Tribotone B326 bullet slide bar

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Developed some four years ago by slide enthusiast and tribotechnology scientist Eric Ebner at the University of Texas in Austin, these plastic coated bars are deservedly finally finding a wider audience. The Tribotone Bar is a development of the Manoloff tone bar of 1937, which professed to reduce the un-musical string noise that the standard steel bars produced. Unfortunately the Manoloff suffered from poor quality construction and a lack of modern plastics technology, so that the surface quickly deteriorated, rendering the bar unplayable after a very short period of time.

Ebner’s research into and use of engineering plastics, has meant that he has been able to develop a steel core bar that would harness the use of high density plastics, making the surface of the bar ultra-hard wearing. He states that the resulting bar benefits from low friction for fast fretting, reduced hiss and grind, offers good note separation and definition and gives an incredible full-bodied tone.

We test drove our medium weight B326 straight out of its neat little plastic case on the upgraded Recording King Lap Steel, putting it through the clean channel of an early Peavey trans-tube Studio 12 – and did it deliver! Apart from being easy to grip and warm to the touch, there was no audible string noise, each note was clean and clear and the tone was to die for. Ebner’s currently working on a bottleneck design – we’ll keep you posted. For more go to www.tribotone.com