23 Guitars With Reverse Headstock – Plus 3 Best Ones

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Most of us appreciate the unique looks when it comes to guitars. It’s nice to have a guitar that’s not just another sheep in the herd. And since you are here, you most likely value unique looks and have also been looking into guitars with the reverse headstock. And first, I have to say that you are in a luck!

I just dove deep into the world of reverse headstocks. I gathered the best of the best guitars with reverse headstocks to this article, I listed the pros and cons of a reverse headstock, and I also reveal which 3 guitars are the absolute best ones. If you have any questions, just check the FAQ section or leave a comment.

Let’s get started!

photo reveals owner of guitaristnextdoor.com

Author: Teemu Suomala

I first grabbed the guitar in 2009. I started this website in January 2020 because I couldn’t do window installation anymore due to my health problems. I also noticed that most guitar websites don’t do a really good job, so I decided to just go for it! I got lucky and managed to get awesome people to help me with my website. I also got lucky because I have you visiting my website right now. Thank you. I do all this for you guys. If you have any recommendations, tips, or feedback, just leave a comment, I would love to chat with you. I have been fortunate to produce content for several large guitar websites, such as Songsterr, Musicnotes, GuitarGuitar, and Ultimate Guitar. I spend my spare time exercising and hanging out with my wife and crazy dog(I guess that went the right way…).


23 Guitars With Reverse Headstock

Kramer Assault Plus is one of the rare reverse headstock single-cut guitars. It comes with
Floyd Rose 1000 bridge, Seymoure Duncan JB Zebra Coil Humbuckers, and fast K-Speed SlimTaper C neck. Plus, even with all this, it costs well under $1k.

Price Range Icon Meanings:

$= $120-250

$$= $251-399

$$$= $400-850

$$$$= $851-1599

$$$$$= $1600-

ModelPickupsBody StylePrice RangeCheck Current Price (affiliate links)
Harley Benton HWY-25BKS Progressive Series – Cheapest2 x 2 High output humbuckersModern Stratocaster$Thomann*
Harley Benton TE-90FLT VW Deluxe2 x Roswell FLT-NI AlNiCo humbuckersTelecaster$Thomann
Ibanez GRGR221PA2 x IBZ-6 HumbuckesModern Stratocaster$$SweetwaterThomann
Ibanez RGRT421 – Best Budget2 x Quantum HumbuckerModern Stratocaster$$$SweetwaterThomann
Kramer Assault Plus – Great Single-Cut2 x Seymore Duncan JB Zebra Coil HumbuckerSingle-cut$$$Sweetwater
Jackson X Series Dinky DK3XR HSS2 x Jackson Single-coil & Jackson High Output HumbuckerModern Stratocaster$$$SweetwaterThomann
Jackson X Series Rhoads RRX24 – Awesome V-ShapedSeymour Duncan Blackouts AHB-1N Humbucker & Seymour Duncan Blackouts AHB-1B HumbuckerV$$$SweetwaterThomann
Kramer Nightswan2 x Seymour Duncan JB HumbuckerModern Stratocaster$$$SweetwaterThomann
Jackson Pro Series Signature Mick Thomson Soloist SL2 2 x Mick Thomson Seymour Duncan Blackout AHB-3S HumbuckerModern Stratocaster$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Kramer Baretta1 x Seymour Duncan JB HumbuckerModern Stratocaster$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Charvel Pro-Mod So-Cal Style 2 24 HT HH – Best Overall2 x Fishman Fluence Open Core PRF-COC HumbuckerTelecaster$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Jackson Pro Series Signature Brandon Ellis Kelly1 x Seymour Duncan Parallel Axis HumbuckerExplorer-style$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Chapman ML1 Pro Hybrid2 x Seymour Duncan Classic Stack Strat Plus single coils & 1 x Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates humbuckerModern Stratocaster$$$$Guitar CenterThomann
Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster – Best Stratocaster3 x Pure Vintage ’65 Gray-Bottom Single-CoilStratocaster$$$$SweetwaterThomann
ESP LTD Mike Schleibaum MSV-11 x EMG James Hetfield HumbuckerV$$$$Sweetwater
Jackson Pro Series Soloist SL3R Custom Seymour Duncan Flat Strat SSL-6 Single-coil & Custom Seymour Duncan Flat Strat SSL-6 RWRP Single-coil & Seymour Duncan Distortion TB-6 HumbuckerModern Stratocaster$$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Ibanez Prestige RGR652AHBF – Best Premium2 x DiMarzio Fusion Edge HumbuckersModern Stratocaster$$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Ibanez Prestige RGR752AHBF – 7 String 2 x DiMarzio Fusion Edge HumbuckersModern Stratocaster$$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Jackson Concept Series Soloist SL HSSeymour Duncan Custom Flat Strat SSL-6 Single-coil & Seymour Duncan Full Shred SH-10B HumbuckerModern Stratocaster$$$$$SweetwaterThomann
ESP LTD Ken Susi Signature KS M-7 Fishman Fluence Modern Alnico Humbucker & Fishman Fluence Modern Ceramic HumbuckerModern Stratocaster$$$$$Sweetwater
G&L Doheny Belair Green USA2 x Wide Bobbin G&L MFD single coils made in Fullerton CA, USAJazzmaster style$$$$$Thomann
Washburn Nuno Bettencourt Nele StandardSeymour Duncan Vintage STK-T1N Humbucker & Bill Lawrence L-250 HumbuckerTelecaster$$$$$Sweetwater
Washburn Nuno Bettencourt 4N USASeymour Duncan ’59N Humbucker & Bill Lawrence L-500 HumbuckerModern Stratocaster$$$$$Sweetwater
Fender Custom Shop Jimi Hendrix Voodoo Child Stratocaster3 x Custom Shop Hand-wound ’69 Strat Single-coilStratocaster$$$$$Sweetwater

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Why?

