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  1. #1
    I took out my Gibson semi hollow today to play some Pat Metheney. Haven't played it for ages, as I've been more into flat tops and teles for a while. But damn me, it didn't feel good at all! Having spent so much time on 25.5" scale guitars made me experience the neck as really cramped. The wound strings was too dominant, and intonation just felt a wee bit off all the time. This hasn't been a big deal to me before, but then I used to switch between 24.75, 25 and 25.5" scales more regularly.

    Right now I just feel that the longer scale length is superior in every way. What would you do in my position? Get rid of my Gibson right away and get a 25.5" semi? Or try to get used to it by playing it more often?

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Northenlights
    Or try to get used to it by playing it more often?

    ^This!^

  4. #3

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    I have no problems moving between different necks and scale lengths--classical to archtop to flattop to 12-string to Tele...but it takes a little getting used to.

    I understand people preferring to play something which is most comfortable--heck that's why I play my 175 mostly!--but I also think a skilled musician could make anything work with a little effort.

  5. #4

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    It feels weird to me too, when there is a time gap between playing the two.

    I wouldn't use my Gibson semi for jazz but when it comes to rock or blues it's much better than a big archtop, mandatory even. (Lighter strings, shorter scale). I don't play those styles unless I have to for a Berklee class or something, and am no longer fond of big string bends. I hardly ever play it but it's good to have it at the ready, when needed.

  6. #5

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    My answer depends on if it was made before or after 1959 (or 1949 for acoustics).

  7. #6

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    I learned late in life I was more comfortable and played better with wide necks and long scales. I gradually cycled out the narrow and short for the wide and long. Very happy with that decision. It's all subjective and only you can decide what is right.

  8. #7

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    I don't have a lot of problems going between different scale lengths. Nut width is more an issue.

    This has nothing to do with Gibson as it is a variable applicable across the guitar world.

    Not that there aren't many good reasons to give up on Gibson.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Northenlights
    I took out my Gibson semi hollow today to play some Pat Metheney. Haven't played it for ages, as I've been more into flat tops and teles for a while. But damn me, it didn't feel good at all! Having spent so much time on 25.5" scale guitars made me experience the neck as really cramped. The wound strings was too dominant, and intonation just felt a wee bit off all the time. This hasn't been a big deal to me before, but then I used to switch between 24.75, 25 and 25.5" scales more regularly.

    Right now I just feel that the longer scale length is superior in every way. What would you do in my position? Get rid of my Gibson right away and get a 25.5" semi? Or try to get used to it by playing it more often?
    I hate playing chords on my 175. Has the sound though, warm yet cutting.

    I think as long as I use it as an ensemble guitar, it’s cool.

  10. #9

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    If you have several guitars, they need to be rotated. Not playing a guitar for a long while will make it feel strange.

    Some players cannot switch well from different scale lengths. For those folks, it might be wise to own only guitars that have the scale lenth that works well with their playing.

    Has Gibson made a semi hollow guitar with a 25.5 scale?

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    If you have several guitars, they need to be rotated. Not playing a guitar for a long while will make it feel strange.

    Some players cannot switch well from different scale lengths. For those folks, it might be wise to own only guitars that have the scale lenth that works well with their playing.

    Has Gibson made a semi hollow guitar with a 25.5 scale?
    Hmmm, close.

    The L5S was solid, the Johnny A. might be fully hollow, I don't recall.

  12. #11

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    I think the Johnny A model has a 25.5 inch scale.
    That may be the only one(?)

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    Hmmm, close.

    The L5S was solid, the Johnny A. might be fully hollow, I don't recall.
    Did The L-5S have a 25.5 scale?

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    Did The L-5S have a 25.5 scale?
    Yes it did.

    EDIT: Oops, maybe I'm wrong. They had several versions so I'm not sure, but I thought that at least some of them did.

  15. #14

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    If it bugs you every time you pick it up, then yeah, move it along and count it as a learning experience about what works.
    I only had a problem feeling cramped with chords higher up the neck when I had Epiphones with the shorter scale length. I prefer the longer Fender/Martin length. Though, my Martin archtop is in-between, and it's easy to play. What I'm noticing as different, though, is the wider, flatter neck and lower frets.

  16. #15

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    I don't have much trouble going between different guitars. If you don't play one for a long time them it is true they can feel different. For me it seems after I play a guitar or a reasonable amount of time I have no trouble with scale length. I cannot say I even notice a huge different except I cannot play a skinny neck that is narrower than 1 11/16. I prefer 1 3/4.

