Monday, April 5, 2010

Problems with the 80s Washburn headstock design

Since getting my second 80s Washburn I've noticed an issue with the 80s 'pointy' headstock design.

Most of the models with this don't seem to bother with string trees and this means that top E runs just outside the silhouette of the headstock, almost Parker style. I don't like the way this looks but it also has a practical problem if you've got a locking nut.

Unless you're very careful about fitting the locking clamps snugly while the top E string is slack the clamp cuts the string when you tighten it. This can also happen if you undo the clamp more than is necessary if you want to use the machine heads later.

This is because the shape of the headstock means the top E and B strings naturally pull up and sideways out of the locking nut. This is clearly visible in the second photo. If you get the string to tension then put the clamp on it puts it under extra tension and cuts it.

Granted you always have to be reasonably careful with locking nuts but I've had a succession of guitars with them and it's only these 80s Washburns that are this bad for it so far. Even my Dean from Hell, which has a stupid string angle out of the nut is fine. I don't get this with my original EC29 as it has an unconventional cam operated locking nut and also a pattern of screws which serve as string trees.

Another vaguely annoying thing is that the string clamps are ~12x11mm when most generic ones are ~12x12mm, making it a pain to get replacements without filing them down. Which I'm going to have to do for my RR2V which came without any.

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