The Objective

The goal is to figure out the way things work well enough to make the best, most original products that solve real world problems for guitar players and other musicians.

Inventions Catalog


Floyd Nut Conversion Kits


  • Floyd Nut Conversion Kit External Adjusters - Chrome

    Floyd Nut Conversion Kit

    External Adjusters - Chrome

    FNCK-E-C - (Pictured with Baseplate)

    Details

  • Floyd Nut Conversion Kit External Adjusters - Gold

    Floyd Nut Conversion Kit

    External Adjusters - Gold

    FNCK-E-G - (Pictured with Baseplate)

    Details

    • Floyd Nut Conversion Kit External Adjusters - Black Chrome

      Floyd Nut Conversion Kit

      External Adjusters - Black

      FNCK-E-B - (Pictured with Baseplate)

      Details









    • Behind Nut String Locks - Internal Adjusters


    • Behind the Nut String Lock Internal Adjusters - Chrome

      Behind the Nut String Lock

      Internal Adjusters - Chrome

      BNSL-I-C

      Details

    • Behind the Nut String Lock Internal Adjusters - Black

      Behind the Nut String Lock

      Internal Adjusters - Black

      BNSL-I-B

      Details







    • Behind Nut String Locks - External Adjusters


    • Behind the Nut String Lock External Adjusters-Chrome

      Behind the Nut String Lock

      External Adjusters - Chrome

      BNSL-E-C

      Details

    • Behind the Nut String Lock External Adjusters-Gold

      Behind the Nut String Lock

      External Adjusters - Gold

      BNSL-E-G

      Details

    • Behind the Nut String Lock External Adjusters-Black Chrome

      Behind the Nut String Lock

      External Adjusters - Black

      BNSL-E-B

      Details




    • Locking Nuts - Internal Adjusters


      • Bill Edwards Locking Nut Internal Adjusters - Chrome 1 5/8

        Bill Edwards Locking Nut

        Internal Adjusters - Chrome - 1 5/8"

        BELN-I-C-58

        Details

      • Bill Edwards Locking Nut Internal Adjusters - Black 1 5/8

        Bill Edwards Locking Nut

        Internal Adjusters - Black - 1 5/8"

        BELN-I-B-58

        Details

      • Bill Edwards Locking Nut Internal Adjusters - Chrome 1 11/16

        Bill Edwards Locking Nut

        Internal Adjusters - Chrome - 1 11/16"

        BELN-I-C-1116

        Details

      • Bill Edwards Locking Nut Internal Adjusters - Black 1 11/16

        Bill Edwards Locking Nut

        Internal Adjusters - Black - 1 11/16"

        BELN-I-B-1116

        Details

      • Bill Edwards Locking Nut Internal Adjusters - Chrome 1 3/4

        Bill Edwards Locking Nut

        Internal Adjusters - Chrome - 1 3/4"

        BELN-I-C-34

        Details

      • Bill Edwards Locking Nut Internal Adjusters - Black

        Bill Edwards Locking Nut

        Internal Adjusters - Black - 1 3/4"

        BELN-I-B-34

        Details




      Locking Nuts - External Adjusters


      • Bill Edwards Locking Nut External Adjusters - Chrome 1 5/8

        Bill Edwards Locking Nut

        External Adjusters - Chrome - 1 5/8"

        BELN-E-C-58

        Details

      • Bill Edwards Locking Nut External Adjusters - Black 1 5/8

        Bill Edwards Locking Nut

        External Adjusters - Black - 1 5/8"

        BELN-E-B-58

        Details

      • Bill Edwards Locking Nut External Adjusters - Chrome 1 11/16

        Bill Edwards Locking Nut

        External Adjusters - Chrome - 1 11/16"

        BELN-E-C-1116

        Details

      • Bill Edwards Locking Nut External Adjusters - Black 1 11/16

        Bill Edwards Locking Nut

        External Adjusters - Black - 1 11/16"

