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

(and)

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.

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Q&A

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.

RICK TOONE ’67 Review

VIDEO: Dr. Andre Fludd has a curiosity and passion for electric guitar technology. His YouTube channel explores recent innovations in context with historical benchmarks, providing critical analysis from an informed perspective. In this video Andre explains the features and performance of the RICK TOONE ’67 guitar, with special focus on the tremolo.
VIDEO: Dr. Andre Fludd makes it look easy. Graceful tremolo expression throughout this lovely Jeff Beck interpretation. RICK TOONE ‘67 guitar into AxeFX III.

RICK TOONE ’67

IMAGE: RICK TOONE ’67 website.

RICK TOONE ’67 guitar is realization of a long-held dream. My personal interpretation of Leo’s iconic design, with radical new technology bringing it once again to the forefront of guitar innovation. Your best friend, but now so much better.

Light weight alder body with relic nitro finish. Nothing sounds quite like nitro. There is a difference. And those wear marks & dings invite you to come play. Every other aspect of the guitar is new and pristine. To me, the body is lovingly meant to take the knocks, but my hands want a perfect neck and fretwork.

Neck is quarter-sawn maple. Dunlop 6100 stainless steel frets. Gotoh light-weight vintage style locking tuners for fast string changes.

Steve Blucher and I traded the prototype guitar back and forth for most of a year, getting the pickups dialed in. There is historic precedent to the tone of this platform and it’s absolutely necessary to nail those classic frequencies. You expect this guitar design to sit perfectly in the mix, in that hallowed niche. It does. And thanks to Steve’s genius there is no single coil hum. Volume and tone controls are musically delightful throughout their entire range.

You probably want me to talk about the tremolo…

It’s a little bit like magic.

Hiya Rick! I’m Zack, the production manager of Rick Turner Guitars in Santa Cruz, California. We had a visit from Henry Kaiser yesterday with his new guitar from you. It’s always a pleasure when Henry comes by and he loves to share new gear and guitars with us. He was absolutely ecstatic about the vibrato on his RICK TOONE ’67 guitar, and I am too!

Your new trem is an extremely beautiful piece of musical guitar hardware. We at the shop were really taken with it. My compliments! I’ve never felt a vibrato unit with as nice of action, and amazing consistency of tuning and return. It’s very dynamic, and sounds wonderful.

And it has a super sharp look to it, clean lines. It’s a great look, visually refreshing. I’m a fan.

I’m looking forward to your plans with the unit! I think I’m forever spoiled on what a vibrato is capable of. 

If you ever felt inclined to produce these as an OEM product, licensed or otherwise, I would certainly be curious about your plans. I’m grateful to have gotten to try the guitar. Thank you for investing your time and craft in developing such a musical unit. Cheers!

Zachary Jones (Production Manager @ Rick Turner Guitars)

Thank you, Zack. Thank you, Henry.

Rick Toone’s unique ‘67 tremolo can dive bomb like a Floyd Rose, stay in-tune better than anything else, and keep chords in-tune throughout the wide up and down range. For me, it’s the new standard for radically expressive trem playing. (Henry Kaiser)

VIDEO: Henry Kaiser deep dives the tremolo on his Rick Toone ’67™ guitar. Compressor pedal into the board. DiMarzio pickups designed by Steve Blucher. Tremolo design by Rick Toone. Patented and multiple patents pending. Video by Henry Kaiser.

Reunion

VIDEO: Longstanding friends share a moment onstage. Gabriel Levi sits in with Chris Buono and his cB3 trio. Live at Triumph Brewing Company, Redbank, NJ (11.30.2023). Both lads are playing RICK TOONE ’67 guitars as the fretless awaits her moment backstage.

This week exactly marks one full year of Chris Buono’s residency at Triumph Brewing Company, Redbank, NJ. I am really enjoying watching his metamorphosis up close in real time.

December 6, 2022, we headed into rehearsal together, Chris to focus his band, and me to document the start of something new and potentially great. Nervous tension and excitement in the practice space as Chris prepared to return to live performance after an extended hiatus.

December 8, 2022 was the first Triumph performance.

Fast forward one year. Chris accepted a bi-weekly residency at Triumph Brewing Company, alternating his two lineups plus a rotation of guests. He looks fully at home onstage, and the bands are completely dialed in. He has a massive trove of archived live recordings from the experience.

November 30, 2023 — the plan to fly Gabriel Levi in for a day of video shooting in my studio. He was arriving from ATL to get pre-flighted on the new RICK TOONE ’67 as he steps into tremolo. Unbeknownst to me, the two of them were conspiring.

Recording the Magnets & Wire documentary/album together in November, 2019 sparked a group friendship continuing today and growing deeper over time. Last week was the first in four years Chris and Gabriel met again in person. Their conspiracy succeeded.

Listening on my laptop now, a week later, watching cardinals and blue jays at the feeder outside in the season’s first snow flurries, I’m grateful for the recording of my two friends sharing moments on stage together. Gabriel has become a serious student of the Blues during the last six months, and it shows. His already exceptional touch on the guitar is growing into a new depth of expressive musical emotion. Chris continues his role as master musician and now mentor, as he graciously shared the stage, pivoting his cB3 trio into a supporting role.

More, please.

VIDEO: Minimalist recording — AT4050 mics XY stage center plus iPhone video. Chris channels Jeff Beck while Ben works the B3 as Faye keeps time.