693mm Sale, the new 650mm ?

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
Marcus Dominelli
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Re: 693mm SCALE, THE NEW 650mm ?

Post by Marcus Dominelli » Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:28 am

oc chuck wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:32 pm
I suggest a practical test.
Have all the luthiers on this forum build a 693 mm scale guitar,
then see how fast they sell.

Any takers?
I would not make a spec guitar with a 665 scale, let alone a 693 scale. I talk to a lot of players and most agree that the old Ramirez long scale guitars are too hard to play, so why go any longer???
While it's true that a longer scale guitar can be made to feel pretty good (for some individuals), provided that it's set up well, and the neck is shaped nicely, etc, it's not going to work for the vast majority of people. If it did, then both luthiers and factories would be jumping at the opportunity to serve that market and increase sales.....but I don't see that happening, and doubt that it will anytime soon. Maybe in a few million years if the average person is 8 inches taller and has huge hands...

Guitar Maniac
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Re: 693mm SCALE, THE NEW 650mm ?

Post by Guitar Maniac » Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:15 am

I'm an Asian guy with local average height 171cm but smaller hands, shorter fingers than guys who have similar height and when attempting a full stretch, the distance from my left pinky to my left thumb is barely 20cm, I even struggle with stretches in Barrios's Sueno en la floresta playing a 650mm standard scale length so I would say I don't find any longer scale length than 650mm is reasonable to be considered the new standard!

GuitarsWeB
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Re: 693mm SCALE, THE NEW 650mm ?

Post by GuitarsWeB » Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:33 am

While it's true that a longer scale guitar can be made to feel pretty good (for some individuals)
What is too long? Give us a cut off scale length.

Marcus Dominelli
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Re: 693mm SCALE, THE NEW 650mm ?

Post by Marcus Dominelli » Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:57 pm

GuitarsWeB wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:33 am
While it's true that a longer scale guitar can be made to feel pretty good (for some individuals)
What is too long? Give us a cut off scale length.
I don't know the answer. Every player and every guitar is a bit different. As someone already mentioned in this thread, there are many factors which affect playability, scale length is only one of them. You might find a shorter scale guitar that has a chunky neck which makes it feel harder to play that a longer scale guitar with a great neck profile and a nice set up.....so it all depends.

But let's look at a couple of facts. Fretted instruments have been around hundreds of years. It's an extremely competitive industry. Luthiers listen to and work carefully with players. Most guitar luthiers (unlike most violin luthiers) are also players. The current standard scale length of 650mm was not arrived at willy nilly, like standard door sizes and counter top heights; it is designed to fit people. There are players that require longer, and shorter, but the jump up to 693 is pretty much folly IMO.

Go any shorter than about 600mm then the guitar seriously lacks volume and power, unless you tune it up to G or A. And it will be so cramped in the upper register that few people will want to play it up there, although it might feel good in the first position...

Scale lengths have not changed a huge amount over the past 150 years. It's rare to find a scale length over 170mm simply because anything this long is to difficult to play guitar chords on, unless you have huge hands. But there are always exceptional people who can adapt to anything. So I'm just talking averages....
But I'd say 660 is the cut-off (too long) for most good players.

GuitarsWeB
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Re: 693mm SCALE, THE NEW 650mm ?

Post by GuitarsWeB » Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:03 pm

The current standard scale length of 650mm was not arrived at willy nilly,
How did that become the “standard” and when did that take place?

AndreiKrylov

Re: 693mm SCALE, THE NEW 650mm ?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:39 pm

693 - not for me , I am happy with 650 or less, even my height is 187 cm

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eno
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Re: 693mm SCALE, THE NEW 650mm ?

Post by eno » Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:56 pm

Well, there are two advantages of longer scale, say 660-665mm:
- more volume and horsepower
- unique and beautiful timbre that can be heard in the sound of Ramirez 1A and its close copies like Takamine C136C.
The first advantage became not so important anymore after introduction of double-top guitars, but the second one still holds. I personally love that 660-scale guitar sound and willing to deal with the challenges of playing on the longer scale fretboard to be able to hear that beautiful sound from the guitar.
Paulino Bernabe 'India' 2001
Takamine C136S 1976
Masaru Kohno No.6 1967

GuitarsWeB
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Re: 693mm SCALE, THE NEW 650mm ?

