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merciful-evans

headless (guitar) chicken

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I recently watched a YT vid on headless guitars.

I have always dismissed these. I think they look odd; even 'wrong' somehow. I thought I was a proponent of guitar innovation, but maybe I've been kidding myself. Headless designs are sensible. There are no  tees, nuts, string binding, tension, break angle etc to consider. Its a simple system that just does away with all of that. I suppose we have just inherited the headstock convention from acoustic design tradition. The more I think of it, 'headless' is more efficient.

I still dont like the look of them, and dont see myself acquiring one anytime soon, but the courage of my convictions has been disturbed. 🤔

 

I cant see anyone else here losing their heads, or am I wrong? Anybody got one? Would you ever consider one? Maybe as a travel guitar?

 

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I'm an aesthete (obviously!) therefore could not possibly even consider owning such an abomination.

Pip.

Edited by pippy
  • Upvote 1

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Just as an aside;

A 'Travel Guitar'?......When I used to be in the Uni Mountaneering Club my clubmates were always bewildered by the fact that I took a screwdriver and my old Strat - with neck unbolted from body - in my rucksack whenever we went away for a weekend just so that I had something to play...

Pip.

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Had a Hohner headless bass for a short while back when.......couldn't get used to it, though many did.  This has slightly prejudiced me TBH.....so -

Consider the strings.  You can't really adapt an ordinary set of strings.

The design may be more 'efficient' but it's not ergonomic as far as your LH (or fretting hand) thumb is concerned IMO.   I don't like guitar hangers anyway but they're out.

And a headstock with string path behind the nut does hold a small amount of harmonic content. especially if straight.

There must be a vid somewhere comparing the physics and sound properties of headstock vs. headless.

=;

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I've never owned or even played one. I really don't think that I ever will because I can't get past the odd look of them. I have zero interest in them.

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I had a  Steinberger licensed Hohner some years ago and found it to be a nice guitar...Very modern sounding with an EMG humbucker at the bridge and two stacked EMG H.B.'s in the neck and middle positions with a push/pull volume for coil splitting. It played well and stayed in tune with mucho dive-bombing and tremolo wanking but, I sold it. Why, you may ask? Well, it didn't do well with any heavier strings than .009's and the double ball end strings are more expensive. Also, my peripheral vision would adjust for the missing headstock and I consistently ended up a whole step high...that wouldn't do at the gig! It eventually got less frequent but...I don't think I'd buy another.

Edited by G Mac

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I remember the Steinbergers.  They were weird, felt weird, didn't interact with you like a guitar.  It was like there was no reason to play it, it was either a toy or it wasn't finished.  Never thought they'd last.

rct

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4 hours ago, pippy said:

I'm an aesthete (obviously!) therefore could not possibly even consider owning such an abomination.

Pip.

I have to agree with Pip.  To me they are plain ugly and I cant get over the capitation of the head.  I've seen concerts enough with guys playing them, The're just not for me. 

Maybe I'm old fashioned but I never touched one and don't plan on it. 

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Buck Dharma and Johnny Winter played headless guitars so they can't be all bad.

Not for me, though, too fugly.

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Allan Holdsworth endorses Carvin (Kiesel) headless guitars. I wouldn't own one, either.

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Good to know some of you have experience.

jdgm & G Mac: I didnt know about double ball end strings. Though again, If it means no more string cutting and sharp ends, not a bad idea in principle.

In the past I have used a Yamaha Silent and a Epi Peewee Les Paul as travel (holiday) guitars. It did occur to do what Pip did (to separate a bolt on), but it looked like a lot of bother. Something like this would likely fit into a hardshell case. 

traveler-ultra-light-electric.jpg

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17 hours ago, pippy said:

I'm an aesthete (obviously!) therefore could not possibly even consider owning such an abomination.

Pip.

I with Pips all the way,,, simply an abomination...  (that's a good word... no??)

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Yes they are are ugly. No, I dont want one.

But I do have 3 ugly guitars, but they all produce a wonderful tone by way of compensation. 

Nothing nearly so ugly as a headless though!

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Actually, I always liked the look of the Steinberger "butterfly" model. Also, as merciful-evans alludes to...these guitars do have a fine and unique sound to them. I mean...Holdsworth!

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