        BELN-E-B-1116

        Details

      • Bill Edwards Locking Nut External Adjusters - Chrome 1 3/4

        Bill Edwards Locking Nut

        External Adjusters - Chrome - 1 3/4"

        BELN-E-C-34

        Details

      • Bill Edwards Locking Nut External Adjusters - Black

        Bill Edwards Locking Nut

        External Adjusters - Black - 1 3/4"

        BELN-E-B-34

        Details







      Guitar Pads


    • Skid Row G-Pad

      Skidrow G-Pad

      Protective Anti-Slip Leg Cushion

      Details

    FAQs

    Yes. That was the original idea: to eliminate the wrench once and for all by just retrofitting the old locking nut with the new one. The Rose locking nut baseplates come in several sizes (primarily) designated "R1-R5". These are just model numbers for different nut or baseplate widths. We offer retrofits for R2-R5 which are 1 5/8", 1 11/16", 1 11/16" (spaced differently) and 1 3/4" nut widths. You can use the same neck-through mounting screws to attach our BELN baseplate, and it eliminates the need for the string bar as well as the wrench.

    This is one of my favorite questions to answer. The old-style FR, etc., locking nuts work by exerting a twisting (ie., torsional or radial) force on a screw with a wrench, which is fine for cars, air conditioners and the like, but on guitars, it also advances the string pairs, typically in opposite directions by an indeterminate amount, resulting in detuning, and the need to retune after locking. If the strings are new, and still stretching, this maddening process will need to be repeated several times over the next several hours or even days. With our Cam-Lever string locks, there is no torsional forces applied when clamping or unclamping, therefore, no detuning. Our string locks work on three principles: 1. Mechanical advantage, derived from the cam lever shape and specifications; 2. A threaded timing mechanism, which positions the cam levers properly for the different string pairs' gauges; and 3. A detent point designed into the cam, which gives a distinctive tactile response when locked. (This is one of the subtleties of the design lost on the many pirates.) There is also a fulcrum and a kind of balancing act, but that is less significant. So lets examine the crux of the biscuit: the mechanical advantage. The mechanical advantage of a screw thread depends on its "lead," which is the linear distance the screw travels in one revolution. In most applications, the lead of a screw thread is chosen so that friction is sufficient to prevent linear motion being converted to rotary motion, that is so the screw does not slip even when linear force is applied so long as no external rotational force is present. This characteristic is essential to the vast majority of its uses. The tightening of a fastener's screw thread is comparable to driving a wedge into a gap until it sticks fast through friction and slight plastic deformation. Think about it like this: In the arrangement of the elements of the Rose locking nut, there is a point where the lock block and hex cap screw are loose, relative to the string pair, baseplate and neck which are relatively solid. The next point is where each lock block and hex cap screw are twisted to meet the other parts and stop at finger pressure. The last stop point is when the added mechanical advantage of the wrench, which turns approximately 30-60 degrees more, moves the screw a short distance further, making a - lets call it a "thread wedgie" - and locking everything into place. It should come as no surprise that this distance is the same difference between the bottom of our cams and the sides. (There is a formula for this, and I'll add it to the FAQs whenever I run across it again.) It may also interest you to know that the original version of this idea was developed at a time when the Rose tremolo had no fine tuners, so "no detuning" was an extremely functional, secondary benefit of the design. It was also one of the reasons I joined up with Kramer - so people could keep using their original, flat Rose tremolo, which didn't get in the way of your right hand when it was in the area for rhythm, muting, etc. (I also wanted Strat players to have a locking system with their Fender tremolos, which were notorious for going out of tune.) However, during the exact same time frame, the Schaller people (who Kramer hired to manufacture the FR tremolos, and who should wear eye patches and say "Aaarrrgh..." a lot) were designing the fine tuners, because none of them could figure out a way to fix the locking nut detuning problem. Those d-bags (detuning bags) were not guitar players and were oblivious to the problems the raised platform for the fine tuner screws created for the right hand of actual guitar players. The fine tuners made me (and I figure about a zillion other players) have to change the way we played to keep from knocking the bass strings out of tune every couple of minutes. Fortunately,we can have it both ways now. We can all use the old flat FR trem or the newer raised one with fine tuners, but I seldom have to use the fine tuners on the newer ones. Mostly to correct for when I bump the bass E fine tuner with the heel of my rigth hand. Aaarrrgh.

