on necks that use a square metal plate Certain models seem prone to neck breakage. Though this may be due to weaker neck wood, the greater difficulty in replacing a neck, glued-in vs. one, bolted on should be apparent. Harder and more expensive to mass manufacture than bolt-on necks—harder to repair or service because the glue must be steamed or melted with a hot knife The player has no control over the neck-to-body angle. Glue comparison chart on frets.com
Electrification is the process of powering by electricity and, in many contexts, the introduction of such power by changing over from an earlier power source. The broad meaning of the term, such as in the history of technology, economic history, economic development applies to a region or national economy. Broadly speaking, electrification was the build-out of the electricity generation and electric power distribution systems that occurred in Britain, the United States, other now-developed countries from the mid-1880s until around 1950 and is still in progress in rural areas in some developing countries; this included the transition in manufacturing from line shaft and belt drive using steam engines and water power to electric motors. The electrification of particular sectors of the economy is called by terms such as factory electrification, household electrification, rural electrification or railway electrification, it may apply to changing industrial processes such as smelting, separating or refining from coal or coke heating, or chemical processes to some type of electric process such as electric arc furnace, electric induction or resistance heating, or electrolysis or electrolytic separating.
Electrification was called "the greatest engineering achievement of the 20th Century" by the National Academy of Engineering. The earliest commercial uses of electricity were the telegraph. In the years of 1831–1832, Michael Faraday discovered the operating principle of electromagnetic generators; the principle called Faraday's law, is that an electromotive force is generated in an electrical conductor, subjected to a varying magnetic flux, as for example, a wire moving through a magnetic field. He built the first electromagnetic generator, called the Faraday disk, a type of homopolar generator, using a copper disc rotating between the poles of a horseshoe magnet, it produced a small DC voltage. Around 1832, Hippolyte Pixii improved the magneto by using a wire wound horseshoe, with the extra coils of conductor generating more current, but it was AC. André-Marie Ampère suggested a means of converting current from Pixii's magneto to DC using a rocking switch. Segmented commutators were used to produce direct current.
William Fothergill Cooke and Charles Wheatstone developed a telegraph around 1838-40. In 1840 Wheatstone was using a magneto. Wheatstone and Cooke made an important improvement in electrical generation by using a battery-powered electromagnet in place of a permanent magnet, which they patented in 1845; the self-excited magnetic field dynamo did away with the battery to power electromagnets. This type of dynamo was made by several people in 1866; the first practical generator, the Gramme machine was made by Z. T Gramme, who sold many of these machines in the 1870s. British engineer R. E. B. Crompton made other mechanical improvements. Compound winding, which gave more stable voltage with load, improved operating characteristics of generators; the improvements in electrical generation technology increased the efficiency and reliability in the 19th century. The first magnetos only converted a few percent of mechanical energy to electricity. By the end of the 19th century the highest efficiencies were over 90%.
Sir Humphry Davy invented the carbon arc lamp in 1802 upon discovering that electricity could produce a light arc with carbon electrodes. However, it was not used to any great extent until a practical means of generating electricity was developed. Carbon arc lamps were started by making contact between two carbon electrodes, which were separated to within a narrow gap; because the carbon burned away, the gap had to be readjusted. Several mechanisms were developed to regulate the arc. A common approach was to feed a carbon electrode by gravity and maintain the gap with a pair of electromagnets, one of which retracted the upper carbon after the arc was started and the second controlled a brake on the gravity feed. Arc lamps of the time had intense light output – in the range of 4000 candlepower – and released a lot of heat, they were a fire hazard, all of which made them inappropriate for lighting homes. In the 1850s, many of these problems were solved by the arc lamp invented by William Petrie and William Staite.
