Go Shorter, or Go Lower? (All 5ths Related)

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by ElRay, Aug 6, 2020.

  1. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

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    I have the hardware for a Multi-Scale 6-String with about 1.5" max difference between high & low strings. I am going with All-5ths tuning, so the question is do I go high-short (C2-B4/24.0" to 25.5") or low-long (F1-E4/25.5" to 27")?

    I'm leaning towards 24.0" to 25.5" (maybe even 23.25" to 24.75") because I don't have anything short-scaled, but I tend to stay out of the meedley-meedley-meedley zone, so I don't know how far up the neck I'll be playing.
     
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  2. dmlinger

    dmlinger PepperFox

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    This is a personal preference question, so there is no right answer. Only you can decide.

    Something to think about is you can always achieve higher notes by playing frets further up the neck, but you can only achieve lower notes by tuning down. For that reason, I'd go 27-25.5. Hence the reason 7 string guitars add a low B rather than a high A.
     
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  3. Omzig

    Omzig SS.org Regular

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    Id say pump your spec's into Fretfind2d then plot or print some 100% scale out and slip them under the string of a guitar you already own to see how tight it get's on 24", I have x2 carvin at 24.75" and they feel pretty tight and i don't really have massive hands.
     
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  4. I play music

    I play music SS.org Regular

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    Are you sure you can tune to B4 on 24" scale? I somehow have doubts ..
    I'd go F1 - E4 but with maybe 27 to 28.5 scale
     
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  5. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    Also have concerns about a 24" B. I know results vary and it's technically possible at least temporarily but personally I'm in the camp that 24" is only suitable for A at a push! Even 23" would have me a bit concerned from personal experience
    Likewise I'm not too happy with 27" F
    I'd probably go in between at 27-25.5 G-F# though I understand if you're trying to keep that nice orchestral strings based open strings ;) Personally F-E for me would be 28-26.5
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
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  6. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    Worth noting I had a guitar made with a high Ab not for high range as I don't do a ton of soloing either - but for the fingerings lower down. I did enjoy it for many years but more recently am feeling it isn't worth the bother and would happily play such parts 5 frets higher / potentially lose some voicings
     
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  7. KR250

    KR250 Build addict

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    If you don't play in the "meedley" zone, I'd advocate for not going with the higher notes. I did a build with a .007 gauge string on a 24" scale, high A4, and the tension was still fairly high for any bendy stuff. Pretty much at the limit. I'd play with the various tension calculators out there first and see about string gauges required to hit the right tension, and then work out the scale lengths.
     
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  8. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

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    Good catch. I was mis-remembering my calculations. with a Kalium 0.008 or a D'Addario 0.007", I could get to an A4 and be under their maximum recommended tensions. To hit B4, I needed to get down to 22" - 2nd fret on a 24.75" neck.
     
  9. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

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    Hehehehe -- The circle is complete. I've been advocating that for years.

    My "fat finger" issue is more the thickness through the nail to the pad. I have a hard time fretting in the lower positions on narrow-necked guitars w/o muting the higher string, or getting fingernail buzz on the lower string.
     
  10. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

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    Other factor for scale lengths & range:
    • I have a 25.5" neck to re-fret & use
    • I can get a 24.75" neck at a good price to re-fret & use
    • There's a big appeal to have CGDA in there somewhere
     
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  11. I play music

    I play music SS.org Regular

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    Maybe tune C2 to E4 + B3? I think it was actually Winspear who suggested something like this in a thread of mine :lol:
     
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  12. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    Haha yeah I'm really digging the re-entrant thing on 6s and 7s in 5ths! I barely have any guitars not tuned like this anymore - I take both trebles down an octave not just the top one too. Don't expect it would be for most people though :lol:
     
  13. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

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    I think a lot of people would like to play an inverted 6-string Contra-Baritone-Ukulele?
     
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  14. I play music

    I play music SS.org Regular

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    Sounds like for this 7s are better because with a 6 you do loose a bit of range.
    What exact tunings are you using on your 6s and 7s?
     
  15. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    They both come out extremely close to standard tuning range - a lot less than 5ths range of course :)
    F1 C2 G2 D3 A3 (E3 B3) and Bb1 F2 C3 G3 (D3 A3)
     
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  16. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

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    Well, a decision has been made: I'm going to re-purpose the 25-1/2" neck I have.

    I went back and double-checked measurements - Good thing. The body is from a 24-fret 24-5/8" scaled Mockingbird. Given where the neck pocket is and the extra 3/4" on the bass end of the bridge, that will give me a 24-1/2" to 26" multi-scale. I can shoot for A1-A4b, and still be OK if I have to go 1/2 step lower at A1b-G4.

    That means I can do this Frankenstein build with minimal extra purchases.
     
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  17. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    Lovely! That'll play nice :)
     
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