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  1. #1

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    I just measured my 3 Gibson archtops for nut width and scale length: ( inside nut to c/l of 12 th fret times 2)......According to this :

    My 1937 L-7 is 24 (( listings etc., usually say 24.5 ))

    My 1952 L-7 is 24.5 (( Not sure what I'd seen on these ))

    My 2014 WesMo is 24.5 (( listings usually say 25.5 ))

    I am sort of surprised the WesMo isn't longer, as well as the '37.

    All in all, did I stumble upon 3 one-offs ??

    Thanks.

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  3. #2

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    Not sure how you calculate these scale length of these instruments. But your L-5 should be 25&1/2". Try measuring from bridge to nut.

  4. #3

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    I would guess that your measurementsite are off. The L7 guitars should come out 24-3/4" and the L5 25-1/2".

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57 View Post
    Not sure how you calculate these scale length of these instruments. But your L-5 should be 25&1/2". Try measuring from bridge to nut.
    That's it.......You have to measure bridge to nut.


    1937 L-7 Bridge to nut 23+3/4
    1952 L-7 " " " 25+1/2
    2014 WesMo " " " 25+1/2

    For sure I initially may have measured a bit off, and didn't measure from the c/l of the nut, but even so, doing that nut to half the 12th fret times two still leaves you about an inch short.

    Thanks !!
    Last edited by Dennis D; 06-06-2019 at 11:57 PM.

  6. #5

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    Measure from the nut to the center of the 12th fret, then multiply by two. The bridge is adjusted to intonate the strings and so may be longer or shorter than the nominal length.
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara View Post
    Measure from the nut to the center of the 12th fret, then multiply by two. The bridge is adjusted to intonate the strings and so may be longer or shorter than the nominal length.
    I did the measurements again, and the 12th fret method times two doesn't work. The WesMo nut to bridge is as they say 25+1/2 in.- -but it also reads 12+1/4 from nut to the center of the 12th fret.
    And I didn't add in 1/2 the nut width.......
    A search I did on-line also came back with this same nut-to-c/l-of-12th-times-two method of measuring scale length.

    If I get a further explanation, I'll post it here.

    Thanks.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis D View Post
    I just measured my 3 Gibson archtops for nut width and scale length: ( inside nut to c/l of 12 th fret times 2)......According to this :

    My 1937 L-7 is 24 (( listings etc., usually say 24.5 ))

    My 1952 L-7 is 24.5 (( Not sure what I'd seen on these ))

    My 2014 WesMo is 24.5 (( listings usually say 25.5 ))

    I am sort of surprised the WesMo isn't longer, as well as the '37.

    All in all, did I stumble upon 3 one-offs ??

    Thanks.
    Can you tell me what c/l means? Thanks.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    Can you tell me what c/l means? Thanks.
    Center line

  10. #9

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    ...every note has an origin and a destination...
    - Tal Farlow

  11. #10

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    Dennis,
    I've always done it like you did. And yes, I've found the edge of the nut to the center of the 12th fret measurement to be very erratic with Gibson guitars. And thats the only way I measure because, for me, its the only reason it matters. Those frets, between 0 and 12 are where scale length matters most to me. The shorter distance is better for me.
    JD

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinlander View Post

    Thanks !

    I like that description of actual scale length of a 24.5. as ' varies '. Sorta like ' sorta ' .

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405 View Post
    Dennis,
    I've always done it like you did. And yes, I've found the edge of the nut to the center of the 12th fret measurement to be very erratic with Gibson guitars. And thats the only way I measure because, for me, its the only reason it matters. Those frets, between 0 and 12 are where scale length matters most to me. The shorter distance is better for me.
    JD
    Thanks Joe. Makes sense.

  14. #13

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    Truss rod adjustment for neck relief makes a straightedge measurement a little shorter than it really is. That cannot account for the loss of 0.5" from nut to 12th fret...It is difficult enough to read to the crown of the 12th fret from the trailing edge of the nut.

    My barmy attempt at resolving this is to ask Dennis D if he had used a machinist's ruler that starts at 0 without any excess unmarked length at the start of it i.e. before the 0 mark...That unmarked length is usually 0.5" long...
    Great Deals with Great Folks: max52 (Guild-Benedetto Artist Award); prickards (Ribbecke GC Halfling); Cincy2 (Comins Concert)

  15. #14

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    Scale length is a complicated topic, in particular with Gibson. Here’s a bit more info:StewMac`s pre-slotted fretboard question | My Les Paul Forum

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky View Post
    Truss rod adjustment for neck relief makes a straightedge measurement a little shorter than it really is. That cannot account for the loss of 0.5" from nut to 12th fret...It is difficult enough to read to the crown of the 12th fret from the trailing edge of the nut.

