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Old December 16th, 2006, 08:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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FATHEAD

I have a Crook Custom that has a FATHEAD brass contoured plated mounted to the rear of the headstock. I purchased this guitar second hand and it is about 10 years old. The person that I purchased it from said that he had taken the guitar to Bill Crook not that long ago, so I called Bill and he said he had seen the guitar. I asked him about the FATHEAD and he said that he used them on many of his guitars back then and really liked what they did for the sound. Basically it adds mass. He said they were no longer made and wished they were still in production. I have never seen one of these before and have not come across any on eBay. Does anyone else have one of these? Just interested.

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Old December 16th, 2006, 08:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've never seen one, do you have a photo?
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Old December 16th, 2006, 08:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I remember bass players using them to get rid of those awful dead spots that bass guitars get.
I've no experience with them on 6 string guitars.
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Old December 16th, 2006, 08:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hmmmmmm........... sounds like something someone could make fairly easily. Just a matter of cutting and drilling a Telecaster headstock shape out of brass plate. Aluminum would probably work also.

Jett ...................... how thick is the one on your Crook Custom?

Here's another device which is suppose to increase sustain by adding mass to the headstock.

..................
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Old December 16th, 2006, 09:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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[ATTACH][ATTACH][/ATTACH][/ATTACH]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tdot
I've never seen one, do you have a photo?
The plate is about 1/16th brass.

Last edited by Jett; January 17th, 2007 at 03:57 PM.
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Old December 16th, 2006, 09:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You could use one of these too:



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Old December 19th, 2006, 01:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwells393
Hmmmmmm........... sounds like something someone could make fairly easily. Just a matter of cutting and drilling a Telecaster headstock shape out of brass plate. Aluminum would probably work also.

Jett ...................... how thick is the one on your Crook Custom?

Here's another device which is suppose to increase sustain by adding mass to the headstock.

..................
I pickup up the bass version of this from the $1 bin at the local GC's Labor Day sale and put it on my Jazz Bass.
What a difference in tone. It was just what my Jazz Bass needed.
It's pretty bulky looking though!
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Old December 19th, 2006, 02:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yeah, the Fathead was much more elegant looking. They used to offer them for all the popular headstock shapes, and would even do them custom if you had something unusual. It did what it was supposed to..helped eliminate deadspots and increase sustain.
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Old December 19th, 2006, 03:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Do you remember the Steinberger "headless" guitars? Apparently, the lack of a sustain-sapping mass at the end of the neck meant they were better than standard guitars. And now you tell me the heads should be made heavier!

Honestly! Those guys in marketing never give up, do they!
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Old December 19th, 2006, 03:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Anyway, tomorrow I shall attach g-clamps to my headstocks to see how long they sustain!
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Old December 19th, 2006, 03:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I think I'd rather have less sustain if it meant not having to look at that goofy thing on my headstock.
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Old December 19th, 2006, 03:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Well, they do something...

Adding mass or taking away mass will definitely change the tone, whether it is "better" is up to the player. I just changed the Grovers on my 335 to Klusons because I like the sound of that guitar with less mass at the headstock. I suspect the difference between Grovers and Klusons is close to what a fathead weighs....
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Old December 19th, 2006, 05:14 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenpicker
Do you remember the Steinberger "headless" guitars? Apparently, the lack of a sustain-sapping mass at the end of the neck meant they were better than standard guitars. And now you tell me the heads should be made heavier!

Honestly! Those guys in marketing never give up, do they!
It works either way--increase the mass, or decrease the length behind the nut/zero fret.

Although now that I think about it, Steinberger discovered that shortening the headstock moved dead spots further up the neck, which isn't an overall increase in sustain. I believe the uniform composition of the composite material (compared to wood) also helped a great deal.
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Old December 19th, 2006, 05:28 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenpicker
Anyway, tomorrow I shall attach g-clamps to my headstocks to see how long they sustain!
Are those the same things that we call c-clamps here?
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Old December 19th, 2006, 05:41 PM   #15 (permalink)
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You know the increase in volume you get when you press the headstock
against a wall? I was thinking of having a wall with me on stage, but
I'm afraid my bandmates would suggest three more walls and a roof ...
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 04:09 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I have a '96 Fender Roadhouse Strat that had a horrible dead Low E problem from the day I bought it. You'd pick the low E and get not much more than a "clunk", like someone had stuffed felt under it. I bought a cheap Fathead (I think it was a Fathead) thing like a "C" clamp, affixed to the headstock, and viola...sustain! This 'dead thing' can either be caused by incorrect PUP height (see "Strat-itus"), or a natural neck resonance frequency too close to that of the low E string's. Every physical object has it's own resonant frequency. Try picking up your axe, place the body against your ear, and gently strike the middle of the neck with the palm of your hand. You'll hear a definite low frequency or vibration. Attaching any kind of mass to the headstock - be it brass plate or "C" clamp - will lower than frequency. Every Strat is different. My mahogany-bodied, '59 necked Strat's low E sustains forever with no correction of any kind.
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 06:20 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I came across the Fathead a few years back. It made sense to me so I made my own scaled down version. This one just gets clamped under the tuners. I haven't used it in years. It's been on a couple of different guitars so that's why there's so many holes in it, to fit various kinds of tuners. You can see it's pretty crudely made.




They also made something called the Fatfinger. My buddy at the music store gave this one to me about a year ago but I don't think I've ever tried it yet. It's chrome plated brass. Same principle as the Fathead. It just clamps onto the headstock.






Overall I would say it's useable idea that can make a difference. Actually I've now become interested in trying it on one of my current guitars.
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 07:37 PM   #18 (permalink)
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The clamp like deal was the Fat Finger.
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 09:17 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Here is the original Fathead on a the crook custom neck.

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Old February 1st, 2012, 07:33 AM   #20 (permalink)
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It says theres a gap between the plate and the headstock allowing the plate to vibrate freely.
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