Poll: Why do You like reverse headstocks
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View poll results: Why do You like reverse headstocks
Yes
9 30%
Sometimes
14 47%
No
7 23%
Voters: 30.
#1
Hey guys,
So Many people find that reverse headstocks are just for looks,but I find different I think it gives a slight tonal quality and gives the lower strings more of a ring and a bit more sustain and keeps the higher strings from ringing out too much, also i think it makes it easier to tune the guitar idk it just feels more natural.
What do you guys think?
#2
It's there solely for looks.

A reverse headstock factually makes absolutely zero tonal difference whatsoever. Regardless of what headstock design the guitar has, mathematically the tension of the strings needs to always be the same for a given gauge, tuning and scale length. Even if the headstock did somehow increase the tension of the strings, all that would do is cause the guitar's tuning to also rise. Thus lowering the tuning back down to perfect pitch again would completely negate the effect.
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#3
Sometimes I like them for aesthetic reasons but that's the only reason why. I don't like them as much as I did in high school though, kind of impractical from a tuning on a 6-on-a-side headstock when you are used to it being with the tuners facing up all the time.
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#4
If you have a locking nut clamped it will feel one way. Regular 6 one way. 3+3 another. And reverse 6 another way. All subtle differences. The actual tension on the strings is the same, but the feel is different when bending.

All locking nuts clamped will feel the same, like a "headless". Essentially nothing behind the nut, everything equal.

Reverse 6 has Longer length on the bottom 3 strings makes them bend easier, and the top 3 have more resistance.

Straight 6 has shorter length for bottom 3, harder to bend. Top 3 easier to bend.

3+3 is short on both e strings, harder to bend. A and B slightly easier. D and G easiest to bend.
#5
Quote by fishingnickrules
Hey guys,
So Many people find that reverse headstocks are just for looks,but I find different I think it gives a slight tonal quality and gives the lower strings more of a ring and a bit more sustain and keeps the higher strings from ringing out too much, also i think it makes it easier to tune the guitar idk it just feels more natural.
What do you guys think?


No.
#6
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
It's there solely for looks.

A reverse headstock factually makes absolutely zero tonal difference whatsoever. Regardless of what headstock design the guitar has, mathematically the tension of the strings needs to always be the same for a given gauge, tuning and scale length. Even if the headstock did somehow increase the tension of the strings, all that would do is cause the guitar's tuning to also rise. Thus lowering the tuning back down to perfect pitch again would completely negate the effect.


I really don't hear a tonal difference. There may be a difference in bending, however, since you have a longer piece of string involved in the stretching process with some strings than with others, but I haven't really noticed much. I generally avoid reverse headstocks (they seem pointless, other than as a contrarian choice) if only for the sake of continuity.

I'm coming around to the notion that headless guitars make the most sense.
#7
It all depends on the body shape of the guitar as well as the shape of the headstock. I have rev. headstocks on my Jackson Dinkys and to me they look killer, I may be biased as I am a metalhead that grew up in the 80's. I also have one on my Ibanez Xiphos and it looks OK but for me the Ibby headstocks don't look as good reversed.

There are some headstock/body combinations that I don't like reverse heads on like V shapes. Personally I don't notice any tonal difference and do not find tuning them to be a challenge either.
"A well-wound coil is a well-wound coil regardless if it's wound with professional equipment, or if somebody's great-grandmother winds it to an old French recipe with Napoleon's modified coffee grinder and chops off the wire after a mile with an antique guillotine!"
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#8
Quote by dspellman


I'm coming around to the notion that headless guitars make the most sense.


"A well-wound coil is a well-wound coil regardless if it's wound with professional equipment, or if somebody's great-grandmother winds it to an old French recipe with Napoleon's modified coffee grinder and chops off the wire after a mile with an antique guillotine!"
- Bill Lawrence

Come and be with me
Live my twisted dream
Pro devoted pledge
Time for primal concrete sledge

#9
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
It's there solely for looks.

A reverse headstock factually makes absolutely zero tonal difference whatsoever. Regardless of what headstock design the guitar has, mathematically the tension of the strings needs to always be the same for a given gauge, tuning and scale length. Even if the headstock did somehow increase the tension of the strings, all that would do is cause the guitar's tuning to also rise. Thus lowering the tuning back down to perfect pitch again would completely negate the effect.


I could be totally wrong here, but things like the amount of string behind the bridge etc. are said to affect how tight the strings feel to bend, and I think the reverse headstock thing might be similar. You're quite right in that the strings will be at a certain tension for a given tuning or else they wouldn't be at that tuning, but I don't think that's the only thing that affects it- this is more the resistance to bending, I think.

