Folded Horn Acoustic Guitar Patent # 10,777,172

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Hello all - I am new to this site, looks really great! I was granted a 20 year Utility Patent last year for my Folded Horn Acoustic Guitar. Patent # 10,777,172, can find on Google Patents of course. I have two five foot long folded horns inside an acoustic guitar. The horn is exponential and has a 1:8 ratio from throat to horn, with a speaker mounted to each compression chamber. This is long enough to capture the lowest frequency on an acoustic guitar at 1/4 wavelength. The true acoustic sound is a captured by a mic, not a pickup. Check it out and let me know what you think. CNC programming is complete, and will build a partial proto next week. Thanks!
 
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I will post pictures and also would like to post video of a speaker with and without horn so we can hear the difference. Sound over a computer sucks as we all know, but the difference will help! I will also post pictures of the CNC machine cutting wood. My opinion is CNC equipment can help us create wonderful new products, but let's not throw the baby out with the bath water. We still need the skill of Luthiers to help us make a beautiful sounding instrument! Technology and craftsmanship can and need to coexist. Thank you for your input, stay tuned!
 

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US10777172B1 - Folded horn acoustic guitar
- Google Patents

https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/d2/a6/42/db3580b66fff3c/US10777172.pdf

Yes, a mike, speakers, and two horns. Not PA horns, the mouths are quite small. More like saxophone horns; and nobody thinks a sax is too soft. The internal shape is quite complicated and needs much staring at diagrams or a 3-D model. (Huh, with CAD and 3D Printing we could make plastic hand-size models at home for study.) The amplifier is projected to run on small batteries. There are a whole bevy of other changes (modified frets, stringing, neck attach, compliance) indicating Joseph has done much thinking.

Will it play? Sure looks like it. Will it compete with traditional acoustic guitars? It can take years even decades for one form to take over from another. The current "classical" is pushing 200 years old; and yet the Nylon Strings came in with a rush because all Nylon went to stockings and war production (Nylon Riots) until 1952. Guitarists switched-over in less than 20 years. Historically most acoustic instrument evolution is much slower.

The patent is notably well written. Much of it is a re-cap of the guitar's weaknesses and a teaching of new fabrication technology for complex but natural shapes. None of that is the actual patent, what matters is the "I Claim"s. Many patent writers get super-specific. Which means anybody can do it a little different and deny infringement. I was pleased to see that, while the drawings show two horns, which IMHO should be "one or a plurality of horns" to capture all variants, and the teaching cites specific electronic products, the I Claims don't specify this ormost other details. Making the patent quite broad. (Always remembering that the guy with the bigger lawyer can just take the patent in trade for an infinite squabble in court.)

If it is truly better and takes over the world, that is a blessing for all. But if sales are tiny until 2039, Joseph gets little to no compensation for his effort. The telephone, the electric car, the vacuum tube, burbled in small sales for most of their patent periods.
 

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Wow, what a great take on this! I find it difficult to argue with anything you say, and I like to argue! Right now this is an idea, build to follow. Will it be perfect, hell no! I will listen (the only true test of music) and change as needed. Anybody who thinks they will hit a home run on their first iteration is either a fool, or too young to know just yet. We have all been there. Do I want to make some money, sure. Truth be told, I have some and really want to see how I can invent something that musicians would love to play, and people would love to hear. Thank you so much, I really appreciate your opinion! The Great Benjamin Franklin said "our critics are our friends, for they show us our faults". I add: and they help us improve. More opinions needed and welcome!!
 
All what you wrote is true but:



What for I dare to ask?
There is nothing to improve for classical and or acoustic guitar sound.
I play guitar for almost 55years, and also have a Gibson Acoustic Guitar as well a a Les Paul Studio from 1993, Made in Massachusetts according to it's Serial Number was this guitar build in September 1993.

Still I do not get the point of putting horns inside the Guitar, because all it would be it would increase the SPL only but not the fine reality of Acoustic Guitar sound..
My Acoustic Guitar also has a pickup inside build by Gibson, never used it..
The sound is unsurpassed the way it is and it can not be improved by installing electronics, because then it's no more to being classified as an Acoustic Guitar.
I like to know what for,?

