Evertune Bridge

February 25, 2011

WHEN I ASKED SUPER-TECH GARY BRAWER to identify the most common question he gets hit with, he did not hesitate: “Guitarists are constantly asking how they can make their guitars get in tune and stay in tune better.” Over the years we’ve seen any number of tools to assist in this endeavor, from Floyd Rose locking whammies to nut lubes to robotic systems that tune your guitar for you at the touch of a button. All of those things are effective in their own way and can certainly help an instrument to stay in tune, but none of them—not even the Floyd—can prevent a guitar from going out of tune, because that’s impossible, right? All guitars go out of tune. It’s just the nature of the beast.

Well, meet the Evertune bridge, an ingenious device that promises to keep your guitar in tune forever, or at least for the life of a string set. Okay, you got my attention. But does it work? And, if so, how?

The bridge is made up of a series of springs and levers that occupy a cavity a little larger than that of a Strat-style whammy system. (Yes, your guitar needs to be routed to accommodate the Evertune.) Each string gets its own “module” that maintains constant tension on the string. What that means is, for a given gauge, the correct tension will give you the same pitch, no matter what happens to the string due to temperature changes, crazy bends, etc. Sounds good, but I had to try it myself to believe it.

The Evertune arrived in a Tele. I took it right out of the case, hit a chord, and it was perfectly in tune. Not kind of in tune, but dead on. Then things started to get nuts. I bent a note on the G string and the pitch didn’t change. It’s the craziest sensation. In this mode, called the “sweet spot,” the Evertune keeps the tension the same regardless of whether I bend a note, turn the tuning machines, you name it. I cranked every tuning machine a couple of turns and hit a chord—perfectly in tune. It was amazing, but what if I want to bend notes?!?

Easy. To get into the bending range, I turned the tuning machine of the G string several turns until I finally heard the note go sharp. This means that the tension of the string is right at the point where it will overrule the tension of the module. I backed off a quarter turn and the string went back to a perfect G, only now I could bend all I wanted. I bent the string as high as I could—a move that would cause the string to come back flat on pretty much any guitar I’ve ever owned—and it returned exactly to pitch. Unreal.

The Evertune is totally mechanical—no servos or anything like that. It works dynamically, with each module acting like a see-saw, instantly sensing any increase or decrease in tension and compensating in real time. The installation obviously needs to be handled by a pro, but I was able to change strings myself no problem. Despite all the complicated physics and engineering involved in its design, you can suss out most of what the Evertune does by ear. Getting the strings back to pitch after changing them took a little while (it’s accomplished with a 2.5mm hex wrench), but no longer than, say, with a Floyd Rose system. And the cool thing is, once I got the brand new strings in tune, I didn’t have to stretch them out or fuss with all the retuning that a new set of strings requires. The Evertune does all that for you.

This bridge is definitely a marvel of engineering, and most guitarists would love a guitar that never goes out of tune, but here’s where I see it really paying off. First off, in the studio. You could quickly and easily lay down multiple tracks and never stop to check your tuning. Or, if you’re producing an artist who has questionable technique, you no longer have to worry about them squeezing a chord out of tune. Put each string in the sweet spot and no matter how hard they yank on that barre chord, it won’t go sharp. Anyone who has ever played a TV date knows that (A) you’ve got one shot and you have to be perfect, and (B) those studios are often freezing cold. The Evertune bridge will take away any fears of playing out of tune in front of a potentially huge audience. But for guitarists who are sick of tuning up onstage at a bar gig or anyone who has struggled to keep an instrument in tune (like all of us), you need to check this out ASAP. It’s one of the most amazing innovations I’ve seen in a long time.

EVERTUNE BRIDGE

CONTACT Evertune, evertune.com

MODEL Evertune T model

PRICE $330 retail/installation $200-$300

KUDOS Amazing, groundbreaking design. Delivers on the promise.

CONCERNS Routing for installation might put off some players.

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