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Fatfinger Headstock Clamp

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by rickbass, Nov 14, 2000.

  1. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Does anyone know if the $40 Fatfinger thing-a-ma-jig, which clamps onto the headstock, supposedly increases sustain, makes basses louder, gives string response more balance, tunes out dead spots, and soothes acid indigestion, is for real ? I have a `70 Fender P with a "Bermuda Triangle" at the second fret on the D, plus, some more sustain would always be nice. If it does perform, couldn't one just go to the hardware store and get a big chunk of brass and achieve the same result ?
  2. SlapDaddy


    Mar 28, 2000
    I don't know, but They could have made them look better.........
  3. virtual.ray


    Oct 25, 2000
    I have one,got it for $20.Don't expect a night and day difference,but it does have a noticeable effect.There are 2 models,1 for guitar and 1 for bass.The bass one is larger.I found that different placements on the headstock yield slightly different results.If your bass is already slightly neck heavy (Warwick) I wouldn't recommend it 'cause it will make that aspect of the instrument slightly worse so it's a trade off.If you have a Fender you can get the Fathead which is the same shape as the Fender headstock and is held in place by the tuners,or you can send them a photocopy of your headstock and they will make you a custom one for mas dinero.
  4. Blux


    Feb 5, 2002
    Philadelphia, Pa.
  5. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    I've had one for some time. Yes, you could get a C-clamp or whatever and get a similar effect, but most substitutes look pretty stupid. The Fat)finger isn't a cure-all, at least in my experience, and I wouldn't pay full price for it. It seems to move the dead spot around and spread it out, rather than getting rid of it completely. It also seems to work differently on different basses; I guess that's because they all vibrate differently.
  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    This is amazing!!! About 1 1/2 yrs. after what I thought was the last post to this thread I started, here it is AGAIN! I'd left it for dead.

    Flat - Since my post starting the thread, I've read some luthier info. info that says exactly what you mention about it moving the dead spot around. No big deal - the selling point is "sustain."

    The latest "Bass Player" has an ad which shows a Fatfinger on the Yammer Billy Sheehan is holding, (not an ad by Fatfinger or the Finger's manufacturer, Groove Tubes). He's posing for the camera, so I don't know if he actually finds it useful or if he just has it on there because he's got an endorsement deal with Groove Tubes.
  7. I suspect that the fatfinger/fathead tries to compensate for lack of rigidity in the neck by using mass to reduce sympathetic vibration.

    I think it's better to have less mass at the headstock and greater rigidity in the neck- lightweight machineheads and graphite reinforcement in the neck.
  8. Locrian


    Jun 6, 2002
    Sheehan uses a fatfinger. He explained why in one of the vids you can see online. His signature bass (yamaha) has a very thin neck and I think he either mentioned sustain or adding mass.

    Sorry I can't remember the link to the video. It's on one of the guitar sites. Also a JPJ video there. I'll try to find it...
  9. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Thanks for that info. Locrian, because I was reading an article by a luthier the other day who mentioned his neck design was relatively large in order to eliminate dead spots. (Not that I think size is the only cause of dead spots).
  10. :confused:
    I watched the video and he says that he had Yamaha make the neck as big as they could- I think it's along the lines of the 50's P basses with the 44mm nut width.

    then again, the neck bending Sheehan does in that video- D-tuned E string down to B:eek: - suggests the neck isn't that rigid......
  11. I know this is a very old thread, but I have a quick question.

    does the fat finger do anything for TONE.

    Strictly TONE? Not sustain, not deadspots, but tone?

  12. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member


    RIP, Rick.:)
  13. Commreman

    Commreman Faith, Family, Fitness, and Frets Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    New Jersey
    Nothing for tone. I've used them in the studio to record, and it does indeed move or disperse the dead spot. It also gives crazy sustain everywhere else, so you need to modify your technique somewhat - more muting, etc. Experiment with different placements on the headstock. BTW, you can pick them up for under twenty bucks now, so it's a pretty good deal. I won't use it in a live application because I don't want to mess with the overall balance of my bass.
  14. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I just bought two Fat Fingers - one for a new fretted Carvin four-string, the other for a new fretless Carvin four...

    The fretless in particular has a nasty dead spot in the usual place - G string, frets 5-7. I'm happy to report that the Fat Finger makes a difference.

    I won't claim the instrument sounds like a graphite-neck Zon or Modulus. But the sustain and resonance are markedly improved - for the first time, I have actual mwah where I used to have only thud.

    Is it pricey? Sure enough. But is it worth it? For me it is...


    P.S. Thus far I seem to get the best results by clamping it right at the end of the headstock - as one might reasonably expect. YMMV...

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