Thanks for an answer..
Regards Chris
 

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Yes I am a guitar player, non-professional. I agree feedback is a major concern. The mic I am using has a feedback cancelation option, we shall see how well that works. I am using speakers that have an enclosed back to prevent too much sound directivity toward the mic. The mic is in the guitar upper chamber, and the speakers are in the guitar bottom chamber, so there is wood that separates them. We shall see how that works. I might have to keep the mic level down to "5" instead of "10", so to speak. Or "11" for us Spinal Tap fans. I may need to add more material between the two after I build the prototype. I am prepared for my mistakes to become evident, the question is: can I fix them? Testing is critical!! Thanks much for your input, keep it coming!
 
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I agree with you Chris, it is not possible to make the true acoustic sound of an acoustic or classical guitar better. It is also not possible to make the true acoustic sound of a piano or a violin better. They are inventions that have been proven over centuries. I must also include the electric guitar, it is another incredible invention. Obviously a piano is loud due to its very large soundboard. A violin is loud because of the tremendous energy that bowing provides. Both instruments will drown out the sound of an acoustic guitar. What I am trying to do is make the acoustic guitar louder and also keep that beautiful natural acoustic sound. If we use a pickup and an amp, we are picking up string vibration, bye bye natural wood sound. A mic and P.A. system/other works very well to reproduce true acoustic sound. Check out Paul Simon on YouTube playing "American Tune" on an acoustic guitar, with a mic and his voice. Truly beautiful. My goal is to make this beautiful sound louder, but with everything in the guitar itself, so you can play it anywhere, no big equipment to carry around. I am hoping the buskers will like it. Plus the horns may add some good sound qualities, as the entire body will be loaded with sound waves and vibration, but that of course is unknown right now. I also believe it can cut down on unwanted guitar distortion, string buzz...due to being able to play softer and get a "bigger" sound. Of course it may not work, right now I am in the dare to dream phase, we shall see. If it does not work, I have a second patent being reviewed by the USPTO right now. This is called the Floating Soundboard Acoustic Guitar, more on that after the patent is granted, and it looks like it will be soon. Thanks so much for you opinions and insight, keep them coming! I hope to be testing soon.
 
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Hey Joe...Hi Joe

Hey Joe, * No not Jimmys Joe, just you Joe* Have seen Jimmy in Concert 1968 in Zurich Switzerland, at the Monster Concert dated April 29th to May second if I remember right.. was 15a half years old..


My goal is to make this beautiful sound louder, but with everything in the guitar itself, so you can play it anywhere, no big equipment to carry around.
In my early days, 15 years upwards I had several Guitars, mostly second hand because I couldn't afford to buy a new one (1967), this time to have a Guitar in Switzerland was like driving a Ferrari, meaning owing a Fender or Gibson, not to talk of Rickenbacker.. Got several German Framus Guitars, also a 12String, * they would cost a fortune today,* also an electric one from Höfner* is alike the Stratocaster of Fender. A new one was about 700 Swiss - this would equal 700:4.3 = USD... was a lot of money, A Fender Tele was already far above 1000Swiss.. I bougth my Höfner for 100Swiss, from famous Swiss musician..He's over 70 now I will turn 70 next year..

Then, 10 years later when I had enough cash to buy a Guitar, I was already living in Thailand, ( thatäs why I do not own any of these Guitars anymore, Sold them before I left Switzerland) I bought a Yamaha 325 Acoustic and a Fender Stratocaster Model 25Years.. The Stratocaster was almost 2000USD Second hand in Thailand.! I do not have any of this Guitars anymore.. I was to dumb to keep them.

When I heard that Yamaha, I thought I heard the best Guitar sound ever,. the timbre and the brilliance of the G-B-E Strings, was so fantastic, I can hear them in my Ear till today. the Acoustic Gibson I have today sounds good too but I never heard that sound again on any other Guitar like this Yamaha.. One could hit just a C or G chord and it was like sound from heaven..