    My barmy attempt at resolving this is to ask Dennis D if he had used a machinist's ruler that starts at 0 without any excess unmarked length at the start of it i.e. before the 0 mark...That unmarked length is usually 0.5" long...
    Thx Jab, I did use a standard metal tape measure. Then I was told to count 12 actual frets / ' bars' themselves, measure that and double it. So I did, and then yes, you get closer to what Gibson calls their scale lengths...but then you're not measuring to the center line of the 12th fret.....
    So, as Joe said, the first to twelfth fret measurement will measure usable fretboard space, and after that, what Gibson calls their lengths may or may not be how others measure theirs.

    Thanks.

  17. #16

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    From that StewMac articleGibson Scale Lengths ???-b72a4fd8-7ae9-4ead-a063-c01ed9b6a005-gif

  18. #17

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    I think everyone has made this a bit more complicated than necessary. 25.5 variation due compensation but not terribly great and guitar is impossible to ever really be in tune all over. It is all a compromise lucky the ear adjust for most mortals.
    specializing in repair and setup, does your guitar play like it should?

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis D View Post
    ..but then you're not measuring to the center line of the 12th fret.....
    The fret is the metal bar the string rests on. I'm wondering if you're measuring the center of the space in between...? It makes no sense that you could produce an octave at 12 1/4" on a 25 1/2" guitar.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Runepune View Post
    The fret is the metal bar the string rests on. I'm wondering if you're measuring the center of the space in between...? It makes no sense that you could produce an octave at 12 1/4" on a 25 1/2" guitar.
    Yes, I was measuring from the nut to the space in between the 12th & 13th fret because that's how several on-line sources ( not Gibson ) defined scale length.

    But as the informed responses to this thread have shown, there are grey areas, which lead to confusion. Why do they call it 'this' when it measures 'that' ?

  21. #20

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    I've never heard of anyone measuring to the space between frets. That's just beyond my comprehension. It's always from the front of the nut to the center of the 12th fret.

  22. #21

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    Oh brother.....

    Sorry to all......

    From the beginning, I was * wrongly * measuring from every nut to the center of the area between the 12th and 13th fret......meaning, on the first string, a note fretted in the 12 fret, will be an e.....' half the area that's the ' e ' on the first string in the 12th fret '......

    but - -what the charts would point to and mean by ' center of the 12th fret', is correctly found by counting out 12 fret wires starting in the first position, then multiplying by two........

    ....by 'the center of the 12th fret' they mean the middle of the fret wire that starts the 13th fret........

    ......I mean I know I ain't that smart, but no wonder there's a lot of confusion about that......

    .......Sorry again......

    Thanks to Mark C too.......

  23. #22

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    The inside of nut to centerline of 12th fret on my L-5 Lee Rit is 12.625" x2 = 25.25", which is what I'd call the actual scale length. All my L-5 Signatures are the same.

    From inside of nut to centerline of properly-located bridge is 25.5", which is what Gibson calls the scale length. Again, all my L-5 Signatures are the same.

    Measuring from the inside of the nut to someplace between frets is what's called the "start of a 'false premise' thread."

    Danny W.

  24. #23

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    Paul Reed Smith maintains that the Gibson 24.75" nominal scale length actually measures 24.594"...

    Gawd knows what a Gibson 25.5" nominal scale length actually measures...
    Great Deals with Great Folks: max52 (Guild-Benedetto Artist Award); prickards (Ribbecke GC Halfling); Cincy2 (Comins Concert)

  25. #24

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    Interesting. My LeGrand is 12 3/4" at the 12th fret, and the tun-o-matic bridge is where the bridge is...

  26. #25

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    Fret slots are cut according to an exact mathematical formula. When the slots are actually cut, there is a range of variability that is inevitable. Saws just can't get to the precision that math can. But the slots are almost always very close to where they should be. If there is an intonation problem at some frets, it's caused either by the slots being a little bit off, or by the frets being crowned a little off center. It's usually the latter. If the fret slot is slightly off, it can be corrected by fret crowning, as long as the variance is small.

  27. #26

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    Can the mods make this into a sticky?
    Best thread ever.
    "Somebody get me out of this chair." - BOB WILLS
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