Thursday, 16 February 2012
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Dear Sheldon, I had a Steinberger, and I current have a 6 strings headless fretless (so many "less") bass. But my love has always been the EX-FACTOR (loved Stu Hamm on Moonlight Sonata...). Now the problem was (and IS) that I cannot live with no B and C strings, and there is just a prototype of ex-factor 5 strings headless. I like the concept (patented) of the bridge with real drums instad of clips to hold the string ball: actually in every headless bridge (ABM, ETS) you have to press the end of the string with a screw (if no double ball), and this ruins the strings. The EX-FACTOR, on the other hand, clips the strings on the headstock and has real drums on the bridge. Lovely. But it was not copied, just LOGABASS by SANOX adopted that concept. And now my suggestion my "would it be beautiful if": As You created a bass which is actuially a step forward (Zs, I am actually waiting my Z2 6 strings with luminescent DOTS!), and reinterpreted J and P bass through Your SUPAH version combining knowledge and tradition... [color=#008000:28kocgtj][b:28kocgtj]What about a SUPAH-FACTOR? [/b:28kocgtj][/color:28kocgtj]Phil Kubicki is a genius in my opinion, and You in particular share with him a kind of engineering approach to the instruments. You may be the only one able to evolve the project, and continue the legacy... I dream of a Dingwall SUPAH-FACTOR 6 strings, with cool device to lower the 37"B to a ??????? A the same way the ex-factor lowers from E to D. Well, while waiting for my Z2 to take form and voice, I want just to share with You my childish "vision" of the SUPAH-FACTOR. And How about all the Dingwall users around the world?
10 years ago
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#23017
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With Torzal Twist! Nerdgasm
10 years ago
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#23019
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I've always been in awe of Phil's designs. To me they are timeless. Considering what was available at the time they were introduced, it's mind boggling how advanced the Factor's were. We have a full plate of our own designs to develop, but this is an interesting idea.
10 years ago
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#23023
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:P Dear Sheldon, thank You for the answer. As I am very passionate in liuthery, I follw lots of evolutions of tour beloved bass guitar. Actually not all the evolutions have been succesful: graphite necks were welcomed first but than considered a bit on the sterile / plastic-sound side, headless systems (which I really like) were intrroduced but did not experience an evolution. Now Phoncible brought to the attention the Torzal Twist... Not all the evolutions survive, because lots of them are tentative and do not bring advantages. Phil's ones, and Yours obviously (as I WILL be in the next very welcome future a Z2 porcupine-happy user...) are truly funtional and winning. I am happy to hear from You that You (and the Team I guess) are working on new concepts and new basses. With the Suopr J You hit the spot with the arrow, but with the Super-P You made the Robin Hood trick and splitted Your previuos one! Compliments! I am looking forward to hearing some official rumors on next targets. Alberto
10 years ago
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#23031
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[quote="Sheldon Dingwall":26yf0yf6]I've always been in awe of Phil's designs. To me they are timeless. Considering what was available at the time they were introduced, it's mind boggling how advanced the Factor's were. We have a full plate of our own designs to develop, but this is an interesting idea.[/quote:26yf0yf6] Sheldon if ever you need to borrow mine as template guinee pig I am happy to lend it to you for the cause [img:26yf0yf6]http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r200/xt660/e3e92982.jpg[/img:26yf0yf6]
10 years ago
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#23032
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[quote="Grand Wazoo":1mipl2qo][quote="Sheldon Dingwall":1mipl2qo]I've always been in awe of Phil's designs. To me they are timeless. Considering what was available at the time they were introduced, it's mind boggling how advanced the Factor's were. We have a full plate of our own designs to develop, but this is an interesting idea.[/quote:1mipl2qo] Sheldon if ever you need to borrow mine as template guinee pig I am happy to lend it to you for the cause [img:1mipl2qo]http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r200/xt660/e3e92982.jpg[/img:1mipl2qo][/quote:1mipl2qo] I see through your nefarious scheme Grand Wazoo, Sheldon has professed a weakness to wanting to own one of these......I smell a trade in the offering...... :D
10 years ago
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#23052
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Way back when (yikes I feel old), Sheldon built me a Kubicki styled guitar with a Steinberger Trans Trem. That guitar is still one of my main guitars. I still love the shape and the balance of the guitar is great. While guitar has a headstock, it doesn't have any tuners. All the tuning is accomplished at the bridge with the Trans Trem, so in essence it is a "headless" guitar. I love the headless concept for both guitar and bass, but there is still a lack of good headless hardware out there, especially hardware that lends itself to fanned frets. [img:169udj3m]http://i1152.photobucket.com/albums/p487/brownid/KubickiGuitar.jpg[/img:169udj3m]
10 years ago
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#23054
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I forgot about that guitar. I love it too. If you ever decide to sell it - call me first ;)
10 years ago
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#23056
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That's such a cool guitar, Sheldon. The QTuners look wicked. Have you thought about reintroducing it? Does it have a model name?