    As to the intonation that just seems odd to me unless the guitar has serious intonation issue due to set up or possible the bridge/saddle is in the wrong place. If fact i find intonation problems more in Tele's and Strat's than I do in gibson guitars. The general construction of necks that are not glued and more flexible bodies seem to be a constant issue with me. In fact the general construction of a Les Paul to me is way superior to Fender and they are easier to keep tuned than longer scale length guitars.

    How much is the intonation off at the octave a stat would help here?

  17. #16

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    I figure the shorter 24.75 neck has an inherently different voice, all other things equal. It's a bit of a warmer sound. To me that's a good thing, have both lengths and different voices. A warmer sound, but is it really? Move up a fret and you have a shorter vibrating string length, but still I guess it is, it sounds that way.

    As far as feeling cramped, doesn't make much sense to me. Do you feel cramped when playing in Eb instead of D... a one fret change in position is more than the difference between 25.5" and 24.75", capo up one fret on a 25.5" and you'd be somewhere around a 24.25" effective neck.

    Don't have a Gibson, my short, 24.75", neck guitar is a Yamaha Revstar RS620 which is currently my favorite.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    Yes it did.

    EDIT: Oops, maybe I'm wrong. They had several versions so I'm not sure, but I thought that at least some of them did.
    I think you are wrong. If memory serves me they were all 24.75. But perhaps I am wrong. Has anyone here ever seen or played a 25.5 scale solid body L-5?

  19. #18

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    Cramped on some things, yes.

    If one has long fingers, some chords feel "bunchy" higher on the fretboard - even on long scale guitars**. And a 1 11/16" nut width can feel bunchy on certain chords too, that's the motivation for the 1 12/16" nut width.

    But playing rapid lines is easier on a short scale, and skinnier strings don't hurt either.



    ** Mi7b5, Drop 3 from 6th string, 10th fret and higher, is but one example.

  20. #19

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    I own two '66 Gibsons: ES125TC and ES125TCD. The first I've owned since new and the second, I inherited recently from my younger brother on which I've done a complete disassembly testing pickups, pots, switches, pickguard, jack, buffing, fret polishing, etc before I ultimately reassemble the instrument for playing. The ES125TC was my gigging guitar for R&B, Funk, Soul bands from 1966 to the early 80's. It has the single P90 pickup, 24 3/4 scale, with the "skinny neck," and maple top, rims, and back. It has a remarkable sound both acoustically and amplified. It is slightly brighter in nature than the ES125 but can be easily modified through amplification to sound very close to its bigger bodied brother. As I have said previously, I rescued it 1 1/2 years ago from its 40 year rest and play it in rotation every day with my CG's.
    So, I switch between the 39mm fretboard Gibson and my 52mm Classical guitars with no problem, whatsoever. However, when I play the EG vs. the CG, I realize I'm playing TWO DIFFERENT INSTRUMENTS and I adjust my playing accordingly. And, it was the same concept when I played Tenor, Alto, Soprano sax, and flute. So, IMO, your problem is twofold: not enough playtime and it's all in your head. And, I have thick hands and the adjustment is only minor on the ES when playing some upper register chords which can easily be replaced with shell voicings or inversions. So, N, don't give up yet. You have a fine instrument. Give it the time it deserves. You might be very surprised.
    Play live . . . Marinero

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    I think you are wrong. If memory serves me they were all 24.75. But perhaps I am wrong. Has anyone here ever seen or played a 25.5 scale solid body L-5?
    Let's ask Ron.

    Gibson.com: Ronnie Wood L-5S

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    He says 25.5

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    Gibson has had typos on their website. But perhaps that signature reissue has the longer scale length. Where is Neatomic when you need him? He would know.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    I think you are wrong. If memory serves me they were all 24.75. But perhaps I am wrong. Has anyone here ever seen or played a 25.5 scale solid body L-5?

    If you want a solid body then they had 25.5" Les Paul's for a while back around 2013'ish

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by 339 in june;[URL="tel:1118142"
    1118142[/URL]]He says 25.5
    The Ron Wood model L-5S was only version that did. All the originals were 24.75”

    The Johnny A is their only 25.5” that’s not a fully hollow guitar, but it’s more hollow than a 335/45/55. I don’t find that to be a bad thing.

    Danny W.

  26. #25

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    More of a thinline than a semi but the 90-00s Blueshawk had a 25.5 scale