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Beginners/FAQ For you new players out there. Any question is a good one, so ask away.

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Unread 10-27-2011, 04:00 AM   #1
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Whats with all the reverse headstocks?

I have noticed that the majority of modern guitars especially customs, are being made with reverse headstocks and I dont get the reasoning behind it. I find it annoying as %^& to tune. Maybe there is some rational behind it that I am missing?
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Unread 10-27-2011, 04:26 AM   #2
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Looks cool.
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Unread 10-27-2011, 04:27 AM   #3
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It looks cool.

Also, I've heard something like the the reverse inline headstocks usually have a tad little more tension on the bass side because of the longer length of the headstock. Not sure about this one tho, as I think it's bull because it's still the same scale.

Did I say it looks cool?
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Unread 10-27-2011, 04:28 AM   #4
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My tuning is always done at the bridge, so I love'm.
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Unread 10-27-2011, 05:21 AM   #5
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I actually find it more comfortable.
First off, when standing you'd have better access to the tuners that way, with less awkward grip angles.
Second, when setting up or restringing i hold the guitar upright, facing me -
meaning that with a reverse headstock i can wind the tuners with my right hand, not my left.
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Unread 10-27-2011, 05:22 AM   #6
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It's ....ing metal, man.

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Unread 10-27-2011, 05:46 AM   #7
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Are the majority of modern guitars and customs made with reverse headstocks?
Just wondering what you're basing your question off of OP.
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Unread 10-27-2011, 06:08 AM   #8
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Because the people who get customs made with reverse headstocks prefer reverse headstocks over traditional ones.

You do not, and thus would not purchase a factory or custom guitar with a reverse headstock.



Redundant thread is redundant.
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Unread 10-27-2011, 06:59 AM   #9
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It looks ....ing better that's what the deal is.
here's an example:

Schecter A-7 and Avenger, reverse headstock just looks better on some guitars for sure. Also works on Ibanez, ESP, Jackson etc. Even Strats look cooler with reverse headstocks.
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Unread 10-27-2011, 07:04 AM   #10
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My logic tells me it's for better tension on the bass side. Don't quote me, but the way I see it is, if someone is getting a larger scale guitar, it's to get a better and tighter sound on the bass strings. To me, it's the same idea behind a fanned fret guitar. The bass side is longer and the treble side is shorter. I know you're searching for an actual answer to "why", but I think you're going to get only opinions, unless a well experienced luthier chimes in.

Go play two different types and see if you can notice a difference!
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Unread 10-27-2011, 07:10 AM   #11
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^ dunno about that, have guitars with all different headstocks, never really noticed anything different tension wise.
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Unread 10-27-2011, 07:18 AM   #12
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I know that there is a thread from a while ago(I think from before I was a member) where someone explained that a reverse headstock doesn't increase tension on the bass strings in the fretboard area, that's all dependent on the scale length. I believe he did say that a longer distance between the nut and tuners makes it FEEL tighter, though, but there aren't any more pounds of tension on the main length of string.

Another thing about reverse headstocks is that, because there is a longer distance between the nut and tuners on the bass strings, there are more harmonics from those lower strings as they have more room to vibrate over the headstock. It also reduces the amount of harmonics on the treble strings compared to a standard inline headstock. You may think it doesn't make a difference, but if you compare the sounds of the strings with and without the harmonics it's pretty noticeable(try this by putting a scrunchie or foam behind the nut to dampen them), especially when tapping or using heavy distortion a la djent. That's why you'll see many NGDs where there's foam behind the nut or a scrunchie, it makes the sound "better" for metal by reducing the number of unnecessary harmonics that can muddy up distortion or tapping.

Like others have already said, aesthetics also play a big part, a reverse headstock simply "looks more metal" than a standard inline or 3-3/3-4/4-3/4-4 headstock in most peoples eyes. Sometimes it just fits the guitar better as well, such as a reverse headstock on BRJ Jekyll. They just go well with each other, just like an arrow headstock looks better on a V.

Also, like Quitty said, it's better ergonomically to tune a reverse headstock while it's strapped on, as you just have to move your hand down the neck onto the headstock, instead of taking your arm over the headstock and bending it in a strange way.

Personally I prefer a reverse headstock most of the time for aesthetic and ergonomic reasons, though if I were to do get something like a Jazz Box I wouldn't put a reverse(or any inline, for that matter) headstock on it. It'd look weird and would create unnecessary harmonics, which isn't really good for jazz, especially on a hallow body.
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Unread 10-27-2011, 08:29 AM   #13
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While agree that it's looks, I ....in hate reverse headstocks. Not sure why, but I absolutely hate em.
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Unread 10-27-2011, 08:41 AM   #14
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I like them because it looks like the guitar is doing a wheelie!
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Unread 10-27-2011, 09:07 AM   #15
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Surely if the majority of modern guitars had reverse headstocks, they wouldn't be known as reverse headstocks and simply be called headstocks, whereas standard headstocks would be known as reverse headstocks.....

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Unread 10-27-2011, 09:17 AM   #16
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I just like them because I think they just look better.

makes it look a little more balanced and just visually pleasing seeing the tuners on the side with the lower horn
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Unread 10-27-2011, 10:39 AM   #17
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Unread 10-27-2011, 10:42 AM   #18
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also just on a strictly cosmetic point of view, its something that separates your guitar from a ton of other production line models. If you dig the look, just go for it!
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Unread 10-27-2011, 11:28 AM   #19
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The total string length has no effect on tension. That's only affected by scale length, unit weight of the string and the desired pitch.

What is affected by the total string length is the compliance (how much the string stretches for a given force). So, assuming there's no friction over the nut or the saddles, then a longer string will feel less tense. This way, you can run a larger bass string, tighten it to a higher tension, and have it feel then same as a lower tension string with less overall length.

This is all moot, if you have a locking nut.

Ray
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Unread 10-27-2011, 11:42 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AwakenNoMore View Post
It looks ....ing better that's what the deal is.
here's an example:

Schecter A-7 and Avenger, reverse headstock just looks better on some guitars for sure. Also works on Ibanez, ESP, Jackson etc. Even Strats look cooler with reverse headstocks.
for me, a jackson almost HAS to have a reversed headstock. ESP/LTD's look nice with it as well. dont like reverse Ibby's though.

but isnt there also the issue with extra noise from the strings? on the OTHER side of the nut i mean haha. i know that standard headstocks make noise too but the bass side is always louder.

but ive got a rolled up shoelace under there so for me, reverse is no problem! i always keep that .... muted. but not a lot of people do that. they find that the string, foam, paper, etc. up there looks stupid. same with TOM bridges.

most people i know (in real life) dont even put anything back where the trem springs go
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Unread 10-27-2011, 12:17 PM   #21
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personally I prefer a head that is a little more symmetrical:


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Unread 10-27-2011, 01:12 PM   #22
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Same here on the more symmetrical headstocks.
But indeed: as stated before: personal preference is personal preference...
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Unread 10-27-2011, 02:24 PM   #23
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You can argue tension, string gauge, blah blah blah

but it's all about asthetics really, just a preference in looks, that's all it boils down too.

me i like regular non reverse in line 7's like the ibanez headstock, just my preference.

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Unread 10-27-2011, 05:49 PM   #24
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Reverse headstock rules, especially inline ones
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Unread 10-27-2011, 06:00 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sepultorture View Post

me i like regular non reverse in line 7's like the ibanez headstock, just my preference.
+1

Having owned both regular and reverse headstock guitars, I much prefer a regular orientation, both aesthetically and functionally.

I thought it made zero difference tonally.
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