Any tips on reducing neck dive?


Senior Member
OK, so I've assembled most of my LPS now, but I discovered that it isn't balanced well at all. Here are the specs:
LPS chambered mahogany body with carved mahogany top
2 humbuckers, tune-o-matic bridge
Wenge neck with Warmoth headstock and '59 roundback contour, ebony fretboard
Grover Locking Rotomatic tuners
Front strap button mounted on the upper horn

I guess the combination of a chambered body, short upper horn, and wenge neck with a thick contour made for a pretty neck heavy guitar. Does anyone have any suggestions for correcting this? Are there any tuners that would be significantly lighter? Has anyone ever ballasted a guitar by adding weight in the control cavity (I was thinking of maybe adding lead tape to the inside of the control cover plate)? Any advice would be much appreciated. I'm not looking for miracles, just an improvement over the current situation.


On a side note, everything else has worked out great so far....
if this was a bass I'd recommend Hipshot Ultralight tuners, and then adding a wood block to the control cavity. the wood block will have holes drilled in it that match the diameter of a penny ... add pennies until the balance is workable for you, then double stick tape the block in place inside the cavity.

I've seen this technique used on a couple Lull basses, a Sadowsky, and even a Fender or two

all the best,

These tuners weigh 5.6 ounces:,_solid_peghead_tuners/1/Grover_18:1_Sta-Tites/Specs.html#details and I think they look great, and they're grovers.  haven't used them, but they'll go on my next build.They take the smallest W tuner hole (Kluson?) , but you should double-check that. Good luck!
I like the idea of using the sta-tite tuners, but they use a press-in bushing and the 11/32 portion of the tuner holes in my headstock are only 0.130" or so deep. Will this be enough for the bushings to press into securely?

Not sure about the shoe idea, but maybe I could learn to use the wah pedal with my left foot.

Thanks for the help guys,
jackthehack said:
Buy one of CB's funky left shoes, he's running a Xmas special this week

If you dont wanna avail yourself of the special, just stick a bit of 2x6, under your left foot when you play.....

HINT: You can duck-tape the wood to your sneaker for cool stage cred.
If you can find one, a Fretsling contoured strap is very comfortable, and pretty much eliminates neck dive. They stopped making them in the 70s, but I find one on ebay every now and then.  Here is a picture of one--



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This is an oblique answer, but in my opinion "neck-heavy" and "balance" are among the last things I even think about on a guitar. Every Les Paul ever made is neck-heavy, as are 77.625% of Telecasters, including the "great" ones. The bottom of my left hand holds the neck up when I play. Too bad Jimmy Page, Duane Allman, Roy Buchanan  & Brent Mason played such neck-heavy guitars, maybe they could've amounted to something if they hadn't been so crippled.... :sad1:

How does it sound? Balance is like "sustain" - people have run out of things to evaluate because so many guitars are so much better than so many guitarists, so they've hit on irrelevant little details to obsess over. Would Mark Knopfler or Billy Gibbons or John McLaughlin sound good playing your guitar? prolly.... :icon_tongue:
Stubhead, I think your answer was more irrelevant than oblique.  The dude put his hands, heart and hard earned cash into building a fine axe, and like we've all experienced, something didn't come out as expected.  The pursuit of perfection is really more important than the result.  Of course, sound is important, but that's only one aspect of why we do this, right?  All details are worth of being obsessed over. 
You know, the only time I can recall head diving to be noticeable is when playing on stage and there's an accapela vocal part and you put your hands up in the air to either grab your mic with both hands or clap above your head. My SG slowly begins to drop that direction. I don't really notice it any other time though. One thing about having a Mahogany LPS Carved top that light and that thicker Wenge neck, you ought to have the tone of the Gods.
Hey, I thought it was the last thing I'd worry about too, but this was pretty bad. After messing around with it, I figured out that moving the strap button from the upper horn to the neck joint made a HUGE difference. It feels very reasonable now, and after filling the strap button hole and touching up the finish I'm back on track with the build. Glad I didn't invest in that 2x6 yet...