665 to 650 mm?

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
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rinneby
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665 to 650 mm?

Post by rinneby » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:36 pm

Any of you luthiers successfully coverted a 665 scale (Ramirez for example) to 650 mm, simply by replacing the fretboard with a shorter one? I understand this leaves 15 mm at the nut that could be filled with veneer or equal?

All the best from Sweden

/jon
Last edited by rinneby on Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
1965 - Masaru Kono No.5
1975 - Atushi Nakamura No.15
1977 - Kuniharu Nobe No.15
1980 - Hirade Master Arte 8
1996 - Masaru Kohno Maestro

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

Imbler
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Re: 665 to 650 mm?

Post by Imbler » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:48 pm

That also places the 12th fret about 7.5 mm into the body section. I think that would bug me.
One of my guitars was 660 and I never even knew it until I was measuring my guitars to see how much compensation they had when I was building one.

I'm not sure the benefits would be noticeable enough to warrant the surgery, but that is obviously your decision.

soltirefa
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Re: 665 to 650 mm?

Post by soltirefa » Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:07 pm

I saw this Ramirez in German Vazquez Rubio's shop that he had just converted to a 640mm. The way he did it allowed for the 12th fret to end up where it's supposed to.


https://flic.kr/p/zCbM59

https://flic.kr/p/zVJcPX

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rinneby
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Re: 665 to 650 mm?

Post by rinneby » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:45 pm

soltirefa wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:07 pm
I saw this Ramirez in German Vazquez Rubio's shop that he had just converted to a 640mm. The way he did it allowed for the 12th fret to end up where it's supposed to.


https://flic.kr/p/zCbM59

https://flic.kr/p/zVJcPX
That's pretty slick. A re-polish would be nice though :)

/Jon
1965 - Masaru Kono No.5
1975 - Atushi Nakamura No.15
1977 - Kuniharu Nobe No.15
1980 - Hirade Master Arte 8
1996 - Masaru Kohno Maestro

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

Douglass Scott
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Re: 665 to 650 mm?

Post by Douglass Scott » Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:12 pm

You don't want to move the bridge on a valuable guitar, it's worth far more as is. But if it's just a project guitar and you're looking for a project... it's ok.
Shortening the scale to something closer to 'normal' by just replacing the fingerboard can help you sell the guitar one day. But like Imbler suggested, you can only reduce by about 5mm before the 12th fret location becomes an issue.

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rinneby
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Re: 665 to 650 mm?

Post by rinneby » Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:39 pm

Douglass Scott wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:12 pm
You don't want to move the bridge on a valuable guitar, it's worth far more as is. But if it's just a project guitar and you're looking for a project... it's ok.
Shortening the scale to something closer to 'normal' by just replacing the fingerboard can help you sell the guitar one day. But like Imbler suggested, you can only reduce by about 5mm before the 12th fret location becomes an issue.
It's my Ramirez 1A, 1980, so moving the bridge is not an option. I will however replace the fingerboard, so must decide if it's "worth" it. As you say, a shorter scale might help it to sell if it comes to that, but 665 vs 660 really doesn't matter much I guess? Maybe it does, hmm...
1965 - Masaru Kono No.5
1975 - Atushi Nakamura No.15
1977 - Kuniharu Nobe No.15
1980 - Hirade Master Arte 8
1996 - Masaru Kohno Maestro

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

Douglass Scott
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Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2012 5:44 pm
Location: Ladysmith, Canada

Re: 665 to 650 mm?

Post by Douglass Scott » Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:52 pm

Part of it depends where the 12th fret of your guitar currently is. Many instruments have the ends of the 12th fret 1-2mm towards the nut from the body joint, which would be ideal for you. In this case you can move it a total of 3mm maybe 4mm towards the soundhole if you're lucky, meaning a 6mm - 8mm shorter scale length. On the other hand, some guitars already have the 12th fret slightly toward the soundhole from the body joint, in this case you don't have much margin for shifting it at all.

I agree, it's hard to know if it's worth it.

I remember in the 90s a handful of Rodriguez guitars had their scale lengths reduced by about 5mm by a certain renowned repair person, I don't think it has diminished the value at all, but today we have a lot of high quality 650mm scale instruments to choose from, so it's probably less worth-while than it was in the 90s to reduce by only 5mm ending up at 658mm or so. ... That was just a thought.

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georgemarousi
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Re: 665 to 650 mm?

Post by georgemarousi » Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:56 am

rinneby wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:39 pm
...

