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Looking for an advice regarding scale length & guitar size   You are logged in as Guest
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User55

 

Posts: 10
Joined: Apr. 15 2020
 

Looking for an advice regarding scal... 

Hello everyone,
Guitar was a hope & life saving boat helped me to survive a war zone place, messed up childhood & extreme poverty to the point of eating one bowl of rice is the only option while my body was still developing which of course affected my build (I'm 5'6 with skinny arms). I listened to flamenco & Gipsy kings albums whenever i felt that i should end my misery and quit life. I'm grateful that i made it away from that horrible place and just live normal life. About three years ago a full size guitars started to be a trouble to play as i'm getting older so i switched to shorter scale guitars & WOW! a big difference and made me want to practice & play for hours but the problem is the sound quality. I have a Cordoba Cadete 3/4 size strung with light tension rectified Daddario Ej29 with low action and just lovely to play all day but the sound quality is crap. I would be grateful to hear your opinion if having a custom built guitar with a scale length of 620mm and smaller body would solve it for me and get a reasonable sound better than the mass produced guitars. I tried Yamaha 3/4 size same issue with bad sound. Thank you in advance!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 10 2022 21:15:48
 
kitarist

Posts: 1441
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Looking for an advice regarding ... (in reply to User55

quote:

I have a Cordoba Cadete 3/4 size strung with light tension rectified Daddario Ej29 with low action and just lovely to play all day but the sound quality is crap.


That guitar has a 615mm scale length, whereas the D'Addario tension labels are meant at a reference scale length of 25.5 inches (647.7mm).

The on-guitar tension varies as the square of the scale length. When you use 'low tension' EJ29 on a shorter-scale guitar, the tension is actually even lower. In your case, the tension is only 90% (*) of the already-low tension listed by D'Addario for that string set. The total string-set tension on your guitar barely cracks 70 lbs total, so it might be that the sound quality is bad simply because the strings are too floppy.

To give you an idea of how low this is, the difference between D'Addario designations low->medium; medium->hard; hard->extra hard; is 3-4% - about 11% total from 'low' to 'extra hard'. This means that if you put 'hard tension' strings on your short-scale guitar, the tension would still be lower than what low tension would feel on a full-scale guitar. Before deciding to shop for a new guitar, perhaps you can explore this by trying a 'medium' or even 'hard' tension strings from the same company to see if the sound improves.

Or, even without buying new sets, just tune the guitar up one semitone. Since tension also varies with the square of the tuned frequency, this means increasing the tension by about 12% (**) - so doing this would give you a feel for strings just above low tension on a full-scale guitar.

(*) (615/647.7)^2 is about 90.2%.

(**) A semitone up is 2^(1/12) higher frequency, and the square of that is 2^(2/12) which is about 12.2% higher tension so you end up with net 0.902*1.122 = just 1% higher tension on your guitar with that tuning than what the tension would be for the same strings at regular tuning for a full scale guitar.

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 10 2022 22:23:55
 
User55

 

Posts: 10
Joined: Apr. 15 2020
 

RE: Looking for an advice regarding ... (in reply to kitarist

Hi Konstantin,
Thank you for taking to the time to reply! This guitar came with Savarez high tension set and felt very stiff to me. I will consider that and try the next tension up. I have used the EJ29 on full size guitars and really love them but i will get the EJ30 next. I just always wondered if shorter scale 620mm but with good quality wood & work can sound decent and closer to full size guitars. I appreciate you & this great forum.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 10 2022 22:46:23
 
mackhomie

 

Posts: 14
Joined: May 16 2020
 

RE: Looking for an advice regarding ... (in reply to User55

in my experience, the savarez 520 'high tensions' are fairly low tension themselves. every time I switch to them from nearly any other string (except low tension), they are undeniably less tenaw and have a lot more give.
have you considered letting an amplifier pull some of the weight for you? maybe there's a way to get some tone without sacrificing the playability you're getting.

there is a Yamaha that has a built in speaker and effects (probably not a shorter scale), but that sort of thing exists now and definitely makes a bigger sound. I'm sure it would require some tweaking to not sound out of place for flamenco, but you'd at least get some volume and maintain some dynamics without having to play all the strings equally hard to compensate for the quietness.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 11 2022 5:49:36
 
User55

 

Posts: 10
Joined: Apr. 15 2020
 

RE: Looking for an advice regarding ... (in reply to mackhomie

mackhomie,
Thank you for your reply! I actually installed myself a Fishman UST pickup in same guitar (Cordoba Cadete) and it sounds great amplified with good growl believe or not & playability is just great but of course has some of the common UST quack. I even gigged with it and people like it with zero feedback issues. I just miss hearing the sound of full size instruments which i tried many times to live with but it was just making me play a lot less and struggling. Thank you!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 11 2022 6:34:59
 
mackhomie

 

Posts: 14
Joined: May 16 2020
 

RE: Looking for an advice regarding ... (in reply to User55

I feel ya. Hey, in another thread I was reminded of the Cordoba gk pro I played at gc recently. it has a fancy pickup, but more importantly, was the lowest action on any flamenco guitar I've encountered by a mile. so low that it may have sacrificed some tone, but by no means did it not sound like a full scale guitar.
I suspect they're not all that low or that it could have even been a rare one, but it was almost funny how easy it was on the left hand. I didn't measure, but I know it well under the the 2.6mm of my own guitar and made for a relaxing left hand experience.

best of luck on your hunt!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 11 2022 12:26:24
 
User55

 

Posts: 10
Joined: Apr. 15 2020
 

RE: Looking for an advice regarding ... (in reply to mackhomie

I had the Cordoba GK few years ago (spruce top) and i managed to get the action really low and was not bad compared to other full size guitars but the string spacing is another factor i love about the Cordoba cadete.

