Ever bashed the headstock of your guitar, if you have then you should check out some headless guitars? Once thought of as mere oddities, now they are a thing of beauty.
Headstocks are often taken for granted as a given in guitar design alongside the body and neck. But creative luthiers like Steinberger have been challenging this standard for decades, producing high-quality instruments without heads, and sometimes even without bodies.
Decades into their existence, headless guitars are still fairly uncommon and largely unseen in the mainstream guitar world, giving these futuristic instruments an air of the exotic. Where do they come from and how do they work? Maybe the most glaring question about headless guitar design is where do the tuners go? Do headless guitars even have tuning machines? In fact, the tuners migrate all the way to the opposite end of the guitar, placed behind the bridge. This unconventional but savvy design places all of the hardware in one location. Having everything in one place eliminates the need for a nut, which is a boon for your open notes and intonation in general. 2016 Strandberg Custom Shop Boden 8 There are also several ergonomic benefits to ditching the headstock. Without that extra wood and hardware at the end of the neck, balance of the guitar shifts to the body, alleviating the strain on your strap shoulder. Many headless luthiers, like Strandberg, offer chambered bodies, typically reducing the weight to between 5 and 6 pounds. The headless guitar’s total body length is also much shorter. With the tuners at the base of the bridge, the body has to cut off right there, trimming the inches of extra wood that are typical of, say, a Strat. Some models have horns or other features that extend on either side of the tuners, but the tuning machines themselves are where the heart of the instrument stops. Suddenly, the body of a guitar with a 25.5” scale isn’t much longer than the scale itself. The general consensus is that Ned Steinberger was the first designer to achieve real success with his headless models, which originated when he worked for bass luthier, Stuart Spector. Steinberger himself actually got the gig for his work as a designer and sculptor, not a luthier. This background gave him a perspective outside of traditional guitar shapes and trends.Headless Guitars: Who Makes Them and Why | Reverb
Frameworks Guitars are created by Frank Krocker who hails from southern Germany. His guitars are indeed a thing of beauty and sound truly amazing. Frank has created a range of guitars for a wide range of guitar playing styles. Testament to the quality, build and sound is given by the guitarists who play his instruments around the world.
If you want a Frameworks guitar you will probably have to wait, such is the demand, but they are well worth waiting for!
Find out all about the amazing Frameworks Guitars range.
Hohner Headless Series
Hohner make a large range of electric headless guitars and have been since the 1980s. Well crafted using top components, they are played by thousands of guitarists around the world and their popularity is not waning. Check out these beauties!
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So, hopefully this short article has whetted your appetite and made you think again about headless guitars. If you have tried any of the above or have any strong views we’d love you to tell us what you think on the GMI forum. Link at the top of the page.