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Scale Length-Preference?


retrorod

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Just curious on thoughts between Gibsons' 24-3/4" and 25-1/2" scale acoustics. Do most of you prefer one over the other, or not.

I feel more comfortable with the 24-3/4" scale as far as fret spacing and tension on the strings goes. The 25-1/2" scale lends itself more to 'strumming/rythym' work and less to bending strings in leads....Just my thoughts.

Anyone else?....Rod

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Just curious on thoughts between Gibsons' 24-3/4" and 25-1/2" scale acoustics. Do most of you prefer one over the other, or not.

I feel more comfortable with the 24-3/4" scale as far as fret spacing and tension on the strings goes. The 25-1/2" scale lends itself more to 'strumming/rythym' work and less to bending strings in leads....Just my thoughts.

Anyone else?....Rod

Hi Rod;

Great question. I love the short scale on any mahogany body. The warmth and growl is the sound I'm looking for. It's funny as I find it better for playing with a flat pick as I like the blues and some elevator Jazz. I like to do a lot of expressive playing and find the short scale is better for bending and vibrato.

 

I really like the long scale for flat picking on a rosewood guitar. Monster power and very crisp notes. Very good for Bluegrass. I think that is the biggest difference in the Martin and Gibson approach to sound.

 

I find the short scale is perfect for vocal accompaniment. The mahogany hits the male vocal range perfectly and they can sing harmony with your vocal. The Rosewood long scale is great for cutting thru the noise and clutter that we so affectionately call banjo playing. It can also sing in the registers of the "High Lonesome" that tenors like Bill Monroe and Mac Wiseman sang in. Vince Gill and Ricky Scaggs also come to mind.

 

For me it's the short scale and Mahogany every time. If you put it on a 12th fret slope shoulder guitar then I'm in heaven.

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Scale length has NEVER been a consideration for me. In fact I couldn't even tell you what scale length any of my guitars have, I'd either have to measure or look it up.

 

An adjustment I do find myself having to make is on guitars where the neck joins the body at different places, or the size of the body just puts the neck in a different place in relation to my body, like the difference between my Les Paul and my L-5

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I tend to favour the short scale, but I know what you mean about the benefits of the ling scale -- intonation, volume, bridge typically placed a bit more optimally in the lower bout area.

 

But I have some short scale guitars in which the tuning is not a problem, nor is the volume/sound, and I also have a couple of long scale guitars in which the playability is not an issue.

 

Overall though, if ordering "from scratch", I would love to see a 'compromise' scale length of 25.05 (25.1") be used. I think some of the old Gibsons had that scale length.

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I love the feel and ease of playing short scale but I tend to overdrive them with a heavy hand. It's still a toss up to me and I have 2 of each. I only keep one guitar out at a time and for the last coupleof months it has been my long scale Guild GSR F-40. Next up, and very soon I am going to my J-185.

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Short scale and wide nut please. All things considered, it's amazing what a difference small fractions of an inch make.

I,m wiff ya Bro....wide nut, thick neck, makes for a great playing guit! And yeah....short scale....

Mere fractions make a BIG diff...

Rod

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Big fan of shorter scale guitars. Of my 7 guitars only one is 25-1/2" To me short scale gives the strings a bit more flex which allows for a bit more articulation whether fingerpicking or strumming.

 

Of course for me the ideal configuration is short scale 12 fret slot head ....I am just a sucker for this style guitar. Even the one guitar I have that is longer scale.... it is a 12 fret slot head.

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I have a Gibson Hummingbird with the short scale and a Gibson AJ with the long scale. Both are great and the difference in sound you get is amazing. Wider nut is a must for me and the rest depends on what you are playing and feeling.

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I prefer the short scale and can feel the difference.

 

When I switched from playing a Tele for a year, to my ES339, I was "overshooting" some of my long upward slides. It took a few days to get it right and I'm never going back.

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