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Reverse headstocks; are there actual benefits?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by cnltb, Jan 18, 2021.

  1. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    One reads of people, once in a while , who like reverse headstocks, listing benefits this design supposedly has.
    Is there actual science out there that supports such claims?
    I like them because they make tuning that little bit more convenient for me.
    Are they actually 'better' at something?
    Are there downsides?
    If basses that have them feel better, why exactly is that?

    lowendrachel and Ellery like this.
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Actual benefit - reversed inline headstocks do not aggravate my left hand Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (normal ones do). That's enough for me (looks cooler as an extra bonus).
  3. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    I'm curious as to how it's helpful with CTS. My brain is not giving me an answer.
  4. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i have no clue! :)

    i haven't heard any "claims," except yours and bholder 's about the tuning thing, and i get that...makes sense to me to limit extension and to 'reach' more easily. and bholder's "looks cool" POV has merit for those who embrace that aesthetic.

    TBH: i've always assumed that axes that are factory-built with reverse headstocks = looks (to make a statement, protest the commonplace, get attention, etc.).

    i'm looking forward to hearing about any other benefits: i'd like to know before i go and order a half-dozen left-handed, fretless necks! :wideyed:
    madjazzbass and el murdoque like this.
  5. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Having the tuners "on top" in the normal position requires me to put my left wrist in an awkward and pinched position to reach the tuners, so much that actually turning a stubborn tuner has a good chance of causing me a "CTS twinge" rendering my hand useless for a few seconds (almost like hitting the "funny bone" but in the wrist, feels like it vibrates like a tuning fork or a rung bell).
    TL;DR Tuners on top bad.
  6. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    They look cool
  7. WillyWonka

    WillyWonka "zero" fret Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2019
    I like them and they are easier to tune.

    Sometimes I use hybrid model headstocks, half regular half reverse. Very rare... very specialized...

  8. Lagado

    Lagado Inactive

    Jan 6, 2020
    If there was, they would be marketing them like hot cakes. They remind me of '80s metal bands to be honest.
    COYS and JoshS like this.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    I find it less convenient to tune when they are reversed. IME, It's easier to bang them and I find no benefits.
    COYS, Bozzy and geof_ like this.
  10. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    There seem to be some people believing that "a longer string is tighter" is true even beyond the nut.
    I think this is discussed to death and beyond here on TB because of the Fodera Extended B Headstock.
    For people believing in this thesis, a reversed headstock must be pure bliss.
    eddododo and miljoneir like this.
  11. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Come to think of it, I do a lot of restringing across all of my different instruments, and I've taken to always using a winder of some sort (preferably the battery auto-winder if it' handy) to avoid the likelihood of "top tuner wrist twinge" - I think it's not just CTS, but the repetitive stress of turning an upper tuner manually for a whole bunch of turns (like in restringing) definitely risks a twinge. I've taken to holding the instruments upright facing me between my feet and knees and tune with a winder, completely avoids it. I don't pick up the instrument and tune in the normal position until I'm maybe a half turn low, just do the last tweaks that way.
    S-Bigbottom likes this.
  12. Lagado

    Lagado Inactive

    Jan 6, 2020
    If you can convince people to buy multiscale basses, you can convince them to buy anything.
  13. sonic 7

    sonic 7 Supporting Member

    Aug 10, 2011
    Queens, N.Y.C.
    I’m not touching this thread with a 10 foot pole.
  14. Madhouse27


    Sep 19, 2016
    Please leave the occasional left handed neck that shows up on EBay alone. Don’t you righties already have enough stuff?
  15. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    Perhaps, but nothing world-changing.
  16. Dincrest

    Dincrest Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    Advantage: You don't have to twist your arm into an awkward position when tuning

    Disadvantage: I can't simply swap out the E-string tuner with a Hipshot Xtender without a bunch of finagling. And since I need the ability to click in and out of drop-D (sometimes mid-song), the reverse headstock doesn't work for me.
    1960jbass and MegaSwing like this.
  17. BobKos

    BobKos Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2007
    I'm interested in this question too. I found this ad while searching out a Warmoth SS (32") neck.

    Medium 32" Scale P Style Bass, Warmoth, Dimarzio, BadAss | eBay

    The seller's claims about the headstock flip are pretty dramatic and in all his ad seems credible. IMO he built a nice bass and I was pretty close to buying it. That got me to consider RHS on my Warmoth 32" build. I am in the homework stages because I think aesthetics and ergonomics are not for me. I look forward to the knowledgeable replies to this thread.
  18. Because multiscale basses have clear and demonstrable benefits, while reverse headstocks don't? I don't get it.
    Cutter8, miljoneir, ZachM and 7 others like this.
  19. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    I have reversed headtocks on a couple of 5'ers. Reversed here means that it's not a 3 +2, but a 2+3. It's not obvious from this picture, but....doing it this way means the B string tuner is a bit further out from the nut, which means I can use certain string sets without winding any of the fat part of the B string around the post.

    So, sometimes there is a logical reason to reverse a headstock, even if it is a nitpicky one.

    Ellery, Dan_reeves, mdlewis and 3 others like this.
  20. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    From what I've read there is a lot of pseudo-science out there that supports such claims. "Actual" science? Not so much.

    ...which doesn't mean none, nor even that I am a confirmed skeptic; just that I haven't come across any genuine "science" that supports the purported advantages of longer path lengths behind the nut for thicker/lower strings and vice-versa.
    Clemouze 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.

    Mar 3, 2021

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