String tension and curved frets

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2018 2:59 am

String tension and curved frets

Post by Baloo » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:21 am

I was thinking of getting a second guitar. I wouldn't want two the same and was thinking of going to the other end of the spectrum (my current guitar is very traditional). When I was looking at strings recently I discovered the jump in tension from the B to the E string. It looks as though the tension is generally pretty even but they have to make a compromise when it comes to the top string, because if they made it so that the tension was the same it would be too thin.

I was also looking at some curved fret systems. There is a guy who will make you a fingerboard to any design you like.

Maybe it's a whacky idea, but what is the relationship between tension and length? If I wanted to bring the tension of the high E down from say 8kg to say 6.5kg, how much shorter would it have to be? I'd like to figure out whether the difference is small enough to accommodate in a curved fret system.

Posts: 509
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:15 pm

Re: String tension and curved frets

Post by Kintla » Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:46 am

Interesting thought, try a 660 mm scale and see what you think. Longer scale length guitars are "said" to have higher tension, but they seem to play easier. I have three luthier built 650's which are nice guitars. The 660 mm (a vintage Takamine from 1977) plays easier, is equally responsive, and is louder. I would advocate against shorter scale guitars for multiple reasons. In general they are not easier to play, but just my experience.

Dr ToneControl
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:33 am
Location: Cheshire, UK

Re: String tension and curved frets

Post by Dr ToneControl » Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:45 pm

Here is an online calculator that does what you want for steel strings

I'm not sure if there is one as versatile for nylon
This one might do what you need:

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