Post by GuitarsWeB » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:24 pm

eno wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:56 pm
Well, there are two advantages of longer scale, say 660-665mm:
- more volume and horsepower
- unique and beautiful timbre that can be heard in the sound of Ramirez 1A and its close copies like Takamine C136C.
The first advantage became not so important anymore after introduction of double-top guitars, but the second one still holds. I personally love that 660-scale guitar sound and willing to deal with the challenges of playing on the longer scale fretboard to be able to hear that beautiful sound from the guitar.
Jose Oribe and I totally agree with you. Plus, to me, the longer scales have a better feel to the right hand. 660mm is a good all around scale,IMO.

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Anthony Campanella
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Re: 693mm SCALE, THE NEW 650mm ?

Post by Anthony Campanella » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:28 pm

The string tension on 693 would be something like a steel string, wouldn't it?

GuitarsWeB
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Re: 693mm SCALE, THE NEW 650mm ?

Post by GuitarsWeB » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:51 pm

Anthony Campanella wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:28 pm
The string tension on 693 would be something like a steel string, wouldn't it?
Let’s forget this 693mm, okay. The writer of that article was trying to make a point, using absurdity. Technically, the tension on a 660 mm is more than a 650mm at A-440, all things being equal, but the strings will feel looser on the 660mm. This is because of the extra string length.

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Anthony Campanella
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Re: 693mm SCALE, THE NEW 650mm ?

Post by Anthony Campanella » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:56 pm

Larry, what kind of guitar is that?
Use harp strings for that?
larryguitar wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 6:01 pm
In case it's not obvious, a 650mm guitar is on the left, a 900mm one is on the right.

larryguitar
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Re: 693mm SCALE, THE NEW 650mm ?

Post by larryguitar » Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:31 am

Anthony Campanella wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:56 pm
Larry, what kind of guitar is that?
Use harp strings for that?
larryguitar wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 6:01 pm
In case it's not obvious, a 650mm guitar is on the left, a 900mm one is on the right.
It’s often called a contrabass guitar, which is a misnomer, it is not contra, one octave below a bass, but contra, one octave below a guitar, so, it is a contra guitar.

It is tuned exactly the same as a classical guitar, just one octave lower.

Hannabach makes strings for it, they’re the 841MT model, so it does not take harp strings.

Here is Peter Constant of Z.o.o Duo playing the exact instrument I am waiting to receive:



Have patience through the long introductory walk into the shop. Z.o.o. Duo plays an interesting mix of guitars on their recordings, look them up on YouTube.

I think the basses are to die for, I fell in love with their sound and just had to have it. It is shown at the bottom of this page:

http://www.hilhorst.demon.nl/forsalev2.html

I’ve been getting more into ensemble playing and so I want to use this guitar for that purpose. My guitar teacher is excited about using this instrument in a group because it will give him a wider range.

Fewer notes, more fun, that’s what I say. This monster is not meant for playing complicated chords but I’m
ok with that limitation.

Interestingly, I read somewhere that humans can more accurately perceive rhythmic inaccuracy in lower frequency notes than in higher frequency notes, by about 50 milliseconds, due to the fact that we actually feel the lower frequency notes with our bodies. Music is written the way it is as a result, with lower frequency instruments providing the rhythm.

gjo
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Re: 693mm SCALE, THE NEW 650mm ?

Post by gjo » Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:01 pm

oc chuck wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:32 pm
I suggest a practical test.
Have all the luthiers on this forum build a 693 mm scale guitar,
then see how fast they sell.

Any takers? :wink:
I have a better idea. Order one and I will make one that you have to pay for, but, to be honest, I never would make a 693 mm scale „out of the blue“.

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Anthony Campanella
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Re: 693mm SCALE, THE NEW 650mm ?

Post by Anthony Campanella » Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:43 am

Fantastic instrument Larry!
Thanks for the introduction

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Beowulf
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Re: 693mm SCALE, THE NEW 650mm ?

Post by Beowulf » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:41 pm

GuitarsWeB wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:51 pm
Anthony Campanella wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:28 pm
The string tension on 693 would be something like a steel string, wouldn't it?
Let’s forget this 693mm, okay. The writer of that article was trying to make a point, using absurdity. Technically, the tension on a 660 mm is more than a 650mm at A-440, all things being equal, but the strings will feel looser on the 660mm. This is because of the extra string length.
This is not the experience that I have with my two Yamahas. The 662mm GC-10 feels tighter than the 650mm GC82S. I preferred the tighter feel (for the right hand) and have started to use Diamond String Ties on my GC82S. This slightly increases the tension/resistance "feel" for my right hand. Mind you, this could also be a function of the soundboard...however, given that the GC82S is still new and the GC-10 has been played for 45 years, I rather suspect that the difference is due to the scale.
1971 Yamaha GC-10 (Hideyuki Ezaki)
2017 Yamaha GC82S (Akio Naniki/Naohiro Kawashima)

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