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Headstock Bias

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Hop Jam, Feb 27, 2021.


  1. Yes

    380 vote(s)
    85.2%
  2. No

    66 vote(s)
    14.8%
  1. Hop Jam

    Hop Jam

    Feb 16, 2013
    Birmingham, AL
    I have a completely baseless, nonsensical, and unfair bias against the G&L headstock shape. Several other non-Fender or non-2+2 headstock shapes suffer from a similarly superficial encumbrance to a full embrace in my admittedly flawed estimation. I once felt the same way about the Ernie Ball Music Man 3+1 thing but that has slowly evolved through the acceptable and into the desired category because my bias does not seem to hold up to multiple encounters with fine instruments.

    Is this a common neurosis? Yes, yes, I know - we should all be focused only on such pure musical elements as tone and feel, but I find myself after all a bit priggish about these matters.
     
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Hard to say whether the G&L "hook" or the Sire "topknot" are the more neurosis-triggering headstock shapes, both get a lot of (imho, silly) hate. Though there are headstock shapes out there too extreme for me, neither of those is.
     
  3. I voted yes, but it won't be a deal breaker. I like both 4 inline, and 2x2, but preferably small ones.
     
  4. bigdaddybass12

    bigdaddybass12

    Feb 26, 2021
    I am partial to fender or musicman style headstocks.
     
  5. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    The first time I saw my Lull headstock I hated it, but after playing for 2 minutes I realized how stupid that was.
     
  6. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    After tuning up, I don't even think about it. At all.
     
    Tula, TH63, Florinda4 and 7 others like this.
  7. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    I don't buy a bass that doesn't have a 3+3 headstock.
    Headstocks.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
  8. Bassclef46

    Bassclef46

    Feb 1, 2021
    The G&L headstock is strategically designed as a middle finger to fender.
     
    Crusher47, Qlanq, mel-miller and 21 others like this.
  9. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton My P doesn’t have flats or tort Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    There's nothing wrong with having preferences in aesthetics, whether it be headstock shape or finish color. If I am going to buy an instrument, I want to like looking at it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
  10. Picton

    Picton

    Aug 16, 2017
    Reading, MA
    I can see where the OP is coming from. I want a little flair on a headstock. I'm a Fender guy most of the time, and I feel the original narrow Stratocaster headstock is probably one of the top examples of industrial design ever.

    So, naturally, I own not a single Strat. ;)

    I do have a bias for on-a-side headstocks. I love FMIC, Reverend, G&L, and Peavey. For 2x2, I like Rickenbacker's 4001 wave design. For the rest? Gibson, Epi, and Martin guitar headstocks do nothing for me: too boring. Alembic and the Gibson Grabber bass headstocks are puke-inducing to me.

    I guess I prefer an asymmetric headstock, in general.
     
    Swamp_Ronin likes this.
  11. Diminishedfilth

    Diminishedfilth Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2020
    Between 2 brands, with all things being equal, I admit it would matter to me. Like others have said, it’s not a deal breaker.
    In the past, though, I thought the Fender 4+1 headstock was hideous. Years later, my AM Jazz 5 is now my main bass.
    As far as my favorites... among inline headstocks, it would Sadowski. 2+2/3 headstocks would be Spector and Warwick’s Gumby design... most of the others remind me of a graveyard fence post.
     
  12. bolophonic

    bolophonic

    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Some headstocks look good, some do not. I would never buy a bass with a headstock I didn’t like.
     
    Tendril, GlennRH, backin82 and 6 others like this.
  13. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    I Like attractive headstocks, and dislike ugly ones. (Granted - that is subjective) :)
    I also go for extremes - either huge and perhaps garish/outlandish headstocks - or headless basses.


    buzzard.jpg
    custom-peter-cook-lightning-bolt-bass-xl.jpg
    90051_0_wide_ver1556986197.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
    Qlanq, Fishheadjoe, Ellery and 6 others like this.
  14. Not fussed so much about the shape. It's the sideways break angle on the strings, I can't handle. For me, it's got to be a straight line from the saddle to the tuning post.
     
  15. Esteban Garcia

    Esteban Garcia bassist, arranger, aelurophile Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    Portland, OR
    I voted no. Form follows function. Fender style is cheaper to manufacture, but functionally provides a suboptimal string break angle at the nut.

    But I could have voted yes, because I'm conditioned to see the 4 inline fender headstock as the "correct" look for a bass guitar, in spite of its functionally inferior design.

    I'm a man of contradictions. That's where the truth and beauty lie. :thumbsup:
     
  16. Koshchei

    Koshchei

    Mar 17, 2019
    Peterborough, ON
    How could it not? This design is a thing of beauty.
    D054B851-F0B2-48B3-82BB-0DDFFCE93D69.JPG
     
  17. ficelles

    ficelles

    Feb 28, 2010
    Devon, England
    2+2 or 3+2 for me. Never really liked inline although I do own a couple.
     
    obimark likes this.
  18. Herrick

    Herrick

    Jul 21, 2010
    Munchkin Land
    Does headstock shape matter to Herrick? Yes.
     
  19. dalkowski

    dalkowski Supporting Member

    May 20, 2009
    Massachusetts USofA
    I also don't care for the G&L bottle opener, but I'll get over it when I unbelt for a Fallout Tribute.
     
    bassdude51, wmmj and Artman like this.
  20. Headstock shape is pretty low on the scale of shudder-inducing designs. If everything else about the bass works I’m quite forgiving of unappealing headstock shapes. Given two or more closely comparable basses the one(s) with the ugly headstock(s) will give way to the others but one would have to be pretty nasty to eliminate a good bass from consideration.
     
    LBS-bass likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Apr 14, 2021

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