Headless headpiece and 008s...

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MarkusB
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Headless headpiece and 008s...

Postby MarkusB » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:44 am

Hi everybody, and sorry if this was already covered elsewhere.

I've found that LaBella Criterion .008s are a perfect match for my new HH. But that high E hair-thin string is definitely not a perfect match for its headpiece (which is identical to those found on Vaders, as far as I know).

So far I've mounted three high E's: the first one just snapped abruptly while I was securing its nut screw. So I decided to only keep turning the screw until it seemed secure and not any more, which I did, but it wasn't nearly enough to keep it in place during real use at pitch. So I kept adding more and more pressure until it also snapped. Finally I tried to put a small adhesive tape ball between the string and the screw. Eureka: in this way I could fasten the nut screw as tightly as possible without the string snapping, and I could get a few hours of proper behavior at concert pitch. However, the next day the string was horribly out of tune (downwards, of course). A few re-tunings later, it just came out of the saddle- the squeezed adhesive tape just hadn't enough grip on the string in the long course. The thicker strings, including the very slippery factory-installed Elixir .009s, stay in tune indefinitely, but those .008s just don't.

Do any of you ladies and gentlemen of headless inclination use .008s with the new Hipshot Vader/HH headpiece? In that case, how did you tame the (thin) E beast?

Many thanks in advance!

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colossal
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Re: Headless headpiece and 008s...

Postby colossal » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 am

MarkusB wrote:Hi everybody, and sorry if this was already covered elsewhere.

I've found that LaBella Criterion .008s are a perfect match for my new HH. But that high E hair-thin string is definitely not a perfect match for its headpiece (which is identical to those found on Vaders, as far as I know).

So far I've mounted three high E's: the first one just snapped abruptly while I was securing its nut screw. So I decided to only keep turning the screw until it seemed secure and not any more, which I did, but it wasn't nearly enough to keep it in place during real use at pitch. So I kept adding more and more pressure until it also snapped. Finally I tried to put a small adhesive tape ball between the string and the screw. Eureka: in this way I could fasten the nut screw as tightly as possible without the string snapping, and I could get a few hours of proper behavior at concert pitch. However, the next day the string was horribly out of tune (downwards, of course). A few re-tunings later, it just came out of the saddle- the squeezed adhesive tape just hadn't enough grip on the string in the long course. The thicker strings, including the very slippery factory-installed Elixir .009s, stay in tune indefinitely, but those .008s just don't.

Do any of you ladies and gentlemen of headless inclination use .008s with the new Hipshot Vader/HH headpiece? In that case, how did you tame the (thin) E beast?

Many thanks in advance!

Hi Marcus,

I don't have any suggestions save replacing the headpiece with a JCustom that does accept double-ball strings. Although, that said, I don't know if the JCustom mounting screw holes are even compatible with the new Kiesel Hipshot, so that may not even be viable. I have a new HH in the works and it will have the new Hipshot fixed bridge, which I love. I had really wanted to keep using double-ball strings as I just like them. I use La Bella 8-38 on my HH1X, the kind that are calibrated for the Trans Trem. They are stainless steel and sound and feel great.

All that said, I just got done demoing a new HH with the fixed bridge (thanks to a very dear and generous forum member) which was loaded with Dunlop 10s (isn't that what Kiesel is using now?). They sounded and played great! So for my new build I may just resign myself to using standard strings again. I love double-ball strings though, both for the quick change utility and that there are no screws to tighten or mechanically wear out over time. I worry about the eventual degradation of those screws. Maybe that's a non-issue though.

Maybe Kiesel would consider a product suggestion to add double-ball slots to the headpiece. Or maybe I am just a dinosaur and nobody cares about such things anymore :think:

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Re: Headless headpiece and 008s...

Postby spudmunkey » Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:27 pm

I think it goes with Kiesel's desire to make the part available on more than just one model. Since it seems like nobody makes double-ball strings for 7 or 8 string guitars, or extended scale, the modified headpiece would only apply to those who use standard scale 6-strings...which I want to assume is still the majority of their business, but I have no real numbers for customers of their headless guitars.

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Re: Headless headpiece and 008s...

Postby texastoast » Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:09 pm

Pull the set screw out and make sure the tip is in good condition. You can also get several types of tips on set screws. I installed a nylon tipped screw in my e string due to breakage when installing the strings. I gives a bit and does not cut into the string. I like the results so far. Only one set of strings. No long term results. And mine are 9's.
I bought mine from a company named misumi. I feel a good local screw shop can get you a nylon tipped set screw. Small diameter like these are harder to find. There is also knurl tip. point tip. cup tip, flat tip and so on. Something should work for you.


