The Heavier Headstock Myth


I'd like to talk about a very important discovery I made a couple of years ago. It deals with how increasing your guitar's headstock mass can increase your sustain. I'd always regarded this theory as a bit of a myth - until I experienced it first hand!

I was ordering some tools and parts out of the Stewart MacDonald catalog when I came across an interesting item. It was a set of ebony replacement tuner buttons made to replace the standard chrome style ones found on Schaller tuners. I thought they'd look great on my Paul Reed Smith Custom and included them in my order.

When they arrived I was eager to put them on and to say the least, they looked wonderful! However, when I played my guitar I noticed a distinct lack of tone and resonance - almost as if the guitar was water bogged or something. That singing woody sustain was gone - and then I remembered the "Heavier Heastock Myth".

I quickly retrieved my discarded chrome tuner buttons and noticed that just one of them weighed much more than all six of the ebony ones put together. I changed them back right away and presto - my guitar's sound was back!

I recall a product from several years ago called "Fat Head" which was a sheet of bell brass cut out to fit the shape and style of a guitar's headstock, and when installed was said to greatly increase the sustain of your instrument. I now believe it!

So, if anyone out there is interested in increased sustain, I'd strongly suggest finding some way of adding mass to your headstock - it really works!

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