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Reversed headstock bass design

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lo-freq, May 9, 2004.


  1. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    If lower frequency strings sound better when of a longer length, why don't more basses have tuning keys on the bottom side on a reversed headstock?
     
  2. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Because the length past the nut doesnt matter.

    This has been done to death regarding Fodera's design.

    Peace
    Nick
     
  3. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    Then why have "through-body" stinging or 2+3 headstock designs?
     
  4. Bardolph

    Bardolph

    Jul 28, 2002
    Grand Rapids, MI
    placebo
     
  5. Baofu

    Baofu

    Mar 8, 2003
    WA/CA
    +1
     
  6. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    No, I disagree. I used to feel that way too, but George at F bass has made a believer out of me. And, I actually did study the physics of this. The length of the string above the nut doesn't matter "in a perfect world", but the world isn't theoretically perfect. There's absolutely no doubt in my mind whatsoever, that George's new reversed tuner design does wonders for the B string. In terms of string balance and consistency, it's a very good thing. I'm getting sounds out of my new F bass in the studio that I've never been able to get out of any of the other four F basses I've owned. And, all the other things about this bass are practically identical to the others, except for the placement of the tuners. Empirically speaking, "it works". That's all I need to know. :)
     
  7. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Through body stringing encourages more coupling between the body and string if anything at all, and 3+2 headstocks are shorter than 4+1 or 5 inline thus reducing neck dive.

    Peace
    Nick
     
  8. if of any help, from the Gary Willis site (Ibanez endorser, bassist extraordinaire) "Ask Willis archives" january 2000:

    Hey Willis,
    I just have a question about a statement on your web-site. Under "The Bass", Headstock it says... "Longer string length puts more tension on B & E strings for less buzz," I've heard similar statements before but question how it could be true. If the tension is increased, wouldn't the pitch have to increase also? I understand that a longer string has to be under more tension to be at the same pitch as a shorter string, but the scale length of the string isn't changing here. I would expect that the tension between the bridge and the nut doesn't change at all, regardless of how far it is from bridge to tuner. Now I may be missing something here, but I can't for the life of me figure out what. Maybe you could enlighten me on this one?

    Gary's answer:

    I know it might not seem logical, but once I put spacers between the ends of my strings and the bridge, effectively adding about 3/8 an inch to the overall length of each string. The extra tension moved the neck ( a truss rod adjustment was necessary to straighten it back).
    Here's one way to look at it:
    Say you're playing a G at the12th fret on the G string.
    If the string was only that long and not over twice as long like it normally is, it would require less overall tension to get it up to that pitch.The difference is that the tension is spread throughout the length of the whole string and not just isolated to the part that just vibrates. The unused portion of the string (between the note and the nut) doesn't just go limp when you fret a note. The tension remains whether you play a high note or a low note. hope that makes sense.
     
  9. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    It is not possible for extra non-speaking string length to affect the basic tension of the string.

    It is possible for extra non-speaking string length to affect the feel, but in the opposite way as most people think- if there is extra length out there, and it momentarily slides over the bridge or nut while you pluck, the string feels looser.

    Can it affect tone? Up for debate. If it does, you must first accept that the string moves over the nut or bridge as it vibrates.

    It is extremely possible for the neck materials and construction to affect the feel and the tone. They will not affect the resting tension of the string.

    As to the difference in sound in the two F basses, identical basses have been made out of wood from the same trees, and still sounded different. The only way to actually test a potential difference in tone would be to string the headstock on one bass two different ways and compare.

    As to the thru-body-stringing, last time it came up, approximately equal numbers of people felt it made some difference or no difference in tone.

    This has been done many times before:

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&postid=1209287

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=44591

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=65341

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=45911

    Here's the science:

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&postid=1213584

    http://www.daddario.com/pdffolder/Tension_chart.pdf
     
  10. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    This is just plain wrong, and I am sorry to see Gary saying it.

    The tension is the same throughout a string. But that does not support the other statements.

    If you pressed your finger hard on the G string at the 12th fret, or clamped it there with some device, and then clipped the string at the 11th fret, the pitch would stay the same, the tension would stay the same, the speaking length would stay the same, and the mass per unit length of the string would stay the same.

    It would not magically jump up in pitch, requiring you to lessen the tension to get back to the same note, as Gary's answer would require.
     
  11. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Again, in terms of what is "possible" and "not possible", one must be very careful to separate theoretical truth from what goes on in the real world.

    "Can it affect tone? Up for debate. If it does, you must first accept that the string moves over the nut or bridge as it vibrates."

    The string doesn't move "over" the nut. The string is vibrating. Anyone who's ever done a Physics 101 lab on wave motion will understand how waves propagate through nodes (or "witness points" in the bass vernacular). This is one area where theory and practice definitely agree.

    "As to the difference in sound in the two F basses, identical basses have been made out of wood from the same trees, and still sounded different. The only way to actually test a potential difference in tone would be to string the headstock on one bass two different ways and compare."

    No, the point is that the difference in tone is CONSISTENT in the new basses versus the old basses. Check it out for yourself. Go to your local bass store and play some new ones and some old ones. The difference is obvious and undeniable.

    "As to the thru-body-stringing, last time it came up, approximately equal numbers of people felt it made some difference or no difference in tone."

    If one person hears a difference, it might be debatable. If three people hear it, that's pretty good evidence that it exists. If fifty percent of the people are hearing, that tells me that ON SOME BASSES it might not make all that much of a difference. For whatever reason.

    It sounds like you're trying to convince me that something is "impossible" that I know for a fact from direct personal experience is definitely true. Give it up, you can't win. :)
     
  12. anyone tried a Hamer Chaparral 5?
    they had a 5-inline reversed headstock- Rick Savage of Def Leppard had one.

    what's the B string like?

    another thing to consider- headless 5's.
    what's the B string on those like?
     
  13. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Because it's a different bass. Unless you had a previous one converted, then it's just entirely possible George makes a good bass. Same with Fodera.
     
  14. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    This statement brings up an interesting point for me.

    While not trying to throw my hat in either way on the debate since I don't have enough experience with an extended B headstock, but from people that have owned them or played them, the general consensus seems to be that it works. People can scream about all of the physics they want, but when so many luthiers are employing the 2+3 headstock design, and so many players are happy with the Fodera extended B (look at Mike Pope's thread in the setup forum) it seems to me there must be something to it. I've played two extended B headstocks I think...the B's were good...were they better than a "standard" B? I dunno. It just seems weird to me how quick some are to "shout down" those with real world first hand experience telling them it's all in their head. If that's the case than we have many really stupid luthiers and players on our hands...
     
  15. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    They sell cigarettes by the truckload too.
     
  16. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    People buy hair repair care products too, although hair is dead...
     
  17. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    And I don't know of a single person that thinks they are good for you.
     
  18. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    And I have seen some hair products work pretty well on people as well. Getting OT here.... :)
     
  19. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    What I would like to ask, is how many of you naysayers of a longer B string have first hand experience with them? And I am speaking of not just 2+3 configurations here. Some of the responses I have seen in many of these types of threads get pretty darn rude. I just don't get the animosity. If you don't think it works fine, but why tell others who *own* the stuff what they feel is "wrong."