Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Posts 1 to 50 of 80
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    The revulsion against the Heritage headstock has diminished over the decades, but it is not dead. I can give you the story as told to me by those who created the design.

    These experienced Gibson luthiers could have made any headstock design. They wanted a strong enough angle to secure the string in the nut and allow crisp notes that transmit down the neck. This creates a vulnerability for headstock breaks like a Gibson but is worth it.

    The "snake head" shape of the headstock seemed important to them to prevent the strings from being stuck on the nut when tuning and string bending. The Gibson, Guild and Martin headstocks were designed before bending thinner strings was so popular. They wanted a straighter path from nut to tuner for that reason. A minor benefit to the design was slight weight relief to the headstock.

    Heritage tried several designs prior to production. The four luthiers agreed on the current one due to improved function. That's their story.

    Here are the Gibson and Epiphone.

    Heritage headstock function-epiphone-get-gibson-headstock-shape-jpg

    Martin

    Heritage headstock function-d870aea467fd6d2a4533b2a64d4ccba4-jpg

    Fender

    Heritage headstock function-b60045346c0e7c945588f1bb95e34744-jpg

    PRS

    Heritage headstock function-7882d2627f3216c526d1793de914e359-jpg

    Gibson Pat Martino

    Heritage headstock function-25238ab9-8af6-4bf6-9a6d-a7161903404e-jpg

    Thornton

    Heritage headstock function-image_2926-jpg

    Heritage

    Heritage headstock function-tyueusnqxhkenoffolxs-jpg


    Aesthetics are judged personally and intuitively. Function is another matter. The guitar brands designed from inception to be electric have a straighter string line to the tuner.
    MG

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    I've always loved the Heritage headstock. It's functional and pretty, what more could it possibly be?

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    I love the Heritage headstock. Especially the ones attached to Golden and Super Eagles. It signifies that you get 7/8’s the guitar for 1/2 the price.
    Made by the same folks on the original machines.
    JD

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    In all my years I have never had an issue that I could attribute to headstock design. Been bending on Gibsons for decades without issue. So you can call me shallow but for me personally, it's fashion over psuedo function. And the Heritage design unfortunately is not at all appealing to me at all. Ymmv of course.

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by wengr View Post
    In all my years I have never had an issue that I could attribute to headstock design. Been bending on Gibsons for decades without issue. So you can call me shallow but for me personally, it's fashion over psuedo function. And the Heritage design unfortunately is not at all appealing to me at all. Ymmv of course.
    Well, I'm not going to arm wrestle over that point. I will concede that with a file and nut sauce the Gibson design works okay for me. I'm just reporting the thinking that went into their design.

    Heritage headstock function-firebird-jpg
    MG

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    My only quibble with the Heritage headstock is the way they did the points at the top. If it was shorter (To make room for a one line rather than two line logo), or just a simple curve, I'd have liked it a lot better. But as it is I don't have the visceral reaction many people seem to have. And TBH I am usually looking at their superb sunburst finishes rather than the headstock- Heritage has long done the best 'bursts in the biz.
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    Funny.

    With all the headstocks pictured, and a few un-pictured (Benedetto, Sadowsky...), one and only one is decidedly just plain awkward, clumsy, and arguably ugly.

    One can argue for functionality of the heritage headstock, but it is simply creating a more direct string pull through the nut. This is a very very very good idea.

    And many other headstocks accomplish this.

    Yet only Heritage manages to make it awkward and clumsy.

    Great idea to make Kalamazoo guitars, but awkward and clumsy seems to fit the company in so many ways over so many years.

    In that sense the headstock is a perfect representation.

    Great ideas and some great guitars. But constant miss-steps and a remarkable hubris exhibited as “the” Heritage shows some remarkable disregard for market reaction to their mostly fine guitars.

    The headstock is just fine, and an absolutely perfect reflection of the company overall. It gets the job done, while showing a very mild smug contempt.

    Interesting.

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    Yep ! Funny, when I read "clumsy and ugly" I immediatly thought "Thornton";-)The only problem with Heritage headstock is not being a classic Open book I think.

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Squash all arguments:

    Attached Images Attached Images Heritage headstock function-claasguitars_headless_headpiece_hardware_customshop-3-225x300-jpg 

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky View Post
    Squash all arguments:
    In France it's named a Louis XVI headstock.