10 years ago
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#23057
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That was a one-off custom for Kevin.
10 years ago
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#23058
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Would the headless concept not make for a very unballanced guitar? The head would be lighter and the body would be longer and have more weight with the components. This just doesn't seem practical to me. Even the smallest of conveniences, like while tuning a traditional built guitar, you pluck the string with your plucking hand and tune at the headstock with you fingering hand. On stage when you're pressed for time between songs I'd ike to be able to check my tuning within a couple of seconds.
10 years ago
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#23060
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Some people would argue that a headED concept makes for a very unbalanced guitar. Look at traditional basses and how poorly they balance; look at Dingwalls and how much effort has gone into making them balance. By removing the headstock you shift the balance point towards the body; all of a sudden, heavy woods in necks aren't that much of a problem, while heavy woods in the body increase the weight of the overall instrument and balance not so much. As for tuning, pluck with your right hand thumb and reach for the knob immediatelly. You'd probably reach it before the string's vibrations stabilize to a pitch. Some people do have a problem with headless instruments being rotated around your body more easily. It feels wierd, supposedly, as the bass responds "more easily" to the pressure from your left hand. That's understandable, if you come from a traditional bass where you may have learned to push the neck "forward" with your left hand or something like that. Though, on an ideal instrument and with ideal technique, you'd never notice this. Also some people complain about their hands flying off the neck when they go for the lower frets; not only do I find this silly (how could you play at the second position on a headed then, does your hand fly until you reach the headstock and then you return it to the fret you want? You go directly where you want to, period) but also that can be fixed by designing a headstock heel resemblant of the one on headed basses. And there's also looks. I like the headed look, and would prefer a headstock with a minimal but nice looking headstock, just without the heavy hardware.
10 years ago
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#23064
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I've owned 3 headless basses through the years. They look so cool, but I could never get used to not having a headstock. It just didn't feel right. I felt like my left hand wanted to fall off the end when grabbing low notes.
10 years ago
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#23065
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Sheldon are deadspots reduced on headless basses?
10 years ago
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#23066
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[quote="Funkshwey":1rgxovfc]Sheldon are deadspots reduced on headless basses?[/quote:1rgxovfc] what dead spots, wait... on a Dingwall bass?
10 years ago
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#23084
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All those arguments against mine, and I would still never even waste the time to consider buying one. They look like they're broken.
10 years ago
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#23088
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That guitar has some miles on it. It's seen multiple pickup changes, is on its third Steinberger trem & has had too many "refreshments" spilt on it to count. Heck it even survived a forest fire back in 1998! It's always remained one of my go-to guitars. I personally love the convenience of tuning at the bridge. I've been playing with this type of arrangement for so long that my other guitars with tuners at the headstock just feel weird to me now. The balance of this guitar is also excellent. Removing the weight of tuners at the headstock has a lot to do with that, but the Kubicki body shape also contributes to the overall balance. Not having a headstock is more distracting to me visually. In terms of playability, I've had no issue with the headless instruments that I've played. Personally I like the design of an instrument with a smaller sized headstock with no tuners. Aesthetically it's more pleasing to the masses as it still has a somewhat traditional or familiar look. It also avoids what I call the "missing limb syndrome" that many people find with headless instruments - that uncomfortable feeling you get with not having anything physically there beyond the nut. Pagelli made a bass that's a good example of this type faux-headstock design. [img:ut6vg9z4]http://www.pagelli.com/e/2instrum/image/gross/bg_gold_g.jpg[/img:ut6vg9z4] My dream bass right now would be headless fanned fretless 5 string with a small faux-headstock and tuning at the bridge. Same goes for guitar - headless fanned 6 string with a small faux-headstock & trem with tuning at the bridge.
10 years ago
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#23092
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[quote="Funkshwey":1wfpndkg]Sheldon are deadspots reduced on headless basses?[/quote:1wfpndkg] We did a bunch of experiments recently on dead spots. We didnt try removing a headstock but we added mass, both rigid and sand (to damp vibration), varied the laminations, species, carbon fibre etc. Came to the conclusion that where there is wood, there are dead spots. Ultra stiff, ultra light weight seems like the only way to get rid of them. Zon is a good example. The one we tested was as dead spot free as we've seen. If you prefer the tone and response of wood though, you need to accept what comes with it.