It's my Ramirez 1A, 1980, so moving the bridge is not an option. I will however replace the fingerboard, so must decide if it's "worth" it. As you say, a shorter scale might help it to sell if it comes to that, but 665 vs 660 really doesn't matter much I guess? Maybe it does, hmm...
I have the same guitar, and currently have a (very good) luthier to create a new nut to go to 42,5mm between strings ( from 45mm current ) - of course I'll keep the original nut.

Also, a little more lower action too with a new bridge bone - we might need a minor work at the bridge for that too.

Can't wait for the results, I'm sure there will be much of an improvement in easiness of playability.

Same scale but I just give you an idea or minor updates that may work, while keeping the instrument "original" too.

ps. will come back with the results soon :bye:
--Classicals--
Paulino Bernabe Especial 2009
Ramirez 1A 1980
Alhambra Luthier india 2012
Juan Martinez nr 55 (the return @2014)
Yamaha cg 110 (as a kid @88)
--
student again since 2015, to my degree @..? - God bless!

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rinneby
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Re: 665 to 650 mm?

Post by rinneby » Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:34 am

georgemarousi wrote:
Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:56 am
rinneby wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:39 pm
...

It's my Ramirez 1A, 1980, so moving the bridge is not an option. I will however replace the fingerboard, so must decide if it's "worth" it. As you say, a shorter scale might help it to sell if it comes to that, but 665 vs 660 really doesn't matter much I guess? Maybe it does, hmm...
I have the same guitar, and currently have a (very good) luthier to create a new nut to go to 42,5mm between strings ( from 45mm current ) - of course I'll keep the original nut.

Also, a little more lower action too with a new bridge bone - we might need a minor work at the bridge for that too.

Can't wait for the results, I'm sure there will be much of an improvement in easiness of playability.

Same scale but I just give you an idea or minor updates that may work, while keeping the instrument "original" too.

ps. will come back with the results soon :bye:
Very nice, looking forward to hear/see the results then. The action on mine is something like 4.5/3 with almost no room to go lower. I could live with that, since its a Ramirez after all and it's fairly easy to play. But I can't help thinking that this instrument would be so much more accessible with 4/3, and a new fingerboard is needed for that. A new nut with 42,5 is a great option too!

My guitar is made by Miguel Malo Martinez (#1) - Same as you?

All the best from Sweden

/Jon
1965 - Masaru Kono No.5
1975 - Atushi Nakamura No.15
1977 - Kuniharu Nobe No.15
1980 - Hirade Master Arte 8
1996 - Masaru Kohno Maestro

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

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georgemarousi
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Re: 665 to 650 mm?

Post by georgemarousi » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:59 am

Hello again!

I received the Ramirez a couple of days ago and I am very pleased with the changes !

The action was dropped as I measured somewhere in between 3,5 to 4mm low E at 12th fret ( sorry, no proper tools yet to be very accurate ), with some room left to go further - the luthier was thinking to lower it a bit more - as you can see below ( photo 1 and 2 ). You may also notice that the luthier had sand/polish the bridge right there - very good job & totaly invisible to me :)

The nut has now 42,5mm spacing between strings ( last photo ) and I see it is setup as low as possible , yet there is no buzzing :D
I also include some more photos i.e. one at 7th fret and two at 12th - sorry for the quality - to help you get an idea of the current action and setup.

I am very satisfied with the playability as it is now, so I am not thinking for any further adjustments! I believe that all 3 factors ( saddle setup, nut setup and nut spacing ) have contributed together to a really butter-play fretboard. Yet the sound is not affected and there is also no buzzing at all :)

I highly recommend these adjustments to any owner of an old 1A. Plus you can keep the original nut/saddle to be able to go back to the original setup for any reason, and a minor ( invisible to me ) bridge adjustment is all that been affected permanently.

And a last observation, I was considering selling my 1A but for the moment this is no option at all :)


ps: "My guitar is made by Miguel Malo Martinez (#1) - Same as you?"
-> no idea, I dont see initials as far as I can check, how do you know the maker of yours? maybe from the SN?

All the best too!
George



ImageIMG_20170729_011749 by George Ev, on Flickr

ImageIMG_20170729_011812 by George Ev, on Flickr

ImageIMG_20170729_012033 by George Ev, on Flickr

ImageIMG_20170729_012005 by George Ev, on Flickr

ImageIMG_20170729_011920 by George Ev, on Flickr

ImageIMG_20170729_011848 by George Ev, on Flickr
--Classicals--
Paulino Bernabe Especial 2009
Ramirez 1A 1980
Alhambra Luthier india 2012
Juan Martinez nr 55 (the return @2014)
Yamaha cg 110 (as a kid @88)
--
student again since 2015, to my degree @..? - God bless!

