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Choosing Scale Length

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I heard the 24.75 gibson was "warmer", and it seems it produced less pull, less tension on the soundboard. I was thinking about that, instead of standard Martin 25. Im trying to figure soundhole placement now (cumplianos book) so thats whats holding me back. What are the differences, are there any measurements for soundhole placement / scale length already out there?

Hey, thanks.

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Ok, I think I answered it. But what are the differences for playing ,sound etc? I usually play at the top of the neck, fingerstyle.

Fret position calculator

21 17.392" 0.438" (20-21) +.125 (1/8") = top of soundhole.


Figuring for alternate scale lengths

Having constructed a lovely guitar from your book, I was going to do this summers guitar in a shorter scale length, say 25 or 24.9 inches... Now this is going to move the bridge a little closer to the sound hole if I use the same body measurements and soundhole placement I used for the guitar in your book... how do luthiers handle this? Do you move the soundhole back towards the neck a little, or do you build a slightly smaller cabinet, or do you just not worry about it at all? I was worried about the aesthetics of bridge placement, as well as insuring that the saddle's downward pressure through the bridge into the cabinet top is in a good central location for dispersing vibrations. - a simpler way to put the question: Do you use different scale length fingerboards on the same model of guitar body?

You might recall that the layout drawing in the book's early chapter specifies the layout procedure for a 25.4 guitar, but is actually quite generic, allowing you to plug in the desired measurements and create a layout for any guitar that you have a scale for.

Thus the soundhole for the 25 inch guitar (just as it does on a 25.4 guitar) will still start 1/8" beyond the end of fingerboard (actually the 21st fret cutoff point), and the string length will still be the scale length plus .15" , i.e., will lie at 25.15" from the nut. As far as the template, when you're only varying the scale by 1/2" you don't have to make up a new body shape template. Just look at the Martin 000 and the Martin OM: both use the exact same 000 template, but the former has a 24.9 and the latter a 25.4 scale.

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Go play an 000 and compare it to an OM, and you'll have your answer. Longer scale adds a little more tension and a little more snap. Slightly tighter feel. I personally like it on acoustics, although I'll get back to you once I've actually built the 25" scale parlour.

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