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  #16  
Old 06-02-2021, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by theEdwinson View Post
Yes, an open headstock is easier to string up than a slot-head; ( ... ) I'm trying to figure out how to post a video that demonstrates how stringing an open headstock is just as quick and easy as with a solid headstock.
I'm sure posting a video on Youtube and then putting the link here is the easiest way to post video.

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Originally Posted by theEdwinson View Post
...
BTW, have you ever seen the headstock on a lute? Talk about a steep angle! That's about 85 degrees, almost a right angle.
I would like to reassure you that after making at least three dozen open headstocks, I have never had, nor heard of any functional problems with them. It is a sound design. And I love making them.
Now that you remind me of lutes... string angle on a slot head or open headstock cannot be a major problem for tuning stability or otherwise
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  #17  
Old 06-03-2021, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark Hatcher View Post
I am one of those luthiers that likes to use open headstocks. They have more room than slot heads to get in there when you are changing strings.



I don't think you needed to say a word after posting this picture - if you don't think that is functional, beautiful art - well, you may want to check your pulse!
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  #18  
Old 06-04-2021, 09:18 AM
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Ergonomic. Hahaha

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  #19  
Old 06-04-2021, 08:46 PM
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I like the way they look, but do not do anything like that because the short grain between the edge of the nut and the cavity looks weak to me. A slot head has the center section to add the required strength. There are work arounds, but I prefer to work within the natural parameters of the medium. Just my take, no diss intended.
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  #20  
Old 06-04-2021, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Bruce Sexauer View Post
There are work arounds, but I prefer to work within the natural parameters of the medium.
Are you thinking of front and back laminates? Or do you have something else in mind? (Asking as a non-expert just looking to learn.)
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  #21  
Old 06-05-2021, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Bruce Sexauer View Post
I like the way they look, but do not do anything like that because the short grain between the edge of the nut and the cavity looks weak to me. A slot head has the center section to add the required strength. There are work arounds, but I prefer to work within the natural parameters of the medium. Just my take, no diss intended.
I appreciate your concern about the strength of this style of headstock. As you say there are work arounds and I would suggest that some of these work arounds would not involve unnatural means.

I think we might agree that the two most common causes of a headstock break would be the guitar falling on it's head and for the more careful guitar owner I would speculate that the most common break is caused by whiplash. I'll speak to whiplash because falling on it's head pretty much breaks any headstock. Whiplash which commonly happens when a guitar is roughly handled while in it's case, say by an airport luggage handler, is affected first by a case that does not properly support the neck and second by the weight of the headstock. The open headstock tends to be lighter, especially if it has lighter weight tuners on it rather than something like full size Gotohs.

Certainly there is nothing unnatural about having a headstock with laminates on both the top and the back which also greatly strengthens it against whiplash.

Of course it is up to you how comfortable you are with this arrangement and that is for you to decide. I'm comfortable with it. I'll start to get uncomfortable when we start seeing all the pictures of broken necked open headstocks.
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  #22  
Old 06-05-2021, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Hatcher View Post
I am one of those luthiers that likes to use open headstocks. They have more room than slot heads to get in there when you are changing strings.

Like slot heads they put the tuner buttons in an ergonomically superior position to see and turn compared to solid headstocks. We all are used to solid headstocks but if you think about it why would you want the easiest strings to break and the hardest strings to tune to be the most fiddly to access?
If those treble string tuner buttons were bolt heads on a car engine they would be described as "*expletive* hard to get to".

Open headstocks are lightweight making it easy to avoid making a neck heavy guitar.

Finally, open headstocks do offer an alternative ascetic that is very contemporary. Since contemporary guitars are in a golden age it's nice to have a headstock style to flaunt it!



When I looked at this picture I realized I forgot to add how nice it is to have such easy access to the torsion rod.
I think that is probably the most beautiful open headstock I have ever seen.
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  #23  
Old 06-05-2021, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Erithon View Post
Are you thinking of front and back laminates? Or do you have something else in mind? (Asking as a non-expert just looking to learn.)
Quotes this 'cuz Mark's is so long . . . Except for my Martin inspired work, all of my first tier work has had front and back head plates for many years. If grain aligned, as most of us do, they do little or nothing to mitigate the issue that my internal engineer observes.