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rinneby
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Re: 665 to 650 mm?

Post by rinneby » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:34 am

georgemarousi wrote:
Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:59 am
Hello again!

I received the Ramirez a couple of days ago and I am very pleased with the changes !

The action was dropped as I measured somewhere in between 3,5 to 4mm low E at 12th fret ( sorry, no proper tools yet to be very accurate ), with some room left to go further - the luthier was thinking to lower it a bit more - as you can see below ( photo 1 and 2 ). You may also notice that the luthier had sand/polish the bridge right there - very good job & totaly invisible to me :)

The nut has now 42,5mm spacing between strings ( last photo ) and I see it is setup as low as possible , yet there is no buzzing :D
I also include some more photos i.e. one at 7th fret and two at 12th - sorry for the quality - to help you get an idea of the current action and setup.

I am very satisfied with the playability as it is now, so I am not thinking for any further adjustments! I believe that all 3 factors ( saddle setup, nut setup and nut spacing ) have contributed together to a really butter-play fretboard. Yet the sound is not affected and there is also no buzzing at all :)

I highly recommend these adjustments to any owner of an old 1A. Plus you can keep the original nut/saddle to be able to go back to the original setup for any reason, and a minor ( invisible to me ) bridge adjustment is all that been affected permanently.

And a last observation, I was considering selling my 1A but for the moment this is no option at all :)


ps: "My guitar is made by Miguel Malo Martinez (#1) - Same as you?"
-> no idea, I dont see initials as far as I can check, how do you know the maker of yours? maybe from the SN?

All the best too!
George
Very nice work indeed. The nut looks great too. Right now I'm considering doing nothing at all to the Ramirez, as its quite playable with 4.5/3 and the long scale doesn't bother me. I kind of like the big stretches from time to time, its a little bit like workout :)

If I'm about to do anything, I might replace the fretboard (as opposed to file down the bridge/saddle more) and possible change the nut width.

Thanks for the pictures!

Regarding luthiers, every Ramirez guitar from the 70s (I believe) has a number from 1 to X (I don't know) that represents who built (or rather assembled) the guitar.

All the best from Sweden
/Jon
Last edited by rinneby on Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
1965 - Masaru Kono No.5
1975 - Atushi Nakamura No.15
1977 - Kuniharu Nobe No.15
1980 - Hirade Master Arte 8
1996 - Masaru Kohno Maestro

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

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eno
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Re: 665 to 650 mm?

Post by eno » Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:33 pm

Some people say that 660 gives Ramires a itsunique tone and it can be lost when you convert it to 650.
Paulino Bernabe 'India' 2001
Masaru Kohno No.6 1967
Rokutaro Nakade 1967
Mitsuru Tamura No.800 1969

Douglass Scott
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Re: 665 to 650 mm?

Post by Douglass Scott » Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:29 pm

eno wrote:
Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:33 pm
Some people say that 660 gives Ramires a itsunique tone and it can be lost when you convert it to 650.
Anyone should expect to hear some changes in the tone if they convert a 660 guitar to 650. That's a pretty big change. Scale length is definitely a component of tone, and it can not be compensated for by using higher gauge strings since that changes the diameter and mass of the strings, as well as their harmonic content.

SteveL123
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Re: 665 to 650 mm?

Post by SteveL123 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:55 pm

If the scale length is shortened from 660 to 650 by moving just the bridge and nut, wouldn't all frets be out of tune (some more so than others)? Shouldn't a new fret board/ new frets with correct spacing for 650 scale be also required?

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georgemarousi
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Re: 665 to 650 mm?

Post by georgemarousi » Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:15 am

SteveL123 wrote:
Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:55 pm
If the scale length is shortened from 660 to 650 by moving just the bridge and nut, wouldn't all frets be out of tune (some more so than others)? Shouldn't a new fret board/ new frets with correct spacing for 650 scale be also required?
of course, in any case a scale a length change would reset all frets ( so practically a new fretborard is needed )
--Classicals--
Paulino Bernabe Especial 2009
Ramirez 1A 1980
Alhambra Luthier india 2012
Juan Martinez nr 55 (the return @2014)
Yamaha cg 110 (as a kid @88)
--
student again since 2015, to my degree @..? - God bless!

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