I'm trying to design a new tremolo, but I need to know a key piece of information. I'm looking for the formula to find out the rate of resistance of two like poles and rate or attraction between two opposite poles for neodymium magnets given their size and distance from each other. I've got the basic idea down...two magnets on either side of the tremolo block (one on the bridge side and one on the headstock side). These magnets will have corresponding magnets mounted to the body to repel the magnets on the tremolo block.

+Body magnet-><-Tremolo magnet 1+||Trem Block||+Tremolo magnet 2-><-Body magnet+

Hopefully that "diagram" makes sense. I'm a little rusty on the phisics, so if anyone has a clue and can help me out, I'd appreciate it.

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I don't think this is going to work - not only will the magnets not be strong enough to counter the tension of the strings, the force between them is not linear wrt the distance between them. The force a spring exerts is proportional to the distance it's stretched.
Another problem is that any physical shocks the thing receives will weaken the magnets.
What's wrong with springs? If it ain't wrong, don't fix it.
magnetic fields are radial.. so for every inch you move away from the magnet, youre strength is decreased by 1/distance^2.. I can guarentee that you wont have enough strength in the magnets to do that. Not only that.. but why would you create a magnetic field so close to a pickup? That just seems illogical given how an electronic pickup works.
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What the hell is wrong with springs?
this one kick-ass idea. makes me want to steal it..

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I think its a cool idea but agree with vampwizzard about magnets next to the pickups.If you do get it to work let us all know
The Magnets would add weight, and mess with the pickups and electronics

now a rope pully system, attached to your foot is a awesome idea[Patent Pending]
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I appluad your creativity, but somethings aren't meant to be messed with or need to be redesigned. Tremolo springs work just fine.
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Thanks for the resplies so far, but I don't really care if it's a good idea or not, I still want to try. And I've been tooling with the idea for a while now. I would like to know if anyone knows the formula to figure out the repel force for the magnets though...it would help with this idea...and a few others :shifty eyes:

I could do without the tremolo cavity below the pickups and instead place the cavity towards the rear of the body to house the magnets.

And there's nothing wrong with springs, it's just an idea that came to mind and due to my OCD I just need to know...it won't die until I see on paper with the calculations that it's A)not practical (which it probably is, I just need proof, like the size requirements for the magnets would be too great and add too much weight) and B) just not possible due to magnetic forces increasing/decreasing due to the travel distance of the tremolo block.

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i think one giant spring would be ok, like a slinky
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i im gonna have to agree with t heff
a simple experiment, take a pendulum, or something of the similar, and put a weight on the bottom of it, which will act like tension of strings, then, put your magnets on the other side of the pivot, this is where your magnets, or springs would go, then poistion the device in a way that the weight will pull to simulate strings, and see how many magnets it will take to hold it at a zero postion.

it would be easier to describe in person, i think.

anyways, i think it wouldnt work, becuase the force may be strong enough to keep it at zero positon, but when you go positive or negative from that position, a magnet will let go, and the other will gain strength, so it is a very good chance to make the trem get stuck against the magnet, and will take effort to move it back to zero position.

overall, a great thought indeed, i dont think it will be pratical.
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Yeah, i'm all for innovation and all that, but i don't know if its physically possible. Okay, so say you managed to find magnets powerful enough to remain in equilibrium while pulling against the 100 lbs of force of the guitar strings. Fair enough. Then, when you do a dive bomb, the distance between the magnets would grow larger, causing the force of attraction to become smaller, and thus it would not have enough force to pull the strings back to tune, you would have to pull it back by hand and find that part of equilibrium again. Then, once you did a string bend or a double stop, or maybe even a vibrato, the extra tension on the string would knock it out of equilibrium again, and it would be out of tune immediatly.

springs are ideal because the amount of force a spring exerts grows larger the farther it is stretched (or compresed) and thus it will tend to move back towards equilibrium, and back into tune.

Okay thats it for today class, next week, we'll take a look at relativistic phenomena as it pertains to fine italian cuisine.
maybe it is possible! Use an electromagnet in the body and normal magnets in the trem. You'd have to have someway to increase the power of the electromagnet as the regm was pulled away from the guitar, to keep the strength roughly proportional.

Alternatively, send a piece down into the body cavity from the trem, and rig your magnet setup backwards, so the magnets would push harder as you pushed whammy bar to divebomb. The thing would push itself back into tune.

----------
***L^**
*******

so the L is a piece coming off of your trem into a cavity in the guitar, the ^ is a magnet and there is a magnet in the bottomof the L. You'd be lifting the L to divebomb, which would pull it closer to the ^, and it would get very hard to push because the two magnets would be opposing each other.
Last edited by JahJahwarrior at Jan 29, 2007,
Well thinking about it. You know how magnets have a postive and negative pole? Well you coudl try and find a way to get that pull from positively charged magnet strips, with one floating sligtly over the other. But it woudl probably play with the pickups charge.
They do make magnets strong enough to do this. You would need very very large neo mags with the same pole facing each other. One on the bridge and one behind it so that the magnets would be pushed closer together when you push down on the trem. That way, instead of decreasing the magnetic pull (or push in this case) you will increase it.

