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Hendrix's headstock and string tension...

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by gregulator450, Oct 6, 2020.

  1. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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  2. xtelesquirex

    xtelesquirex Tele-Holic

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    I cant remember which string brand, but they don't work on my reverse-headstock guitar. The windings on the low strings stop before the point where the string goes through the tuner.

    I think there are a lot of beliefs about tone that go out the window when it's in a mix or in a blind test. A difference may be perceptible, but I wouldn't know with any certainty whether the guitar I hear is reverse-headstock or has xx-gauge strings. Like Billy Gibbons - he sounds so massive I'd never guess he plays .007s. Pure nickel vs nickel plate vs flatwound, ceramic vs alnico pickups... I doubt in a blind test I'd pinpoint which of those were which correctly.

    And tube amps: Do they sound different when the tubes are at different temperatures? It seems they sound better as they get hotter.

    All that said, I'm fascinated at the 'guitar mythbusters' out there. Always fun to read about or see these experiments and learn something new.
     
  3. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Friend of Leo's

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    A friend and I have/had a reasonable range of guitars each and home recording studios.

    One day we decided to send each other a recording of each of us playing random guitars. Not with a mind to outright trick each other but just to see if we could identify the guitars being played....

    Without any capability to have a visual reference it was for the most part a no-go. For example Strat, Tele, Jaguar, and LP bridge position were all virtually indistinguishable, especially if the gain or tone was tweaked slightly.

    We were both VERY disappointed.

    But it was a good lesson that its more what you play and the overall sound than the individual guitar, in a lot of cases. One that I still struggle to remind myself of in the midst of recurring GAS!

    Of course, strat quack is hard to get from any other guitar and pretty easy to identify but the rest were really a random guess.

    I'm thinking these days its more about the subtleties of the instrument sitting in the mix and the amp more so than the actual guitar.

    For example, playing Led Zep with a Les Paul works really well live but recording that in the mix works so much better with a Tele.

    Apart from Jimmy Page, who else knew! :)
     
  4. Ess Eff

    Ess Eff Tele-Afflicted

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    Plz STOP IT!

    You are going to ruin the day for all the Tonewood, saddle material, capacitor construction, vintage better, etc.... believers.
    .
     
  5. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    Reverse headstocks dont do well with trems. Nobody went out of tune quite as spectacularly as Hendrix. The plain strings stretch the most. You want the slippery ones doing all the sliding through the nut... As far as tone, nope not buying that the headstock makes a difference in anything other than feel.
     
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  6. Lucius Paisley

    Lucius Paisley Tele-Holic

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    Being left handed, I've played both the right way and the "right" way. To me, standard tuning both ways sounds exactly the same.
     
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  7. ScottTunes

    ScottTunes TDPRI Member

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    I have a reverse headstock on my Strat, and can attest to a slight string tension change, but no tone difference. I find string bending just a smidge easier with the reverse headstock. I don't use the "whammy bar." It's blocked.
     
  8. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm glad someone finally said it!! I've heard so many out-of-tune live Hendrix recordings, which are considered "genius" because it was Hendrix. "Star Spangled Banner" is a perfect example of this.
     
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  9. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    Which Star Spangled Banner are you referring to ? There is more than one .
     
  10. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    THE one.
     
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  11. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes , I also prefer the one on the Rainbow Bridge album. As far as being out of tune , I guess that you are aware the Hendrix typically tuned to Eb , not E . Anyway , like Jimi said " Cowboys are the only ones that stay in tune . "
     
  12. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    I’m the biggest Hendrix fan there is. Some of my favorite performances are rife with either tuning issues, monitor issues (out of key vocals) or sobriety issues. They are still great to listen to though. I wouldn’t change a thing on the star bangles banner. He said it the way he saw it, warts and all. Perfect performance at the perfect time. I cut Hendrix slack I never would anyone else though. Very few tuners, bad PAs everywhere, tour managers working him to death. Here is a great performance from the LA Forum in 69’. Jimi wearing the tremolo out and managing to stay in tune on one of my favorite tunes I Don’t Live Today. Listen to the feedback during the verses. SO COOL and SO HENDRIX!

    Bringing this back to headstocks, I bet given enough time Hendrix might have thrown a lefty neck on one of his strats where he would have discovered how much easier it was to keep in tune. He would have sounded the same.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
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  13. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    Duplicate post.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
  14. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    The feel on the string within the system can change depending on the angle of the 'rigging' at the other side of the nut and saddles. Treat the nut and saddles as the top corners of this box. The drawing to the right shows considerable compression across the top face of the box.


    [​IMG]


    Friction load at the nut and saddles will change and alter the sustain.


    .
     
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  15. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Poster Extraordinaire

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    Why the top corners?
     
  16. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    This makes sense as to why top-wrapping a tune-o-matic tailpiece feels slinkier than stringing it the 'intended' way, if the tailpiece and bridge are set at the same height in both stringing situations.
     
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  17. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Top corners would represent the break angle of the string over the nut or the saddle, assuming the string (or cable in the picture) is the same size and construction.
     
  18. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's what he said, too, but I'm asking why.
     
  19. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    I have a FCS Stratocaster with a Hendrix head stock. There are definite differences between it and my other Strat as a result of the head stock. The most important, to me, is that there is slightly more resistance to bending or a faster increase in tension on the high E string as it is laterally displaced. This helps me when I play some solos. I'm less likely to accidentally pull the high E string off the neck sliding with my pinkie, something I need to do that for 16th note triplets on that string. I don't do a lot of bending on that string so while there is certainly a difference bending, I don't notice it in playing. If I were to order another Fender, I would order a LH neck with a RH nut.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
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  20. Danjabellza

    Danjabellza Friend of Leo's

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    There might be something to the feel/perceived tension thing but... a string of a certain gauge has to be at a certain tension to achieve a certain note. The tension has to be consistent for that string to play that note. If it has less tension, the note flattens, if it has more the note sharpens.
    As for feel/perceived tension, maybe the extra length of string (still under tension) behind the nut does contribute to a little more mobility with bends and such; maybe a little. But it’s just as likely the the visuals of that “extra string length” (which again is still under tension) trick our brain into thinking it’s a little slinkier than before.
     
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