I have been playing guitar for over 40 years and have acquired a well diverse collection of electric and acoustic guitars over those years. Although I have had several guitar options to choose from when hired for studio or live performances, I’ve always gravitated towards using guitars that have a traditional Locking Tremolo System installed because I never wanted to deal with any tuning problems during a recording session or especially in front of a live audience. However, my guitar playing preference and allegiance has always belonged to the classic stock Standard Tremolo equipped guitars that I have. Although they are my absolute preference, I was completely willing to forego those guitars and not use them in exchange for having the tuning stability and “tuning peace of mind” that only a traditional Locking Tremolo System could offer me at the time.
In my personal opinion, nothing could ever replace the feel, musicality and smooth range of a classic stock Standard Tremolo System but the tuning problems that go hand in hand with those systems was simply not an option for me to consider. Because of this reality, my Standard Tremolo System equipped guitars were only ever played and enjoyed at home and never actually saw the light of a stage.
My primary motivation for creating the Guitar NutBuster® was that I desperately wanted to find a way to be able to play a classic stock Standard Tremolo System guitar without having the tuning problems, concerns and distractions. I wanted to be able to use the same aggressive, un-harnessed abandonment without having to hold back as I had become so accustomed to while using my traditional Locking Tremolo System equipped guitars. I wanted to have that tuning confidence so that I could concentrate more on what I was playing and less on whether or not I’m still in-tune after a dive bomb.
Personally, I much prefer the smooth range and feel that only a stock Standard Tremolo System could provide as opposed to the more radical pitch fluctuating range and feel of a traditional Locking Tremolo System. Even still, I was willing to not use the guitars that I preferred for a gig in order to have “tuning piece of mind”. I always wanted the tuning confidence of a traditional Locking Tremolo System but did not want to modify my stock guitars in any way. I especially did not want to swap out any parts, drill any holes or route out any wood causing irreversible and permanent damages as a traditional Locking Tremolo System requires.
I needed to develop a tune stabilizing system that’s easy to install in minutes without the need to hire a luthier or repairperson to install it. I wanted the option of being able to instantly remove the system if I decided to take it off for any reason or use it on another guitar without the worry of it causing any damage to the guitar’s wood or paint finish.
After an incredibly long journey of many prototypes and much experimentation the Guitar NutBuster® was finally born. I have since been using and beta testing the Guitar NutBuster® for over 4 years and have become so accustomed to having it on my guitars that I frankly will never play a stock Standard Tremolo System equipped guitar without having it on. Over the years, the tremolo bar had become a very important aspect of my style and I’m now able to play my stock Standard Tremolo System equipped guitars with the “tuning piece of mind” that I was so used to having while playing those other guitars.
Over the past 4 years, it has been absolutely amazing to be able to finally use my Standard Tremolo System equipped guitars outside of my practice space without having those constant tuning problem concerns anymore. Prior to using the Guitar NutBuster®, I remember having to always be mentally aware and extremely careful while using a Standard Tremolo System being in constant fear of their temperamental tendencies that could instantly knock me completely out of tune if I accidentally hit the tremolo bar too hard. After 4 years of using and testing prototypes of this device on Standard Tremolo equipped guitars, I have all but forgotten about ever having any tremolo restrictions in the past.
When designing the Guitar NutBuster® it was very important for me to have it be as small as possible in order to not look strange or odd on the guitar. It was also extremely important that it would be easy to use and incredibly easy for anyone to install themselves without the need to hire a luthier/repair person. I also needed it to be adaptable in order to be used on a variety of standard guitar brands and models. Proudly made in the USA, the Guitar NutBuster® is very versatile and can be used on standard six string electric and acoustic guitar having a (1 13/32”) “E” string to “E” string span at the nut (+/- 1/32”). This basically covers the vast majority of guitar models that we all own and love to play.
Although I originally created the Guitar NutBuster® primarily to be used on Standard Tremolo System equipped guitars, I was very curious one day to see how it would sound if installed on an acoustic guitar. I grabbed a lower quality acoustic guitar to use for experimental purposes. I figured that if it could improve this cheap acoustic guitar’s performance in any way, I would definitely be onto something. Following the initial installation and final tune up on this less than desirable acoustic guitar, I started to strum a few chords to see if I noticed anything different and I immediately noticed a significant improvement in the guitar’s sustain, volume and resonating character.
In fact, while I was strumming those first few chords, I had simultaneously heard my wife shouting out from the other room “did you buy another guitar?!” I had explained to her prior to starting the experiment that I was going to use a cheap acoustic and she heard what I said but the sound that emanated from that cheap acoustic was way more in line with a guitar four times its value. In that moment I realized that the 2.2 oz solid tool steel construction of the Guitar NutBuster® not only made the devise virtually indestructible but also made a positive impact on the guitar’s tone and sustain being mounted in such close proximity to the guitar nut. I also began to realize how nice it was to actually have the convenience of On-Board Micro-Tuners which enabled me to make fine tuning adjustments that were previously not possible on an acoustic guitar.
Following that experiment I concluded that if a cheap acoustic guitar could demonstrate such sound and sustain improvement, why not see what would happen on a non-tremolo equipped electric guitar? Again, I was pleasantly surprised with the results and thoroughly enjoyed having the On-Board Micro-Tuners for fine tuning adjustments without having to change out the guitar’s tail piece or replace any parts.
I guess I’m a dreamer and sometimes I just can’t help but wonder how Jimi or Stevie Ray (two of my favorites) would have reacted to having the Guitar NutBuster® on their guitars. Being able to keep everything on their guitars the same as they were accustomed to, completely stock and no changes to their set ups, exactly how they liked them to be but most importantly without the constant hassle and distractions of making on-the-fly tuning adjustments in the middle of a song. I have also dreamt about how cool it would be to hop in the infamous “DeLorean” and go back in time to Woodstock to put one on Jimi’s guitar right before his legendary performance. That classic footage would be forever changed with him not having to constantly battle his tuning after every aggressive use of the tremolo bar.
Whether it’s for tuning stability on a Standard Tremolo System guitar or sustain enhancement and the convenience of On-Board Micro-Tuner for a non-tremolo electric or acoustic guitar, the Guitar NutBuster® is a great and versatile addition all around. I have become so accustomed to the “tuning peace of mind” while using the Guitar NutBuster that I literally have one on all of my main guitars and will seriously not play them without it!
Inventor of the Guitar NutBuster®
On a brief side note…the traditional Locking Tremolo System guitars that had once been my go-to guitars for the past 35 years have since been retired to the closet and can now get a long awaited and well deserved rest!