What's that thing called? (back of your headstock)

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by vilk, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    On my Edwards SG, the neck goes flush into the headstock

    On my LTD Viper, there is a little lip. Like right around where I put my thumb when I'm playing some first fret stuff.

    What's that little lip called?

    I think that I don't prefer it. I'd rather not have it, but I guess it doesn't bother me very badly either.
    Here's my question: is it something built purposely as something that guitarists want to have? Like some people want to feel that little lip there when they play? Or is it a biproduct of creating a sturdier neck or something like that?
     
  2. Anquished

    Anquished hhnice!

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    You mean a volute?

    upload_2017-12-4_14-24-44.jpeg

    I thought they were for strength. Someone with more knowledge can weigh in and clarify I'm sure.
     
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  3. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    ^Yes, that is indeed the thing. Or should I say, the volute!
     
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  4. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Technically, it's a volute, but I've heard it called other less-technical names, too, for example "hand stop."

    It's kind of a left-over from the era when a bunch of stuff was borrowed from violin-family instrument designs. Interestingly, though, on a violin/viola/'cello/double bass, the "volute" is the technical term for the "Scroll" at the other end of the headstock or "pegbox", even though violin heads also have a hand stop, which I don't know exactly what they call.
     
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  5. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    The volute is there just to reinforce the neck where it is weakest, right under the nut where the truss rod cavity is.
     
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  6. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, they're supposed to make angled headstocks a lot stronger - particularly non-scarf-jointed necks, where the grain direction makes that joint weaker. The norlin les pauls from the 70s had them for that very reason. Otherwise LPS are notorious for snapping off headstocks.
     

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