When I mentioned "natural parameters of the medium" I was thinking or bits of carbon fiber diagonally reinforcing the cross grain parts of the open headstock. This could do the job, but the woodworker in my cherishes the aesthetic of wood carved so that its natural structural qualities are in balance, and the visuals are still off for me in such a case.

I repeat that I have nothing against the concept or those builders who choose to implement it. I posted my thoughts because the OP invited them and I do have these thoughts.

I have made a few guitars over the years that flirt with the concept, mostly as an alternative to a truss rod cover:

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Last edited by Bruce Sexauer; 06-05-2021 at 02:22 PM. Reason: add graphics
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  #24  
Old 06-05-2021, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by TomB'sox View Post
I think that is probably the most beautiful open headstock I have ever seen.
Thanks Tom!
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  #25  
Old 06-05-2021, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by fitness1 View Post
if you don't think that is functional, beautiful art - well, you may want to check your pulse!
Eh... I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Or I may truly be a zombie
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  #26  
Old 06-05-2021, 10:51 PM
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Ha!
People have opinions and preferences on headstocks!
Clearly there's many ways to do them.
I was just reminded of a discussion on an electric guitar forum, on inverted ( 6 in line) headstocks. There, I could see four kinds of opinions: 1) I cannot tune if I cannot see the tuners well 2) It is so convenient when you don't have to reach over the neck, to tune 3) they look weird 4) Jimi Hendrix had it.
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  #27  
Old 06-06-2021, 09:51 AM
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A couple years ago I was packing up at one of my senior gigs, and the person in charge was in a big rush. So I foolishly got distracted and did not zip my gig bag as I signed for my money. And then a bunch of people wanted to talk to me. I got even more distracted.…

I put the mono vertigo case on my back, and a set of strings fell out of it on the floor. I thought that's odd, and bent over to pick them up. At that point, my John Kinnaird custom maple guitar fell out of the bag and landed on it's headstock, on a linoleum floor!

I saw it fall about 18 inches and bounce up about a foot, Flip over and land on its top. As one might imagine there was a serious gasp of dismay from the crowd for whom I had just played, and I myself said a few choice bad words…

I figured the Guitar was doomed.

When I inspected it closely, it appeared that it had fallen onto one of the tuner buttons, which fortunately were made of wood. The tuner button shattered, and the shaft was bent, and there was a small chip or two out of the finish on the end of the headstock, but that was the extent of the damage!

I am convinced that this is a result of John's use of carbon fiber reinforcement through the entire neck and all the way up to the top of the headstock. He also uses wood front and back Headstock faceplates and a serious ducktail volute.

When I got home from the gig I replaced the tuner button and shaft, tuned the guitar up and it played just fine! As I like to tell people, even when I have bad luck my luck is still good.

This guitar did not have an open headstock, but I would think that carbon fiber laminate inside one of them would be a good idea, if folks aesthetics can stand it! It certainly worked for me. Thank goodness, and thank you John Kinnaird!

Back to the original question....

Salud

Paul
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Last edited by Guitars44me; 06-06-2021 at 06:56 PM.
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  #28  
Old 06-06-2021, 05:20 PM
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I don’t mean to be a contrarian so let me preface my remarks by saying that that headstock of Mark’s is drop dead gorgeous, and I say that in spite of the fact that open headstocks generally do not appeal to me. Here’s why.
1. I don’t like the fact that the winding posts are angled in such a way that the winding coils are encouraged to migrate to the tip of the shaft.
2. I agree with Bruce that the structural aspects seem to require special treatment to make headstock strong enough to hold up under hard knocks. In my opinion it would be better to build in the strength by allowing the stresses to flow straight down the neck.
3. I’m not sure that it would be that much easier to string up an open headstock than a slotted headstock. It might be but with a little practice stringing slotted headstocks really is easy.
4. I think one of the real advantages of a slotted headstock is that the winding posts are supported on both ends and form the most solid energy transfers of any headstock design. You lose that with an open design.
5. I’m probably just too much of a traditionalist to appreciate this relatively new design element so my opinions ought to be taken with a large dose of salt.
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  #29  
Old 06-06-2021, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomB'sox View Post
I think that is probably the most beautiful open headstock I have ever seen.
Completely agree!
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  #30  
Old 06-07-2021, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j. Kinnaird View Post
1. I don’t like the fact that the winding posts are angled in such a way that the winding coils are encouraged to migrate to the tip of the shaft.
The fix for this is just like the picture - do the over and under type winding and it forces the wraps downward.
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