Rick Toone Tremolo System Explained

VIDEO: Rick Toone ’67™ tremolo designed to retrofit Leo Fender’s iconic guitar. Conventional parallel frets. Traditional adjustment mechanisms, including spring claw tensioning. Instantly familiar intonation and string height settings. This retrofit tremolo has been optimized to fit the existing holes in the S-type guitar body.

Rick Toone tremolo system comes in two versions:

’67 — designed to retrofit classic S-type guitars


Pisces — designed for innovative new instruments

Both tremolos share the same design features:

• Pitch shift entire chords in tune
• Extremely wide pitch range
• String height action remains constant
• Intonation remains constant
• Use single ball-end commercially available string brands
• No need for a locking nut
• Simple fast string changes that don’t require tools

However, the internal mechanisms of the two tremolo units are quite different. Multiple patents pending.



Q: What are your plans for the tremolo?
A: I am actively seeking manufacturing partners and volume OEM licensing arrangements. If you are a manufacturer or investor who understands the potential, please contact me. RICKTOONE@GMAIL.COM

Q: Can I buy a tremolo from you at this time?
A: Due to limited quantities, both versions of the tremolo are available only on completed guitars I build.

Q: When will I be able to buy a tremolo?
A: Availability will depend on the manufacturing/licensing arrangement. Announcements will be made on this website. Please check back for ongoing updates.

VIDEO: Patented Rick Toone Pisces™ modular tremolo system. Multi-scale capable. 6-string, 7-string, and 8-string capable. Specifically created for innovative new instrument designs.

Gabriel Levi Plays Sketch

VIDEO: Gabriel Levi plays Sketch™ 7-string guitar September 13, 2023. He was kind enough to share his thoughts afterword. Don Barnes filmed the session. Audio: DI re-amped via Fractal Audio FM9. It was wonderful to add Gabriel’s beautiful playing to the register of incredible musicians who have played Sketch over the years.

Gabe!! That guitar is magic and you’re just the right magician! (Chris Buono)

Orchid | 7-String Guitar

PHOTOS: Quarter sawn flame maple, Madagascar ebony, swamp ash, carbon fiber. Shou sugi ban traditional Japanese wood finish. Custom DiMarzio™ pickups with 10-way switching. Patented Intonation Cantilever™ solo bridges precision machined from stainless steel.
PHOTOS: Orchid™ 7-string guitar is part of a matched set which includes Orchid™ headless 4-string bass and Goshawk™ SSB. Orchid body shape is equally ergonomic in both guitar and bass platforms. Exceptional versatile playing position options, always with a natural neck up balance.

Dark & Chris Buono

roopam garg and chris buono
PHOTO: Roopam Garg (Dark.co) and Chris Buono casting shadows after recording.

Perfect spring day in early May when Roopam Garg flew in to take ownership of his new Wingspan™ 8-string guitar. He’s been a good friend ever since Camping With Animals As Leaders (2013) when we met for the first time. That amazing experience with Tosin, Javier, and Evan Brewer first introduced Ken Kinter and me to Roopam and Gabriel Levi…friendships which have shaped all of our trajectories over this past decade.

His visit was also a first opportunity to establish new connections. I had a hunch Roopam and Chris Buono would generate musical sparks.

Wingspan sounds INCREDIBLE. I am currently still exploring all facets of this instrument. I have only scratched the surface so far. I am finding this instrument to be transformative of my perception and relationship with guitar. I see it as a symphonic tool of strings: strings representing the universe. (Roopam Garg)

VIDEO: Roopam Garg and Chris Buono one take live improvisation in the guitar shop. This piece is pure energy. Roopam with Wingspan™ 8 and Chris with Spearfish™ fretless.
VIDEO: Chordal progression. This longer one take live improvisation sets a mood. Love hearing Wingspan™ and Sketch™ 7-string being played in the shop where both instruments were designed and built. Signal chain is Strymon Iridium > Logic.

Raven | 7-String ER

Bespoke for Victor in Chicago. Swamp Ash, carbon fiber. Element™ single billet aircraft aluminum neck. Patented Intonation Cantilever™ bridges precision machined from stainless steel, bearing bronze. DiMarzio™ exclusive pickups with 10-way switching.

Speechless, Rick!!

I absolutely love what you did with the body shape. It has its own character vis-a-vis the Fathom™ and others.

Nailed the finish, too. Just like the majesty of a raven’s feathers in sunlight! How’d you manage it?

You’ve outdone yourself with the Raven. I have a multitude of things I could say, but, pending a more detailed report, I’ll just say that the instrument excels on every level.

What’s most impressed me in these early stages is the playability. It feels even more comfortable to play than the Spearfish — that same Element™ feel, but perhaps just the right amount more tightness in the bends and vibratos. Just perfect. And the extended-range functionality is just insane in the best way.

I like to play any new guitar un-amped for a fair bit to get acquainted with the feel, the sound of the pick contact, and the natural resonance of the guitar, and the Raven impresses in all respects. In particular, the setup is fantastic — low to the deck, but not to the detriment of the satisfying, almost springlike attack.

On a different note, I’ve really enjoyed seeing the subtle changes in the finish under different lighting. I’ve also found myself staring at the guitar a lot: even if it weren’t an absolute sound machine, it’d function just fine as a standalone marvel of design!

Stay tuned for a more detailed update later, but in the meantime: thank you. This instrument is a joy. (Victor, Chicago)

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