• String Gauge Choice

  • Audio Considerations

  • Motor Noise

  • Weight Considerations

  • System Power

  • System Specifications

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. 

 

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.


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.

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.

 

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.

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.
   
Rhythm 3 mV  Treble 10 mV
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