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so... if you are putting a lock-nut on a guitar... why would you also have an angled headstock?


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was just thinking about this.  in theory once the lock nut is locked the headstock is really out of the equation.  yes I think both my hamer and my jem have angled headstocks and locking nuts.  I think jackson guitars do this too.  In fact... I'm not sure I know of any guitars with a floyd that don't have an angled headstock.  I'm puzzled.  If you can think of reasons why you might want, or might not want an angled headstock on a locking nut guitar - other than mere cosmetics... please... enlighten me.

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Hah! That's a good question!

My best guess outside the looks is that the angle may help getting the tuning right, thus reducing the need of fine tuning at the other end. Then again, there's headless guitars with a Floyd and that tells that the angle is not crucial.

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3 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

Hah! That's a good question!

My best guess outside the looks is that the angle may help getting the tuning right, thus reducing the need of fine tuning at the other end. Then again, there's headless guitars with a Floyd and that tells that the angle is not crucial.

right on.  I know there were some fender variations with kahlers that did have an issue with the locking nut taking it out of tune... so while that's not really wide spread it could be a factor. 

I guess it just seems to me like it'd be better if the grain didn't run out there since you've often got two bolts running through the neck.  For some reason tho... I think the look of a locking nut w/o an angled headstock is kind of unusual to me all of the sudden.  

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Locking nuts are installed on Fender necks with their standard flat stepdown headstock all the time. There's no back angle going on there.

If you mean, 'why not just have a flat extension to the neck with zero angle or stepdown behind the locknut to mount the tuners on?' , you still need some negative angle behind the nut to aid in tuning once the nut is clamped down. A string retainer bar behind the nut may be required where there isn't enough natural back angle as the strings pass over the clamping faces of the nut, otherwise the strings get pulled sharp as you tighten down the nut.

A headstock with zero angle behind the nut also invites buzzing at the nut and Floyd Rose style locking nuts are no different, whether they're clamped shut or not. If there's not enough downward pressure on the leading face of the nut slots the strings can get sitar-style open string buzz. You'll also notice that the clamping faces on a locking nut are also angled backwards. That's partly to get the strings pointing in the right direction as they head towards the tuners, but it's also to guarantee that there's downforce applied to the leading edges of the nut slots.

 

4 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

so while that's not really wide spread it could be a factor. 

Take the string retainer bar on your Jem off and try tuning it unlocked, then lock the nut down. It's no fun at all trying to guess how much tuning offset you need to dial into a doublelocking tremolo before the nut is locked, only to have to try and compensate for it at the fine tuners because everything has pulled sharp. Ask me how I know :rolleyes:

 

3 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

Then again, there's headless guitars with a Floyd and that tells that the angle is not crucial.

Headless guitars fitted with any kind of nut, string clamp or zero fret still need that downward string pressure at the string landing point to prevent things like buzz. There will be that negative angle, whether it's visible or not.

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23 minutes ago, curtisa said:

Locking nuts are installed on Fender necks with their standard flat stepdown headstock all the time. There's no back angle going on there.

If you mean, 'why not just have a flat extension to the neck with zero angle or stepdown behind the locknut to mount the tuners on?' , you still need some negative angle behind the nut to aid in tuning once the nut is clamped down. A string retainer bar behind the nut may be required where there isn't enough natural back angle as the strings pass over the clamping faces of the nut, otherwise the strings get pulled sharp as you tighten down the nut.

A headstock with zero angle behind the nut also invites buzzing at the nut and Floyd Rose style locking nuts are no different, whether they're clamped shut or not. If there's not enough downward pressure on the leading face of the nut slots the strings can get sitar-style open string buzz. You'll also notice that the clamping faces on a locking nut are also angled backwards. That's partly to get the strings pointing in the right direction as they head towards the tuners, but it's also to guarantee that there's downforce applied to the leading edges of the nut slots.

 

Take the string retainer bar on your Jem off and try tuning it unlocked, then lock the nut down. It's no fun at all trying to guess how much tuning offset you need to dial into a doublelocking tremolo before the nut is locked, only to have to try and compensate for it at the fine tuners because everything has pulled sharp. Ask me how I know :rolleyes:

 

Headless guitars fitted with any kind of nut, string clamp or zero fret still need that downward string pressure at the string landing point to prevent things like buzz. There will be that negative angle, whether it's visible or not.

yes, fender hm strat... that a good call - forgot about that one and it is a fav.

 

"If you mean, 'why not just have a flat extension to the neck with zero angle or stepdown" - well it was more that I was questioning why you would go through the trouble to have an angled headstock... generally more work... when there is seemingly zero benefit.  angled or "flat" (ie fender style) you need a string retainer to give you a sharp angle.  Just seems odd that so many companies would do angled stocks and there doesn't seem to be any real benefit that is obvious to me.

for the record - i didn't mean zero neck angle as in a flat plank... when I say flat headstock I mean fender style ie just a stepdown. 

had not considered that about headless... interesting point.  

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27 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

I was questioning why you would go through the trouble to have an angled headstock... generally more work... when there is seemingly zero benefit. 

Companies like Ibanez, Jackson, PRS etc are already tooled up to do angled headstocks. They don't have to change anything in the way of their production line to transition from non-locking to locking nuts. While there are a few notable deviations from their standard fare (the Ibanez JS has the Fender-esque flat stepback, but what Joe wants Joe gets?), they have their methods already well established in the chain of production.

There are still benefits to an angled headstock over a flat stepback - the headstock can be made from a different piece for strength or contrast, you can do interesting things with the transition between neck and headstock, the neck blank can be shorter etc. The whole scarf cut and glue-up process at that kind of level is largely automated, so the extra work over a Fender-style neck is probably trivial. Adding the necessary cuts to mount a lock nut is nothing more than a different bit of CNC code.

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1 hour ago, curtisa said:

Companies like Ibanez, Jackson, PRS etc are already tooled up to do angled headstocks. They don't have to change anything in the way of their production line to transition from non-locking to locking nuts. While there are a few notable deviations from their standard fare (the Ibanez JS has the Fender-esque flat stepback, but what Joe wants Joe gets?), they have their methods already well established in the chain of production.

There are still benefits to an angled headstock over a flat stepback - the headstock can be made from a different piece for strength or contrast, you can do interesting things with the transition between neck and headstock, the neck blank can be shorter etc. The whole scarf cut and glue-up process at that kind of level is largely automated, so the extra work over a Fender-style neck is probably trivial. Adding the necessary cuts to mount a lock nut is nothing more than a different bit of CNC code.

that is a very good point and it fits (tooled up)... the point I hadn't considered.  good call.  

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7 hours ago, curtisa said:

Headless guitars fitted with any kind of nut, string clamp or zero fret still need that downward string pressure at the string landing point to prevent things like buzz. There will be that negative angle, whether it's visible or not.

Now that you said it it's obvious. A string pulled straight over the edge of the nut doesn't make a good solid contact. Had I designed a locking nut there would most likely have been a ridge in front of the locking block without me having had even thought about it creating an angle.

My previous comment was more about whether the headstock has to be angled or not for a locking nut to work.

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45 minutes ago, Crusader said:

My 2 cents, having an angled headstock gives the player the choice of leaving it unlocked

well technically as long as you have the retainer putting that downward pressure you could leave them unlocked on the strat style neck too... but I take your point.  thank you for the reply. 

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