Even though it would work as a trem it won't work on your guitar. The reason is that the magnet connected to the bridge will magnitize the bridge, wich will then magnatize the strings and compleatly mess up the way pickup work. Also, the magnets would have to be very large and very expensive. You are looking at 100 plus for the magnets alone.
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So, you could do it, providing it was dive only and you have a decent amount on money? What about using a brass sustain block and some heavy sheilding between the trem system and the pickups to minimise interference?
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This is a very cool idea!!! doesnt sound very simple to accomplish though. Piezo pickups would probably have to be used. and then you could use the electro magnet to pull the strings up or down to instantly drop tune your guitar....it would have to be very accurate though to keep things in tune...but with the right technology...it could work.
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So, you could do it, providing it was dive only and you have a decent amount on money? What about using a brass sustain block and some heavy sheilding between the trem system and the pickups to minimise interference?

Yeah, it's possible, but it wouldn't be easy.
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They do make magnets strong enough to do this. You would need very very large neo mags with the same pole facing each other. One on the bridge and one behind it so that the magnets would be pushed closer together when you push down on the trem. That way, instead of decreasing the magnetic pull (or push in this case) you will increase it.
Even though it would work as a trem it won't work on your guitar. The reason is that the magnet connected to the bridge will magnitize the bridge, wich will then magnatize the strings and compleatly mess up the way pickup work. Also, the magnets would have to be very large and very expensive. You are looking at 100 plus for the magnets alone.

Best post yet in this thread...thanks Cord!!

As far as the magnets pulling, they would not be pulling, they would be repelling. Remember, magnets on both sides of the trem block, each magnet facing another magnet attached to the body. The poles on the magnets that are attached to the block will be attracting each other, but the magnets attached to the body are flipped, so they would be repelling the tremolo block as a whole from both sides. Here's what I've found so far...

1. Using magnets induces are widely variable spring rate depending on distance from each magnet. While it would be possible, the size and weight of the magnets would make the setup impractical to use on a guitar.

2. The trem block would need to be at rest at the perfect, dead center between the two body-mounted magnets. Variables such as string tension, which changes slightly depending on environmental conditions and string wear, will throw this balance off. Changing string gauge, as a rule, would be completely out of the question unless there would be some way to move the magnets attached to the body. This would not be a problem, but trying to re-balance this system would be worse than trying to set up a floyd for the first time.

3. Although tuning stability on a normal tremolo equipped guitar is variable depending on environmental conditions, magnets are prone to wider changes depending on environment. After talking with a few guys that work with these magnets, they fluctuate widely in pull and polarity (only by fractions of a degree, but it’s enough) as temperatures climb above 80F. Also, other metallic objects nearby can throw off the rate of attraction between the magnets themselves.

4. Using magnets of this size and strength would mess with the magnetic pickups in a normal guitar.

So it looks like this idea is busted, but it was fun while it lasted. I still want the formula to calculate the rate of attraction and resistance though, but it looks like I'm going to need to dig elsewhere. So looks like I need to invent a new type of magnet, and while I’m at it, I need to design a new, non-magnetic pickup…

…some kind of laser radar for guitar strings?

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well I've made it and am using it on my guitar
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well I've made it and am using it on my guitar

well make a thread and video

and while your at it, stop necro bumping threads that are 9yrs old
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Yeah, I've got it on my guitar already, too.

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Best post yet in this thread...thanks Cord!!

1. Using magnets induces are widely variable spring rate depending on distance from each magnet. While it would be possible, the size and weight of the magnets would make the setup impractical to use on a guitar.

2. The trem block would need to be at rest at the perfect, dead center between the two body-mounted magnets. Variables such as string tension, which changes slightly depending on environmental conditions and string wear, will throw this balance off. Changing string gauge, as a rule, would be completely out of the question unless there would be some way to move the magnets attached to the body. This would not be a problem, but trying to re-balance this system would be worse than trying to set up a floyd for the first time.

3. Although tuning stability on a normal tremolo equipped guitar is variable depending on environmental conditions, magnets are prone to wider changes depending on environment. After talking with a few guys that work with these magnets, they fluctuate widely in pull and polarity (only by fractions of a degree, but it’s enough) as temperatures climb above 80F. Also, other metallic objects nearby can throw off the rate of attraction between the magnets themselves.

4. Using magnets of this size and strength would mess with the magnetic pickups in a normal guitar.

So it looks like this idea is busted, but it was fun while it lasted. I still want the formula to calculate the rate of attraction and resistance though, but it looks like I'm going to need to dig elsewhere. So looks like I need to invent a new type of magnet, and while I’m at it, I need to design a new, non-magnetic pickup…

…some kind of laser radar for guitar strings?

You're close. We already have all the bits necessary to do this; it's just a matter of some computer programming. The problem is you have a 1948 technology trem in your brain and you need to update your technology by nearly 70 years.

There IS a light-based pickup out there for pickups, and it would be relatively easy to develop a laser-based pickup. Meanwhile, there are piezo pickups that are NOT traditionally magnet-based.

It wouldn't necessarily need to be magnets opposing one another; all you need is something that's pressure sensitive to determine how much pressure is being exerted in either direction (take a look at your iPhone for a second...). The total amount of movement wouldn't need to be much at all. No arm necessary, either. In fact, you could control the strings individually without ever having them move.

Better yet, the whole thing could be done via pitch modification (the way a Variax does alternate tunings now, or the way a KAOS tablet does things).

We have everything we need and more. We already have pedals that use pots to change from no effect to more effect, to glide between effects, to change from one whole virtual rig to another. It would be a piece of cake to add that technology to a pressure sensitive setup that didn't bother with a mechanical pot.
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