I am getting ready for my second build and have a question.  I have the fret board templates from CBGitty and used the 25-1/2" for my first build.  What does changing the length do if I was to try a 24" or 24-1/2"?  


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It's not really the "ultimate" guide but it's a good place to start.  : )

Thank you, a very informative article.

thanks for sharing Korrigan- I always enjoy this type of reading.

I’m not sure if this is what you are asking, but you can figure out the new fret positions with the new scale length using some online fret calculators. Here’s one.

I was wondering if it changes the tone or if you get a "tenor" guitar with a shorter fret board length.  It seems that it effects the action and string choice more than anything else.  Thank you for the reply.

well there are 4 variables to consider. scale length ,string diameter , tension and pitch tuned to..

so if you keep the same strings and the same pitch as on a 25.5" scale on a 24.75 scale then the strings will have less tension ie easier to bend a note.. to get the same tension as the 25.5" scale then you need larger string gauge. 

The article referenced by Korrigan is very informative. It brings up a quandary I've had for a while, saying the best way to measure a guitars scale length its to measure to the 12th fret and double it, instead of the bridge because of the adjustability of the bridge (some). I get that, but then if you're building a guitar with a bridge with that much adjustment, how do you know exactly where to place it? The middle seems to make sense, but I've been burned a couple times doing that. Bummer trying to move a bridge.

If you're talking about a hardtail bridge that allows you to move the saddles to make the vibrating length of the string longer or shorter...

After my first failed attempt, taking the advice that I start with the saddles in the middle of their travel, and then running out of adjustment when I tried to set intonation, I now adjust the saddles almost all the way forward before mounting it.

The scale length is a theoretical measurement and your thinnest string will be closest to your chosen scale length with thicker strings needing to be slightly longer. If you place the saddles exactly at scale length with this kind of bridge knowing that all your adjustments will be to make the strings longer, never shorter,  starting with them adjusted forward makes the most sense.

Thank you. Exactly what I've experienced and what I was asking. Makes Sense.

Korrigan, I took my first "Real" 34'' scale bass to a guitar tech for final setup. (photo). (I was also taking repair lessons from him). He asked me to move the bridge forward 1/4''. Took me 4 hours. Went to pick it up, he said, "can you put it back where it was?"!! This is why I appreciate your advice.

Awesome looking bass, nice work Daniel!

I was able to fix my mistake without moving the bridge but it required cutting one of the springs in half and leaving one off altogether.

I've chopped a 23" scale fret board to a 20.825" scale for an electric guitar. I just cutted off the first two frets to accommodate the size and scale. The tone is a much darker growl. You would think it would go higher at a short scale but it gets deeper. Also depends on your caps, knowing it gets dark, a .010upf might brighten it up more.


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