In 2015, Christopher Ferguson started designing the Tone Magnet sustainer, based on the idea that adding mass to the bridge of an electric guitar would increase sustain and enhance tone. The first prototypes were just different sizes of ferric magnet and Chris got frustrated that he thought he could hear a difference in tone, but he didn’t know how to measure it.
Collaborating with the University of Strathclyde’s Design Manufacture and Engineering Management (DMEM), he found that the tone and sustain was affected by the Tone Magnet sustainer, but the magnet itself seemed to be having a effect on the tone that was at least equal to the weight factor.
Working now on the hypothesis that the magnetic field was more important than he had first realised, Chris asked John Shiell of Strathclyde University to come up with a new, streamlined design that housed powerful neodymium magnets. Now the task was to make a product that sounded great, enhanced tone and increased sustain and would be attractive to guitarists.
Going through a number of different designs, Chris and John settled on the final choice, an art-deco inspired rounded triangle that recalls the shape of a plectrum. From then on, Chris took the lead in prototyping and getting his head around the supply chain. He chose Kickstarter as the best place to launch the product, allowing people all over the world to get their hands on the Tone Magnet sustainer. He brought in the amazing Cutscene Media to make the Kickstarter video and Owen O’Donnell of Mechagamezilla fame designed the Futurist/Deco logo.