Design Idea: chop Dean Split V headstock to a 4+2 headstock cut down. Love V necks, hate V headstock

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by GreenMagicMan, Feb 8, 2019.

  1. GreenMagicMan

    GreenMagicMan TDPRI Member

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    Someone either 'like' this and tell me what a swell idea this or tell me I'm a moron and talk me off the cliff.

    See, here's the problem. I just had to pick up that Made in China Dean Z79 the other day at Guitar Center after extreme dislike for the Gibson Explorer B2 flat blacks I saw in two stores.

    Thru my Dean experience and figuring out my Washburn A20V both have 'V' profile necks and feel oh so right, I think I gotta get an Explorer shaped guitar with a V neck. I really like the Dean Z79, felt just right, and it was light enough to toss around compared to my much thicker and heavier Explorer shaped Gig guitar which I do love.

    So... here's what I did in photo app. Something like this I'm thinking. Get rid of the polarizing and ugly Dean V headstock and turn it into something less hideous.
    I just don't think I will buy a Dean Z guitar with that awful looking factory headstock.
    If it was a lot smaller or something... it's so out of proportion to the guitar I don't know what the design team was thinking.

    It seems practical enough: move one of the tuners up to the top where there's extra wood, and then relocate by cutting out two new holes for the other 2 tuners. I think there would be plenty of wood strength there.

    In fact, I have a chopped down headstock on my Japanese 1965 Telestar RD2V guitar. It came that way as apparently it suffered a fall or something and the extra part of the headstock broke off. The remaining headstock is fairly close to the tuners (a lot closer than what you see here), but it's been just fine and plays fine for the couple months I've had it so far.

    Thoughts? Any Dean V headstock lovers out there? (do they exist?) Any haters on the V headstock?

    Here's pics of the factory headstock, and the working idea I'm thinking about making:


    (PLUS I always loved the 'reverse' headstocks on the Jackson guitars... Did I ever mention I'm an 80s metal kid? ;)
    And yeah, I got bandsaws and shizzz... I can work them woods and finish don't skeer me.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
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  2. John C

    John C Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Never really hated the Dean V headstock - it was just their thing back when I first saw them circa 1980. Do they still make them with the small "shrimp fork" headstock they had in the early 80s? If so you could look for one of them:

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. GreenMagicMan

    GreenMagicMan TDPRI Member

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    I do like the 'shrimp fork' headstock a lot more. It's a nice design.
    I also really like the Dean Dave Mustaine headstock. I've come close to driving to go see and buy a few.
    But I know the Mustaine has a slim 'shredder' style neck profile - the kind I don't like. Also, of note, I also do not like the really sharp cutout of the lower bout on the Mustaine. The original Z is more rounded and thicker just like a Gibson.
    If those older Z guitars have a 'V' neck profile then I'm in!
    I will keep the search going for one of those too.
     
  4. John C

    John C Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    If I'm remembering correctly by the time they switched to the shrimp fork headstock they were doing C-shaped necks instead of V-shaped neck but I could be remembering wrong. Most of the "shrimp fork" headstock Deans I played back in the day were the "Baby" models (downsized bodies) that never had the V-shaped neck like the original "full sized" Deans. I was always a fan of the Cadillac model (and the striped version called the E'lite).
     
  5. GreenMagicMan

    GreenMagicMan TDPRI Member

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  6. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Tele-Holic

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    I like your 4 + 2 idea. Did you mock it up both as downward-pointing and upward-pointing? I'm having trouble visualizing it downward pointing.

    I have a Dean bass sitting around here waiting for me to re-wire it, and it's got a 2 + 2 V headstock on it. It does take some getting used to, as does the "Demonator" quasi-Explorer body shape. But it's actually pretty comfortable to play, sitting or standing...it just looks really metal.
     
  7. GreenMagicMan

    GreenMagicMan TDPRI Member

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    I should be able to mock up the downward facing one pretty quickly. Give me a minute.
    I have always loved the Explorer shape since I was a little kid. It's so comfortable to play. The Dean Z79 is so lightweight and much thinner compared to my 'Gig' MIJ Explorer copy. (The Gibson is also thinner and lighter than mine).
     
  8. GreenMagicMan

    GreenMagicMan TDPRI Member

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    Here's the downward angled headstock mocked up.
    This one I made a 3+3 to see what it looks like.
    The upper closest tuner - if it would stay spaced like that - the original tuner hole would have to be plugged and glued and new one drilled out right next to it.
    Or leave the stock hole, reorient the angle of the tuner in the original hole, but then decide to move up #2 and #3 to keep spacing even.
    You can just see the new tuner pasted right over the old one.
    I figured out a better way in 'GIMP' (my app I'm using aka the poor man's photoshop) to use the software for this.
     
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  9. GreenMagicMan

    GreenMagicMan TDPRI Member

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    Hmmm. I like your thought process here. Although I love reverse upswept headstocks, honestly, on this angular body it looks like the neck broke.
    The downward facing lines look much much better and match the sweeping upper bass bout on the Explorer body.
    I now think this is almost certainly the correct way to go design wise.
    Either a 4+2 or a 3+3 tuner setup downward facing.
    Thanks for your input!
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  10. Doorlord

    Doorlord Tele-Meister

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    I like this one, but maybe more if the point was cut off
     
  11. Texsunburst59

    Texsunburst59 Tele-Afflicted

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    I like the downward facing headstock a lot better that the upward one.

    How about a headless version?

    Just get rid of the headstock altogether.
     
  12. GreenMagicMan

    GreenMagicMan TDPRI Member

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  13. GreenMagicMan

    GreenMagicMan TDPRI Member

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  14. NothingGoatboat

    NothingGoatboat Tele-Meister

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    The one with the tip missing looks like it's, well, missing something. I would go for the one with the full point, so it would match the body shape better.
     
  15. GreenMagicMan

    GreenMagicMan TDPRI Member

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    Maybe the tip nipped does look a little like that - like something was broken off or missing.
     
  16. Peregrino69

    Peregrino69 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I like the downslope with 2+4 best, with the tip. The third tuner above is sort of rushing ahead of the rest of them which makes the shape less fluid. I think the 2+4 follows the body shape a lot better than Dean's original does :) Tip-nipping indeed looks like it's broken.

    The upslope clashes against the body shape. And the original with tip nip is just plain fugly.
     
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  17. GreenMagicMan

    GreenMagicMan TDPRI Member

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    Agree with your points Peregrino69.
    I'm looking for a used Dean Z and hopefully find a good one and can experiment with doing this.
     
  18. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Holic

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    the small dean headstock ore just like the arrow tip headstock like a Gibby flying V
     
  19. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity

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    Maybe I'm asking too much from your luthery skills but why don't you try this?
    Rookie kop 1.jpg
    You saw off the sides of the headstock and fit new wood at the side, that way you can give the headstock a new shape without compromising how much space there is to fit the tuners.
    Rookie kop 2.jpg
    This neck of one of my self made guitars shows to good effect how it works.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  20. Macrogats

    Macrogats Tele-Afflicted

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    This one for me, but I agree with the post below. Round it off slightly to sort of emulate the lower horn.

     
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