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Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by ebb soul, Apr 30, 2018.
" the ladies' ballarena slipper"
Economical in shape and mass, does its job well, and doesn't have any hidden meaning. It doesn't.
I often wondered why it wasn't enlarged in the CBS years like the Strat was but i guess it would too much like a pregnant weenie dog.
Even CBS couldn't improve mess-up Leo's original headstock design.
The tele headstock is perfect, and beautiful.
Some say it looks like a foot.
It’s not a Tele’s fault the headstock isn’t beautiful like an LP’s.
One of the saving graces of all time is that a strat neck fits a tele body! A 22 fret neck or a custom pickguard and nobody will ever see the corner gap!
I prefer tele headstock even on a strat.
More than a decade ago, I wanted a strat. So I would have said at the time that the Tele headstock looked like some accidental mishap with the CNC machine.
Then I got to play a Strat, and I just couldn't bond with its ergonomics. Now I am so thoroughly a Tele guy that a Strat headstock looks to me like a Tele headstock with a goiter problem.
My Tele doesn't wear socks, ballerina's or otherwise.
Leo designed it, and he really wasn't good with hidden meanings. I suspect it used the least amount of wood, while still being functional, and providing a surface for a small branding sticker. Even smaller after that nasty telegram from Gretsch.
The Strat, on the other hand, has THE most beautiful headstock of all time. Heck, it's one of the most beautiful anythings. And don't say Bigsby designed it. His is butt-ugly.
The strat headstock is, to me, ugly. It is not Leo's design as it is found on many Lute type instruments, early Martins etc. I even saw an Italian Mandolin type player in Italy with an ancient instrument, 5 x 2 courses.
The Tele headstock is sleek, well rounded in appropriate areas and aesthetically pleasing. IMHO if were Leo I would have patented it as THE fender headstock for all models, including bass guitars. I would have made it the visual mark of Fender and not at all copyable ( look how close Tokai have come to it on the Breezysound). That's just one man's opinion.
So it’s basically a girl then...
The tele headstock fits the tele... simple and elegant, aimed at the core musician. Hey, the (regular) esquire had only one pickup.
The strat headstock fits the strat... with its belly cut and forearm countour, an extra horn, an extra pickup and a larger headstock, meant to be more luxurious (more wood), it's more flamboyant.
Both fit their purpose.
I'm a tele guy, and I'll take simplicity over complexity any day of the week, and I must say that it took me a while to get used to a strat headstock on my '72 deluxe. Somehow I always felt embarrassed about it (almost over it now )
Remember the Coca-Cola bottle? Simple, elegant, basically a girl... Perhaps it was not pure functionality that lead Leo Fender to this shape
I used to prefer strat's appearance to Tele's when I was teenager, even disliked tele's.
Now thinks there is nothing better guitar design both in look and in function than Tele and it's to my eyes one of the most beautiful art deco designs. I started to think that way when in my 30s, yeah took that much time to appreciate the beauty of tele. I categorize it into adult oriented thing.
I, too, guess the head stock design was made after Bigsby's world first solid body guitar prototype which was more strat like and originally from the 19th century guitars made by Stauffer who Martin studied under as you all know, but I'm very much impressed with this small change by Leo even though it's also for economic reasons.
Btw, the head stock looks like a knit cap... Fender 12 string guitar's head stock also.
Typo- don't know my response came out in italics.
It’s everything it needs to be and nothing it doesn’t. If it’s true that he chose the shape so that he could get two necks — headstock and all — from a single billet of wood due to post-war shortages, we’ll that economy makes it all the more beautiful.
The Tele is all war-time hyper functionalism like a Jeep or a Quonset hut. The Strat is all jet-age jubilant optimism like a Cady with giant tail fins and glittering chrome or a dramatically sleek, NECO wafer-colored modernist house.
Both guitars are beautiful, but when form follows function rather than fancy, the look tends to age better bearing fewer design conventions of its time.