#1
Currently about to go ahead with my first custom build, pretty damn excited about it! It's a tele shaped multiscale six string, from 28 - 30 inches. Based (apart from body and string number) around the ibanez m8m. Everyone i've spoken to has told me i'm mad for going ahead with such a long scaled 6 string. But truth be told I think it'll suit me perfectly. My band plays around the F - G# range, but we have never wanted to leave 6 strings. So i think the longer scale will suit it perfectly.
What do you guys reckon? Photo is just a basic concept.

#2
Looks like a sweet build Love the M8m Aesthetic on a tele body.

But this is better placed in the builds and projects section
Gibson RD Silverburst w/ Lace Dissonant Aggressors (SOLD)
Electra Omega Prime Ceruse
Fender Franken-Jag Bass

Amps and the like:
Laney VH100R
Seismic Luke 2x12
Dunlop 105Q Wah
Gojira FX 808
Line 6 M9
#3
You're going to have some design issues to consider.

One, that guitar is going to be seriously neck heavy, in part because of the placement of the neck position strap connector. You'll notice that most basses and most 27-30" multiscale designs have the strap position much farther up the neck due to the body shape. There's a reason why LP and Tele shape basses aren't very popular.

Two, you're going to have a helluva reach out to the 1-5 fret area because of the way the guitar is going to hang on you.

Three, you might want to reconsider the placement of your single "horizontal" fret (the one that's at a 90 degree angle to the neck). Most multiscale guitar designers put it around the 7th fret, give or take.

Four, you might want to think about WHY you're going with a multi-scale guitar in this length with only six strings, WHY you're doing a custom build (when there are already guitars out there that have most of these features) and WHY you're doing a tele body other than that you think it's cool. And finally, do you really want a bolt neck for this?

You can easily end up with a canoe paddle. I'd suggest that you buy and flip a guitar that already has a design close to this (but at a price less than what a custom will cost you) to get a better understanding of whether you're really going to want a long multi-scale six and what the design challenges are before you commit money to a piece of wood that might only be good for posting NGD photos in a forum.



The above guitar is a 7, but it's a 27"-30" multiscale, $869 with case. These are the approximate angles your frets will take if you're going with a 28"-30" multiscale. It's also a neck-through design for a bit more stability. Notice, too, that it's a 24-fret guitar with all 24 available at the high end. Your Tele design has the last three or four frets buried in the body. Why? And note where the "horizontal" fret is located, and where, relative to the neck, the strap will hang the guitar.
Last edited by dspellman at Feb 28, 2015,
#4
Quote by dspellman
You're going to have some design issues to consider.

One, that guitar is going to be seriously neck heavy, in part because of the placement of the neck position strap connector. You'll notice that most basses and most 27-30" multiscale designs have the strap position much farther up the neck due to the body shape. There's a reason why LP and Tele shape basses aren't very popular.

Two, you're going to have a helluva reach out to the 1-5 fret area because of the way the guitar is going to hang on you.

Three, you might want to reconsider the placement of your single "horizontal" fret (the one that's at a 90 degree angle to the neck). Most multiscale guitar designers put it around the 7th fret, give or take.

Four, you might want to think about WHY you're going with a multi-scale guitar in this length with only six strings, WHY you're doing a custom build (when there are already guitars out there that have most of these features) and WHY you're doing a tele body other than that you think it's cool. And finally, do you really want a bolt neck for this?

You can easily end up with a canoe paddle. I'd suggest that you buy and flip a guitar that already has a design close to this (but at a price less than what a custom will cost you) to get a better understanding of whether you're really going to want a long multi-scale six and what the design challenges are before you commit money to a piece of wood that might only be good for posting NGD photos in a forum.



The above guitar is a 7, but it's $869 with case. It's also a neck-through design for a bit more stability. Notice, too, that it's a 24-fret guitar with all 24 available at the high end. Your Tele design has the last three or four frets buried in the body. Why?


i noticed that the way the frets are positioned on your example guitar are almost opposite of the OP has in his design. wondering if OP's design is wrong from that standpoint.
#5
Quote by monwobobbo
i noticed that the way the frets are positioned on your example guitar are almost opposite of the OP has in his design. wondering if OP's design is wrong from that standpoint.


He's going the right direction (the shorter scale is always on the treble side). They're just badly positioned. Multiscales are easier to figure out (regarding fret placement) than you'd think. But if you have no experience with a multiscale, or with a long scale guitar, you can easily miss some important design considerations. Most builders have never touched one, so they'll build to a customer's specs and let it go at that, until the customer runs into issues. And then it's just, "Okay, that's ONE lesson learned the hard way..."

