The teaser.

The previous post I showed my guitar’s headstock.

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Looks ordinary?

Everything looks okay from the front but on the back… Yes those are coins and they solve problems!

Coins!

Invasion of the dead spots.

I stacked 4 S$1 with Blu Tack and stuck them on the back of the headstock. Why? Because of dead spots (or dead notes)! The problem here is not dead spots caused by bad frets but rather a resonance issue. A more scientific explanation is here. There are many discussions on the internet regarding dead spots be it on guitar, bass, violin etc.. My main problem with my this particular guitar is the short sustain on the 12th fret 3rd string as well as the harmonic fade out on the 8th fret 2nd string. I clamped a fat capo on the headstock and the dead spots were shifted to a lower position! It doesn’t look good however…

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Capo on the head.

With this capo trick I figured that in my case, the more weight I have on the headstock, the lower the dead spots. Then there was this idea of adding small weights. But I don’t have weights. Even if I had weights how would I attach them to the headstock? Then I saw that blue sticky thing in my drawer… Blu Tack! Okay but I still don’t have weights. Ermm… Lets try coins? I tried ‘tuning’ the dead spots to be somewhere in between. I found 4 S$1s worked without a headstock tuner but since I always use a headstock tuner…

Headstock tuner hack.

I use Planet Waves NS Micro Tuner because it looks badass. I didn’t know it could be used with my ‘dead spots removal kit’ too! So here’s what I do. I stick a S$1 coin on the back of the headstock and clamp it down with the Micro Tuner and tada!

A dollar and a tuner.

A dollar and a tuner.

Thoughts.

I wouldn’t say that the problem is completely solved but it is now a lot less disturbing than before. I use coins because it’s the heaviest thing for its size in my room. Currency doesn’t matter I guess? I tried S$0.20 and others but they didn’t quite fix my problem. I found S$1 best for now. Why Blu Tack? It’s easy to use. Easily removable (unless you keep it on for a long time that’d be a challenge but still good!) as well. Double sided tape MAY or MAY NOT work. Super glue… Don’t!

One commercial solution is to use a Fender Fatfinger and clamp it on the headstock to move the dead spot(s) somewhere else. Problem with this is that we can’t control where the dead spot(s) are moved since it’s a fixed weight. And the Fatfinger is huge and doesn’t look good in my opinion! If you’re facing these problems, get some Blu Tack and start sticking some money (coins only) on that headstock!

 

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