64 cm vs 65 cm scale photo comparison

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JohnyZuper
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64 cm vs 65 cm scale photo comparison

Post by JohnyZuper » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:02 pm

Since, according to the information I found, a 64 cm scale guitar would suit my hand size and finger span better, I have been trying different guitars. Here's a comparison between my 64 cm Burguet Andante and my 65 cm Burguet Vanessa:
64_vs_65_cm_scale.jpg
As Miles Roberts from Kent Guitars pointed out to me, the 1 cm difference translates to only 5 mm difference on most of the fretboard (half of the string length). You can see in the photograph on the right that, indeed, the difference at the twelfth fret is just 5 mm.

The Andante does however feel more comfortable to me. But this may be due to its smaller body more so than the shorter scale (it's a Torres-inspired model)! While at Kent Guitar Classics last week, I had the opportunity to try the Vicente Arias replica by Karel Dedain. This 65 cm scale guitar with very small body feels super-comfortable to me (and sounds quite lovely too, by the way). This could be related to other aspects of my anatomy than my hands. Or maybe it is because due to the shorter body, the head of the guitar can be lower which makes the fretboard easier to access (for me).

For reference:
Vanessa body length: 484 mm.
Andante body length: 475 mm.
Arias replica body length: 458 mm.
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UKsteve
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Re: 64 cm vs 65 cm scale photo comparison

Post by UKsteve » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:27 pm

Great photos: I was selling a 64cm guitar recently and was asked repeatedly about how it felt next to my 650cm guitars.
My general response was, "no different", and I guess your photo shows why.

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Mike Atkinson
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Re: 64 cm vs 65 cm scale photo comparison

Post by Mike Atkinson » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:46 pm

Last summer, when looking for a new guitar, I played the Cordoba Torres, and did not realize it was a 640 until it was pointed out to me ... and I'm not certain I recognized the difference until pickup up a Cordoba Rodriguez, which is a 650.

So, I concur with 'no different'.
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tormodg
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Re: 64 cm vs 65 cm scale photo comparison

Post by tormodg » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:40 pm

Great photos. I have a 640 on order which is being built by a local luthier. I have always played 650 but after trying 640 I felt that it might be beneficial since I have smallish hands. But I'm not expecting miracles... :)
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Michael.N.
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Re: 64 cm vs 65 cm scale photo comparison

Post by Michael.N. » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:48 pm

We know that there isn't a great difference between them both . . . unless you happen to have small hands, then you might need all the help that you can get. Besides it's not just the scale length, it's a combination of fretboard width and scale length. So if you have a medium to a large hand size it may not matter one iota but it may not be such a good idea deciding other people's requirements based on your own physiology or personal experience.
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Jeffrey Armbruster
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Re: 64 cm vs 65 cm scale photo comparison

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:23 pm

Actually the difference looks greater than I would have expected. I can see how the shorter scale could be welcome.

There's an old backpackers' saying: "a pound off the feet is like five pounds off your back". And it's true. Given the 'miles' that a player puts on their fret board over months and years, I wonder if this small difference might add up.
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Chantysboy7
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Re: 64 cm vs 65 cm scale photo comparison

Post by Chantysboy7 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:38 pm

Jeffrey Armbruster wrote:Actually the difference looks greater than I would have expected. I can see how the shorter scale could be welcome.

There's an old backpackers' saying: "a pound off the feet is like five pounds off your back". And it's true. Given the 'miles' that a player puts on their fret board over months and years, I wonder if this small difference might add up.
I think this is really the best point. Playing parts of one or two pieces while testing a guitar might not feel like much but over several weekly intense practice sessions multiplied by months or even years it could really make a difference.
Also, there's a piece I play that I can just barely make a stretch on, but looking at the difference at the fifth fret, I am thinking that stretch would no longer be that much of an issue.
Hell, after seeing this, I'm thinking 630 scale.

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Re: 64 cm vs 65 cm scale photo comparison

Post by soltirefa » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:47 pm

I have both 650mm and 640mm. I can definitely tell a difference. I think most of the time people envision help with longitudinal stretches such as 1 on F 6th string and 4 on A 1st string. But another example where it really helps me is with 3rds played with fingers 2 and 4. For example, 2 on G 1st string and 4 on E 2nd string. I have short fingers and find that shape particularly marginal. 640mm really helps for sure.

Some chord clusters become easier with 640mm.

I will say though that as you go shorter and shorter you give up something. I prefer 640mm over 630mm (I have that, too). 640mm is a good compromise between 650 and 630. A little of the benefits of each.

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JohnyZuper
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Re: 64 cm vs 65 cm scale photo comparison

Post by JohnyZuper » Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:00 pm

Since I switched to the 64 cm scale guitar last month, I haven't experienced the tendon pains that I often got in my left hand after practicing on the 65 cm scale guitar intensely. But as mentioned, the shorter body might contribute to that effect too (maybe even more so than the shorter scale, in my case).

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Re: 64 cm vs 65 cm scale photo comparison

Post by rojarosguitar » Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:12 am

Obviously this translates also to 65 cm versus 66 cm scale. The difference is not dramatic and many other factors may contribute more strongly to how the guitar feels like. Certainly the top tension is one of these factors, as well as neck shape etc.
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JohnyZuper
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Re: 64 cm vs 65 cm scale photo comparison

Post by JohnyZuper » Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:31 am

rojarosguitar wrote:Certainly the top tension is one of these factors, as well as neck shape etc.
Is "top tension" the same as string tension?
Is higher tension more difficult?

Neck shape definitely makes a difference too! I played a thin D profile once and it was very comfortable.
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rojarosguitar
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Re: 64 cm vs 65 cm scale photo comparison

Post by rojarosguitar » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:29 am

Top tension is a very complex mixture of bracing type and how much the top is domed and in which form... Probably difficult to measure but you feel it.
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Re: 64 cm vs 65 cm scale photo comparison

Post by brooks » Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:33 pm

soltirefa wrote: I will say though that as you go shorter and shorter you give up something. I prefer 640mm over 630mm (I have that, too). 640mm is a good compromise between 650 and 630. A little of the benefits of each.
If I remember correctly, you had (or still have) a 630 Byers? I was wondering if you prefer that guitar for Bach, or if you find it easier on the 640.

Rome714
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Re: 64 cm vs 65 cm scale photo comparison

Post by Rome714 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:09 am

I have a 646mm scale Brian Dunn and is my easiest and most comfortable guitar to play compared to my regular scale guitars. It could be other factors like the elevated fretboard, neck size, frets and set-up.
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Re: 64 cm vs 65 cm scale photo comparison

Post by simonm » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:29 am

Rome714 wrote:I have a 646mm scale Brian Dunn and is my easiest and most comfortable guitar to play compared to my regular scale guitars. It could be other factors like the elevated fretboard, neck size, frets and set-up.
When we are talking about scale length it is worth remembering that this is pretty much exactly the Martin Guitar Company's "long scale" whereas their "standard scale" is just marginally longer than 630mm.

Apart from classical guitar players and bass guitar players, most guitarists in the world play scales shorter than 650 and mainly between 630 and 640.

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