But as I said, I could well be wrong.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#10
I've had guitars with reverse headstocks and can't say it made one bit of difference in terms of feel etc. above the nut string bends are easier for the low strings but that's about it. I'm sure if there was even the tiniest difference that could be marketed then you'd have guitar makers bragging about their "improved" reverse headstocks. have yet to see that so gotta go with no difference.
#11
^ well, some of them do. but the thing is (if it's true, which is a big if) it's kind of a double-edged sword- it makes the low strings easier to bend but the high strings harder, so you're losing while you're gaining. It always struck me as slightly pointless because I'm not sure why I'd want the low strings to be easier to bend (they're already easy to bend, almost to a fault) but the high strings harder (I'd want the high strings easier to bend, given the choice).
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#12
Quote by Dave_Mc
^ well, some of them do. but the thing is (if it's true, which is a big if) it's kind of a double-edged sword- it makes the low strings easier to bend but the high strings harder, so you're losing while you're gaining. It always struck me as slightly pointless because I'm not sure why I'd want the low strings to be easier to bend (they're already easy to bend, almost to a fault) but the high strings harder (I'd want the high strings easier to bend, given the choice).


never seen any advertising claiming there was a difference. who is claiming that? when you think about it if this was true then people would have issues bending when using a guitar with a locking nut, I played them for years and with no issue.
#13
I find them useful for tuning - less movement of the arm, as all tuners are on the side facing the ground. A small thing, for sure, but it's much more comfortable, and makes very fast tuning changes slightly more manageable, especially if done live (or worse in the middle of a song)

The low strings are indeed easier to bend, and so it's worth making a custom set if you are REALLY set on a guitar with a reversed headstock. I've found it useful for stuff with behind the nut bends, as others have noted.
#14
Quote by guitarkid8
If you have a locking nut clamped it will feel one way. Regular 6 one way. 3+3 another. And reverse 6 another way. All subtle differences. The actual tension on the strings is the same, but the feel is different when bending.

All locking nuts clamped will feel the same, like a "headless". Essentially nothing behind the nut, everything equal.

Reverse 6 has Longer length on the bottom 3 strings makes them bend easier, and the top 3 have more resistance.

Straight 6 has shorter length for bottom 3, harder to bend. Top 3 easier to bend.

3+3 is short on both e strings, harder to bend. A and B slightly easier. D and G easiest to bend.


WTF? Not true, the lenght of the string behind the nut does not affect the tension of a string. It will feel the same while bending, no matter what kind of headstock it is.
#16
I personally believe that the only substantial difference between reverse and normal head stocks is tuning. There are some minor differences tonally I guess, but I think the main difference is which side of the headstock you are more comfortable with turning the tuning keys on.
#17
Whatever minute tonal or string tension differences there may be are purely coincidental reverse headstocks are cosmetic and a product of the 80s metal scene when high performance superstrats were at their zenith as well as a nod to Hendrix, their design I wlll argue was purely for cosmetic reasons anything else is just a byproduct.
"A well-wound coil is a well-wound coil regardless if it's wound with professional equipment, or if somebody's great-grandmother winds it to an old French recipe with Napoleon's modified coffee grinder and chops off the wire after a mile with an antique guillotine!"
- Bill Lawrence

Come and be with me
Live my twisted dream
Pro devoted pledge
Time for primal concrete sledge

Last edited by Evilnine at Nov 3, 2016,
#18
With a proper "normal" nut, I believe you might feel a slight difference if you do a lot of bending or vibrato on the bottom 3. The Floyd nut isn't designed to slide, and thus didn't really give me anything.

If you're having a hard time thinking about it, I would best equate it to slack. Both at the same tension, doing a full step bend to reach again the same tension, the string with the longer length behind the nut will have to travel a fractionally longer distance to get there.

As far as feel, would have to be less than a 42 vs 46 in e standard. Maybe 1/4 of that. I've played 9-42 in C standard and 12-56 in e standard, so I'm not very picky. I would not consider it to be a make or break decision when buying, just an idea. The tuning and aesthetics are the real differences, but the people who like theory can factor that in.

And no, I'm not just regurgitating information. I just sat down and did this with my own guitars.
#19
Quote by monwobobbo
never seen any advertising claiming there was a difference. who is claiming that? when you think about it if this was true then people would have issues bending when using a guitar with a locking nut, I played them for years and with no issue.


i'm sure i've seen companies with reverse headtock models claiming that, but they're probably discontinued models so i can't really check to be sure i'm not imagining it
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#20
I think there is a tiny difference in feel caused by having a longer or shorter length of string between the nut and tuners or the bridge and the tailpiece/tremolo system, but nothing so significant that you'd really notice it unless you were specifically looking for it and doing direct comparisons.
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#24
Tonally, I don't think it does anything, but there are some guitars with reverse headstock that look great.
I have a LTD M1000 that I live, Jackson's old Vs and soloists look great with reverse headstock, even a Tele looks better to me with reverse headstock. Some other designs look just silly.
On a guitar with locking trem, the reverse headstock has 0 impact on tone. Maybe on some Wilkinson and neck thru it could, but it is probably very minimal.