    The initial production has a 10" radius, to closely match Fender necks and to retrofit the Rose baseplates. If we get large enough orders for other radii, naturally we'll accommodate the demands of the market.

    Good question. The term applies to both, but in different ways. The difference is whether or not wood will be removed to make a platform for the baseplate. So from now on we'll try to distinguish the two kinds of retrofitting with some added nomenclature like "routed" retrofit or "baseplate" retrofit.

    Yeah... that is one of those things. Some things are harder to predict than others. We did not correctly anticipate the demand for every colors/model combination very well and we are about a month or two behind the demand for certain combinations. Eventually all models will be fully stocked for all finishes. That was a judgement call early on when the designs were still being prototyped. Also, it took a quite while to find the right plating people, so we got samples made, and the last batch look fantastic - as the pictures indicate.

    That is correct. If the headstock joint has been intentionally shaped during manufacture to support the locking nut baseplate, I have no objections to the "baseplate retrofit." This, however does not apply to headstocks like the Gibson Les Paul, etc. There is very thin and fragile join between the neck and headstock on these kinds of guitars. This is where the BNSL-I or BNSL-E would be the correct solution, as no routing would be required to clamp the strings. Our design gets the locks as close to the nut slots as possible, making the BNSLs as effective as the BELN or FNCK models.

    Actually there are only five different models. They are the BELN with internal or external adjusters; the BNSL with internal or external adjusters; and the FNCK which only has external adjusters. However the different available colors and nut widths of the BELN models expand the product line a bit.

    The answer is yes - that's us. We changed the name from "Finger-Tite" to "Bill Edwards" which is a more common approach for the music industry. We're back at it because not too long ago, a tremolo-playing friend who was frustrated with his wrench-style locking nut convinced me to "un-abandon" this idea. He said something to the effect that he couldn't possibly the only one who was sick and tired of all the wrench problems, like the detuning, and rounding out the hex caps (and the wrench tips), and that there were probably jillions of guitar guys who hate it as much as he did. I started back to work with a fresh outlook and a 3D modeler, and managed to come up with some interesting variations on the original design. There are now five versions of the string locks for both retrofits and original installations. Our initial productions make all five available in chrome and black with a few nice-looking samples in gold.

    Really? I can't believe people still want to know about that. How much time do you have? There is a short and long version of this. Which reminds me... Not long after the debacle, I was contacted by a reporter at the Wall Street Journal and gave a very detailed account of what had transpired during the two years I was with Kramer. I gave him a long detailed account, and when the article came out, he'd gotten virtually everything wrong: the facts, the people's names, the events and even the order things happened in. He wrote a ridiculous P.O.S. that bore little if any, similarity with the things I had said. (I actually find it hilarious now, but at the time I was pissed plenty. The whole experience gave me a new perspective for what passes for "journalism.") After a while, I recognized that just the names of many of the players involved were so similar sounding, (Kramer, Kahler, Schaller, Fender...) that it would be confusing to non-industry folks. So, that being said, I'll tell you everything I actually told the WSJ "reporter," in bits and pieces, and come back and add more from time to time.

