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Tech: Acoustic Guitar scale length

GUEST,Guest P 24 Jan 11 - 11:17 AM
s&r 24 Jan 11 - 11:21 AM
GUEST,johnmc 24 Jan 11 - 01:39 PM
GUEST 24 Jan 11 - 01:49 PM
DonMeixner 24 Jan 11 - 01:59 PM
Roger in Baltimore 24 Jan 11 - 04:43 PM
Tangledwood 24 Jan 11 - 07:26 PM
GUEST,GUEST P 25 Jan 11 - 05:24 AM
Richard Bridge 25 Jan 11 - 08:35 AM
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Subject: Tech: Acoustic Guitar scale length
From: GUEST,Guest P
Date: 24 Jan 11 - 11:17 AM

Two acoustic guitars with identical 'set ups', one with a scale length of 642mm and the other with 648mm.
Which requires less finger pressure to fret or, is there no difference?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Guitar scale length
From: s&r
Date: 24 Jan 11 - 11:21 AM

642 but I doubt if you'd notice

Stu


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Guitar scale length
From: GUEST,johnmc
Date: 24 Jan 11 - 01:39 PM

I found the difference in string tension led to an altered ( and disappointing) sound quality with the shorter scale.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Guitar scale length
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jan 11 - 01:49 PM

Guest P,

Here's an idea. Try playing them...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Guitar scale length
From: DonMeixner
Date: 24 Jan 11 - 01:59 PM

The difference is 1/4" more or less in scale length. I doubt you'd feel a difference. I prefere shorter scales my self and have notice not deficiency in the sound on a short scale instrument.

D


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Guitar scale length
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 24 Jan 11 - 04:43 PM

There is more to the difference than just string tension. The shorter scale on an "identical" guitar means the bridge has been relocated or the neck has been shortened. Usually that means a difference in tone and in volume. Of course the difference usually is more than just "1/4". As the difference increases, the changes are more noticeable. There are many good reasons for different scale lengths. The final arbiter of whether it makes a difference is perception and preferences.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Guitar scale length
From: Tangledwood
Date: 24 Jan 11 - 07:26 PM

On a mandolin forum there are often questions from newbies regarding why mandolins are harder on the fingers than guitars. The answer frequently given is "greater string tension on the mandolin". However if you look at tension charters in general you'll find the opposite is true.

Somebody finally posted a diagram that showed the geometry involved. I can't reproduce it here but basically it showed two inverted triangles. The bases were the unfretted string; the hypotenuses are the fretted string - one from nut to fretboard and the other from bridge to fretboard. The remaining side, common to both triangles, is the distance from fretboard to unfretted string.

With a shorter scale length that third side is a greater proportion of the hypotenuses, that relationship translating to greater force.

How true all that is I don't know. Of course I'm sure that a mandolin having two strings fretted might be relevant too.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Guitar scale length
From: GUEST,GUEST P
Date: 25 Jan 11 - 05:24 AM

The curiosity was prompted after browsing a 'Vintage' (brand) website.
It was noted that the 'parlour' guitar V880N had it's scale length quoted at 648mm whilst other (larger) models such as their 'dreadnoughts' and 'jumbo's' were 642mm.
If I intended to buy, I would obviously try both (re 'here's an idea, try playing them' from guest on 24 Jan 01-49pm).


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Guitar scale length
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 25 Jan 11 - 08:35 AM

The main reason mandolins are harder on the fingers than guitars (if they are) is bad setup - but given the sizes involved you have to be a LOT more accurate setting up a mandolin. However, conversely, you can often get the action really low without rattling. Setting neck progression on mandolins is really hard as many have not got truss rods - something very rare nowadays on a guitar.


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