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Scale length query

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Re: Scale length query

Postby merlyn » Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:19 pm

Dynamic Mike wrote:If you placed a capo at the 12th fret would any compensation at the bridge not then be double that which it needs to be?

No, because theoretically there is no difference between a capo and fretting at the 12th fret. In practice capos press a bit harder and don't suffer from repetitive strain injury. :)

When a note is fretted pressing the string down bends the note sharp, so there is compensation i.e. the string is made a bit longer to account for that.
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Re: Scale length query

Postby Wonks » Mon Mar 08, 2021 1:45 pm

As the OP's Tele has a vintage radius fretboard, It probably has barrel saddle bridge as well, which always make setting the intonation less accurate than on a 6-saddle bridge, even with sloped saddle pieces fitted. But if the OP isn't retuning after fitting a capo, then that's probably the main cause of his problem.

Rick Beato is a great YouTube presenter, and almost always talks 100% sense (one of the few YT music channels that do). His 'what makes this song great' videos are superb. Now it may seem like nonsense that a Gibson scale length is inherently harder to intonate than a Fender scale length (I definitely wouldn't say impossible), but if you think about it, it's all about % errors and the bridge type used. Given the same ability to position each fret slot correctly (say to within ±0.1mm) and the same gauge/height of fret wire, then percentage-wise, it's always going to be easier to get the frets seated in the right position on a longer scale neck than a shorter one. And the more accurately positioned each fret is, then (theoretically) the more accurate the intonation is going to be.

A six-saddle Fender Strat-style bridge will allow each string height and length to be adjusted, whereas on a Gibson T-O-M style bridge, string length adjustment is fine, but height adjustment is always a compromise as you can only adjust the overall height at the ends. So if you want to bring one string down a bit but can't (because it would upset the action on the other strings), then it stays a bit high, requiring you to put more tension on that string than the others. When playing chords, this could mean that you don't apply enough pressure to that string to fret it properly, or you over pressure the other strings, causing them to be slightly sharp.

So yes, there are some definite theoretical benefits on intonation of a longer scale + fully adjustable bridge. But then you need to take into account all the other things that affect intonation, like player string fretting pressure, fret height, variations in fret height, fret crown position, fret crown radius, variations in string mass/unit length,
evenness of neck curve etc. and it really doesn't make enough of a difference to notice IMO.
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Re: Scale length query

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Mar 08, 2021 2:53 pm

Good to see you back Wonks, hope you've been ok.

Wonks wrote:So yes, there are some definite theoretical benefits on intonation of a longer scale + fully adjustable bridge. But then you need to take into account all the other things that affect intonation, like player string fretting pressure, fret height, variations in fret height, fret crown position, fret crown radius, variations in string mass/unit length,
evenness of neck curve etc. and it really doesn't make enough of a difference to notice IMO.

This is pretty much my take in it too. FWIW the difference between a Gibson and a Fender scale length is near as makes no difference 3% so for an intonation adjustment of maybe 3 or 4 mm that represents around 0.1mm or about 1/10the of a turn of the bridge saddle adjusting screw. Not something I'll be obsessing about anyway.

Just a thought, (will Google later) what it the variation from mathematical pitch to even tempered?
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Re: Scale length query

Postby Wonks » Wed Mar 10, 2021 10:20 am

Zen, this latest "What makes this song great" video by Rick Beato is a good example of what he does and does demonstrate that not all YouTube guitar video presenters know nothing.
It's on 'Do you feel like I do' and does also feature Peter Frampton doing some explanations on the song as well.

His channel is well worth checking out.

https://youtu.be/7lCpTHZkvnc
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Re: Scale length query

Postby zenguitar » Wed Mar 10, 2021 11:52 am

Cheers Wonks, I'll check it out. :thumbup:

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Re: Scale length query

Postby Wonks » Wed Mar 10, 2021 11:59 am

:thumbup:
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