Scale length question

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by gticehockey100, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. gticehockey100

    gticehockey100 New Member

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    I've always liked the neck pickup on the custom 22. I never thought the neck pickup on the custom 24 sounded as good. I think it's because on the 24, the neck pickup is a little closer to the bridge. If I had a custom 24 built with a 25.5 inch scale, would this fix the problem?
     
  2. ViperDoc

    ViperDoc Plugged In.

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    "The problem" is that your neck pickup isn't "as good" on your 24 fret guitar. Your problem needs more description before arriving at a proper prescription.
     
  3. gticehockey100

    gticehockey100 New Member

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    I'm wondering if I had a 24 fret guitar built with a 25.5" scale length would the bridge be moved farther from the neck pickup? Does that make sense?
     
  4. gticehockey100

    gticehockey100 New Member

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    The regular scale is 25" on both the 22 and the 24. Since the 24 has a longer neck I thought they moved the bridge a little closer to the neck pickup.
     
  5. dsenoj

    dsenoj Old dude in a PRS T-shirt

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    It may be that you prefer the typical neck pickup location of a 22 guitar. That's right where the 24th fret would go. With a 24 fret guitar, the neck pickup must be moved closer to the bridge no matter the scale length. Relative to the body, the neck pickup doesn't move; the bridge pickup and bridge are moved a little closer to the neck.
     
  6. gticehockey100

    gticehockey100 New Member

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    Thanks for clearing that up. I guess if I go PRS I'll be getting a 22 fret. I'm thinking of a modified P22. I'm still in the research stage.
     
  7. Huggy B

    Huggy B Shut up Meathead!!

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    It's kinda "the nature of the beast", the position of the neck pup makes a significant difference in tone and I (like you) enjoy the thick & rich sound of the neck pup of a 22 fret.
    A 24 fret is a great model but the tones are slightly different and more pronounced in that setting we're talking about.
    It's the trade off, 22 frets=better neck pup tone -vs- 24 frets=capability to play really high notes. For me the overall feel of 22 fret scale is more comfortable for my body, others may like the feel of a longer instrument.

    Better yet............ own both!!! 22 & 24
     
    #7 Huggy B, Nov 10, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2015
  8. gticehockey100

    gticehockey100 New Member

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    I'll have to save for 1 private stock guitar. There is no way I could afford 2. I wish they would make a semi-hollow (with a f hole) P22 with three humbuckers and mini toggles for coil splits on a standard model.
     
    #8 gticehockey100, Nov 10, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2015
  9. AP515

    AP515 Mostly Normal

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    You are correct, IF the scale length on a 24 fret guitar were increased .5 inch it would allow you to move the neck pup that .5 inch closer (in string length) to where it would have been on a 22 fret guitar that had the 25 inch scale length. That is in string length, not in physical position on the guitar. The bridge would also have to move the .5 inch. It would warm the tone up a little.
     
  10. gticehockey100

    gticehockey100 New Member

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    Does anyone know what the scale length would have to be on a 24 to have the distance from the last fret to the bridge be the same length as the 22?
     
  11. AP515

    AP515 Mostly Normal

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    How wide are the 23rd and 24th frets?
     
  12. ViperDoc

    ViperDoc Plugged In.

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    Once you change the scale length, you have a different guitar. I understand you enjoy the harmonics of the neck pickup on a 22 fret PRS with 25 inch scale length. IF that's what you like, buy that. There's no way to alter the guitar completely to accommodate the bridge-to-neck pickup distance and not totally change several other qualities of the instrument.
     
  13. guitarman001

    guitarman001 New Member

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    Yep, neck on 22 fretters sounds better.
    But 24 fret is easier to play (heel further up).
    For the second reason, I go 24 frets, but it's a bummer..
     
  14. nablaz

    nablaz New Member

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    That's not exactly how it works: if you extend the scale length by 1/2 inch, the 24th fret would be only 1/8 inch farther from the bridge (1/2 x 1/4). The distance between the pickups varies more or less by the same amount (assuming you keep the bridge pickup in the same position and only move the neck one).

    So, to answer the question just distance-wise, take as an example two 25 inch scale intruments:
    1) a 22 fretter (with the distance between pickups that we are calling AB for the sake of convenience) and
    2) a 24 fretter (pickups distance A'B').
    If you want a 3rd intrument with the same pickup distance as in instrument 1, but with 24 frets, you'd have to increase its scale lenght by roughly 4 x ( AB - A'B'), which would easily go into baritone territory.

    That said, a baritone has quite a different sound and feel from a normal electric guitar (even if built the same way and tuned to the same pitch), and although the distance between the pickups would be the same of a 22 fretted 25 inch scale intrument, the harmonic content of the neck pickup would still be different because of the different placement in relation to the overall string lenght.

    To summarize, if you want the sound of the neck pickup in a 22 frets 25 inch scale guitar you have only one possibility: to buy a 22 frets 25 inch scale one! ;)
     
    #14 nablaz, Nov 10, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2015
  15. shinksma

    shinksma What? I get a title?

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    Exactly - it is truly a matter of scale here - thus the name. And getting the neck pup on a 24-fretter to be the same distance from the bridge as on a 22-fret guitar by using a bigger scale does not alter the overall ratio of where that pickup will be, which is within 1/4 of the overall scale of the strings, because the 24th fret by definition is exactly 3/4 of the way from the nut to the bridge.

    I have both 22 fretters and 24 fretters. I enjoy both. Going to PS to try to create a solution to the issue you perceive will still not work. So just get an affordable version of each!
     
  16. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

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    Funny the thing I like most about my CU24 is the clarity and overall usefulness of the neck pickup
     
  17. shinksma

    shinksma What? I get a title?

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    It is the difference in taste/perception: Huggy B's description of "the thick & rich sound of the neck pup of a 22 fret" could also be described as the "muddy neck pup of a 22 fret" compared to the "clarity of the neck pup in a 24 fretter".

    Horses for courses, as it were.
     
  18. gticehockey100

    gticehockey100 New Member

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    Thanks for clearing this up guys.
     
  19. Maertl513

    Maertl513 Sherlock 513

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    Scale and number of frets are severe points to mention constructing a guitar. Impact on sound of the guitar. I would suggest - in a very general way - scale and numbers of fret have a relatively low impact to the sound of the bridge pickup, because the spacing/distance to the bridge and the string´s tension doesn´t matter. But there is a much larger impact to the neck pickup.
    I owned my 513 MT in 2011 with 25 1/4" scale, 22 frets.
    In 2013 I let a luthier built me a custom order hollowbody with 24 frets. I like my 25 1/4" (but being honest I don´t know the scales of my other guitars). Therefore I wanted him to make the guitar with that certain scale aswell.
    The role model was a PRS NS-15 (only for the outline of the body design). As a PS version it comes with 22 frets and 25" scale lenght.
    The pups moved closer at my guitar...

    If you have guitar models in stock either 24 or 22 fret - with the same scale you have got to decide whether you remain the neck-body-joint the same and proceed a new position of the bridge to keep the scale or you keep the bridge but change the neck-body joint.
    Maybe the neck needs more reinforcement for stiffing it.
    It´s expected that the neck pups will sound different, because the string amplitude differs localy (striking the strings with the same force).

    As a hypothesis: If you want guitars with different scales or number of frets sound equally (same pups, same wood selection, same electronics etc.) you have to define the exact positions for the pickups in relationship to the same string amplitude.

    Or your are keen on having the diversity of sound by different guitars with their certain specs deduced by highly skilled craftmanship.
     

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