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    What? Something unfortunate happened to Louis XVI?

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    From a pure design point of view, it seems that the heritage headstock suffers from the concave figures at the top of the head. They make the sides of the head appear to bow out slightly, even though they are straight.

    I understand the “heritage” behind this headstock. But man, what an unfortunate choice considering the many simple fixes to this.

    But if one loves a given ‘the’ heritage guitar, I am sure one can get past the awkward headstock easily.

    Does it matter really?

    (Maybe yes.)

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    I think the worst headstock design title is reserved for D'Angelico guitars.

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Bezoeker View Post
    What? Something unfortunate happened to Louis XVI?
    Sneezing while shaving I think...

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Bezoeker View Post
    What? Something unfortunate happened to Louis XVI?
    The execution of Louis XVI by means of the guillotine, a major event of the French Revolution, took place on 21 January 1793

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by QAman View Post
    The execution of Louis XVI by means of the guillotine, a major event of the French Revolution, took place on 21 January 1793
    That’s why it is considered revolutionary headstock.

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    Thanks Marty. I always appreciate the backstory to the guitars that we play and love. And, I understand the explicit desire to avoid the worm hole that threads can go down when discussing aesthetics preference of various designs. That dead horse has been beaten thoroughly enough on other threads. I hadn't given it much thought to the practical merits of a straighter path to the tuners, but as someone that frequently uses the peghead for upper strap support I do notice some of my guitars strings lay closer to the headstock just above the nut that others, making it a little more difficult to thread underneath and around. Totally different issue though. Cheers!

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    Unfortunately the old guard at Heritage had no talent for aesthetic design. Not sure if was just lack of talent or just apathy. Hopefully Pete Farmer and the new owners will take more care in this area.It does seem that they understand that also is important when selling guitars.

    I'm sure I'll get flamed for my opinion on this, but I stand 100% by it.

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    if they'd have scalloped the sides it would look better.
    it just doesn't look balanced w/the rest of the guitar either, it's just....there
    no offense to those that own and love them though....
    but the early L-5 is an elegant and functional design

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Bezoeker View Post
    What? Something unfortunate happened to Louis XVI?



    Quote Originally Posted by QAman View Post
    The execution of Louis XVI by means of the guillotine, a major event of the French Revolution, took place on 21 January 1793
    Ah, thanks for clarifying.

    I was afraid it was worse, like he had lost his VHS copy of the “Best of Jerry Lewis” or something.

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    looks fine to me
    Attached Images Attached Images Heritage headstock function-dsc_7742-jpg 

  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    and the rest of them can be pretty nice too
    Attached Images Attached Images Heritage headstock function-dsc_8760-1-jpg 

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    De Gustibus...I think the old D'Angelico headstock is absolutely classic.

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    Personally I wouldn't have chosen that headstock design if I were Heritage, but I'm way past that. Thorntons are very nice. Gibsons win though.

    If I were in the market to get only a headstock, it would be a Gibson. So far I've always needed the entire guitar package.

    My point in this thread is that there was some logic to their design. And it's true, Heritage hasn't been a marketing wizard.
    MG

  26. #25

    User Info Menu

    I have had a Heritage Sweet 16 since somewhere around 1995 and never gave the headstock shape a moment's thought, save that headstock shape mavens made me do. I still never think about it.

  27. #26

    User Info Menu

    Try as I might, I just can't warm up to the Heritage headstock. It's created a bias in me to the point of never playing or considering a Heritage guitar. It's stupid I know, but I just can't help myself.

  28. #27

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by skiboyny View Post
    Try as I might, I just can't warm up to the Heritage headstock. It's created a bias in me to the point of never playing or considering a Heritage guitar. It's stupid I know, but I just can't help myself.
    Yep, that's stupid alright. Even a bound, inlayed headstock like on a golden eagle? I think that's gorgeous. The plain headstock on my 575 is ugly, but the guitar sounds awesome and the sunburst is so good, who cares about the headstock?
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  29. #28

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Yep, that's stupid alright. Even a bound, inlayed headstock like on a golden eagle? I think that's gorgeous. The plain headstock on my 575 is ugly, but the guitar sounds awesome and the sunburst is so good, who cares about the headstock?
    Not stupid, but the replied comment is. Is it really stupid to like one headstock shape over another?
    Why do some Heritage owners get their panties in a bunch if people don't like the headstocks?
    Just a matter of preference, you know, like vanilla and chocolate.
    Carry on....

