Why dont headstocks need reinforcement such as truss rods?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Layne Matz, May 6, 2019.

  1. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Well-Known Member

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    Ive read that necks without truss rods will bend and warp over time, why doesnt this happen to headstocks?

    They obviously dont have any metal reinforcement, it seems like they would be prone to warping due to the tension and how thin they are. Ive never heard of them warping. Can anyone explain this?
     
  2. PixMix

    PixMix Active Member

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    Even if they would warp, it wouldn't matter as it's behind the nut and it wouldn't cause any issues with playing the instrument. I'm sure Gibson headstocks will move (bend forward) a bit under string tension, but it doesn't matter.
     
  3. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Who says they don't warp. Have you ever closely measured a Gibson style headstock plumbness ?
     
  4. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    OCD is at epidemic levels.
     
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  5. AngelDeVille

    AngelDeVille Well-Known Member

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    They will snap off and neck dive anyway so why bother....
     
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  6. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Well-Known Member

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    I reas that the original Ginson and fender necks would be taken off and replaced becuase if forward bowing or warping. Ive played at least two DOZEN Vintage Fenders and Gibson's at verious music shope around Nahsville and NEVER have i seen a headstock that was visibly warped this doenst seem to make snese to me... Why doenst the whole damn headstock bow forawrds over 30 years of continous tension?

    I think I read that it only took a few years for Rory Gallaghers original Strat neck to bow forwards beucase it did not have a truss rod.
    It just puzzles me how crucial the truss rod is for alighning the neck angle or bow but WHY on earth is the whole headstock strong enough to take all the tension for years but the whole neck would is if it doesnt have truss rod??
     
  7. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Well-Known Member

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    Meant to qoute you in the above post
     
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  8. AngelDeVille

    AngelDeVille Well-Known Member

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  9. AngelDeVille

    AngelDeVille Well-Known Member

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  10. rotorhead

    rotorhead Well-Known Member

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    As to the last part, it's mostly due to the majority of the tension affecting the area furthest from the pegs and saddle- in other words, the middle area of the entire neck. That's the area most affected by the tension created.
     
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  11. Silvertone

    Silvertone Active Member

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    I would say length has a lot to do with it. Also if you take a look at the area at the cross sections through the neck and the head stock. The neck has less area and therefore less strength. Comfortable design may also be at play here. It makes no difference how thick the head stock wood is, other than weight which could affect neck dive. The thickness of a neck however, for some, has a lot to do with a comfortable playing guitar. You can over design the thickness of the head stock and nothing changes.

    Understanding wood also may shed some light. Wood moves. It takes on moisture when it is in a humid environment and loses moisture in a dry environment. This causes the wood to swell and contract. The larger, or longer, a piece of wood is affects the amount of movement. The neck is long and has a truss rod to control the forward bow and back bow, and even some twist in some truss rod designs.

    Cheers Peter.
     
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  12. grinch

    grinch New Member

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    Strings running parallel to the headstock (Gibson) on their way to the nut will compress more than bend. Fender likely shares compression with bending force but still bugger all. Regardless, it's a short piece of long-grain timber with the stresses spread across ~43mm at different lengths. Piece of cake.

    Caveat: There are always exceptions.
     
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  13. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Well-Known Member

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    I'd imagine it's because they're short, and the strings cannot leverage the wood as easily. If you picture the string as the lever and the nut as the fulcrum, there's just not that much distance that can multiply the string's tension to the point where it can warp the headstock.
     
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  14. S.Ustain

    S.Ustain Active Member

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    It's too short a distance from tuning post to nut to cause warping. The length-to-thickness ratio is way, way, way different for a neck... 24.75" vs... 6?
     
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  15. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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    Gibson tryed solutions to reinforce the headstock but customers don' t like ...

    One piece mahogany headstock is very important for sound/sustain.
     
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  16. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Well-Known Member

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    Do you believe scarf joints impact sound/sustain and thus tone?
     
  17. Silvertone

    Silvertone Active Member

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    I think this is a myth. There are lots of scarf joints and laminate necks on very expensive and "toneful" guitars. A lot of classical guitars use scarf joints. Acoustic guitars are a lot more sensitive as far as how the wood and construction affects tone. Even bolt on vs setneck vs neckthrough affects tone in very different ways. I do not think any would be considered bad, just different.

    Cheers Peter.
     
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  18. PixMix

    PixMix Active Member

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  19. PixMix

    PixMix Active Member

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  20. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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    Of course ... :cool:
     

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