Thank you for your recommendations & best wishes!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 11 2022 18:01:36
 
Stephen Eden

 

Posts: 901
Joined: Apr. 12 2008
From: UK

RE: Looking for an advice regarding ... (in reply to User55

A short scale guitar made by a competant Luthier will without doubt sound better than one of the factory guitars even with normal tension strings on. It can be built to work better with less tension from the start. I've made a fair few short scale guitars. I think 580 was my shortest and recently a 600. All sounded great. not quite as powerful as a full size version of one of my guitars though.

It can defineitely be done.

_____________________________

Classical and Flamenco Guitars www.EdenGuitars.co.uk
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 11 2022 19:35:45
 
User55

 

Posts: 10
Joined: Apr. 15 2020
 

RE: Looking for an advice regarding ... (in reply to Stephen Eden

Hi Stephen,
I will be fine with 620mm scale guitar (close to the Cordoba cadete i have now 615mm) but due to the rarity of quality short scale guitars, i'm trying to research how much closer i can get to the sound of full size instrument with custom built guitar. Can you please refer me to any audio or video clips for any of your short scale guitars?

Thank you!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 11 2022 20:13:54
 
Stephen Eden

 

Posts: 901
Joined: Apr. 12 2008
From: UK

RE: Looking for an advice regarding ... (in reply to User55

I don't have recordings, unfortunately. I regularly make 630mm scale guitars that really don't sound any different so a 620mm won't be that far off.

When compared to the factory made guitars the difference will be night and day though. That can be pretty much said for all luthier made guitars though.

_____________________________

Classical and Flamenco Guitars www.EdenGuitars.co.uk
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 12 2022 8:25:45
 
User55

 

Posts: 10
Joined: Apr. 15 2020
 

RE: Looking for an advice regarding ... (in reply to Stephen Eden

Thank you Stephen! Great to know that a short scale guitar will sound as good and worth the investment.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 12 2022 18:01:17
 
davewphx

Posts: 56
Joined: Jul. 11 2011
 

RE: Looking for an advice regarding ... (in reply to User55

User55, Marlon Navarro is a well know builder in Mexico who was selling 630mm scale length blancas with a 50mm nut width. I bought one a year ago and like it a lot. I mainly bought it for the 50 mm nut. Does this link work?...I never really noticed a difference between my 650mm and 630mm scale lengths but I am still very green with my technique. The body depth is about 3/16" thicker than my Cordoba GK negra.

http://www.foroflamenco.com/tm.asp?m=330211&appid=&p=&mpage=1&key=marlon%2Cnavarro&tmode=&smode=&s=#330232

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Dave
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 13 2022 19:19:18
 
User55

 

Posts: 10
Joined: Apr. 15 2020
 

RE: Looking for an advice regarding ... (in reply to davewphx

Hi Dave,
Thank you for the recommendation! great to know that the 630mm didn't sound different. Do you have any audio & video clips? my plan is to have a 620mm scale length blanca. I will search for Marlon's guitars on google/ Youtube. Thank you & best wishes!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 20 2022 20:50:48
 
ernandez R

Posts: 526
Joined: Mar. 25 2019
From: Alaska USA

RE: Looking for an advice regarding ... (in reply to User55

quote:

ORIGINAL: User55

I had the Cordoba GK few years ago (spruce top) and i managed to get the action really low and was not bad compared to other full size guitars but the string spacing is another factor i love about the Cordoba cadete.

Thank you for your recommendations & best wishes!



U55,

Welcolm to the foro.

Just now reading and it wasn't clear to me if it was the string spacing or fret spacing or a combinations of factors you were looking for.

As a teen my parents made some poor choices and for about nine months it was two bowls of rice a day, stunted my growth and I didn't start growing again until a few years later. Still, it makes the most simple meal today sumptuous in a way one who has never hungered can not understand. I found music always a source of... redemption for a world of sins.

There are a few other luthiers who post here who make exceptional guitars, suprised they have not chimed in. Poke around the luthery forum here and you'll get an idea who they are. A few in the US and others around the world too.

HR

_____________________________

I prefer my flamenco guitar spicy,
doesn't have to be fast,
should have some meat on the bones,
can be raw or well done,
as long as it doesn't sound like it's turning green on an elevator floor.

www.instagram.com/threeriversguitars
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 26 2022 7:03:36
 
User55

 

Posts: 10
Joined: Apr. 15 2020
 

RE: Looking for an advice regarding ... (in reply to ernandez R

Hi ernandez!
Thank you for taking the time to reply! i feel your pain and very sorry that it is just not a fair deal on this planet. I tried and still trying to get to a place where i can still play the guitar and enjoy it without feeling i just have to quit. I survived a multi layer of trauma, abuse & starvation starting from growing in a country suffered from dictatorship & global economic punishment to a really messed up parent who shouldn't have kids. Learning the guitar and finding out (from strangers not my family) that i have a musical talent and should pursue it, saved my life so far. I wanted to mention all this in the post to get an advice as i tried this before and all what i got is "deal with it and practice". The guitar i have now and very comfortable to play (cordoba cadete) has a narrower string spacing and shorter scale (615mm) so i think those two factors plus a low action is what i'm looking for in a guitar. I'm grateful for this forum as i learned a lot and thank you for chiming in!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 29 2022 19:24:15
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