Cars that vaguely resemble what we drive today have been around since the 1920’s. That’s closing in on 100 years. I’d guess that door locks on cars have been around for at least 60 of those years. And you know what? That entire time, nobody has been able to fix the fact that if you pull up on the door handle when somebody hits the unlock button/lever, the door will remain locked. We’ve all had that annoying encounter when a passenger tries to get in too soon and you have to repeatedly unlock. It’s like when somebody is walking straight toward you and neither party knows which way to move to get out of each others way. All these years, we can’t fix the door lock problem.
That leads me to guitars. The electric guitar has existed even longer than the modern-ish automobile and yet so little has changed. We still can’t get an open D chord to play completely in tune, for example. And Bigsby, a company that has made tremolos since the 40’s, can’t make a tailpiece that isn’t prone to squeaking. Despite this, I just got a new Gretsch. It has a Bigsby. I’m sure it will start squeaking eventually. Whatever, it’s not a bad product, just annoying that everybody deals with the squeak.
What’s more annoying, is the strap buttons Gretsch uses. Folks call them “strap locks” but they do not in fact, lock at all. They screw on. So normal use pulls and twists on them, and they come loose. Then your guitar is on the floor.
Here’s what I’m talking about:
And this is what eventually happens:
So $15 later, we switch to something more logical, like actual strap locks that don’t come off on their own by design:
Granted, I got the Korean-made Electromatic model that’s like $750. But, Gretsch sells guitars that sell for upwards of $4,000 that have this same screwy strap button system. It’s completely illogical…