# Scale Length And Neck Length

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I understand what the scale length is and all that good stuff. But I'm stumped on the relationship between scale length and neck length. Correct me if I'm wrong, but on a guitar with a 25.5" scale, fret spacing will always be the same on every other guitar with a 25.5" scale, right? So if A guitar is 25.5" scale with 22 frets, and B guitar is 25.5" scale with 22 frets, the necks will be identical in length from nut to heel, correct? So one could assume that their is a direct mathematical relation between scale length, number of frets, and overall neck length. Am I within reason or completely off track?

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depends on whether the f/b overhangs the end of the neck or not - like 22 fret Fender Strat necks....

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depends on whether the f/b overhangs the end of the neck or not - like 22 fret Fender Strat necks....

Ok, so fretboard length is directly related?

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If two guitars have identical scale lengths and the same number of frets, they will be the same length from the nut to that last fret... but who's to say that the neck itself has to end just past that last fret? Examples:

- PRS necks extend underneath the neck pickup, a good 1.5"+ past the end of the fingerboard.

- Ibanez JS guitars with 22 frets have more wood past the last fret than the 24 fret model does: Satriani wanted the neck pickup as close to the 24th fret position as possible, so there's very little wood past the last fret on the JS2400, but a more "normal" amount on the 22 fret models where they aren't squeezed for space.

The only true constant derived from scale length is the spacing of the frets (relative to the nut and saddles). You can make the neck and fingerboard longer or shorter past that last fret if you want, whether it be for tonal reasons (Satriani) or structural ones (PRS style guitars). The neck and fingerboard just hold the frets in their correct spots, relative to the nut and the saddles. Who is to say what shape they need to be once that task is accomplished?

Edited by B. Aaron
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If two guitars have identical scale lengths and the same number of frets, they will be the same length from the nut to that last fret... but who's to say that the neck itself has to end just past that last fret? Examples:

- PRS necks extend underneath the neck pickup, a good 1.5"+ past the end of the fingerboard.

- Ibanez JS guitars with 22 frets have more wood past the last fret than the 24 fret model does: Satriani wanted the neck pickup as close to the 24th fret position as possible, so there's very little wood past the last fret on the JS2400, but a more "normal" amount on the 22 fret models where they aren't squeezed for space.

The only true constant derived from scale length is the spacing of the frets (relative to the nut and saddles). You can make the neck and fingerboard longer or shorter past that last fret if you want, whether it be for tonal reasons (Satriani) or structural ones (PRS style guitars). The neck and fingerboard just hold the frets in their correct spots, relative to the nut and the saddles. Who is to say what shape they need to be once that task is accomplished?

Good example B.Aaron. Shred, I think you have totally over complicated the situation in your head. Forget the maths point of view and look at the neck joint design. Bolt-on,set and through necks are all different lengths. Suss out what neck joint you want and then work your design. Check out factory guitars to get an idea of the different designs. For instance a Les Paul has a set neck with a tenon that has shoulders,the tenon can technically be made to sit as far back as the bridge if one wants, whereas a PRS neck sits in under the Neck H/B and the shape of the heel is the same as the neck pocket. Check out some build threads on this website to get an idea of neck joint construction.

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If two guitars have identical scale lengths and the same number of frets, they will be the same length from the nut to that last fret... but who's to say that the neck itself has to end just past that last fret? Examples:

- PRS necks extend underneath the neck pickup, a good 1.5"+ past the end of the fingerboard.

- Ibanez JS guitars with 22 frets have more wood past the last fret than the 24 fret model does: Satriani wanted the neck pickup as close to the 24th fret position as possible, so there's very little wood past the last fret on the JS2400, but a more "normal" amount on the 22 fret models where they aren't squeezed for space.

The only true constant derived from scale length is the spacing of the frets (relative to the nut and saddles). You can make the neck and fingerboard longer or shorter past that last fret if you want, whether it be for tonal reasons (Satriani) or structural ones (PRS style guitars). The neck and fingerboard just hold the frets in their correct spots, relative to the nut and the saddles. Who is to say what shape they need to be once that task is accomplished?

Thanks, that cleared it up a lot.

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I know this gets said a lot around here... But drawing it out can be very helpful! Mark out where the bridge and nut are gonna go, then how many frets you're gonna have, and the point where the neck ends should come naturally. Then add your body shape, headstock, etc... Suddenly you got a big full-size drawing you can directly refer to while building. Very useful.

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