The lamp used a magneto-electric generator and had a self-regulating mechanism to control the gap between the two carbon rods. Their light was a great novelty at the time; these arc lamps and designs similar to it, powered by large magnetos, were first installed on English lighthouses in the mid 1850s, but the power limitations prevented these models from being a proper success. The first successful arc lamp was developed by Russian engineer Pavel Yablochkov, used the Gramme generator, its advantage lay in the fact that it didn't require the use of a mechanical regulator like its predecessors. It was first exhibited at the Paris Exposition of 1878 and was promoted by Gramme; the arc light was installed along the half mile length of Avenue de l'Opéra, Place du Theatre Francais and around the Place de l'Opéra in 1878. British engineer R. E. B. Crompton developed a more sophisticated design in 1878 which gave a much brighter and steadier light than the Yablochkov candle. In 1878, he formed Crompton & Co. and began to manufacture and install the Crompton lamp.
His concern was one of the first electrical engineering firms in the world. Various forms of incandescent light bulbs had numerous inventors; these were invented by Joseph Swan in 1878 in Britain and by Thomas Edison in 1879 in the US. E
Doc Kauffman was a lap steel guitar, electric guitar engineer, inventor & pinoeer of the worlds first patented guitar vibrola. The patent for "Apparatus for producing tremolo effects" was applied for in 1928 and granted to Doc Kauffman on January 5th, 1932. During the 1930s, Doc Kauffman served as chief electric guitars designer for Rickenbacker. Having invented and patented the first mechanical vibrato unit, Kauffman was able to implement his patented creation onto the Electro-Spanish Ken Roberts model as the instruments standard stock bridge; this addition would earn the rank as the first vibrola to be equipped, as a standard stock-option, on an electrified guitar. This would set precedence for the future development of electric guitars into 1950s. Notably, the Fender Stratocaster and Bigsby vibrato tailpieces. In the early 1940's, Doc Kauffman & Leo Fender would enter a business partnership, forming the K&F company in 1945. K&F only lasted 3 years. After Kauffman left, K&F transformed to Fender.
Doc Kauffman & Leo Fender remained friends until Doc's death in 1990. Doc Kauffman considered Leo Fender such a close friend, Leo was listed as next to kin, after Doc's children, in Doc's final will & testament. Leo died just one year after Doc in 1991. Les Paul and Doc Kauffman struck a friendship in the 1930s. Les would utilize the Kauffman Vibrola on his prototype "Log" guitars developed in the 1940s. Les favored the Kauffman vibrola to such a degree, he removed the stock bridge on his brand-new 1952 signature Gibson model and reinstalled the Kauffman vibrola
Sunburst is a style of finishing for musical instruments such as electric and acoustic guitars and electric basses. At the center of a sunburst-finished surface is an area of lighter color that darkens towards the edges before hitting a dark rim. Among the best known examples of a sunburst finish are the Gibson Les Paul guitars and the Fender Stratocaster, it was intended to imitate an aged French polish finish, as applied to classical string instruments such as violins, as well as to enable the use of wood with less attractive edge grain on high-end instruments. Some vintage mandolins made by Gibson had a burst style finish achieved with stain, wiped on to the top of the instrument and sometimes the back as well but sprayed tinted nitrocelulose lacquer proved to be a faster way to achieve a burst finish. There are various types of sunburst finishes; some common types include "vintage sunburst", golden yellow in the center and black around the edges, "cherry sunburst" - sometimes disparagingly called "clownburst", a golden yellow at the center and cherry red towards the edges, "tobacco sunburst", golden yellow in the center and brown around the edges, "three-color sunburst," which fades from golden yellow at the center through a layer of red and to black around the edges.
The finish is transparent in order to show, accentuate, attractively-patterned wood or wood veneers such as flame maple, but may be opaque where the wood is not figured, such as basswood or alder. Other sunburst varieties over the years included "Sienna Sunburst" and "Blue Burst", first introduced by Harmon in the late'70s and mid'80s; the American Series Strat HSS and the Strat Plus guitars are examples. The British Burns company use greenburst finishes on a number of their guitars, such as the Steer and Scorpion. There are aged variants of sunburst finishes which are found on high-end boutique instruments from Fender, Tom Anderson, Don Grosh and James Tyler, such as Aged Cherry Burst, Fireburst and Antique Tobacco Sunburst; these aged sunburst finishes are suited for quilted and flamed maple tops, as well with other figured woods such as swamp ash and koa
Bakelite or polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride was the first plastic made from synthetic components. It is a thermosetting phenol formaldehyde resin, formed from a condensation reaction of phenol with formaldehyde, it was developed by the Belgian-American chemist Leo Baekeland in Yonkers, New York, in 1907. Bakelite was patented on December 7, 1909; the creation of a synthetic plastic was revolutionary for its electrical nonconductivity and heat-resistant properties in electrical insulators and telephone casings and such diverse products as kitchenware, pipe stems, children's toys, firearms. The "retro" appeal of old Bakelite products has made them collectible. Bakelite was designated a National Historic Chemical Landmark on November 9, 1993, by the American Chemical Society in recognition of its significance as the world's first synthetic plastic. Baekeland was wealthy due to his invention of Velox photographic paper when he began to investigate the reactions of phenol and formaldehyde in his home laboratory.