This brilliance you will loose if you have the microphone, inside the body because the wood will kill this thin heavenly vibrations.. Your a Guitar player you know what I'm talking about. And this is what I meant.
I do not know how you are going to measure sound response which is created in the Guitar Body, picking this up with a Microphone, is much better than with standart Pickup..
Still if you are able to pick up the small strings, just at the hole, inside, then I would say, you have a good chance to bring that brilliance from the GBE and this what is covering all that nice Accoustic sound.. You know. like that Fat 12 String Sound which meant to fill a stadium... Just comapre..

If you ever had the chance to hear the concert from Simon and Garfunkel from Central Park in New York, there he is playing a Black Tailor and also an Ovation, that sound. this is what you need to get out of your Construct.. I hape for you everything is going welland wish you much success..
BTW I'm a very bad Guitar Player., it is just enough for my own ears.. lol But playing Guitar gave me a gift, hearing the tones and sound not like anyone else and I can spot differences in Sound and distortion very Easy.. I do not need a Guitar Tuner to tune my guitars, this works on the first try, always.. never mind how bad the Guitar is out of tune..

Regards Chris
 
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really?
Mike Oldfield - Tubular bells II (Live in Edinburgh castle) 1992 - YouTube
Libertango in Berlin Philharmonic (amazing!!!) - YouTube
Piazzolla, Guitarra, Bandoneon y Orquesta de Cuerdas-Alondra de la Parra & Orchestre de Paris - YouTube

first of all do you really need an acoustic guitar to be the solo instrument in an orchestra?...If yes...you just turn on to max the guitar channel in the mix and i can bet that a good mike can give a much better and cleaner tone than a horn inside the guitar which will change the whole guitar tone.
 

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Remember the horns are in addition to the natural sound of the acoustic guitar, this all remains. In fact it should be louder, because the soundboard is designed to be thinner, stronger and more flexible. The goal is to keep the natural sound of the acoustic guitar, and add the horns to it, which can be dialed in with tone and volume controls. Blend the horns with the natural sound to your liking. I love the video links, wonderful music. I would never be so bold as to say this instrument is better than a beautiful hand made acoustic or classical guitar with great microphones and mixed with great equipment, nobody can be beat that. This is for when you want to just pickup your guitar and play, right where you are, or at a party, or on the deck...but especially if you are in an acoustic jam session with other instruments that are not using mics or amps in any way. This will give you much more volume, and not just for solos, for everything you play.
 
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Hello again dreamth. While I did use the classical guitar as an example in my patent, it was just to make a point, that guitars are not as loud as most other instruments. This is a steel string acoustic guitar, not a nylon string classical guitar. It is not meant to be used in a symphony orchestra. It is meant to used to play blues, rock and roll, country, bluegrass, folk, ballads...that said maybe a classical guitar experiment is needed, who knows if it will work? I saw the Chicago Symphony Orchestra when Sir George Solti was conducting, it was wonderful. I have also been to many parties where people, including myself where jamming and singing in three part harmony, also wonderful. So yes, the party is where this guitar is meant to be! I do enjoy your feedback, keep it coming, that last one was pretty good!
 
Way back in the late 1960's there were electric guitars with amps and speakers inside them. The local Lafayette Radio Electronics store had one and they let me play it every time I came around. I loved the distorted sound it made as the batteries were beginning to get weak. The guitar also had a standard output jack which came from the pickup, not the internal amp. With a fresh set of batteries it got quite loud, louder than an acoustic, but not by much.

As the volume was turned up the timbre of the instrument did change. I believed that this was due to internal resonances and positive acoustic (vibrations through the wood) feedback from the speaker to the strings. At full volume some notes would have nearly infinite sustain, while some tended to decay quicker than if the volume was turned down. This was an electric guitar with steel strings and a magnetic pickup, no microphone, so the feedback was not acoustic. I last saw that guitar in about 1971, but the concept never left my head.

