650 or 630mm? Which is it?

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Mike Steede
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650 or 630mm? Which is it?

Post by Mike Steede » Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:57 pm

I'm in the queue for a new guitar made by a well-known and respected luthier (hence the long queue - he won't start on my guitar until May of '18) and have of course loads of time to think about specs - he produces a fair number of 640 and 630 scale. Bradford Werner of www.thisisclassicalguitar.com plays this luthier's guitars and states due to his stature he's seriously considering going with the 630 in the future. Does anyone have a 630 and are they happy with the shorter scale? Any drawbacks? Differences in tone?
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celestemcc
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Re: 650 or 630mm? Which is it?

Post by celestemcc » Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:16 pm

Here are some threads in Delcamp to get you started... Remember you may have to use higher tension strings than you would on a 650 to get the same "feel". I have a 640, down from a 664. Body size is not significantly smaller and sound is, if anything, larger; but the differences are more in the build overall, and woods, than the scale length.

viewtopic.php?f=107&t=113663&p=1224003& ... e#p1224003
viewtopic.php?f=71&t=64592&p=1193525&hi ... e#p1193525
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David Norton
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Re: 650 or 630mm? Which is it?

Post by David Norton » Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:42 pm

On my 625 Redman, I've found that I have to use high tension strings in order to drive the top sufficiently to produce acceptable volume. Otherwise no difference, except that then going BACK to a 650 seems quite the stretch.
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Mike Steede
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Re: 650 or 630mm? Which is it?

Post by Mike Steede » Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:01 pm

Thanks for the comments and the reference to previous discussion... according to this chart referenced, I'm at 200 mm thumb to pinky so right in the middle - I'm 5'7" so that makes perfect sense. According to the following chart I should be looking at a 640 mm. Seriously going to consider the shorter scale length - first I'm going to ask my luthier for comment on his guitars, as he offers the different lengths... thanks again.
Thumb tip to pinky tip span of 250+ 664mm scale length
Thumb tip to pinky tip span of 230 to 250 656mm scale length
Thumb tip to pinky tip span of 210 to 230 650mm scale length
Thumb tip to pinky tip span of 190 to 210 640mm scale length
Thumb tip to pinky tip span of 170 to 190 630mm scale length
Thumb tip to pinky tip span of below 170 615mm scale length
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montana
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Re: 650 or 630mm? Which is it?

Post by montana » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:28 am

I have a 2008, cedar/Indian rosewood 640 by the same luthier. Awesome guitar.

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Mike Steede
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Re: 650 or 630mm? Which is it?

Post by Mike Steede » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:49 am

It seems I'm in good company!
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soltirefa
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Re: 650 or 630mm? Which is it?

Post by soltirefa » Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:44 pm

The best thing that happened to me after getting a 630mm guitar is that I now love my 650mm guitars more than ever. And that's not saying that I don't like my 630mm. I love it.

There's a sort of training-wheels effect that happens when you play your pieces on a short scale. It lets your brain have the luxury of paying attention to detail you had a hard time with before because you were straining. Then you go back to a 650mm and suddenly you can play things that before were too hard. It's uncanny.

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Re: 650 or 630mm? Which is it?

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:33 pm

David Norton wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:42 pm
On my 625 Redman, I've found that I have to use high tension strings in order to drive the top sufficiently to produce acceptable volume. Otherwise no difference, except that then going BACK to a 650 seems quite the stretch.
I've read others who also say they need high tension strings on a shorter scale. I use lighter tension strings for ease of playing, among other reasons. So do higher tensions strings on a short scale cancel out the ease of playing in any way? i.e, shorter stretches but harder fretting.
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Rasputin
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Re: 650 or 630mm? Which is it?

Post by Rasputin » Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:23 pm

The string tension on a 630 with hard tension strings wouldn't necessarily be higher than the string tension on a 650 with normal tension strings. I guess if you really wanted you could work out a scale length such that normal tension strings would be at exactly the same tension as light tension strings on a 650, assuming standard tuning. It might be interesting to know, although the number doesn't always tell you how it's going to feel.

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Michael.N.
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Re: 650 or 630mm? Which is it?

Post by Michael.N. » Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:31 pm

It's roughly equivalent but that will depend on the particular brand of string. It's going to be close though. I've built many 630 scales, more so than your average guitar maker because it's a common scale length for romantic guitars. I've got a very good idea of how they feel. Fretting will not become any more difficult but you still have the advantage of the shorter scale - if your hands are on the small side. If your hands happen to be large then you'll probably feel no advantage at all.
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Re: 650 or 630mm? Which is it?

Post by soltirefa » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:17 pm

It seems counter-intuitive, but I have found I actually prefer a lighter gauge of string on my 630mm. I think you really need to take it on a case-by-case basis, depending on how the strings feel and sound, and not some preconceived notion that because a guitar's scale is shorter it must therefore require higher tension strings.

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Michael.N.
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Re: 650 or 630mm? Which is it?

Post by Michael.N. » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:24 pm

I use lower tension by quite a margin but then I'm using 'standard' tension at 630 scale tuned to 415 Hz. That makes it approximately 1 Kg per string lower than 650 scale at 440 hz. It's a considerable difference. Then again I play without nails so nail players may find that too low in tension. Going from 650 to 630 scale using the exact same set of strings lowers tension by roughly 1/2 Kg - per string.
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David Norton
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Re: 650 or 630mm? Which is it?

Post by David Norton » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:34 pm

Jeffrey Armbruster wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:33 pm
David Norton wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:42 pm
On my 625 Redman, I've found that I have to use high tension strings in order to drive the top sufficiently to produce acceptable volume. Otherwise no difference, except that then going BACK to a 650 seems quite the stretch.
I've read others who also say they need high tension strings on a shorter scale. I use lighter tension strings for ease of playing, among other reasons. So do higher tensions strings on a short scale cancel out the ease of playing in any way? i.e, shorter stretches but harder fretting.
The shortened scale helps with the lateral motions. The string tension affects the vertical motion. On my Redman, the sound was ~okay~ with normal tension, but I felt it was under-driving the top, which is already more heavily braced due to eight strings. Thus the higher tension.
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Steve Ganz
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Re: 650 or 630mm? Which is it?

Post by Steve Ganz » Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:05 pm

Make sure that you discuss this with the luthier who will build the guitar (perhaps you have).

But - Why leave out 640? It's a popular alternative. Also don't forget the width of the fingerboard as a variable.

If you are the type of player who really digs into the strings rather than having a soft touch, it has implications for the ultimate choice.
And many other things. Just make sure the builder knows what you like and want as the end result.
Steve

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Mike Steede
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Re: 650 or 630mm? Which is it?

Post by Mike Steede » Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:36 pm

Good points Steve - is there really much of a change in feel going just from 650 to 640? Would you narrow the fingerboard or is it too small a change in scale to bother?
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