How about short scale and full sized body guitars?

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
amezcua
Posts: 145
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:50 pm

How about short scale and full sized body guitars?

Postby amezcua » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:04 pm

If you take a requinto guitar string length and make a full size body to attach the short strings would the only disadvantage be lack of volume ? Most notes played on a guitar shorten the maximum string length .So if you used thicker strings for more tension would small hands be as good as big hands? A cutaway would make the shrinking fretboard usable for high notes . Disregard appearance and saleability for now. Also disregard whether it would sell unless the wood looked pretty .And disregard the unusual visual effect of body /neck proportions . No microphones will be allowed for the first one .Filling the Wembley arena with sound is not the main priority here ."What would be the point of making something that might not sell ?" is for another topic .

User avatar
Michael.N.
Posts: 6155
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 7:28 am
Location: UK

Re: How about short scale and full sized body guitars?

Postby Michael.N. » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:03 pm

The Requinto has a very short scale length, rather like a Terz, around 55 cm's. You wouldn't need the cutaway unless you placed the body join at at fret 10. Although we do shorten many notes/strings on a guitar we also play many open or at fret 1 and 2. Try playing an open E and then play a G past the 12 th fret. You should immediately hear a difference in sustain.
Of course I've never made such an instrument but my guess is that it will sound more like a romantic guitar, you'll lose some of the bass depth sustain and response, more of a shorter woody tone.
I'll let someone else do the practical experiment. . .
Historicalguitars.

amezcua
Posts: 145
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:50 pm

Re: How about short scale and full sized body guitars?

Postby amezcua » Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:19 am

I found a D`Addario chart that takes any length measurements and frequencies and then gives the closest string to work best . I guessed the tension at 7 lbs each string and they give the gauge and tension closest to the specs. Now I need to find all that information in the strings on sale.
The requinto I have uses standard requinto strings but I removed the top string and shifted all the others sideways. With a replacement lowest string the sound and volume is very good . The full size guitar problem is similar but I am using a capo and almost as short strings as the requinto . Bottom line is not to strain the guitar top wood .

amezcua
Posts: 145
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:50 pm

Re: How about short scale and full sized body guitars?

Postby amezcua » Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:57 pm

I wrote out the D`Addario measurements for thickness and tension but it was difficult to relate all of them to what strings show on the packet .

I should Not copy what I did with the Requinto . (Edited there )
That was a reduction in tension that made the sideways shift possible With a "permanent" capo on the third fret .
I can Not fit normal tension strings one place to the right (Edited again ) and just find a new bottom string or use a detuned high tension string just in that position.
That was Edited to show my mistake . The tension would be too much . I have been trying to work it out mentally first . This is with a cheap laminated guitar .
The mahogany guitar certainly sounded weak with all tensions lowered . The trouble is I lose 3 frets right at the top and the octave has gone over the horizon unless I change to a cutaway . Safer would be to use High Tension strings detuned in the normal positions.
I call this negative information . I read once that if university researchers fail to get a result it will disappear from the record. Then some others come along later and do it all over again without realising . That may or may not be true .
Last edited by amezcua on Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Alan Carruth
Luthier
Posts: 2422
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 6:56 pm

Re: How about short scale and full sized body guitars?

Postby Alan Carruth » Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:18 pm

There are limits to how short you can make a string and get it to sound good at a given pitch. Increasing the diameter won't always help, and can hurt: the problems with plain nylon G strings are precisely due to the low pitch and thickness of the string. If you really want to use a 550 mm scale length and tune to standard pitch you're going to have to start by coming up with strings that will work. There are suppliers of custom harp strings who may be able to help you, but custom strings can be expensive. I learned a lot about how strings work when I started building small harps: as usual, there's more to it than you might think.

amezcua
Posts: 145
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:50 pm

Re: How about short scale and full sized body guitars?

Postby amezcua » Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:55 pm

Thankyou Alan , I just did an edit to show my mistake . The Harp strings idea is valuable. D`Addario information seems hard to relate to the information seen in adverts . Your name sounds famous. I`m sure I have seen it before .

amezcua
Posts: 145
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:50 pm

Re: How about short scale and full sized body guitars?

Postby amezcua » Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:04 pm

Serendipity just struck . I looked up the name Alan Carruth and saw the information about Area Tuning. I have been wondering about that lately . I know the Violin topic by Keith Hill but had not seen a Guitar version. I was picturing a guitar top with the struts arranged to engineer the separate vibrating zones. There is far more freedom to achieve that with a guitar .

Alan Carruth
Luthier
Posts: 2422
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 6:56 pm

Re: How about short scale and full sized body guitars?

Postby Alan Carruth » Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:42 pm

What I do is a bit different from Keith Hill's method. From what I remember of the article, he tunes to get specific pitch relationships in the plates, and gets those by tapping in various places. I look at vibration patterns of the plate, and at this point am far more interested in the shapes of the patterns than the frequencies. It turns out that Torres pattern bracing works pretty well 'right out of the box' most of the time. Often all you have to do is a little bit o fine tuning of fan heights to get it to work very well. It's a good design.

RedCliff
Posts: 126
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:26 pm

Re: How about short scale and full sized body guitars?

Postby RedCliff » Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:46 pm

One option that may be possible string wise is to look at baritone ukulele strings - that has a scale of 20 1/8". It would take some experimenting but should be possible. I don't know where you live but the custom nylons you could try Ken Middleton at Living Water strings in UK.
Giles Ratcliffe
Sheffield
England

amezcua
Posts: 145
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:50 pm

Re: How about short scale and full sized body guitars?

Postby amezcua » Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:35 pm

Ah ,so the tuning is on the fans and not the bits in between . Fascinating stuff . I imagined a sort of in between method where you might avoid notes that were too close to each other without aiming at anything too exact .
The Ukele idea sounds good. I had not thought of that . I shall google Ken Middleton . Thankyou both for the help .

Alan Carruth
Luthier
Posts: 2422
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 6:56 pm

Re: How about short scale and full sized body guitars?

Postby Alan Carruth » Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:58 pm

amezcua wrote:
Ah ,so the tuning is on the fans and not the bits in between . Fascinating stuff ."

My view of it is that tuning is a process of getting the fans, and the other bracing, into some sort of balance with the top plate itself, so that all the parts are working together efficiently in some sense. I start out by testing the top wood to determine the 'correct' thickness that will give me the stiffness of that I want for the top plate. The bracing is made over size, and trimmed to get the stiffness to work well with that top. Rather than testing each piece, and trying to select and size them separately before hand I work with the whole assembly. The top plate and the bracing work as a unit when they're together: there are makers who talk about tuning the bracing as if it were separate from the top, but it doesn't work like that.

amezcua
Posts: 145
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:50 pm

Re: How about short scale and full sized body guitars?

Postby amezcua » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:53 am

The Ukelele site came back very quickly . --"We don`t do guitar strings .Sorry ". I got the feeling there might be some needle between Ukeleles and Guitars. And re entrant tuning is a mystery .So is non re entrant tuning. I will follow the Kenny Hill example and go for High Tension full size strings de tuned. The thought of shorter Requinto strings not reaching the tuning pegs was not good. I still like the idea of harp strings though .Strings can be a minefield especially as some sites charge an arm and a leg for posting a small packet. Choosing them is hard enough without the greedy extras .


Return to “Luthiers”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot], georgemarousi, Hotsoup, MrWopsle, MSNbot Media, robin loops, simonm, SteveL123, Yahoo [Bot] and 31 guests