For years these were custom-build-only guitars, so most guitarists have never even touched one, much less played one, and they look a bit scary. Kurt at RondoMusic has made these almost toss-away-money easy to buy and try, what with 6, 7, 8, 9 and even 10-string versions, and scales up to 30".
#6
Quote by alexbertuna
Everyone i've spoken to has told me i'm mad for going ahead with such a long scaled 6 string. But truth be told I think it'll suit me perfectly. My band plays around the F - G# range, but we have never wanted to leave 6 strings.


I fitted my Squier Bass VI with baritone guitar strings to F# standard, it's 30" scale and I love how it plays. I'd say go for it.
#7
Cheaper than all that, you might just get a Novax fanned fret neck to work with. That way, for minimal $$$ outlay, you can see if you like that kind of neck at all.

I know they sell 6 and 8 string versions.
http://novaxguitars.com/parts-accessories/necks-guit.html
http://novaxguitars.com/parts-accessories/necks-ch8.html
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Feb 28, 2015,
#8
Quote by dspellman


Three, you might want to reconsider the placement of your single "horizontal" fret (the one that's at a 90 degree angle to the neck). Most multiscale guitar designers put it around the 7th fret, give or take.



The picture i attached is only a reference of the aesthetics for the guitar. In terms of how the actual frets will be laid out, that's up to the builder. He knows more about it than me haha.
#9
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Cheaper than all that, you might just get a Novax fanned fret neck to work with. That way, for minimal $$$ outlay, you can see if you like that kind of neck at all.

I know they sell 6 and 8 string versions.
http://novaxguitars.com/parts-accessories/necks-guit.html
http://novaxguitars.com/parts-accessories/necks-ch8.html


1. Those aren't going to be the 28-30" scale he's shooting for on his custom built guitar.
2. There are compromises involved in the way the frets are angled on the Novax necks to accommodate the very limited range of saddle adjustment on those guitars. Thus, you're not really going to see a fan fret neck at its best.
3. You need to have at least a 3/4" range of adjustment in the bridge.
4. $550 isn't all THAT much cheaper, given that you still need to provide the rest of the guitar.

Since the OP is talking a 30" scale on the bass side, he may find that working with that scale is not quite as playable as he'd hoped. But he won't find that out until he actually works with one.
#10
Quote by alexbertuna
The picture i attached is only a reference of the aesthetics for the guitar. In terms of how the actual frets will be laid out, that's up to the builder. He knows more about it than me haha.


You may be sacrificing the playability of the guitar for the aesthetics ("I want a tele body").
If the builder isn't already telling you that, he may not know MUCH more about it than you haha.
#11
Quote by dspellman
You may be sacrificing the playability of the guitar for the aesthetics ("I want a tele body").
If the builder isn't already telling you that, he may not know MUCH more about it than you haha.


He hasn't mentioned anything about it yet, but i will definitely bring it to his attention. It's a live guitar so i want the playability to be top notch.
However, his build quality and guitar knowledge is incredible, i've played his builds before and they are undoubtedly some of the nicest guitars i've ever played in my life. One thing that's handy is that he is the father of a friend of mine, so he is building this guitar for me at build cost and not really charging me an arm and a leg for it.

If there's any other things that you reckon could hinder this build could you please let me know? i've had the vision in my mind for so long and i want to make it a reality, but not if it means sacrificing playability haha.
#12
Have you played a long scale as a guitar or used fan frets?

I play a 30" bari tuned to open D with 13-56, and it is the best sounding guitar I have, with several different sets of pickups I have tried in it. I'm pretty well convinced that the long, high tension strings contribute to tone. However, I only play slide on it, and I think that playing it with conventional fretting wouldn't work well with my small hands on the lower frets. The trade-off is that playing on the high frets is easier, at least with a slide.

Can anyone explain the value of fan frets on an electric? I know that they are supposed to be a good way of optimising the sound of acoustic guitars, and at least one acoustic luthier, Jeff Traugott, is charging very big $ for them. - So someone must think they are a good idea. But I can't see that as a good enough reason in electrics, where you can manipulate string gauge more without sacrificing tone, if it makes them harder to play.
#13
Quote by alexbertuna

However, his build quality and guitar knowledge is incredible, i've played his builds before and they are undoubtedly some of the nicest guitars i've ever played in my life. One thing that's handy is that he is the father of a friend of mine, so he is building this guitar for me at build cost and not really charging me an arm and a leg for it.


