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Old 09-26-2023, 06:16 PM
eyesore eyesore is offline
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Default short scale guitars

Are all short scale guitars 12 fret models? Are there any 14 fret models? I never understood the term short scale.
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Old 09-26-2023, 06:49 PM
Rosewood99 Rosewood99 is offline
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Plenty of both 12 and 14 short scale guitars. Too many to list.

https://www.soundpure.com/a/expert-a...20and%20punch.
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Old 09-26-2023, 06:50 PM
JackC1 JackC1 is offline
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I think short scale is not clearly defined. Its nebulous definition also depends on the guitar type. For example, electric guitars, 25.5" is considered normal, so anything shorter is "short scale." Classical, it is 650mm. Acoustic, Martin dreadnought's 25.4" seems normal.

Also, definitely not all short scale guitars are 12 fret. My Martin 000-10jr is short scale and not 14 fret.
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Old 09-26-2023, 06:53 PM
fpuhan fpuhan is offline
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I own a number of short-scale 14-fret guitars. The shortest is my KLŌS carbon fiber traveler at 23.5". My GS Mini-e Koa is also 23.5". I have other guitars that range from 24" to 24.5". I consider all of them short scale.
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Old 09-26-2023, 06:53 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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The scale length is the distance between the nut and the saddle. Martin uses two scale lengths: the 25.4 scale on its dreadnoughts and OMs, and the 24.9 scale on its 000s and smaller instruments. Most of these smaller Martin instruments have 14 fret body joins.

Gibson uses a short 24.75 scale on many of its instruments, including larger ones, notably the iconic J-45. Again, its got a 14 fret body join, so theres nothing that ties short scale lengths to 12 fret body joins.

There are plenty of short scale guitars that DO have 12 fret body joins, but its not even remotely mandatory.

Hope that makes sense.


Wade Hampton Miller
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Old 09-26-2023, 06:57 PM
TJNies TJNies is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
The scale length is the distance between the nut and the saddle. Martin uses two scale lengths: the 25.4 scale on its dreadnoughts and OMs, and the 24.9 scale on its 000s and smaller instruments. Most of these smaller Martin instruments have 14 fret body joins.

Gibson uses a short 24.75 scale on many of its instruments, including larger ones, notably the iconic J-45. Again, its got a 14 fret body join, so theres nothing that ties short scale lengths to 12 fret body joins.

There are plenty of short scale guitars that DO have 12 fret body joins, but its not even remotely mandatory.

Hope that makes sense.


Wade Hampton Miller
That is true for Martin's Standard and higher models. They can change the scale for 16 and below series 000s. I had a 2003 000C-16RGTE that was a long-scale.
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Old 09-26-2023, 06:59 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJNies View Post
That is true for Martin's Standard and higher models. They can change the scale for 16 and below series 000s. I had a 2003 000C-16RGTE that was a long-scale.
Right. I forgot that 16 Series Triple Os have the longer scale.


whm
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Old 09-26-2023, 07:26 PM
eyesore eyesore is offline
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I 'm confused now . I 'll have to read the article Rosewood sent.
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Old 09-26-2023, 07:36 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyesore View Post
I 'm confused now . I 'll have to read the article Rosewood sent.
I’m sorry you’re confused; I thought I laid it out pretty clearly in my first post in this thread.

But definitely read the article Rosewood linked us to. It explores what I was talking about at greater length.


whm
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Old 09-26-2023, 08:06 PM
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Guitars44me Guitars44me is offline
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Smile Search function is your friend

This is one of a bunch of threads on scale length I just found with the search function here.

https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=304384

You can dive as deep as you want.

Play both and see what you think

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Paul
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Old 09-27-2023, 05:54 AM
sinistral sinistral is offline
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There are several discussions here and elsewhere regarding scale length. My favorites are the ones that start out with, or evolve into, discussions of where scale lengths come from (who came up with 25.4” in the first place?) followed by how is scale length measured, and what is the math behind fret spacing for different scale lengths. Then there are the more practical discussions—how does a builder decide which scale length to use? Which scale length is better for which style of playing, etc.?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
The scale length is the distance between the nut and the saddle. Martin uses two scale lengths: the 25.4” scale on its dreadnoughts and OM’s, and the 24.9” scale on its 000’s and smaller instruments. Most of these smaller Martin instruments have 14 fret body joins.