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3 Best Guitars With Reverse Headstock – My Favorites

Best Budget – Ibanez RGRT421

What I like

  • Thin & fast playing Wizard III neck
  • Versatile Quantum Humbuckers
  • High value
  • Stunning & classy looks
  • Affordable

What I don’t like

  • Plastic nut

Who is it for?

If you are after a smooth playing budget guitar with versatile tones and high value, Ibanez RGRT421 is a really good option. It’s got a great-looking reverse headstock, a classy black finish on the body, and it doesn’t cost much. Easily my favorite budget guitar with a reverse headstock.

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Best Overall – Charvel Pro-Mod So-Cal Style 2 24 HT HH 

What I like

  • GraphTech TUSQ XL nut increases sustain
  • Mean sounding & versatile Fishman Fluence Open Core PRF-COC Humbuckers
  • Fretboard with 12″-16″ compound radius feels really comfortable
  • Charvel Branded Die-cast Locking tuners hold the tune
  • Great all-around quality
  • Classy looks
  • 2-way mini toggle voicing switch allows tapping into single-coil like tones

What I don’t like

  • Single-coil like sounds are not very “Tele-like”

Who is it for?

If you are after a rock-solid quality, versatile & mean sound, and awesome tuning stability, Charvel Pro-Mod So-Cal Style 2 24 HT HH is one of the best options. It has a mini toggle voicing switch that allows to use of different sections of the pickups and churn out single-coil-like tones, and the fretboard is super comfortable because of its 12″-16″ compound radius. For this price, this guitar doesn’t have any real cons.

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Best Premium – Ibanez Prestige RGR652AHBF

What I like

  • DiMarzio Fusion Edge Humbuckers provide killer tones
  • GraphTech Black Tusq XL nut improves sustain
  • Super Wizard HP is extremely slim and comfortable
  • Ibanez Gibraltar Standard II bridge feels really comfortable against the picking hand (it’s high quality too)
  • High-quality Gotoh MG-T Locking tuners hold the tune well
  • Usually comes with a Hardshell Case
  • Really high-value package
  • A flat 16.9″ fretboard radius works really well for fast playing

What I don’t like

  • Some prefer a real bone nut for this price (GraphTech Black Tusq XL nut works for me tho)
  • Some people don’t like the aggressive tone of a DiMarzio Humbuckers (not my absolute favorite, but still great)

Who is it for?

You have probably noticed that I have a thing for black guitars, haha. This axe is one of the most affordable Ibanez Prestige series guitars, but it manages to still offer exceptional quality and value for the money. Super Wizard HP neck paired with a flat 16.9″ fretboard radius provides slick & slim & comfortable playability. Hardware is premium quality (Gotoh MG-T Locking tuners & Ibanez Gibraltar Standard II bridge & GraphTech Black Tusq XL nut, etc.). Plus the reverse headstock looks stunning and this axe usually comes with a hardshell case. I’m sold.

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FAQ

Why Do Some Guitars Have A Reverse Headstock?

There are a couple of obvious reasons:

  • It looks different
  • Gives a bit different tension to specific strings
  • Some people claim it impacts the tone

Should You Get A Guitar With Reverse Headstock?

If you are after unique looks, want the high E, B, and G strings to have less tension than normally, and don’t mind that tuners work the other way than with normal headstocks, I see no reason for not getting a guitar with a reverse headstock.

Pros

  • Unique looks
  • High E, B, and G strings are shorter and have less tension than with normal headstock

Cons

  • Low E, A, and D strings are longer and have more tension
  • It can be hard to remember which way to turn the tuners if you are used to the normal headstock (tuners work the other way)

Does A Reverse Headstock Affect Tone?

Some people and manufacturers claim that reverse headstock affects the tone. String lengths of the specific strings are different with a reversed headstock since the high E, B, and G strings are now farther away from the bridge. And it’s true that this can affect the sustain a little bit.

I have not run in-depth tests, but it’s really unlikely that reverse headstock affects the tone much. It’s a really small nuance when it comes to guitar and its tone. With electric guitars, the biggest difference-maker is the pickups, and with acoustic guitars, it’s the top plus the back and sides.


Conclusion

I’m not going to lie, now I want a guitar with a reverse headstock to my collection, I just have to figure out how to tell this to my wife, maybe she won’t notice if my office has 1 guitar more…haha. This is a tiny con that comes with writing about guitars, you see and learn so much cool stuff.

I hope this article helped you out, and maybe you even decided to get one of the guitars featured. If you have any questions, leave a comment, I and the GND team are here for you.

Now go, my son, and Rock!

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