Interesting peghead design

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by wraub, May 6, 2021.

  1. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    It's always difficult trying to design a peghead that is functional and visually creative without being "too much", but here's one I saw recently and found interesting (it's a guitar, don't freak out :D )...
    Lots of creative ideas here, imo.
    (Baranik B-1)

    The peghead is described as a "headstock design that uses the advantages of a reverse headstock string pull. The increased tension on bass strings and lowered tension on treble strings allows for more defined lower notes and easier to bend upper strings."

    (no affiliation)

    Baranik_B1_006.jpg Baranik_B1_011.jpg Baranik_B1_012.jpg Baranik_B1_005.jpg
    Last edited: May 6, 2021
  2. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Definitely different! Visually pretty striking. The bit about the tension is pure hogwash, of course.
  3. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    Agreed. But I thought hogwash was by nature filled with impurities. :smug:
  4. It is interesting to look at, but inventing false physics to try to justify the design sours it for me.
  5. dwizum


    Dec 21, 2018
    Really cool to look at, for sure. I wonder about how fragile the upper-left portion will be, it seems like the reverse angle combined with all those holes will make for some very crack-able short grain.

    Geez we sound like a bunch of crabby old cynics in here, don't we...
  6. Yeah, those top 3 pegs are definitely structurally questionable -- especially with all that extra string tension! :rollno:

    Speaking for myself: yes.
    Last edited: May 7, 2021
  7. Eddie LeBlanc

    Eddie LeBlanc

    Oct 26, 2014
    Beaumont, Texas
    Don't create no problem, won't be no problem.
    There are some that say tension is effected. That is why Fender did a Hendrix model Strat.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  8. dwizum


    Dec 21, 2018
    I think the reason why Fender did the Hendrix strat is marketing.

    Tension is literally not impacted. It can't be. That's just a fact. If tension was different, the string would play a different note.

    People sometimes mistake the sensation of resistance when you pluck a string as tension. But tension is the wrong word for that.
  9. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) mmm Woody! Supporting Member

    The longer string MAY have preceptible increased elasticity , this assumes that the string nut has low friction.
  10. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Commercial User

    Headstocks are tough. Designing a good headstock is both an esthetic and technical challenge. In some ways, I think that they’re the hardest part to design on a guitar.

    This one is definitely different, which is cool, but that tension claim is 100% BS.
  11. dwizum


    Dec 21, 2018
    I do think that is a more valid point, and maybe I'm being too much of a stickler here. Tension has a specific technical meaning, and it 100% not impacted by headstock design and so on.

    Although, speaking as a lefty who plays guitars strung upside down, and who owns a strat and has played it both ways, I'm not sure I can personally tell the difference in terms of compliance/elasticity/ease-of-bending even if it is there. And I find that to be a perplexing "advantage" to headstock design, at any rate. if you want a string that's easier to bend, why not just go down a gauge?

    I agree 100% with that. It's a real challenge, and lots of the "good" designs have already been taken. It's hard to design a headstock that's functional, good looking, and which also doesn't look like you used tracing paper and an existing commercial design as your starting point.
  12. REV

    REV Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    An interesting design. I'm not sure this would work as well for bass. That mid section seems like a weak point.
  13. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    I’m curious to see what the artist comes up with in a decade or two. Hopefully they don’t feel the need for pseudo-toanhead marketing bs in the future.
    TrustRod, mikewalker and dwizum like this.
  14. RichterScale


    Feb 21, 2021
    Disclaimer: This is my opinion, based on assumption and intuition, not actual research or fact. The question marks are real.

