Fathead sustain plates

Fathead sustain plates

Postby tatittle » Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:34 am

I am wondering if anyone here has tried out these gizmos--the headstock ones that are mounted under the tuners--and found them to have significant sustain improving qualities at volume (or lower vol). A friend of mine was talking with David Gilmore before his show and when he asked how Gil obtained his legendary sustain Gilmore went over and showed him the back of his guitars, which were equipped with Fathead sustain plates. They are no longer made, so they are a PIA to find (unless someone knows a new production). Whatdya say?
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Re: Fathead sustain plates

Postby Jon S. » Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:55 am

"For me, I think the only danger is being too much in love with guitar playing. The music is the most important thing, and the guitar is only the instrument." Jerry Garcia
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Re: Fathead sustain plates

Postby tatittle » Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:11 am

Thanks J, I have a couple of those. They dont seem to make too big of a difference, hence my interest in the original conception.
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Re: Fathead sustain plates

Postby mikelawson » Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:05 pm

It's all in the mind, you know? :)
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Re: Fathead sustain plates

Postby tatittle » Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:19 pm

So it doesn't matter what kind of plastic strings I put on my Roy Rogers kitchen beater, I can get Tony Rice tone thru positive thinking?
Actually I suspect the sustain plates are gimmicky, but some pretty big names swear by them apparently (w/o endorsements).
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Re: Fathead sustain plates

Postby mikelawson » Sun Mar 23, 2014 3:37 pm

Positive thinking, and perceptive ears that know the Fat Head really doesn't do anything but remove money from your wallet you could use toward something that might. I tried them, and the clamp on, and its a placebo effect. :D
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Re: Fathead sustain plates

Postby mikelawson » Sun Mar 23, 2014 3:47 pm

As for Gilmour, I could be wrong, its been 20 years now since then, but being friends with Tim Renwick and Tim''s guitar tech Adey Wilson and David's tech Phil Taylor, I was privileged to get invited to hang with them in Nashville, Columbus and Indianapolis on the final Floyd tour. I even got to sit at the mixer at the Hoosier dome, which was just crazy. I got a good look at the guitars used in the shows while in Indianapolis during sound check, and for the life of me I can't remember seeing Fatheads on his guitars. Being a guitar geek its the kind of thing I think I would remember, but hey, a lot of chemistry has gone through this brain since then, especially 20 years ago, so who knows. I'm not saying your friend is wrong, just saying I don't recall seeing them. You've piqued my curiosity now, maybe I'll email Tim and see if he knows anything about them being used. I know the Fender custom shop DG models don't add them on his models.

EDIT: In Phil's book "Pink Floyd -The Black Strat" there are pics of the back of his headstocks and I don't see any Fatheads. Do the "Look Inside" thing here: http://www.amazon.com/Pink-Floyd-Histor ... 1423445597

EDIT TWO: I'm just back from Germany a week ago with two types of flu strains and pneumonia, so I got nothing else to do but lay in bed with this laptop and look stuff up. I just found http://www.gilmourish.com which details all of Gilmour's gear, and I can't find nary a mention of a Fathead sustain plate or any photos, etc. Maybe your pal was pulling your leg?
Last edited by mikelawson on Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fathead sustain plates

Postby Jon S. » Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:38 pm

tatittle wrote:Thanks J, I have a couple of those. They dont seem to make too big of a difference, hence my interest in the original conception.

It's true that the express purpose of the Fatfinger is not to increase sustain per se but to shift the resonant frequencies of the neck (or whatever they're called) to eliminate or shift "dead spots."
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Re: Fathead sustain plates

Postby tatittle » Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:10 pm

It could certainly be incorrect info. The guy works at the venues around here so I had no reason to doubt him, he doesn't strike me as a frivolous name dropper (and this aint Brittania), but he's just a kid and kids have a tendency to embellish, exaggerate etc. I don't know him that well really, but never caught him making stuff up before; he's just a drummer I have played with couple dozen times. It would have been in the last couple years if true....hes only 18 now. So its nothing I would put real confidence in re: Gilmore; nonetheless I am still interested in whether they work, never tried one ever to my knowledge. Well placebos aint worth the rather high bucks I see them go for so thanks for the witness.
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Re: Fathead sustain plates

Postby mikelawson » Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:26 pm

You had me at "he's just a drummer." :lol:
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Re: Fathead sustain plates

Postby tatittle » Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:02 pm

I don't suppose you know any of the Nashville Scobey family? (several doctors, one has a studio I think)), there are some Womack's too but that name is really common down there.

"Mom, when I grow up, I want to be a drummer."
His mother scoffs and replies...
"Well, you can't do both."

A drummer, tired of being ridiculed by his peers, decides to learn how to play some "real" musical instruments. He goes to a music store, walks in, approaches the store clerk, and says "I'll take that red trumpet over there and that accordion."
The store clerk looks at him a bit funny, and replies "OK, you can have the fire extinguisher but the radiator's got to stay".

A drummer wanted to study music at music school. During his entrance exam the examiner played him the notes C and E, and then asked him to identify what he'd just heard. His confused expression showed that he had no idea what the interval was. He asked "Could I hear it again?...I'm not quite sure yet." The examiner played the notes again. "Hmmm I'm still not sure...one more time please." The examiner played the notes once more. The drummer's face lit up "I've got it!...It's a piano isn't it?!"

• What's the last thing a drummer says in a band?
"Hey guys, why don't we try one of my songs?

http://www.you-can-be-funny.com/Drummer-Jokes.html

RIP John S.
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Re: Fathead sustain plates

Postby drewfx » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:11 am

There was a period, I'm gonna say late '70's, where people were deliberately making everything heavy and adding brass everywhere based on the theory that it would improve sustain. With the exception of some "high mass" bridges, that period seems to have come and gone, which I suppose speaks for itself. Now you will find lots of people who believe (just as ardently) that "lighter is better".


I can say that on some basses, the Fatfingers can indeed be useful for helping to tame deadspots.
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Re: Fathead sustain plates

Postby mikelawson » Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:41 am

I don't know any of those cats, but I do like the drummer jokes.
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