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Long Scale Les Paul

TommyTouch

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Feb 15, 2006
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I saw a new "long scale" Les Paul. 25 1/2" scale. It looks interesting. Has anyone here tried one? Split parallelogram inlays look cool. What do you think?
 

Big Al

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That was something Robb Lawrence was very much in favor of. I remember talking with him and Edwin about it in 05 at Nashville. I even mentioned using the ES345 style split inlay. I'm sure it has no bearing on this one. I do remember being told no, as a Les Paul is spec'd as 24 3/4 scale.

Wonder what changed?
 

EvLectric

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Feb 11, 2011
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That was something Robb Lawrence was very much in favor of. I remember talking with him and Edwin about it in 05 at Nashville. I even mentioned using the ES345 style split inlay. I'm sure it has no bearing on this one. I do remember being told no, as a Les Paul is spec'd as 24 3/4 scale.

Wonder what changed?

I'd play me a Big Al signature model! I wouldn't mind a 25 1/2 ES either
 

Huc

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Jul 6, 2003
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Wildwood Guitars in Colorado has a few. Huge piano like low end and tons of harmonic capability.
 

TommyTouch

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When they build a "long scale" Les Paul, how is the extra 3/4" incorporated? Is the tailpiece simply moved or is the 3/4" spread along the entire scale? In other words, is there more space between the frets of a 25 1/2" scale than a 24 3/4' scale?
 

renderit

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When they build a "long scale" Les Paul, how is the extra 3/4" incorporated? Is the tailpiece simply moved or is the 3/4" spread along the entire scale? In other words, is there more space between the frets of a 25 1/2" scale than a 24 3/4' scale?

They adjust the entire scale or it would be wildly out of tune on every string and every fret...the only thing "in tune" would be completely open.
 
Y

yeti

Guest
That was something Robb Lawrence was very much in favor of. I remember talking with him and Edwin about it in 05 at Nashville. I even mentioned using the ES345 style split inlay. I'm sure it has no bearing on this one. I do remember being told no, as a Les Paul is spec'd as 24 3/4 scale.

Wonder what changed?

Your post reminded me of my few phone conversations I had with Robb in 2008. He made that point repeatedly. A long scale Lester would be interesting.:salude
 

MikeSlub

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Robb is playing a Strat with reverse headstock in virtually every gig photo that he posts on Facebook, so it would figure that he'd be a long-scale enthusiast. :hank
 

TommyTouch

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They adjust the entire scale or it would be wildly out of tune on every string and every fret...the only thing "in tune" would be completely open.

So there IS more space between frets on a longer scale. It is a small amount and one may need a micrometer to measure, besides the difference in sound, the different fret spacing can be felt, as in more room for my big fingers to fit.
 

renderit

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Yep. Try a Fender Strat and switch it with a Les Paul Standard. Some Juniors even had a smaller scale than the Standards. (And WILDLY out of tune MAY have been an exaggeration, but it would be out of tune). And a good ruler would show you the difference. You would not need a micrometer, (although it would help).
 

Big Al

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The short scale Jr's I've played, along with similar scale ES120T's and ES140's all play in tune. I don't know what renderit means by "wildly" out of tune.

Gibson L5's, Super 400's, 350's, Tal Farlows, Barney Kessels ect.. are all 25 1/2" scale. Robb referred to that long scale as a "Professional" scale.
You lose some of the "sweetness" but gain more tighter piano like bass as well as more stable tuning. The neck would join the body at a slightly different place if the bridge is kept in the same position.

I think it is a valid idea and could prove quite useful. I'd like to see a whole range of Long Scale Les Pauls. Studio to CS. P90 and Humbucker.
 

renderit

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The short scale Jr's I've played, along with similar scale ES120T's and ES140's all play in tune. I don't know what renderit means by "wildly" out of tune.

But those have the whole scale adjusted, do they not? As I understood a short scale Junior had the scale reset to 23.75 (I think) which would put the 12th fret from nut at 11.875". His question was just moving the bridge. (Bolded only because I suspect you didn't see that part). Not changing the frets. The shorter the scale the less difference it would make, but it would still be wrong. And as I stated above "wildly" might be an exageration. a 24 to 25 1/2 by just moving the bridge would probably be very noticeable because we are talking 1 1/2 " divided by 2 or 3/4" incorrect by the 12th fret. That is huge. A 24 3/4 to 25 1/2 (3/8 off by the 12th fret) done the same way would probably be very uncomfortable but maybe not as noticeable.

Nope. That is off by almost a whole fret. It would be wildly out of tune.
 
