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Flat headstock designs without string retainers

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by CH Design, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. CH Design

    CH Design Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2007
    Ottawa, ON
    Does anyone happen to know how headstock designs like Dingwall, F Bass and Pedulla work? As far as I know, these companies make their headstocks similar to a Fender (flat headstock, no joints), but they don't seem to need string retainers. Is it that they just don't put one on and it works, or is there something a little more clever going?





  2. HaMMerHeD


    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    Could be a deeper cutaway, or shorter tuning posts, or both.
  3. I've never put a retainer on any of the flat headstocks I've made. Haven't had any problems. Didn't plan it this way, it just happened.

    I've bought the retainer just in case I needed it, but none of them have.
  4. CH Design

    CH Design Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2007
    Ottawa, ON
    Could be. They don't look like they are bigger in any pics I have seen, but it could be. Do you happen to know what the cutaway is on a Fender?
  5. HaMMerHeD


    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    Well, looking at that picture of that dingwall, the tuner posts look shorter than regular hipshots to me. Sheldon may have some wisdom here, but I know that Hipshot (et al) do offer their tuners with shorter posts.

    Keep in mind that the difference in height doesn't necessarily need to be all that great. As little as 3/16" of an inch could make the critical difference.
  6. CH Design

    CH Design Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2007
    Ottawa, ON
    Agreed. Those posts definitely look shorter. However, the posts on the Pedulla look much longer.

    I wish I still had mine so I could answer my own question.
  7. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood Banned

    Feb 20, 2012
    Associate to Scomel Basses
    The F Bass definitely is scooped more, meaning the neck blank was thicker to start than the typical Fender allowing for more wood removal and getting the effect of a angled headstock in a flat headstock design. The Pedulla I am pretty sure is angled back.
  8. DiabolicLow B

    DiabolicLow B Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    The Dingwall tuning posts are countersunk into the headstock as well.
  9. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    The Dingwall, though it's not angled, definitely has much more setback than a typical Fender design. The F Bass looks like it does too, though the pictures don't show it well.

    I like the look, personally, although it means having a significant area of "short grain" in a crucial spot.

    Notice how many winds are on the string posts on the Pedulla?
  10. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    I've owned several F basses. Yep--as Blue Blood said above, the entire flat surface of the headstock is well below the plane of the fingerboard, so there's plenty of angle where the strings pass through the nut.

    In the pix, note the deep heel. You can see how thick the neck blank was, before it was carved.
  11. abemo


    Feb 27, 2012
    Arvada, co
    The other thing to notice is that all those headstocks are fairly short (aside from the pedulla). The closer the pegs are to the nut, the sharper the witness point.
  12. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    I think abemo nailed it here, none of those designs have the tuning pegs located nearly as far away from the nut as a fender type design, which increases the breakover angle quite a bit. You only need about 4.5 degrees to stop strings moving in their slots.

    Also, just to echo Blue Blood, that Pedulla is a Rapture, it's got an angled headstock...

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