The age old argument is does mass equal sustain? I’ve read fantastic reasoning for both sides. Why don’t I just fill my acoustic with cement and find out? Wow that would make a fun blog! In the meantime, I will take a more logical step and review the new Fatfinger by Fender.
The Fatfinger is a weighted clamp that you attach to your headstock in order to enhance sustain and lessen the ill effects of dead spots on your guitar or bass neck. Fender currently sells 2 models a bass and guitar model. The guitar model’s dimensions are 1.8 x 5.8 x 3.8 inches with a 3.5 oz weight and the bass model’s dimensions are 1.5 x 5.8 x 2.8 inches with a 5.1 oz weight.
Many will ask “Why don’t I just throw a C clamp on my neck?” Well once it’s on, the Fatfinger is barely noticeable from the front and has nice felt and rubber pads between the clamp so it doesn’t mark up your headstock, unlike that bargain of a C clamp from Harry’s Hardware off of Rt. 9. So it has the proper bulk, an inconspicuous appearance and won’t scratch my instrument, I feel it’s worth the price of admission.
I can tell you “Hey man it works!” or well I can show you. Below is a picture of an E chord strummed. The pink .wav is the Fatfinger and the black .wav is without. Notice there wasn’t a huge difference in length of the sustain, but rather the initial impact with the Fatfinger on was louder. So yes, the Fatfinger makes your guitar louder increasing the sustain, no it does not give you eternal sustain so you can open your guitar case the next day and relive that last A chord you ended the night with rocking out in Cleavland, Ohio.
The same scenario works for dead spots on your neck. I know on my basses there’s always a weak note between the 9th-12th fret range. The Fatfinger increase the volume of the note making the dead spot sound stronger and more musical. I easily clamped this on Strats, Les Pauls, Jazz and Precision basses as well as all of my acoustics. My Telecaster was a bit of a challenge due to the smaller headstock, but I got it.
The Fatfinger won’t salvage a ruined instrument or make a total lemon sound like the holy grail, but in an age where a cheaper instrument doesn’t sound too far off from something that costs 3x as much, this will certainly help bridge the gap.
Street Price: $19.99 for the Guitar and $29.99 for the Bass models