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Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Jett, Dec 16, 2006.

  1. Jett

    Jett Tele-Meister

    Aug 28, 2006
    Marietta, GA
    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.
  2. Tdot

    Tdot Poster Extraordinaire

    I've never seen one, do you have a photo?
  3. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
    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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  5. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Oct 19, 2003
    Albuquerque, USA
    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.

  6. Jett

    Jett Tele-Meister

    Aug 28, 2006
    Marietta, GA
    The plate is about 1/16th brass.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2007
  7. Tom S

    Tom S Friend of Leo's

    Aug 3, 2005
    You could use one of these too:


  8. red57strat

    red57strat Friend of Leo's

    Oct 4, 2003
    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!
  9. tiktok

    tiktok Poster Extraordinaire

    Jan 11, 2005
    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.
  10. chickenpicker

    chickenpicker Friend of Leo's

    Jan 25, 2005
    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!
  11. chickenpicker

    chickenpicker Friend of Leo's

    Jan 25, 2005
    Anyway, tomorrow I shall attach g-clamps to my headstocks to see how long they sustain!
  12. J-man

    J-man Super Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 25, 2004
    North Wales
    Admin Post
    I think I'd rather have less sustain if it meant not having to look at that goofy thing on my headstock.:eek:
  13. Steve McGinnis

    Steve McGinnis Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 17, 2003
    Fort Worth, Texas
    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....
  14. tiktok

    tiktok Poster Extraordinaire

    Jan 11, 2005
    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.
  15. sean79

    sean79 Poster Extraordinaire

    Are those the same things that we call c-clamps here?
  16. byrdbrain

    byrdbrain Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 5, 2006
    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 ...
  17. pullchord

    pullchord Tele-Meister

    Jul 6, 2008
    Fort Lauderdale
    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.
  18. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 31, 2007
    victoria b.c. CANADA
    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. :lol: 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.
  19. BB

    BB Friend of Leo's

    May 17, 2003
    Great Pacific NW
    The clamp like deal was the Fat Finger.
  20. Jett

    Jett Tele-Meister

    Aug 28, 2006
    Marietta, GA
    Here is the original Fathead on a the crook custom neck.

  21. trackerdan

    trackerdan Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    Dec 12, 2003
    N Ca.
    It says theres a gap between the plate and the headstock allowing the plate to vibrate freely.
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