Guitar doesn’t get a ton of innovation, even though new products come out every year. This is where the Evertune steps in! This bridge is one of the biggest things to happen to guitar design in a long time. Today we break down exactly what it is and how it works!
What Exactly Is The Evertune?
The Evertune bridge is actually a pretty new innovation. I started seeing them probably 8 years ago, as a custom option. Its rare to see what we can call a “totally new product” for guitar. You see, the actual anatomy of guitars has barely changed over the years. But why is that?
The guitar has barely changed in design because Leo Fender really got it right the very first time. Why would you change something that works just fine? Most guitar bridges come in two types:
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- Fixed: These are your typical bridges that do not float. They are anchored to the body, and the strings run through the saddles.
- Floating Trem: This can be anything from the Stratocaster’s simple floating design, to the more complicated Floyd Rose. These bridges are usually held in place by springs in the back of the guitar cavity, and the string tension on the top of the guitar.
And until recently, that was all the electric guitar really offered when it came to bridge options. Most guitarists prefer a fixed bridge or a floating bridge depending on the player/play style. That is, until the Evertune system showed up.
Both forms of traditional bridges have their own issues when it comes to tuning stability. A Fixed bridge relies on the nut and tuning machines to stay in tune. A floating bridge relies on spring tension and locking nuts. Both forms of bridges need constant “setups” due to change in climate/seasons and wood settling on your guitar.
So what if we could just eliminate all of those problems?
The Evertune Bridge: A Deep Dive Into How It Works
The Evertune claims to be precise, and that your guitar will never go out of tune. No matter what the situation should be. So how does this work if not by magic?
First, The Evertune bridge is completely mechanical. There are no fancy electronics inside that hold the string tuning. Peavey tried this idea once, and the guitar was tuned by electronics built into the guitar. This was a good idea, but it did not hold up at all when it came to sound quality. Having Auto-Tune built into a guitar is a great idea, but ultimately became a novelty. There were huge issues with this Peavey guitar.
And here’s one of Evertune’s biggest fans, Ben Weinman of The Dillinger Escape Plan, discussing the benefits of having an Evertone bridge installed on your guitar.
The Evertune is mechanical. No batteries, no software. It’s all made of gears, springs and levers. From Evertune themselves:
“The EverTune is a revolutionary, patented, all-mechanical guitar bridge system that keeps guitars in tune under any conditions. Using nothing but clever physics in combination with a system of springs and levers, EverTune maintains constant tension on each individual string, keeping the guitar in perfect tuning indefinitely.”
If this sounds too good to be true, I assure you that it’s not! The Evertune bridge honestly does everything it says. It does require an initial setup, however. Much like a Floyd Rose Floating bridge, you kind of have to dedicate the guitar to one tuning. Let me explain…
The strings feed through the back of the guitar bridge, just like many “regular” guitar models. This holds the strings in place by the ball end. But this is where all of the normal ideas are thrown right out the window.
The guitar needs an initial setup to set the string tension, and tuning. This means to get optimal use out of your Evertune, you need to pick the tuning you most often play in. You will also need to chose a set of strings that are consistent in gauge. This means a lot of dedication!
Once you have picked a string set you are comfortable with, and a tuning that you want to stay in, you’re ready to rock. You still string the guitar like a regular guitar, but the tuning pegs are no longer used for tuning (more on that in a moment). Tuning is now done at the bridge with an Allen key. The top of the unit, once set, will hold this tuning no matter what.
So everything you need to set up the action, intonation and tuning is on the top of the unit. And the best part, is this is a “set it and forget it” type of process. Once finished, the Evertune unit will keep it’s setup indefinitely. This means that your guitar is perfectly in tune. No matter what you do with the strings or how you bend them.
That’s right, bending the strings, or pulling them sharp doesn’t do anything to your tuning. Neither does stretching the strings, or breaking a string. The lever action of the Evertune keeps a constant tension on all strings, never allowing them to stray from your desired tuning.
Now i know what you’re thinking when I say that even if you bend a string, it stays in tune. How do you bend a note? If the lever compensates in real time for any type of bend, how do I bend notes during a solo?
This is where the tuning keys come into play.
By default, after you have setup your Evertune bridge, the strings will be locked in place in the tuning that you have chosen. If you want a string to be able to bend, you will need the tuning pegs to adjust this feature. The tuing pegs will not affect the tuning of the guitar at all, but they will definitely change the tension of the bridge.
If you tune the keys upwards, you lock the string in place. But if you turn the tuning key downwards, you release the string from the grip saddle in the ever tune bridge. This allows you to bend the string now. The amazing thing about this, is that you can pick individual strings that can bend. What does this mean?
This means you can keep your lower strings always locked. The Low E for example, will always be perfectly in tune. So if you’re like me, and you hit the strings hard with your pick, the lower strings will never go sharp! You can however leave the higher tuned strings in a state where they can be bent for solos.
However you decide to set the Evertune up, it’s never a worry anymore if your guitar is in tune. It is always in in tune now!
Installing an Evertune Bridge
Unlike most projects or upgrades that can be done at home by an experienced guitarist, the Evertune needs to be installed by a professional. The process means routing out some wood from the back of your guitar, and it is a very involved procedure. Evertune has an installation program on their official site to retrofit your guitar with the system.
On the other hand, many companies have started making their most famous guitar models with the Evertune already installed! ESP was an early adopter of this process. This makes some of the base model guitars a little more expensive. The worth in the long run will be decided by the player.
Evertune makes the patented bridge for 6, 7, and 8 string guitar models. Over the past year, we have seen many extended range guitars being outfitted with the Evertune.
The Evertune Bridge: Who Is It For?
The Evertune bridge is perfect for anyone, but I honestly think that it caters the most to professional musicians. This is the perfect guitar accessory for any touring musician. But I think it is also just as useful to a studio musician.
For the touring/live musician the Evertune means that you rarely have to do any routine maintenence while you are on the road, and if you have ever been on the road…you know how precious time is! This can easily cut out setting up your guitars every time you go north for example and the weather gets less humid. Temperature changes usually wreak havoc on an guitar’s setup.
But for the studio musician, this means that your guitar is always ready to record. There are no more stops between every take, just to make sure your guitar is perfectly in tune! All you have to do is pick up the guitar and record! This makes your workflow more efficient and can save you money on studio time! It may not seem like stopping to tune would be a big deal, but it probably could save you a whole hour over the course of recording a song.
For the guitarist that does both, this is a dream come true. Some of my favorite musicians like Devin Townsend and Ben Weinman (Dillinger Escape Plan) were early adopters of the Evertune system. These pros have stated more than once that the benefits have changed their lives as a musician! I can certainly see why.
The Evertune, I think, will continue to grow in popularity. I think we will see more and more guitars with this bridge outfitted. I for one, welcome this new amazing technology!
Is The Evertune bridge worth it?
I think if you are a professional musician in any capacity, the Evertune is an essential tool for a guitarist. Not only is the bridge totally mechanical, but it keeps your guitar perfectly intune in all environments.
Is the Evertune bridge electronic?
No. The Evertune is fully mechanical and it does not take any batteries or power supply. It only uses springs and levers.
Can I have Evertune installed on my guitar?
Yes! Evertune.com has many options when it comes to having your guitar outfitted with the Evertune system.
Can I buy a Guitar with Evertune already installed?
Yes. Many brands have started including Evertune equipped models to the regular lineup of instruments. These come in 6, 7, and 8 string variants.
Is the Evertune bridge hard to setup?
The initial setup may take a little longer than your traditional bridge, but once it is finished, you never have to worry about intonation again. The guitar will stay in tune, no matter what the situation.