Last edited:
K

Kim R

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I think there's a miscommunication going on in this thread. So:

Guitars with different scale lengths (i.e. Gibson Les Paul 24 3/4," and Fender Strat 25 1/2") incorporate different fret placement and spacing. Regardless of the scale length (guitars are made with many, BTW), the first octave will always be found at half the strength length, the second octave at half the remaining length, third at half of that, etc. For the sake of comparison, the 12th fret on a traditional Les Paul is 12 3/8" from the nut (and bridge) while on a Strat, it's 12 3/4" from the nut (and bridge).

Beyond defining the octaves (half-way points), the intervening fret positions are derived with a little bit of math. The formula derives a constant reduction in spacing as the octave is approached, and this is called fixing the temperament. True semitones are sought out when this spacing is compensated (think Buzz Feiten tuning adjustments at the nut). BTW, when you move the saddles on your bridge, you are compensating the scale length, but obviously not the fret spacing. It's a compromise and its one of many found on all guitar scales.

Juniors, Strats, Barney Kessels have different scale lengths but the fret location and spacing is tempered for that length, or the guitars would play wildly out of tune :ganz

Al is referring to the characteristics of playing the different scale lengths and the general differences in the tone of these guitars - a lot of which comes from the higher string tension that is necessary to bring a longer-scale guitar up to concert pitch, versus the shorter one. The new Les Pauls with 25 1/5" scales are going to feel and sound different, thus the idea behind this new option (I guess).
 

J.D.

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+1

You can try a PRS McCarty which has a lot of Les Paul features but a 25" scale, which is in between Gibson and Fender traditional scales.
 

Big Al

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I think there's a miscommunication going on in this thread. So:

Guitars with different scale lengths (i.e. Gibson Les Paul 24 3/4," and Fender Strat 25 1/2") incorporate different fret placement and spacing. Regardless of the scale length (guitars are made with many, BTW), the first octave will always be found at half the strength length, the second octave at half the remaining length, third at half of that, etc. For the sake of comparison, the 12th fret on a traditional Les Paul is 12 3/8" from the nut (and bridge) while on a Strat, it's 12 3/4" from the nut (and bridge).

Beyond defining the octaves (half-way points), the intervening fret positions are derived with a little bit of math. The formula derives a constant reduction in spacing as the octave is approached, and this is called fixing the temperament. True semitones are sought out when this spacing is compensated (think Buzz Feiten tuning adjustments at the nut). BTW, when you move the saddles on your bridge, you are compensating the scale length, but obviously not the fret spacing. It's a compromise and its one of many found on all guitar scales.

Juniors, Strats, Barney Kessels have different scale lengths but the fret location and spacing is tempered for that length, or the guitars would play wildly out of tune :ganz

Al is referring to the characteristics of playing the different scale lengths and the general differences in the tone of these guitars - a lot of which comes from the higher string tension that is necessary to bring a longer-scale guitar up to concert pitch, versus the shorter one. The new Les Pauls with 25 1/5" scales are going to feel and sound different, thus the idea behind this new option (I guess).

Yup. I had guite a collection of short scale guitars. The shorter scale is evident buy the shorter distance between frets, conversely a longer scale has greater distance between frets.

In either cas the whole relationship of fret distance , pickup spacing or spread and bridge location has to be addressed. Sometimes elegantly like the short scale SC Jr or ES140, or clumsy and unnatural like DC Jrs or SC Meolodymakers with deep set fingerboards and bridges.

In either case none were designed with a missaplication of the geometry of a guitar scale length determined by overall distance from nut to bridge and fret placement, with 12th fret as octave/ halfway point.

My observation of tunning stability of the longer scale is a function of it's greater overall didtance and more precise harmonic tunning. It is easier to "Tune" a longer scale as there is more room. On shorter scales with less room you need to be more precise as smaller adjustments have greater effect, from tunning to setting harmoncs to vibrato.
 
K

Kim R

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.....My observation of tunning stability of the longer scale is a function of it's greater overall didtance and more precise harmonic tunning. It is easier to "Tune" a longer scale as there is more room. On shorter scales with less room you need to be more precise as smaller adjustments have greater effect, from tunning to setting harmoncs to vibrato.......

So true. There is nothing more ornery than a short scale guitar with the slightest bridge/string nut/ Bigsby or trem issue because it's never going to sound right. Strats are notorious for feeling like they "fight back," but it's because of the trem springs and the string tension (usually for long-time short scale players). They are actually better at staying in tune and intonating if they are correctly set up. The new long-scale Les Paul is prolly gonna be a nice, well-enjoyed guitar.

How're you doing, Al?
 
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