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String Gauge Choice

Placeholder image The customer chooses their string gauge when they place their order and the system is custom built with the chosen gauges. This is an important choice because the system must run these gauges for the life of the product or until the system is returned to the factory for a string gauge change.
Here’s why: The system is optimized to allow the fastest slew rate possible. To accomplish this, each string’s tuning assembly is designed and built taking into account the string’s gauge, tuning range, and length and is then precision balanced against a spring which minimizes the forces on the tiny motors. With the forces on the motors minimized, the motors can run at their fastest speed without stalling, giving the strings their highest slew rate possible. Changes to any of the string properties, without making changes to the tune arm’s physical dimensions, creates an imbalance in the forces exerted on the motors that cannot be fully compensated through spring adjustment, and the motors stall.
String Gauges: 9-46 10-42 11-49 12-52
The string gauges can be changed, but this requires that the system be returned to the factory for mechanical and software upgrades.

Audio Considerations

The Performer™ system does not interfere with the existing guitar audio circuits. The frequencies of the strings are picked up through the system’s hex pickup and processed by the system’s computer. The volume and tone circuits of the guitar are not modified in any way.
Additionally, we find that the additional mass of the tuning tail piece slightly enhances the high frequencies and substantially increases sustain.

Motor Noise

There is a low level of motor noise that comes through the audio pickups during a tuning change. The motor noise is caused by the magnetic fields that are generated by the motors when they are running. The motor noise is louder on single coil pickups, active pickups, and pickups that are located closer to the motors. The signal to noise ratio is high enough that the motor noise is drowned out while playing the strings. Additionally, this noise can be reduced by using the rhythm pickup or tuning down the guitar volume while the motors are moving. Either option reduces or eliminates the motor noise to levels acceptable for use in live settings and in recording studios.

Weight Considerations

During the Performer™ installation, cavities are routed for the various sub-assemblies of the system. This removes some weight depending on the density of wood, but overall, the installation adds about a half pound of weight to the guitar after the installation. This is unavoidable given the weight of the mechanical device and sub-assemblies.

System Power

The Performer™ is powered by either a Power Supply using its 22 foot cable or with an optional rechargeable battery. The Power Supply is factory set for 115 VAC 60 Hz operation but can be configured for 230 VAC 50 Hz and has a built in battery charger for the system’s optional rechargeable 12 VDC NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) battery.
Battery life between charge cycles depends on how the system is used. In general, the battery will supply enough power to make 250 tuning changes. Even the most aggressive player making a tuning change every minute would be hard-pressed to wear this battery down in a four hour show.
The system automatically recognizes when power is supplied by the battery and displays a “gas gauge” on the bottom row of the LCD display. The Performer™ can operate completely wireless if the external battery is used in tandem with a wireless audio transmitter. The system’s Foot Switch is plugged into the rear of the Power Supply and provides hands-free tuning changes.
Should you need to play and don’t have a charged battery, the Power Supply can power the guitar and charge the battery at the same time. If properly cared for, the battery is good for approximately 500 recharge cycles
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System Specifications

  Performer™ System Specifications
  Tuning Accuracy +/- 2 cents
  Tempering  
      Adjustment 1 cent increments
      Note +10cents, -50 cents
      String +10 cents, -25 cents
      Tuning +50 cents, -50 cents
  Preset Library Tunings 336 - permanent memory
  Artist Library Tunings 96 - programmable
  Tunings per LCD Window 6, (+ STD in background of each tuning)
  Speed of Tuning Change  
      Full Speed Less than one second per 1/2 musical step change
      Variable Speed Set by Beats per Minute (BPM) & number of Beats for tuning change (BFC).
  Recommended Strings Brands D’Addario reinforced  
  Scale Lengths 24 5/8”, 25 ½”  
  String Gauge Sets 9-42, 9-46, 10-46, 11-48, 11-49, 12-52  
  Hex Pickup Sensors  
      Height Strings 1 and 2 - .020” clearance  
       Strings 3 and 4 - .025” clearance  
       Strings 5 and 6 - .030” clearance  
      Magnets Required  
  Motor Noise  
     The amount of motor noise is relative to the impedance of the pickup winding and will vary from guitar to guitar.
     Rhythm Pickup 2-4 mV (p-p) typ.
     Treble Pickup 8-12 mV (p-p) typ.
  Signal to Noise Ratio  
     Guitar audio voltages were determined by strumming the guitar and reading the voltage output of the pickups using three strumming forces.
     Light Strum   175 mV (p-p) 35 dB    25 dB
     Medium Strum   350 mV (p-p) 41 dB    31 dB
     Heavy Strum   700 mV (p-p) 47 dB    37 dB
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