Gibson uses a short 24.75” scale on many of its instruments, including larger ones, notably the iconic J-45. Again, it’s got a 14 fret body join, so there’s nothing that ties short scale lengths to 12 fret body joins.

There are plenty of short scale guitars that DO have 12 fret body joins, but it’s not even remotely mandatory.

Hope that makes sense.


Wade Hampton Miller
That is the Martin approach, but with the advent of compensated saddles, the more accurate way to measure scale length is to measure from the nut to the twelfth fret, and then double it.

If we ignore the fact that guitars with stated 25.4” or 25.5” scale lengths can have different nut to high E lengths depending on how they measure scale length, 25.4” or 25.5” is considered standard. 650cm (25.6”) is considered standard for classical guitars, strung of course with nylon string (and previously strung with gut).

Going back to the nineteenth century, Martin guitars were 12-fret guitars strung with gut strings. The first Martin guitar to get a 25.4” scale length was the 00, introduced in 1858. Prior to that, the longest scale length on Martin guitars was 24.9”. According the technical reference based on Mike Longworth’s book, Martin did an odd thing—when they introduced the 000 in 1902 (still 12-fret with gut strings), it got the longer 25.4” scale length, and the 00 was switched to 24.9”. The OM, Martin’s first 14-fret guitar, based on the 000 body shape, carried over the 25.4” scale length. When the dreadnought was introduced in 1931, it too had the 25.4” scale length (as did it Ditson predecessors). The firs dozen dreadnoughts were 12-fret, but them Martin switched them to 14-fret. When Martin introduced the 14-fret 000, a few examples initially had 25.4” scale lengths, but Martin switched the scale length to 24.9” shortly thereafter. Martin’s use of different scale lengths is a bit of a mish-mash, as T Spoon Phillips describes in this blog post.

As Wade points out, there are some general rules with Martin:

- Dreadnoughts and OMs have standard scale lengths (25.4”)
- Standard Series guitars (Style 18 and up) in smaller sizes have short scale lengths (24.5”), regardless whether 12- or 14-fret

For guitars outside of the Standard Series, such as Style 15 guitars and 16 series guitars, Martin tends to put standard scale length necks on the guitars, regardless whether 12-fret or 14 fret. So the 14-fret 00-15M and 000-15M have 25.4” scale lengths (and 1-11/16” nut widths), and the 12-fret 000-15SM also has a 25.4” scale length (and 1-3/4” nut width).

Makes perfect sense, right? Gibson is a whole different discussion, including why Gibson’s 24.75” scale length isn’t really that different from Martin’s 24.9” scale length.

The short answer is that scale length and number of frets clear of the body (12, 13 or 14 frets) are not necessarily related. One can find both 12- and 14-fret guitars with either short or long scale lengths.
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Old 09-27-2023, 10:44 AM
Lillis Lillis is offline
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My 12 fret 00015SM is long scale and my Taylor 322 14 fret is short scale. Go figure.
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Old 09-27-2023, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyesore View Post
Are all short scale guitars 12 fret models? Are there any 14 fret models? I never understood the term short scale.
Short answer is no. To keep it simple a short scale guitar the fret board is simply shorter. Like Martin regular scale is 25.4 they consider a short scale to be 24.9.
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Old 09-27-2023, 07:53 PM
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My new Yamaha FG800J is a short scale.
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Old 09-27-2023, 08:15 PM
sayheyjeff sayheyjeff is offline
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There are many days that I generally play better on short scale guitars with smaller hands and 72 yr old fingers that do t always feel like stretching out. Only large scale guitar I have now is the H13. There are days when the PJ and its 24.0 scale is exactly what I need to be playin. There are plenty of short scale guitars that sound as good as any. I am lucky to have a short scale dread, 000, 00 (for another week), a PJ, and a EL. Really love each of them.

Jeff
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