Design opinions please...

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by foreright, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. foreright

    foreright SS.org Regular

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    Hi guys,

    I've fairly recently completed my first guitar build attempt for a good 15 years. It was a (late!) christmas present for my wife, although I did build it more to my specs than hers which is another story! Anyway, the upshot is that she thinks the scale length is too big for her little hands. For the record, it's a six string built to a 25.5" scale length and a pretty narrow neck.

    Now the question is, how small can you sensibly go and still have a playable, good sounding instrument tuned to E standard?

    Am I correct in assuming that if I decrease the scale length, I would have to compensate for the decreased string tension by using heavier gauge strings?

    What I'm thinking is to build another with a much shorter scale length - say, 23.5". The below design is to this scale. Has any of you built/played a guitar with a scale this short? Are there any other things I should be aware of?

    The other thing I'm worried about is whether or not the instrument proportions look correct? Opinions?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. OfArtAndArsenal

    OfArtAndArsenal SS.org Regular

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  3. CaptainLuckeyBeard

    CaptainLuckeyBeard El Capitan

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    Check out the specs of Daisy Rock guitars, they're build specifically for women, meaning smaller necks, bodies, and what not. Whether she wants all the sparklyness that they like to put in there is another story though lol Best of luck tryin to please the wife! Hope that works out in your favor :lol:
     
  4. AwDeOh

    AwDeOh SS.org Regular

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    Safest bet IMO would be to take her to a guitar store so she can try a few different scale lengths out with fingers on fretboard.

    What software did you use to make that blueprint? It's really top notch :)
     
  5. foreright

    foreright SS.org Regular

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    Yep I kinda know this is the answer really :) I'm just concerned as to whether or not I can make a "real" instrument that feels like a full size guitar and sounds like one in a smaller scale. Interesting to see that the ibanez is tuned a third higher than usual...

    I do most of my design stuff with QCad - it's pretty fully featured for drafting and much less resource hungry than autocad and fully compatible.
     
  6. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    Looks great to me :)

    Yep you'll need thicker strings.

    Experiment for yourself with what scale will sound good - for example tune to Eb and capo fret 1.
    You would need to up the gauges like this

    len 25.5"

    E4 .009 pl == 13.13#
    E2 .042 nw == 14.77#

    E4b .0095 pl == 13.04#
    E2b .044 nw == 14.34#

    For equal tension. Then you'd have a E standard guitar at ~24.07"
    http://www.ekips.org/tools/guitar/originaltools/dinfterF.html

    Another fret off would be ~22.72" - a much similar gauge increase
    len 25.5"

    E4 .009 pl == 13.13#
    E2 .042 nw == 14.77#

    E4b .0095 pl == 13.04#
    E2b .044 nw == 14.34#

    D4 .010 pl == 12.87#
    D2 .047 nw == 14.45#

    You get the idea :) A decision to make would be whether you want to reduce the number of frets when doing this, so you are literally chopping frets off at the nut - pickups and neck joint etc all stay the same, reach to the nut is reduced. This is how baritone conversion necks work.
    Or you could reposition the pickups proportionally on the new scale, keep the same number of high frets etc.
     
  7. foreright

    foreright SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for that - I never fought of sticking a capo on there and trying!

    That design above is scaled appropriately - ie. I positioned frets and laid out the neck and bridge before scaling the body and pickup positions to match. It's approx 8% smaller incidentally.
     

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