    To explain this sufficiently and hopefully in an interesting way, first I’d like to go back to the beginning, in the 1980s when I owned a guitar store that did a lot of repairs, building and customization. The Floyd Rose double-locking tremolo actually stayed in tune by eliminating the string slippage and friction at the nodes (ie., the bridge saddles and nut slots.) (Nothing else works sufficiently: locking tuners, roller bearings, greased nut slots etc., will produce or allow slippage and friction that results in detuning. This simple fact, however, doesn't stop people from making and selling all kinds of this crap.) Unfortunately, as many of my store customers found out at the most inopportune times, the hex cap screws and allen wrenches used in the Rose to lock the strings at the nut also twisted the string pairs (between the lock blocks and the baseplate) out of tune - and not in a predictable or precise way. While neither Floyd Rose nor Helmut Schaller, the manufacturer, could solve this problem, they came up with a simple workaround:  the fine tuners from early violin technology (later adopted by Gibson for a stop tailpiece and yes, manufactured by Schaller) would be adapted to fit to the Rose bridge. For Kramer and Rose, this was a solution they felt was sufficient (in spite of the fact the bass “E” fine tuner screw was in the way of your picking hand). At the very same time however, I had been working on a locking solution that simply did not require an external tool. After a couple of years and several false starts, a cam and lever shape was produced that had sufficient mechanical advantage to do the job of retaining the string pairs against their full force up to pitch. (!) We had ground down our Lock Blocks to the optimal height for a given string gauge to achieve the correct positioning or “timing” of the Cam Lever and the combination was just as strong or stronger than the Rose/Kramer/Schaller/locking nut. Interestingly, the action of locking the strings did not affect the strings and therefore did not detune the strings - even when unlocking. This was an significant and unexpected benefit. I had contacted several potential (usually skeptical) licensees to measure interest and line up production and distribution (including Kahler, DiMarzio and Hoshino/Ibanez, to name a few) and we agreed to meet at the next trade show and they could see it in action for themselves and dispel their doubts. At the NAMM show in Anaheim, Floyd Rose approached me and said he’d tried and failed to make a design like mine. Interestingly and disturbingly, he also started to show me ways to “improve” my design - none of which would have worked and we ended up in an argument less than five minutes after we’d met. (At the time it seemed like he had simultaneously forgotten that he’d been unable to solve the problem himself and was unable to appreciate how much time and effort it took me to find a workable solution.) Anyway, he asked to show my design to the Kramer people (mainly Dennis Berardi, Kramer president) and they expressed a serious interest in it. I felt that joining them would insulate me from a possible “lawsuit of attrition” from Rose and the association with Van Halen and Kramer would insure universal adoption and create a new and better standard for locking nuts. At the time, the Kramer electric was the best selling guitar in the world due in a large part to the Van Halen endorsement and the Rose tremolo. I joined Kramer via an license (said to be identical to Floyd Rose’s but with suspicious whitespace gaps) and at the very next show six months later, they took enough orders to make me an overnight millionaire. Production, however was stalled. There were none to sell. While I’d given Kramer an exclusive license for my invention, Kramer had given Schaller the job of making the parts.  Schaller had survived WWII (yes, an ex-Nazi) and eventually managed to put together a factory that made parts inexpensively for American guitar manufacturers, namely Gibson and Fender among others. The strength of the dollar against the German mark seemed to be a significant part of that equation at the time. Like most people, I became familiar with the Schaller name via his tuning machines, which were among the first to feature sealed, permanently lubricated worm/gear mechanisms. It was considered a quality product. I found out later that Schaller, however, was still stuck in a post-WWII manufacturing mentality in the 1980s. His factory model was based on rooms of dozens of low-paid German women working at tables pulling levers on mechanisms designed to assemble various parts into completed assemblies. My invention was made possible by CNC (computer numerical control) accuracy and tolerances of .001” or greater. Bluntly put: his manufactured prototypes did not work worth a shit. Not only that, he was an “arrogant sumbitch” as my grandad would say. Rather than making what was actually on my precisely-drawn print, he attempted to redesign my carefully researched Cam Lever profile to fit his own half-assed idea of how it should work. Who does that remind you of? Correct. Floyd once told me that he and Helmut “don’t get along very well.” Not