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Thread: Scale Length

  1. #1
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    Default Scale Length

    I know there is a big difference between 24.5 inch scale and a 25 inch scale. I like to play heavier and detune fairly often so I generally go for the 25 inch scale. My question is why? Why does a 25 inch scale suit the heavier detuned songs? Why would a 245 with heavier gauge strings not fit the bill? I'm sure this has been explained 100 times, but I don't completely understand it!

    Edit: I ask because I'm looking at buying a singlecut/tremonti or SC250. I'd like to play an SC245 as well to see how it feels

  2. #2
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    I think you can do it on a 245 with no issues........................................Gibb y players do it a lot.

  3. #3
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    Yes, I bet you could too. Some of the Gibby guys tune way down.

  4. #4
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans View Post
    The longer the scale, the tighter the strings have to be to achieve the same key. Tight strings don't bend out of tune as easily when you fret chords.

    Heavier strings must be tighter than smaller strings (on the same scale) to achieve the same key.

    So... short scale (24.5") means loose strings to begin with. When you drop your tuning further, the strings get downright sloppy.

    On a longer scale guitar (25.5") you can drop your tuning without your strings becoming as sloppy. Add bigger strings to a long scale and you can drop further without the strings becoming super-loose.
    Well said, I learned something!

  5. #5
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    :hans:

    Playing a 25" and 24.5" set up otherwise identical, I was very surprised at how dramatic the difference in feel was. It took a real effort to change my technique in order to not bend out of tune on the 24.5er.

  6. #6
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    Apr 2012
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    Awesome, thanks guys! I've had my eye on a white SC245 for awhile, but never pulled the trigger in fear I wouldn't be able to set it up how I'd like. I'll just throw some heavier strings at it and drop tune. Going to play a few this weekend!

  7. #7
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    Apr 2012
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    MD
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    +1 on what Hans said - I just setup one of my CEs 1/2 step down with 9s... the strings are super loose compared to standard tuning. I may have to go up to 10s to get the string tension back up a bit.

  8. #8
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    Australia
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans View Post
    The longer the scale, the tighter the strings have to be to achieve the same key. Tight strings don't bend out of tune as easily when you fret chords.

    Heavier strings must be tighter than smaller strings (on the same scale) to achieve the same key.

    So... short scale (24.5") means loose strings to begin with. When you drop your tuning further, the strings get downright sloppy.

    On a longer scale guitar (25.5") you can drop your tuning without your strings becoming as sloppy. Add bigger strings to a long scale and you can drop further without the strings becoming super-loose.
    Great explanation +1.

    Baritones are the ultimate for de-tuning an have an increased scale length to compensate the string tension. While others mentioned you can use 10-52s to drop lower than a full tone - I personally find the feel of the guitar diminished (and hence a bit sloppy) without at least having 11-54s.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by PiggySmallz View Post
    I know there is a big difference between 24.5 inch scale and a 25 inch scale. I like to play heavier and detune fairly often so I generally go for the 25 inch scale. My question is why? Why does a 25 inch scale suit the heavier detuned songs? Why would a 245 with heavier gauge strings not fit the bill? I'm sure this has been explained 100 times, but I don't completely understand it!

    Edit: I ask because I'm looking at buying a singlecut/tremonti or SC250. I'd like to play an SC245 as well to see how it feels
    In addition to all the good explanations already given, it is worth considering that the SC250 comes standard with an adjustable bridge which will allow for great intonation with low tunings and thicker strings. The standard stoptail is, according to PRS, only accurate up to a certain string gauge. On the other hand, you can swap out the standard stoptail on the SC245 if you like that guitar better. On the SC250, a big plus for me were also the locking tuners. And there's of course that difference in pickups, SC250 more modern, SC245 more vintage.

    And finally (after that I'll stop rambling), the new Chris Henderson model is basically the SC250 revived.

    Have fun in trying everything out!
    _________________________________
    A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

    Alex

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