10 years ago
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#24680
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Ok, I feel like I am bumping this thread a bit, but it's not THAT OLD. Since this topic involvess Headless, Phil Kubicki, and Dead Spots in one go, I think this link will be very - and then some - worthwhile to this threads readers. On how deadspots and headless basses first was removed/invented at... [b:4atfarx7]Fender[/b:4atfarx7]! http://www.vintageguitar.com/1755/fender-prototypes/ A very good read, indeed! Dead spots AND headless, and why/how they seem to belong, or really, not. And how they affect each other regardless of material used it seemed. Take your time reading it. Maybe Steinberger and Kubicki wasn't THAT innovative... :wink:
10 years ago
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#24687
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The main points, Bocate has already dished out. Headless basses in particular have this notion or reputation that they always seem to come with that paddle body, that was on them when they where around first. You must - just as Kubicki has - a full body. I like headless instruments. Both on guitar and bass. But not because they're headless. They're immensly more practical in all senses. I remember when - say - Floyd Rose locking tremolo system came around. I started to wonder what the headstock would be of any use then. ABSOLUTELY NONE! So when headless came around, especially with double ball end strings I thought "This is MY locking system". The strings locks where they end. No reason to have angle behind nut or zero fret, no nothing. And on top of this. On my headless guitar I change ALL STRINGS AND TUNE THEM UP AND THEY STAY IN TUNE WITHIN 5 MINUTES. That's before anyone with a Floyd Rose Tremolo has got rid of all residue from a broken e-string yet. It takes AGES to tune and change one string on a guitar with FR on. Speaking of reaching the tuner, I play the open strings with left hand, just grabbing them WHILE my right hand is on the tuner back at the bridge. Just snap and play a pull off with the left hand, and then tune up. The thing is, that ON BASS this is a way more convenient method if you have to tune WHILE playing. No reach over with you right hand over to the headstock. But a catch 22, since headless and double ball end strings always stays in tune when you've tuned them up in the first place, and very rarely drift, this practical advantage is sort of ... futile. :wink: On bass, 4 string, I am down changing strings (all 4) within 3 minutes 40 secs. And even then, tune them up, and they STAY in tune. No excess slack or lenght of strings behind the nut. ---- Now, they do wiggle, and bounce around - just as was said before - when playing intensely. You have to use the thumb at the back of the neck as a stabilizer from then neck moving in and out. A Headstock can provide a counter pivot for such things. There's very little movement pressure that has to be used in order to knock the neck out of position when playing(fingering), leaving that you miss some frets or notes. Some people doesn't believe this. If you have a rigid strap and a ergonomic built body you could remedy this somewhat. I have trouble today playing basses with headstocks on, rather than the other way around. Also keep in mind that an instrument does not have to be as lighweight as possible. If it's well made and well balanced, it can be quite heavy without anyone really noticing it. But all in all, remember, there are just as many variations on good and bad basses with headless as with headed ones. Just because they are headless doesn't automatically mean they're something better or worse. Just as with headed ones. And I for one doesn't go by the looks that it looks wrong or broken. I have seen more basses with broken headstocks, and .. well.. you get it. Remember what flak Fender had to take when elelctric basses or guitars came around in the first place, at the beginning of 50s. They looked wrong too, and then some. Conclusion: whether a bass has headstock or is headless is not a deal maker or breaker for me. I'm good with either of them really. You can make balanced basses with headstock today. No that much of a rocket science.
10 years ago
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#24695
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Thanks for renewing the topic. I have a 6 strings fretless bass w/o headstock, and ABS bridge system. I like the headless concept, but I hate the bridge and how it is built. It is odd and not functional at all. I would love to see a bridge like Kubicki, with drums to wind up strings directly at the bridge. Why? Becauise only KEN SMITH makes 6 strings double ball system, and I am not even sure that they can fit my bass since the bridge is in 2 pieces, and the distance between the saddles and the hooking part of the bridge may be too long, and the double ball strings may not fit. In the end of the day, I have to keep mine. I phoned to Kubicki and asked him a 6 strings version of the bridgne, but he does not do it. I will have, someday, try to design my own system I fear... It will be quite costly though. And the majority of liuthiers do not use headless concept, so it would be difficult to sell it. Now I am happy either with Dingwall Z2 6 strings, but to tell the truth... It is a pain in the ass to retune it each time I take it out of the gig bag (the keys tent to move parallel to the neck). I still dream of a Dingwall Headless.
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