    I always assumed that if you have a longer, thicker wire/string/cable, it would take more force/tension to pull it to a specific pitch/resonance (in the case of an instrument string) than it would take to get a shorter, thinner wire/cable to the same pitch.
    An example would be, it takes X amount of lbs/force to stretch a 30" guitar E string to the point where it resonates at E. It would take a whole bunch more force/tension to pull a 30' guitar E string to get it to resonate at that same pitch. And probably more, as the gauge of the wire increases. Correct?
    So, if that's correct, then reversing the headstock and having more length on the heavier gauge strings, as opposed to the lighter gauge strings would require more force/tension to get the heavier strings to the correct pitch. If this theory is correct, then they are technically correct. However, when talking about negligible differences between gauges and string lengths on something like a guitar, I can't imagine any appreciable difference between any orientation in headstock. So, I can agree that it's probably hogwash.
    As far as the headstock design in the first post, All I see is the tuner posts in a line, just like an upside down headstock, with the last 3 tuners flipped to the other side. And they had to make the headstock a funny shape to accommodate this. I appreciate the idea of trying something different just to break up the monotony of seeing the same things over and over, but it just looks funny and contrived. Like they were trying a little too hard to be different. But all it really is at the end of the day is an upside down headstock.
    TrustRod likes this.
  15. That would all be absolutely correct if the nut weren't there. But it is. Since the nut prevents string from vibrating between the nut and the tuning machine, that extra length cannot be counted in the vibrating length of the string in Mersenne's laws.
  16. HardNHeavy


    Apr 17, 2014
    Milford, PA
    interesting, a friend of mine from my local music shop, parts together guitar's basses and he did something a bit similar just this past week with a fretless p bass.
    Beej and Jeff Siddall like this.
  17. :laugh:
  18. Esteban Garcia

    Esteban Garcia bassist, arranger, aelurophile Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    Portland, OR
    1 lb of tension == 1 lb of tension
    1 watt == 1 watt
    1 db == 1 db
    form follows function
    if a form is based on misapprehension of function
    does it still look cool
    I won't be taking questions at this time
    MattZilla, wraub, mikewalker and 2 others like this.
  19. OregonJim


    Apr 3, 2021
    The OCD in me would be triggered by that low E string where it drifts off the peghead into thin air just below the D tuner.
    dbsfgyd1 likes this.
  20. ardgedee


    May 13, 2018
    Here's where I think the confusion over tension comes in: When the string can slide freely across the nut, bending a string changes the tension along the full length of the string from tuner to bridge anchor. But that tension is changed by taking in (or letting out) a fixed length of string.

    tl;dr: It's not really about tension, it's about leverage. The longer the total affected length of string is (from the bridge anchor to the farthest fixed point, whether that's a sticky nut or the tuner peg) relative to its scale length, the more elastic it will feel simply because you've got more string to stretch, and the more a player has to move the tremolo arm to reach a target pitch on a given string. Read the second footnote for why there is no single best headstock shape for a guitar with a tremolo bridge.

    Long version:

    Assuming a 28" scale (nut to saddle) and the nut clamping the strings: All six strings have, from nut to saddle, a uniform* amount of each string length taken up, and we can calculate ratio of the scale to the total string length once for all strings:
    28"/(28"+[distance from saddle to anchor])

    But if the strings slide freely over the nut, the amount of string taken up is calculated from tuner to anchor, which will be different for each string:
    28"/(28"+[distance from saddle to anchor]+[distance from nut to tuner])

    So, to make the math easier to read, let's assume more values: Distance between the bridge saddle and anchor is 1"; distance between nut and tuner for low E is 4" and for high E is 1.5".

    If the nut clamps the strings, both low E and high E will have the same amount of string taken up between nut and saddle:
    28"/29" = 0.9655172414

    If the nut doesn't clamp the strings, low E and high E will have that 1/8" takeup distributed across different lengths of string:
    low E: 28"/33" = 0.8484848485
    high E: 28"/30.5" = 0.9180327869

    The lower the ratio, the less a given amount of string length taken up affects the playable part of the string length, so basically when the nut doesn't clamp, a string whose tuner is close to the nut will stretch more (and pitch higher or lower) relative to a string whose tuner is far from the nut. This also means that string pitches may change non-uniformly**, which may or may not be a problem but does mean that the headstock configuration can affect the sound when bending chords.

    *(deliberately handwaving minor values like the differences in bridge saddle positions due to intonation or the thickness of a nut. Also ignoring floating bridges where the saddles move with the anchor, since the Garanik doesn't have one, and difference in bridges only make the math annoying rather than affect the conclusions.)
    **(leaving the hugest, most annoying complication for a footnote because I don't really want to deal with it: each individual string's mass and tension will vary, meaning that when tuned to their target frequencies, one string may have to stretch less than another to reach their target bent frequencies, so assuming every guitarist wants a whammy bar that keeps all strings at perfect intervals to each other while bent, each specific guitar setup and string selection is likely to benefit from different headstock shapes)
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