  30. #29

    User Info Menu

    Heritage headstock function-image-jpeg

    anyone like these old Ibanez head stocks ?
    sorry .... Carry on

  31. #30

    User Info Menu

    Attached Images Attached Images Heritage headstock function-lion-jpg Heritage headstock function-del2-jpeg Heritage headstock function-del1-jpg 

  32. #31

    User Info Menu

    I'm a Bauhaus-influenced form-follows-function, less-is-more guy. I like the "The Heritage" headstock. That said, the only question I ever really ask myself about a guitar is "Can I raise the dough?" so....
    Best regards, k

  33. #32

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Yep, that's stupid alright. Even a bound, inlayed headstock like on a golden eagle? I think that's gorgeous. The plain headstock on my 575 is ugly, but the guitar sounds awesome and the sunburst is so good, who cares about the headstock?
    Seems nearly everyone cares about headstocks. i know I do. No argument that Heritage has made some fine guitars, but the pick guard shapes, many of their tailpieces, and that headstock have kept me from pulling the trigger. You’ve noted that the sunburst is good, so looks do matter. With so many options out there, at all price points, no one should be expected to “settle” on anything that’s going to bug them.
    Last edited by customxke; 10-21-2019 at 11:18 AM.

  34. #33

    User Info Menu

    Another instantly recognizable headstock: Parker.

    Build bridges, not walls.

  35. #34

    User Info Menu

    Original Gibson Moderne: "I'm Gumby, dammit!"

    Build bridges, not walls.

  36. #35

    User Info Menu

    straight line from nut to tuner headstocks were nothing new or ingenius...even cheapo japanese teiscos had it ...in the 60's



    once you work out the string angles, the woodcarving is pure aesthetics..and the heritage cut has always left me dry...artistically..

    but of course to each his own

    cheers

  37. #36

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Yep, that's stupid alright. Even a bound, inlayed headstock like on a golden eagle? I think that's gorgeous. The plain headstock on my 575 is ugly, but the guitar sounds awesome and the sunburst is so good, who cares about the headstock?
    Thats how you should feel. I’m a bit spoiled I’m afraid. I’ve owned lots of guitars all different brands. I just never could warm up to the heritage headstock. I’m totally satisfied with Gibson in all departments so I just don’t feel like I was missing out on anything.

  38. #37

    User Info Menu

    I love my G&L but they get picked on for their headstock, too. I don't mind.

    Build bridges, not walls.

  39. #38

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon View Post
    Not stupid, but the replied comment is. Is it really stupid to like one headstock shape over another?Why do some Heritage owners get their panties in a bunch if people don't like the headstocks?Just a matter of preference, you know, like vanilla and chocolate.Carry on....
    It is stupid, because there's not just one Heritage headstock look.Y'all some guitar owners.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  40. #39

    User Info Menu

    Yeah, I looked.
    They're all the same save for binding and inlay. A pitchfork top w little attention to style and less workmanship.
    But again, just a matter of preference. Doesn't affect the playability or tone of an instrument obviously and apologies to Heritage owners, don't mean to start another fire, just my opinion. That said there's a lot of great players making beautiful music on them, some are dear friends...

  41. #40

    User Info Menu

    First off, a thank you to Dr. Mark for his insights. When it comes to Kalamazoo made guitars, he certainly is a wealth of information about that subject.

    My experience in both guitars and women is this: One man's queen is another man's sweathog.

    I do not see the point of going onto an Internet guitar forum and bashing another guys guitar over something that is purely subjective. It certainly is no way to make friends and influence people is it? I have owned Heritage guitars and the headstock , while not my favorite, suited me just fine. Their pickguard (like the Gibson Tal Farlow pickguard) has sharp edges that I think can be a danger, but that said, I never changed mine.

    OK, carry on with a debate that cannot be won if you must......
    .................................................. .......................................
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass

  42. #41

    User Info Menu

    Standing by my comments but in the end it's just preference. Carry on y'all!

