I believe many people would find the task of stippling tedious, but the result is worth the time and tapping on a nail over and over again.
My headstock design is based very heavily on the one used by the team of Spanish master luthiers, Manuel Hernandez and Victoriano Aguado. From what I have read about these two makers, they hired a local woodcarver to carve their headstocks, I have no idea what technique was used to texture head stock, the technique I use yields results that I like.
The mallet I use weighs about 10oz, it is made from California valley live oak that I turned on a spring pole lathe years ago. Holding a bare nail is hard on my fingers, a wine bottle cork was a great solution!
It takes me a little over an hour to finish stippling, this time also includes routing out, or grounding, the area with a Dremel with a base attachment.
The best article I have found on stippling small areas with 16d nails can be found here.