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Unread 08-01-2010, 05:53 PM   #1
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Best scale length for C# below F#?

OK, I don't know what the Hell I'm thinking, but I'm considering ordering one of Tom Drinkwater's 10 string fanned beasts. I'll do C#-A, so I really need quite the range of scale length. So, ERG guys out there (and I'm looking at you, Adam!) what should be the fan? 26-30? 25-29? 26-29? I like a very guitar-like tone for the low strings, so I want to keep it long and thin-stringed on that end, but I don't want to be fussing with snapping a bunch of GG strings for the high A (I mean, I know I'll have to use them, I just don't want to be pushing it, length wise). TIA
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Unread 08-01-2010, 07:48 PM   #2
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Well as I recall, Adam said that the A4 string used for 25.5" scale is (basically) the same as the string used for 27" scale, with that in mind I'd go for 30-26.
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Unread 08-01-2010, 11:08 PM   #3
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26-30something (maybe 32.5" at most)



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Unread 08-02-2010, 04:32 AM   #4
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I'd go for a 4.5 inch fan or maybe 5 inch. 4.5 is perfectly comfortable on a 9 string (I tried fingering templates under my guitar strings). Hit up Fretfind2D and see how much you can manage. I would definately not go less than 30".
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Unread 08-02-2010, 05:18 AM   #5
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Scale 30"

C1# .084" NW == 14.04#

That is not a lot of tension and way to thick string to be able to play comfortable anyway

Scale 34"

C1# .074" NW == 14.22#

That is still a big string but I guess some people can live with it.

Scale 40"

C1# .064" NW == 14.92#

That sounds more like a guitar. I tried 064 on my sevenstring and it was just at the border of turning to distorted bass instead of guitar, 068 sounded like a bass in my ears. But having a 40" sounds pretty hard to do, you would have to build some sort of therbo string or altoguitar solution then.
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Unread 08-02-2010, 07:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deadseen View Post
Scale 30"

C1# .084" NW == 14.04#

That is not a lot of tension and way to thick string to be able to play comfortable anyway

Scale 34"

C1# .074" NW == 14.22#

That is still a big string but I guess some people can live with it.

Scale 40"

C1# .064" NW == 14.92#

That sounds more like a guitar. I tried 064 on my sevenstring and it was just at the border of turning to distorted bass instead of guitar, 068 sounded like a bass in my ears. But having a 40" sounds pretty hard to do, you would have to build some sort of therbo string or altoguitar solution then.
Yeah, I think 30" is probably my limit. I want to also have a high A on it, so a 26-30" fan is likely the only solution. I was wondering if a 29" could handle the low C#, but I don't think it will, based on my experience with my 8 stringers. But now you've got me wondering what a huuuuuge fan might look like. How weird a 34-26" fan would look!
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Unread 08-02-2010, 10:24 PM   #7
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4" fans are the limit for most guitarists. Any wider of a fan and it's physically uncomfortable to play the instrument.

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Unread 08-02-2010, 11:17 PM   #8
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Longer the better for the low string, and don't hesitate to mockup some extreme fans using FretFind-2D printout onto cardboard or scrap-wood.

I find 45 degree angles at the 1st fret and the highest fret to be totally acceptable.

For my taste I'd probably go 28" to 37", but no-one else can tell you what's going to be comfortable for your hands. You have to do the mockup groundwork yourself. To order a custom instrument without doing so is insanity in my opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarpie View Post
4" fans are the limit for most guitarists. Any wider of a fan and it's physically uncomfortable to play the instrument.
I understand your intention Scarpie, but this is way too oversimplified to be helpful - it's the range of fret angles that's crucial and that depends completely on the overall specs including number of strings, string spacing at nut & bridge, then finally the ratio of lengths between the highest and lowest strings and where the straight fret is.

For example, 32" to 36" fan on a 6-string bass is pretty mild imo, but 20"-24" fan on a narrow-spaced 4-string banjo would be much more extreme and likely unplayable for most.
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Unread 08-02-2010, 11:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Durero View Post
I find 45 degree angles at the 1st fret and the highest fret to be totally acceptable.

For my taste I'd probably go 28" to 37", but no-one else can tell you what's going to be comfortable for your hands. You have to do the mockup groundwork yourself. To order a custom instrument without doing so is insanity in my opinion.
Hey, thanks for the info. So are you saying, if you were getting an instrument like this, you'd do a fan from 28-37"? If that's the case, I'll completely rethink the 4" fan maximum. And thanks for the advice - I will work on the template to play around with it.

EDIT: Crap! Fretfind is down, and it says they're "reevaluating their web-hosting needs." Any other programs that perform the same function?
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Unread 08-03-2010, 02:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollowway View Post
Hey, thanks for the info. So are you saying, if you were getting an instrument like this, you'd do a fan from 28-37"? If that's the case, I'll completely rethink the 4" fan maximum. And thanks for the advice - I will work on the template to play around with it.

EDIT: Crap! Fretfind is down, and it says they're "reevaluating their web-hosting needs." Any other programs that perform the same function?
Fretfind is being hosted on Cigar Box. I panicked too at first
fretfind - Google Search

A few links down.

28-37" I'd say is definately ridiculous but it's up to the individual. I've found my comfortable limit to be 0.5" per string. I.e. 4" on an 8 string, 4.5" on a 9 string. So I'd go for 5" on a 10 string. (Talking guitar string spacing - not bass).
As said, string spacing needs to be considered too but this is assuming standard spacing.
Here is the fretboard for my 9 string design - 24.75"-29.25" (4.5" fan).


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Unread 08-03-2010, 03:39 AM   #11
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Great post Ethereal and thanks for the new FretFind link
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Unread 08-03-2010, 10:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EtherealEntity View Post
Fretfind is being hosted on Cigar Box. I panicked too at first
fretfind - Google Search

A few links down.

28-37" I'd say is definately ridiculous but it's up to the individual. I've found my comfortable limit to be 0.5" per string. I.e. 4" on an 8 string, 4.5" on a 9 string. So I'd go for 5" on a 10 string. (Talking guitar string spacing - not bass).
As said, string spacing needs to be considered too but this is assuming standard spacing.
Here is the fretboard for my 9 string design - 24.75"-29.25" (4.5" fan).
http://img704.imageshack.us/img704/5...oardpng.th.png

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Cool, thanks for that input! I'm going to check that out and see about a 5" fan and how that feels. Maybe I'll do 25.5-30.5.
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