When the project is a normal, standard guitar, most fathers of a friend do just fine, and that's in part because the parameters are well understood and all the information is out there. This isn't one of those.
#14
Quote by dspellman
When the project is a normal, standard guitar, most fathers of a friend do just fine, and that's in part because the parameters are well understood and all the information is out there. This isn't one of those.


The whole father of a friend thing was just referring to how I'm not paying stupidly high amounts of money for the guitar, admittedly it was probably a dumb thing to post haha. The builder himself, has been building fanned fret guitars for the better part of 20 years, he makes his living out of it and he definitely knows what he is doing haha. Friend or not I would still be going to said builder to do this guitar because he is the only custom builder I know who works specifically in fanned fret guitars
#15
I like the idea, It's simple, no tremolo and it'll have a ton of sustain because of the fact it's string through. I would get a warlock like it but no sense in getting bare knuckle pickup right away. See how the guitar sounds first and work with it then. It would take some huge balls to pay 1000-3000$ custom shop guitar and ask for 8$ ebay humbuckers but then when i see what the guitar sounds like go from there.

for something like this though my two cents a thick neck will do this nicely too, to help tune super low. I'd make it neckthrough too.

good luck on this build. So glad it's not another watered down super strat like all the people I talk to on other sites.
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Mar 1, 2015,
#16
Quote by alexbertuna
I would still be going to said builder to do this guitar because he is the only custom builder I know who works specifically in fanned fret guitars


"Fanned fret" isn't the issue; that's surprisingly easy to deal with, though locating your horizontal fret is a thing. Obviously "fanned fret" is being done very well under $1000 in production mode in Korean factories and it's no longer a "custom builder only" deal.

Where the engineering happens is getting a 30" scale guitar based on a tele body to be ergonomically pleasant to play, and whether that's a bass or a baritone, you have similar considerations. My suggestion would be to contact Alan at AC Guitars ("sayhello at acguitars.co.uk") in Scotland. His quality level is superb, and he will have some insight into the balance and "arm reach" issues.
#17
Quote by Tallwood13
So glad it's not another watered down super strat like all the people I talk to on other sites.


The superstrat look in long-scale guitars and/or basses is largely for functionality, and to get the guitar to balance well in a strap, and to place the guitar ergonomically.

Consider the difference between a Gibson SG and a Fender strat.

The SG has only a 24.75" scale, but the best you can do with a strap button is locate it roughly between the 18th and 19th frets (on the point of the upper cutaway horn). That leads to a "neck heavy" reputation (deserved) and to the observation of most players that everything seems "pushed to the left" in terms of fretting and picking hand.

The Les Paul works better because it puts the strap button about on the 16th fret.

The Strat's strap button on the upper cutaway horn is roughly at the 12th fret, and it balances very well even though it's a longer scale than either the LP or the SG. It's this balance and ergonomic location of picking and fretting hand that help make it easy to play, and the reason so many longer scale designs are superstrat-like.

A Jazz bass, for example, has a body that's extended to accommodate the longer scale and, even though it's only a 20-fret bass, you'll notice that the strap button on the upper bout is located at right about the 12th fret.

Here's another option, and while guitar players will be horrified, this is a fairly common custom bass shape:



The single-cut shape supports the neck very well and doesn't get in the way working in the upper frets. But in order to HAVE a single cut shape on a longer scale, you need to extend the upper bout in order to have a strap button position that will balance the guitar and locate it nicely for playing ease.
Last edited by dspellman at Mar 1, 2015,
#18
Quote by Tony Done


Can anyone explain the value of fan frets on an electric? But I can't see that as a good enough reason in electrics, where you can manipulate string gauge more without sacrificing tone, if it makes them harder to play.


Having different scales on the same guitar allows easier bending on the treble side and better (richer) sound on the bass side.

Surprisingly, they're not harder to play at all. In fact, if you watch your left hand's natural positioning as you move up and down the neck, you'll find that a fan-fret guitar follows that more accurately than a straight-fret (single scale) guitar. After a few hours of playing a fan-fret, you may actually find that it's easier to play than a standard, not harder. Dingwall bass fans certainly think so, and Kurt at Rondo Music is selling that Pendulum series at a pretty fast clip. It's not a new idea; you can find stringed instruments with fan frets back into the 1700s.
#19
What dspellman is saying is very true and it certainly needs some thought.

