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bernd

 

Posts: 680
Joined: Feb. 15 2004
 

Headstock angle 

By comparing lots of guitar I´ve played over the years and switching between classical & flamenco guitars I think to feel the angle of the headstock takes influence on the string tension. Even some more flat angels on a flamenca let the tension feel weaker to me.

Is my impression right? What angel are used by the guitar makers on this forum? Is there a typical angel or a range that takes influence on other aspects than string tension?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 20 2013 20:28:58
 
Stephen Eden

 

Posts: 894
Joined: Apr. 12 2008
From: UK

RE: Headstock angle (in reply to bernd

Hi bernd,

I was asked this question only a few days ago. The best way to know would be to swap the roller your E and D string are on. That way you are testing with the same guitar also that is a pretty extreme change in angle.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 22 2013 8:47:52
 
krichards

Posts: 597
Joined: Jan. 14 2007
From: York, England

RE: Headstock angle (in reply to bernd

quote:

Is my impression right? What angel are used by the guitar makers on this forum?


I don't think your impression can be correct. If the string is tuned to concert pitch then it has a certain tension, that is the tension you feel in both the left and right hands. Of course, there are many other factors that make up the overall 'feel' of the guitar.

The headstock/tuners are simply a mechanism for changing the tension and hence, the tuning, of the string.

I prefer a fairly shallow angle myself, around 13/14 degrees. But this is a purely aesthetic consideration as far as I am concerned.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 22 2013 10:15:37
 
bernd

 

Posts: 680
Joined: Feb. 15 2004
 

RE: Headstock angle (in reply to krichards

On several photos you can see that flamenco guitar headstock have a bigger angle. Since nearly 20 years I use Hannabach Blue high tension for basses and Savarez Chorum for trebles, scale/nut of 650/52 mm. I have one flamenca with a headstock like a classical guitar and it has clearly a weaker tension like any other flamenca but it´s in the range of other classical guitars.

Now a friend of mine is going to build a negra for me at very special price. Some years ago he made me a blanca with this classical-like headstock. It is the comparing guitar. My dream is still a negra from Anders but without a job I cannot afford it. The next 2 years I´m in a re-education. So I have to pick a much cheaper oppertunity and think about some changes on his construction.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 22 2013 11:18:54
 
Morante

 

Posts: 1774
Joined: Nov. 21 2010
 

RE: Headstock angle (in reply to krichards

Gibson once said that they increased the angle of their electric guitars because it made the sound more "centred". I imagine that they know something, but steel strings and nylon strings are different
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 22 2013 16:22:33
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: Headstock angle (in reply to bernd

My experience with break angles at both ends of the guitar is that enough is enough. And it actually doesnt have to be very much. When you reach that enough point, very little or nothing changes. I build 13 - 14 degrees on pegheads and pegheads have a lot less break angle than guitars with machine tuners.

Stiffness of a guitar (incl. string tension) has IMHO 80% or more to do with how the soundboard and the braces are worked when building the guitar.

If you have a guitar built for you with more than 15 - 16 degrees, be carefull with it. They get very fragile and the head easily snaps of if they fall or someting similar

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 22 2013 17:16:50
 
keith

Posts: 1108
Joined: Sep. 29 2009
From: Land of Daniel Boone

RE: Headstock angle (in reply to Anders Eliasson

and high degree head angles and pegs make fitting into some guitar cases problematic--especailly those abs type cases.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 22 2013 19:38:08
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: Headstock angle (in reply to keith

Thats why I build with the angle that I do. Already there, 80% of the cases that I know dont work

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 23 2013 7:38:07
 
Jeff Highland

 

Posts: 401
Joined: Mar. 5 2010
From: Caves Beach Australia

RE: Headstock angle (in reply to bernd

I'd agree with Anders, enough is enough
High headstock angles just lead to fragility and harder tuning due to strings sticking on the nut.
Gibson 17 degree headstocks are the worst
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 23 2013 19:14:39
 
bernd

 

Posts: 680
Joined: Feb. 15 2004
 

RE: Headstock angle (in reply to bernd

Ok. Thank you all. That´s very convincing.