  43. #42

    User Info Menu

    my little boy (9) made a big deal of how cool the top part was on this guitar (i told him what the right word was for the top part) - he was perplexed - then troubled - then cross when I told him that lots of people spend a lot of time talking about how uncool the top part is - the only thing that's interesting that emerges from all this talk about the heritage headstock (it seems to me) is that there is a conflict or clash between two ways we have of thinking about our guitars. on the one hand we think of them as tools and assess them in terms of how well they perform the job we got them to do etc. etc. But on the other hand we think of them as art-objects - as lovely things that have an intrinsic aesthetic (non-practical) value - my big fear as a guitar-nut is that i'd reject the guitar that worked better than all the others if it did not look right to me - I bet I've done this already....

  44. #43

    User Info Menu

    My Super Eagle is a nice looking guitar, headstock and all. I think the Heritage headstock looks best on the full size models.

  45. #44

    User Info Menu

    I alway thought the Heritage headstock shape was selected partly as a way to simplify the cutting and the binding process. The hours saved over lets say a D'Angelico style would be considerable. Less time spent on construction equals lower price.

  46. #45

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by jads57 View Post
    Unfortunately the old guard at Heritage had no talent for aesthetic design. Not sure if was just lack of talent or just apathy. Hopefully Pete Farmer and the new owners will take more care in this area.It does seem that they understand that also is important when selling guitars.
    I'm sure I'll get flamed for my opinion on this, but I stand 100% by it.
    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon View Post
    if they'd have scalloped the sides it would look better.It just doesn't look balanced w/the rest of the guitar either, it's just....there
    no offense to those that own and love them though....
    but the early L-5 is an elegant and functional design
    Agree entirely. Happy to flame you for some of your other opinions. :^)
    Lack of [design] talent AND apathy. And orneryness, for sure.
    I prefer elegant snakehead headstocks on archtop guitars.


    Attached Images Attached Images Heritage headstock function-img_1982-jpg 
    Last edited by Hammertone; 10-21-2019 at 01:30 PM.
    "Somebody get me out of this chair." - BOB WILLS
    Hammertone is a registered Hofnerologist.

  47. #46

    User Info Menu

    "Hear with the eyes" "Form over function" "appearance over substance"

    Hockey stick, snake head, D'Angelico, volute, tail piece style, binding type or lack of it... I have or have had all of the oddball features and never thought about the head or others as a deal breaker.

    The visual issues I have a problem with is jointed necks, or crap wood selections on a higher priced git.
    Regards,

    Gary

  48. #47

    User Info Menu

    I don't like my friend's wife but I would never call her a sweathog! She's quite fetching really but don't covet thy neighbour's wife...the nuns taught me that.

    The guys who break into paroxysms of delight over the "shading" of the bursts, the flame curly figuredness of the maple, the silking of the spruce, the iridescence of the mother of pearl/abalone, the layers of binding are the same ones who turn around all of a sudden, and say, oh yeah, the looks of the Heritage headstock don't matter...

    A hypocrite is a hypocrite is a hypocrite.

  49. #48

    User Info Menu

    To me aesthetics is important. Tone, playiblity and comfort are a top priority of course.
    Maybe some people don't care if their guitar is shaped like a skull or finished sparkling purple and orange or has dragon shaped headstock as long as they like the way it plays. Good for them.
    There are no shortage of guitars that I like the tone and playiblity of. So visual preferences can be a deal breaker for me. I have no reason to own a guitar that doesn't check all the boxes.

    That said I can totally live with the Heritage headstock. But if I never buy a D'Angelico, that will be because of it's headstock

  50. #49

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175 View Post
    That said I can totally live with the Heritage headstock. But if I never buy a D'Angelico, that will be because of it's headstock
    I can live with it on archtops, but on solid body rockers?

    It's like bumping into your granny at a bondage club.

    Build bridges, not walls.

  51. #50

    User Info Menu

    I never was fan of the headstock as such. Heritage could turn out quality guitars and just a little bit more thought and design it could be one of the best. To me it does depend on the guitar and the whole balance of the picture you are looking at. So to me the long headstock on a Super 400 works and looks great same as the D'a. The L5 has a bit smaller one but it looks fine and works with the whole picture. Frankly if Heritage had copied Gibson headstock at least a bit more they would have a complete winner.
    specializing in repair and setup, does your guitar play like it should?