plague o' death
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2006
1,038 IQ
#1
So, I know there's been a long standing debate over which is better, 24.75 scale guitars or 25.5 scale guitars and usually the 25.5 gets the upper hand in the fret department, because you gain a complete octave. But my question is which is better when both have 24 frets?

I ask because i'm putting together a guitar from scratch and i don't wanna end up having to take this sort of thing to the drawing board. I also ask because of this article:

http://www.edroman.com/techarticles/scalelength.htm

I've heard mixed things about Mr. Ed Roman, so i'd like to see what the UG Community can inquire about this. My hands aren't overly small, but I will say my reach from first finger first fret to fourth finger goes to about the fifth fret, and typically i'm used to and like the spacing of Gibson style 24.75 scale guitars. In time my hands got used to the reach and I kinda like the Fender 25.5 scale 21 fret guitars, my only problem being the lack of frets.

Still when I stumbled upon this guitar at Guitar Center
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Schecter-Guitar-Research-C1-Standard-Electric-Guitar?sku=584529
I thought "wow, a 24 fret guitar, with a 24.75 scale". It played comfortable and nicely in my hands albeit, maybe I could use more space in the upper range, but my hands are just fine with them.

With all this in mind, what i'd like to know is whether or not that article has some basis in fact over the 25.5 scale superiority or its increased tonal benefits, based off physics. Either way i'm fine with 25.5 or 24.75, 24 fret guitars, but kinda once and for all i'd like to know which would be the better one.
metalwarrior40
UG Resident
Join date: Jun 2007
3,145 IQ
#2
Don't listen to roman. He likes to make hype, to prove his guitars are "superior to all".

There's only two things to consider when choosing scale, imho, being tension and what the person prefers to play. Some find the smaller easier, and others like the extra room. However, if a person plays a lot of drop tunings, they need a bigger scale, to get more tension in the strings. Otherwise the guitar just sound boomy when played through a amp.
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MonkeyLink07
UG's Fire Gym Leader
Join date: Dec 2008
553 IQ
#3
There probably are tonal differences, but I'm not quite sure what they are, google could tell you.

They both also have their own physical properties, in the end, it comes down to preference, which on you like the sound and feel of more.

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1062855

Found that thread, read through it, it will have some more info.

You may want to try something like a PRS that has a scale length of 25", which I've heard some people prefer and that is what I'm going to use on my build, simply because I want to try it.


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salsawords
UG's turtle enthusiast
Join date: May 2007
510 IQ
#4
A shorter scale = a warmer sound and less string tension than a longer scale. That's really all you need to know. Many people think Ed Roman is full of shit. I've read this article before, but it doesn't really talk about all the nodes and overtones of when you're actually playing and fretting different notes. Really, it's just a personal preference.
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plague o' death
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2006
1,038 IQ
#5
Well, i'm really big on alt rock, post-punk, shoegaze, blues, and kind of music that ranges from The Smiths, The Stone Roses, Muse, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. And since I mention BRMC, they use A LOT of weird and dropped/raised tunings, examples: AAEAAe, DADF#AD, FA#C#FA#F, CCD#GGC, EBEEBE, EBDG#BE, EBBBBE, among others. And they use Gibson ES-335s which have 24.75 scale (and varying string gauges)

With all that in mind, my style is kind of like a middle of the road sort of deal that only goes into extremes with tunings and effects, and using a tremolo.
plague o' death
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2006
1,038 IQ
#6
Quote by salsawords
A shorter scale = a warmer sound and less string tension than a longer scale. That's really all you need to know. Many people think Ed Roman is full of shit. I've read this article before, but it doesn't really talk about all the nodes and overtones of when you're actually playing and fretting different notes. Really, it's just a personal preference.


How warm are we talking? Because that's one thing i've been toying with. I wanna use mahogany for everything but the fretboard (i'm debating between rosewood and ebony), and how I figure, I can have warm sounding woods, but maybe I can counter-act them with bright sounding or higher output pickups, to get the best of both worlds with the right EQ.

EDIT:
Also, I own a Fender Jaguar, I will say its really nice to play it since it makes certain motions easier, but it does feel a little too small. And early on when I played I found most Fenders to be too big and cumbersome to play, but I dunno i've somehow gotten used to them and can fret them almost as normal as my Epiphone Dot.
Last edited by plague o' death at Jul 4, 2010,