Merry christmas to all!

Saludos
Bernd

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 23 2013 21:48:28
 
fromano

 

Posts: 4
Joined: Mar. 8 2021
 

RE: Headstock angle (in reply to bernd

Hello,

Very useful information here, although an old thread.

I started working on my first Flamenco guitar based on Tom Blackshear's plans for the Manuel Reyes blanca. The plan called for a 13 degree headstock angle. Then I measured the headstocks of the two flamencos I own, a Vicente Carrillo blanca, and a Felipe Conde negra. Surprisingly both guitars have 19 degree headstock angles.

I was worried 13 Deg in the Reyes plan would not be enough, or not very flamenco for some reason. But apparently not, so I'll stick to that.

Still curious that both Felipe Conde and Vicente Carrillo use a 19 degree headstock. The Carrillo blanca sounds amazing (2002 year), and very much how I picture a Reyes would sound (never had one). The plantilla has the same shape as the Tom Blackshear plans for the Reyes.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 8 2021 2:59:51
 
RobF

Posts: 1116
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Headstock angle (in reply to fromano

I think it could just be an adherence to tradition. My pet theory is the old shops wanted to use the same angle for both peg heads and slotted heads, either to be efficient in making batches of necks, or to default to building the flamenco guitars as peg heads that could then be easily be converted to slotted if the customer desired. But who knows? There really isn’t any need to have such a steep angle for a slotted head.

It wouldn’t be out of the question to email Felipe Conde or his son and ask them. The son speaks English and might be able to tell you why. Do they still do this on their current offerings?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 8 2021 3:40:55
 
ernandez R

Posts: 490
Joined: Mar. 25 2019
From: Alaska USA

RE: Headstock angle (in reply to bernd

Not sure how I came about it but I use 17 degrees for my peg heads.

My goal is to have the guitar to lay flat on her back and have the pegs at the end of the headstock not touch. This way she can lay flat and not damage a peg.

Photo is a 23” parlor I strung up yesterday, same angle.

You use it machine tuners or pegs?

HR



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doesn't have to be fast,
should have some meat on the bones,
can be raw or well done,
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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 8 2021 5:34:07
 
johnguitar

 

Posts: 175
Joined: Jan. 10 2006
 

RE: Headstock angle (in reply to RobF

Hi Rob, nice comment. I totally agree. EVERYTHING A PROFESSIONAL ARTISAN EVER DOES IS DRIVEN BY EFFICIENCY, NARROW PROFIT MARGINS AND QUALITY CONTROL. Especially if said artisan comes from a long tradition of trying to make a living.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 9 2021 21:06:32
 
JasonM

Posts: 1696
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Headstock angle (in reply to fromano

quote:

I started working on my first Flamenco guitar based on Tom Blackshear's plans for the Manuel Reyes blanca. The plan called for a 13 degree headstock angle. Then I measured the headstocks of the two flamencos I own, a Vicente Carrillo blanca, and a Felipe Conde negra. Surprisingly both guitars have 19 degree headstock angles.


I asked this exact question here a little over a year ago. Don’t know where the thread is.

For my second “Reyes” build I went for a little steeper angle. Just because I’m so used to seeing it.

My Sanchis has a very steep angle as do many. And the scarf joints are not good quality, ie not an invisible seem. I’ve seen a few brake, Ricardo’s is one example.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 9 2021 23:28:18
 
mango

Posts: 146
Joined: Apr. 2 2019
 

RE: Headstock angle (in reply to bernd

I know many people think that the headstock angle affects the sound... I don't think so, but it's hard to proof. But another thing for sure... tuners run much smoother with a shallow angle.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 10 2021 22:28:53
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12996
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Headstock angle (in reply to bernd

I guess nobody tried a lute to realize the head angle is meaningless? Action at the bridge is the only thing you can “feel” with a guitar... and string gauge.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 11 2021 13:47:49
 
JasonM

Posts: 1696
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Headstock angle (in reply to Ricardo

How about those Andalusia guitars? The headstock angles are so steep they look like perverted lutes.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 11 2021 14:38:21
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