only was Schaller unable to hit the center of the cam correctly, he made parts that would simply break when you exerted the force necessary to clamp! My frustration was mounting. To make matters worse, I’d been relegated by Schaller to dealing with his son, Rene, who I considered to be nothing more than a dilettante. Rene had recently come back to work for his father because he’d gone bankrupt trying to run a casino - as he told it. He claimed to be an “engineer” but when I asked for his schooling credentials he allowed as how he wasn't “that kind of engineer.” Like Floyd had done a year or two earlier, I was sent to Germany to find out what the problem was at the Schaller factory and get the parts made to fill the tens of thousands of orders that Kramer had amassed. The problem was obvious: they did not have the technology sufficient to build the part correctly. My prototypes had been made with CNC accuracy, but Schaller was still stuck in 1940s. During this delay I started to ask some pointed questions about how they were going to meet their obligations to Kramer and some revealing explanations for the delays were being offered. They had been approached by Fender to produce a similar product for their guitars and had been spending time reverse-engineering my invention for Fender instead of making parts for Kramer! I couldn’t believe it. This was a kind of betrayal and corruption that I’d never experienced before. I later found out the Helmut had (barely concealed) contempt for Kramer, Berardi and Rose. He considered them “upstarts” and favored his older clients like Gibson and Fender. To my horror, I suddenly realized that I was at the center of an international corporate espionage in the guitar industry. While all this was going on, Kahler, whom I’d never even gotten a chance to talk to at NAMM, decided to do what Fender was doing: reverse engineer my invention and make copies of my work. I found out that Yamaha had also filed a patent in Japan less than a month after the NAMM show for what seemed to be (from the drawings) an identical copy of my invention. I later found out later Hoshino/Ibanez also made a copy. The list of copycats got very long very fast. I’ll admit that I’d underestimated the potential impact of my invention on the guitar industry. One thing the copies had in common is they had fatal flaws. They all rushed to market to claim a share of what they were sure would be a big winner. They all failed to take into account the subtleties that made my design work. I was told by Berardi at some point that the public would not accept my design as is, where the user had to grind down the Lock Blocks to the correct size for their strings. For me, this was a five minute procedure and easily done. Not a big deal. You’d only need to do this again if you changed the string gauges and I’d allowed for a lot of material on the Blocks for this very reason. We’re talking a few thousandths of an inch and a couple of minutes time with a grinder or some sandpaper. Schaller was taking directions from Berardi on this and I was stuck in a contract that had not paid me a nickel. At one point Schaller (I’m not kidding…) suggested we attach a flat spring to the bottom of the Baseplate! Yeah… you’re an engineer. So in desperation I came up with an intermediary device that allowed the Cam-Screw Assembly to move up and down relative to the Baseplate. It is called the Internal Adjuster Screw. Still they could not get the Cam Levers themselves correctly made. So two years after that NAMM show where I had hundreds of industry people crowding around my little booth for three days non-stop, I have a manufacturer who is clearly incompetent, a licensee that isn’t paying me and a horde of copycats flooding the market with half-assed copies. The I get a call from Rene Schaller to tell me that they are abandoning my design. I shit you not. I’d sunk all my store money into this project and couldn’t imagine a way it could fail but it did. I went back to the CNC prototype people and ordered a production run and paid them on credit. I went back to NAMM and instead of the great welcome and accolades I’d experienced two years prior, I heard the same line over and over: “Oh I got one of those from (Kahler; Fender; Yamaha; Ibanez, etc.,) and they don't work.” The damned copycats had poisoned the well and killed my beautiful little invention. So as you might imagine, I was frustrated and enraged by this experience and this stayed with me for a long time. Long story short - I put my energies into my other “invention” generically known as “The CAGED System” and my books and videos entitled “Fretboard Logic” and that story has a much happier ending.

    String Lock Installation and Setup Videos

  • BELN Installation

    Installing the BELN

    Baseplate Retrofit for Scalloped Headstocks

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  • BNSL Installation

    Installing the BNSL

    Baseplate Installation for Tilt-Back Headstocks (Coming Soon)

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  • FNCK Installation

    Installing the FNCK

    Upgrading the Floyd Rose Locking Nut

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