About 10 years ago I stuck a small amplifier and a 3 inch Faital speaker in a DIY electric guitar and played with it for a while. I experimented with standard magnetic pickups, and GraphTech piezo saddle pickups. In either case there is a point where the positive feedback can not be controlled, but there is a neat near infinite sustain area just before the guitar goes into self play mode. As I remembered some frequencies nearly cancel while some are greatly accentuated.

In my case the guitar body was solid pine with the bridge, pickups, and speaker all hard mounted. This is probably worse case and somewhat similar to the effect generated by touching the head stock of an electric guitar to the speaker cabinet of the amplifier.

You may find similar issues, and some experimenting with an equalizer in the signal path may prove beneficial.

I went down this somewhat similar road with an entirely different destination in mind. I planned to use a wired neck, and a microprocessor to generate MIDI notes based on a string touching a fret. A digital phase locked loop per string fed by the six separate sound signals from the GraphTech bridge provide pitch bend information and generated envelope signals for each string. This all feeds a digital music synthesizer implemented in a CPU that drives the speaker. This is a guitar that does NOT sound like a guitar at all.

It was well under way when my electronics engineering career came to an end after 41 years, and unfortunately has been in pieces in a box ever since a house move almost 7 years ago. Sometime soon, maybe.....
 
Hey Joe, * No not Jimmys Joe, just you Joe* Have seen Jimmy in Concert 1968 in Zurich Switzerland, at the Monster Concert dated April 29th to May second if I remember right.. was 15a half years old..

I saw Jimi in Miami Beach in 1967 when he was the opening act for the Monkees. I was also 15. That show was the end of my dream of being a rock star. There was no way my 60's surf music guitar playing could ever compete. It did get me interested in those little grey boxes that let him be playing more than one guitar at a time. When the Monkees hit the stage, we hit the road.

The Echoplex was the 1960's vintage version of the looper pedal, built with magnetic tape and vacuum tubes. I eventually got a dead one and rebuilt it.
 
An attempt was made.

No patent, unsure if I ever even "turned it on". Cant remember the adhesive I used.

12 is a whole lotta strings to take off and put back on, so it's sat in there for the past 20+ YEARS. The Guild it's in is typical of my equipment investments - not worth a dollar more than I paid for it all those years ago.

The fashionable sound effect was to go from an acoustic intro to full shred metal at the touch of a footswitch. Didnt have to be loud metal, just the classic "Boss distortion pedal" sound leaking out the soundhole. One thing that made it not so nice is that's where the mag pickup clips in, covering it partially. I wasnt about to saw up the guitar to mount one in neck or bridge position. There's bracing right under there, for one thing...

So I've just dealt with the guitar being heavy and unbalanced in the meantime. This and a tailpiece 1/4" jack I installed devalues the guitar from stock.
 

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Found this demo of a 60's vintage hollow body electric with a built in amp and speaker. Note the one note drone sound prevalent throughout the demo, especially around the 35 second mark. That is the response that I remember from my experiments.

Meazzi Supersonic Vintage 60s - Demo - YouTube

The guitar in the Lafayette store was similar to this Silvertone / Teisco, but not identical to it.

Funky old Teisco Silvertone guitar for sale on Etsy - YouTube

Found this picture in which there is a patent number from 1937. US Patent number 2078350.

Vintage Guitar With Built In Speakers Editorial Stock Image - Image of concert, unique: 161119109
 
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Thank you Tubelab for that great info. I do remember speakers inside guitars, but they were always electric guitars, not acoustic, and certainly no folded horns. People have been trying to this for years. I like your MIDI project, you should dust that off and have some fun with that, sounds very interesting!

jj your acoustic to electric idea is great, so much so it was patented a few years ago, you should try to hook up with them. This patent was cited on my patent. It is U.S. patent # 9,305,527. At the time it was Dwylitis of Uncle Dave's Guitars in Detroit. Sadly he passed away. It is now Rios Guitars. Benjamin Rios is the owner (he plays killer guitar), and Paul Smith is his partner (he was Johnny Winters guitar player for many years, this guy rocks big time). Check it out!