What you can do is: Move the neck back into the body a little, then alter the cutaway to give access to the higher frets, alter the shape of the waist accordingly. It'll no longer look exactly the same, but will certainly be Tele inspired. I would also cut the frets down to 20 instead of 22. I've done 30" Tele basses before and if you do all of that it's possible to still have the instrument balance well if the body isn't feather light. G&L make a 34" Tele bass (ASAT), but that balances terribly and has to have some ridiculous extender for the top strap button.
#20
Thanks heaps for all the advice guys, definitely some food for thought! What dspellman has said has made me question whether to go for a scale length that's THAT long, as well as the shape of the body.
Would it make much of a difference if i were to change the scale from 28-30 to 27-28? Is that a whole different ball game or am i just being overly hopeful that i can get away with the telecaster shape on a longer guitar?

beware: noob question incoming.
If i were to push the bridge way further back into the body, and compensate the cutaway. Thus keeping the guitars scale length but shortening the overall length of the guitar, could that make a difference?
#21
I don't know if this is going to be any help at all, but this is same model as my bari, a copy of the Music Man:



The important features in relation to this discussion are:

It is a 30" bari

The bridge is set well back

The upper horn extends almost to the 12th fret

It is only 22 frets, but fanning could squeeze more frets on the treble strings if the fretboard end went straight across instead of following the frets.

It is only just over an inch longer overall than my short scale strat or Peavey Predator

It balances just about the same as the strat or Predator.

It doesn't look much like a tele, but it is IMO well-designed ergonomically for the scale length.
#22
Quote by alexbertuna

Would it make much of a difference if i were to change the scale from 28-30 to 27-28? Is that a whole different ball game or am i just being overly hopeful that i can get away with the telecaster shape on a longer guitar?


The lengths I'd go for are probably 28" bass and 26.5" treble. I wouldn't want the higher strings feeling too tight otherwise it would make it harder to play lead stuff. Most 8 string guitars (the lower range you're going for) are 28" anyway, so that shouldn't be too much of an issue.
That's just what I'd do of course
Last edited by CorrosionMedia at Mar 2, 2015,
#23
Quote by dspellman


Surprisingly, they're not harder to play at all. In fact, if you watch your left hand's natural positioning as you move up and down the neck, you'll find that a fan-fret guitar follows that more accurately than a straight-fret (single scale) guitar. After a few hours of playing a fan-fret, you may actually find that it's easier to play than a standard, not harder. Dingwall bass fans certainly think so, and Kurt at Rondo Music is selling that Pendulum series at a pretty fast clip. It's not a new idea; you can find stringed instruments with fan frets back into the 1700s.


I can't recall ever having seen a fan fret, but I hope I get the chance to try one some day. I can see how it would work.
#25
Quote by alexbertuna
Thanks heaps for all the advice guys, definitely some food for thought! What dspellman has said has made me question whether to go for a scale length that's THAT long, as well as the shape of the body.
Would it make much of a difference if i were to change the scale from 28-30 to 27-28? Is that a whole different ball game or am i just being overly hopeful that i can get away with the telecaster shape on a longer guitar?

beware: noob question incoming.
If i were to push the bridge way further back into the body, and compensate the cutaway. Thus keeping the guitars scale length but shortening the overall length of the guitar, could that make a difference?



Yes, that's basically what I said to do. The neck would obviously have to move back with the bridge though! Then the cutaway altered to give access. You don't necessarily have to abandon the idea of a Tele shape, it just needs thinking about. I'm sure your luthier would have put you right and advised the same changes anyway.

Going down to 28" on the bass side would be a smart move, 30" is unnecessarily long for the tuning you are using.

Here's one of the 30" Tele basses we did....note the bridge location and the heel. You won't be able to move the bride too much further back than that without it going off the edge of the body! Remember though this is a bass, so a longer reach wasn't really a concern as it's still a great deal shorter than a P or J bass.

Last edited by Manton Customs at Mar 2, 2015,
#26
So what i've got from this thread so far is that

A) I should opt for a little bit shorter scale. 28.625" on the bass end and maybe 27" on the high end

B) I should put the bridge well deep into the body to compensate for the length and weight of the guitar

C) I will have to alter the cutaway in order to maximise playability

D) Balance could potentially be an issue but could possibly be resolved if i follow previous points.

I really appreciate this guys, this has helped me see this build from another angle and hopefully now i'll end up with a much nicer guitar in the end. Will post NGD photos when the guitar arrives!