Chemists had begun to recognize that fibers were polymers. Baekeland's initial intent was to find a replacement for shellac, a material in limited supply because it was made from the excretion of lac insects. Baekeland produced a soluble phenol-formaldehyde shellac called "Novolak", but it was not a market success. Baekeland began experimenting on strengthening wood by impregnating it with a synthetic resin, rather than coating it. By controlling the pressure and temperature applied to phenol and formaldehyde, Baekeland produced a hard moldable material that he named "Bakelite", after himself, it was the first synthetic thermosetting plastic produced, Baekeland speculated on "the thousand and one... articles" it could be used to make. Baekeland considered the possibilities of using a wide variety of filling materials, including cotton, powdered bronze, slate dust, but was most successful with wood and asbestos fibers. Baekeland filed a substantial number of patents in the area. Bakelite, his "method of making insoluble products of phenol and formaldehyde," was filed on July 13, 1907, granted on December 7, 1909.
Baekeland filed for patent protection in other countries, including Belgium, Denmark, Japan, Mexico and Spain. He announced his invention at a meeting of the American Chemical Society on February 5, 1909. Baekeland started semi-commercial production of his new material in his home laboratory, marketing it as a material for electrical insulators. By 1910, he was producing enough material to justify expansion, he formed the General Bakelite Company as a U. S. company to market his new industrial material. He made overseas connections to produce materials in other countries. Bijker gives a detailed discussion of the development of Bakelite and the Bakelite company's production of various applications of materials; as of 1911, the company's main focus was laminating varnish, whose sales volume vastly outperformed both molding material and cast resin. By 1912, molding material was gaining ground, but its sales volume for the company did not exceed that of laminating varnish until the 1930s; as the sales figures show, the Bakelite Company produced "transparent" cast resin for a small ongoing market during the 1910s and 1920s.
Blocks or rods of cast resin known as "artificial amber", were machined and carved to create items such as pipe stems, cigarette holders and jewelry. However, the demand for molded plastics led the Bakelite company to concentrate on molding, rather than concentrating on cast solid resins; the Bakelite Corporation was formed in 1922 after patent litigation favorable to Baekeland, from a merger of three companies: Baekeland's General Bakelite Company. W. Aylesworth. Under director of advertising and public relations Allan Brown, who came to Bakelite from Condensite, Bakelite was aggressively marketed as "the material of a thousand uses". A filing for a trademark featuring the letter B above the mathematical symbol for infinity was made August 25, 1925, claimed the mark was in use as of December 1, 1924. A wide variety of uses were listed in their trademark applications; the first issue of Plastics magazine, October 1925, featured Bakelite on its cover, included the article "Bakelite – What It Is" by Allan Brown.
The range of colors available included "black, red, green, gray and blends of two or more of these". The article emphasized. "Bakelite is manufactured in several forms to suit varying requirements. In all these forms the fundamental basis is the initial Bakelite resin; this variety includes clear material, for jewelry, smokers' articles, etc.. The molding material is prepared ordinarily by the impregnation of cellulose substances with the initial'uncured' resin." In a 1925 report, the United States Tariff Commission hailed the commercial manufacture of synthetic phenolic resin as "distinctly an American achievement", noted that "the publication of figures, would be a virtual disclosure of the production of an individual company". In England, Bakelite Limited, a merger of three British phenol formaldehyde resin suppliers (Damard Lacquer Company Limited of Birmingh