Good luck

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Re: Headless headpiece and 008s...

Postby arahobob » Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:15 pm

texastoast wrote:Pull the set screw out and make sure the tip is in good condition. You can also get several types of tips on set screws. I installed a nylon tipped screw in my e string due to breakage when installing the strings. I gives a bit and does not cut into the string. I like the results so far. Only one set of strings. No long term results. And mine are 9's.
I bought mine from a company named misumi. I feel a good local screw shop can get you a nylon tipped set screw. Small diameter like these are harder to find. There is also knurl tip. point tip. cup tip, flat tip and so on. Something should work for you.


Good luck



What size screw was it?
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MarkusB
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Re: Headless headpiece and 008s...

Postby MarkusB » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:18 am

texastoast wrote:Pull the set screw out and make sure the tip is in good condition.


This did the trick! Each screw head had two tiny but vicious teeth (probably due to over-tightening at factory?). Above a certain pressure, they bite into the string and snap it if it's thin enough (it also happened on the .011 2nd string, btw). Wound strings are thick enough and are unaffected. I removed all of the set screws and carefully polished their tips on 000 sandpaper holding them vertically via their own allen wrench. It worked!

You must still be careful not to overtighten them, but it's totally possible to tighten the set screws firmly enough without snapping the strings provided their tips are smooth and featureless. I found I can roughly judge the correct amount of pressure from the angle at which the protruding part of the string comes out of the headpiece- when the string starts to grip, it starts to bend forwards (i.e. toward the fretboard, away from the back of the neck) and the sweet spot seems to be around 30° for these strings (.008 and .011) if 0°=parallel with the neck.

I'm still interested in hearing about those nylon-capped screws though, not only for this issue but for the tremolo arm as well. Did anyone measure the exact size of both?

MarkusB
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Re: Headless headpiece and 008s...

Postby MarkusB » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:23 am

Now that I think of it, there are several non-obvious things to know about the hipshot/Kiesel headless headpiece+tremolo system which can't be found anywhere. Wouldn't it eventually be useful to have a sticky here with a collection of all relevant stuff?

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Re: Headless headpiece and 008s...

Postby Jbird » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:27 am

colossal wrote:
MarkusB wrote:Hi everybody, and sorry if this was already covered elsewhere.

I've found that LaBella Criterion .008s are a perfect match for my new HH. But that high E hair-thin string is definitely not a perfect match for its headpiece (which is identical to those found on Vaders, as far as I know).

So far I've mounted three high E's: the first one just snapped abruptly while I was securing its nut screw. So I decided to only keep turning the screw until it seemed secure and not any more, which I did, but it wasn't nearly enough to keep it in place during real use at pitch. So I kept adding more and more pressure until it also snapped. Finally I tried to put a small adhesive tape ball between the string and the screw. Eureka: in this way I could fasten the nut screw as tightly as possible without the string snapping, and I could get a few hours of proper behavior at concert pitch. However, the next day the string was horribly out of tune (downwards, of course). A few re-tunings later, it just came out of the saddle- the squeezed adhesive tape just hadn't enough grip on the string in the long course. The thicker strings, including the very slippery factory-installed Elixir .009s, stay in tune indefinitely, but those .008s just don't.

Do any of you ladies and gentlemen of headless inclination use .008s with the new Hipshot Vader/HH headpiece? In that case, how did you tame the (thin) E beast?

Many thanks in advance!

Hi Marcus,

I don't have any suggestions save replacing the headpiece with a JCustom that does accept double-ball strings. Although, that said, I don't know if the JCustom mounting screw holes are even compatible with the new Kiesel Hipshot, so that may not even be viable. I have a new HH in the works and it will have the new Hipshot fixed bridge, which I love. I had really wanted to keep using double-ball strings as I just like them. I use La Bella 8-38 on my HH1X, the kind that are calibrated for the Trans Trem. They are stainless steel and sound and feel great.

All that said, I just got done demoing a new HH with the fixed bridge (thanks to a very dear and generous forum member) which was loaded with Dunlop 10s (isn't that what Kiesel is using now?). They sounded and played great! So for my new build I may just resign myself to using standard strings again. I love double-ball strings though, both for the quick change utility and that there are no screws to tighten or mechanically wear out over time. I worry about the eventual degradation of those screws. Maybe that's a non-issue though.

Maybe Kiesel would consider a product suggestion to add double-ball slots to the headpiece. Or maybe I am just a dinosaur and nobody cares about such things anymore :think:


It's not just you, Colossal.

I was eventually going to order an HH2, but not any more since it won't use the double-ball strings :(

It's too bad they can't work up a headpiece with Hipshot that could take either kind of string, for those customers that want it.


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