Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 25 of 25
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    I know a lot of people don't like it but is anyone a fan? Like, on a Byrdland for example?

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    I do like it a lot! Had a chance to try out an ES-350 with the short scale and it played like butter. Playing voicings with 9 or 7 intervals was a lot easyer on that one.
    Unfortunately I can't afford a guitar like that, but I'm always in the hunt for a wallet friendly short scale archtop.

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    I used to work on contract for a company with major dealings in China.

    As an end-of-year bonus one year they gave me a "Byrdland Copy Guitar" made in China. Turns out it was produced in the Chinese Epiphone factory. Most things were correct except - obviously it is not a Byrdland and should never have had the Gibson headstock shape or logo! The body was all laminate with a center block/sound-post beneath the bridge area. Was interesting to play with and get used to the scale length but eventually ethics meant that it needed to be converted to no more than a "Wall hanging replica of a Byrdland" with a label placed inside declaring its fake status.

    That being said; if you want to try the scale length out and don't need acoustic response then a dhgate search might work - just make sure you can live with the ethical/moral consequences and be prepared to ditch it after proof of concept.

    Cheers

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    It's a thing. Your hand is in a slightly different place. Your arm sits differently. If you're familiar with Capos it won't be a huge deal. But if you use capos, you'll run out of space faster.

    I love my byrdland, but I don't ask anything of it other than it be itself. If it were my only guitar, maybe it'd be a different story. I never saw the big deal with the short neck but some people are super particular, I guess.

    I'm mostly a 24.75 guy, but all my acoustics are 25.5 and I have a few basses, too. So there's some context for you. I find a skinny nut much more troubling than a short scale neck.

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    I've owned 2 vintage Byrdlands (1960 / 1967) in my time and do not really miss them.... The SOUND of the guitars was totally ok, no complaints at all but the narrow neck (along the whole length) was something that I could not get used to. The slim 60's style neckshapes of various ES335/345 and 2 Super-400 models that also passed through my hands did not hinder my playing as much as the Byrdland necks. When I listen to some Anthony Wilson tracks (with Diana Krall and solo stuff, too) and see him perform with his early 60's Byrdland I keep thinking "what did I miss there ?" but no, I won't go there no more. I have no issue with a normal scale length so that is settled - for ME.

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    For me the Byrdland's narrow neck was more an issue than the short scale. I have two 23.5" seven string guitars (high A) and find the scale very comfortable all the way up the wider neck.

  8. #7
    The birdland scale is actually the true short scale length. People always refer to 24,75 scale as short scale, but really its the medium or Gibson scale length. Then comes the large scale, the 25,5. So its not short and long, but short, medium and long. Ted Greene pointed the whole thing out in one of his videos and i was like, yeah he's right with that! Of course there are some rare scale lengths too like the Johnny Smith which is exactly 25. To answer your question, i played a birdland once but totally forgot how it felt. Personally i prefer the medium scale because its sort of the best of two worlds, and its easy playing!

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    I'm a fan.

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    I like the short scale, but I do not like the skinny neck.

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by JazzmanLehmann
    The birdland scale is actually the true short scale length. People always refer to 24,75 scale as short scale, but really its the medium or Gibson scale length. Then comes the large scale, the 25,5. So its not short and long, but short, medium and long. Ted Greene pointed the whole thing out in one of his videos and i was like, yeah he's right with that! Of course there are some rare scale lengths too like the Johnny Smith which is exactly 25. To answer your question, i played a birdland once but totally forgot how it felt. Personally i prefer the medium scale because its sort of the best of two worlds, and its easy playing!
    This is an American view. The 26.25 scale is quite popular with French/Sicilian luthiers and has been for almost 100 years. Now that is my idea of long scale!

  12. #11
    The reason I ask is because I had a Byrdland in my possession for a couple of days and noticed some unique sonic qualities in addition to the tactile qualities stated above.

    FEEL
    - Lower tension, obviously. This made it easy to bend with thicker strings and required less effort to fret harder chords.
    - Easier to grip chords low on the fretboard
    - Hard to grip chords higher up the fretboard
    - This particular one had a very full C neck, so I really didn't mind the short scale or narrow nut that much. There was something uniquely comfortable about it. If it had a thin neck in addition the the narrow nut and short scale, I'd probably take more issue with it.

    None of the above surprised me, except for how comfortable it was.

    SOUND
    (A lot of these are subjective and my impression may not be 100% accurate)
    - To my ears, not muddy, as some describe. It's true that you have looser tension for a given string gauge. However, the unique scale length meant that a some dimensions had to shift proportionally. The neck pickup seems proportionally closer to the bridge. I feel like this boosted the midrange and cut the bass in a pleasing way.
    - Soft attack due to the reduced tension. There was a really cool smoothness to it. If you've heard Anthony Wilson's Byrdland you know what I mean.
    - Increased sustain relative to longer scale?


    Anyway, I'm very intrigued. I was surprised that I enjoyed the proportions as much as I did. If someone wants to send me a bunch of Byrdlands and ES-350Ts to try out, hit me up.

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    Funny you should ask because I have two NGD's coming up (have owned both guitars for a while though) and one of them is a 21.9" scale, which is actually like a 25.5" scale guitar minus the first two frets. However it has a 1.75" nut width. It was built by Tony Duggan-Smith at Linda Manzer's shop in 1995 and is named the "Mystic" (he names each guitar). I also have a 2010 Tony Duggan-Smith 25.5" scale archtop ("Birdseye", built for the 2010 Montreal Guitar Show) with basically the exact same neck other than the longer scale, so I feel I'm in a very good position to consider the scale length issue in isolation.

    Yes, it's different and yes it's a bit cramped way up the neck, but it's still super playable...and that's at 21.9" scale! Obviously the 1.75" nut width helps, however I still find that it's very playable right up until the 14th fret. I do have to be pretty careful past the 12th fret or so...like I do on a regular scale guitar after the 14th fret (not very often I'm up there...).

    In terms of tone, the sound is very mellow...very sweet. Very pleasing. The mystic is a 14.5" x 3" deep body, all carved woods, and with a floater. Those attributes obviously help the acoustic sound.

    Short Scale (23.5)-mystic-jpeg
    Last edited by coolvinny; 05-07-2021 at 12:36 PM.

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    Agreed -- I have played Tony's "Mystic" and it is a very cool guitar.

    Quote Originally Posted by coolvinny
    Funny you should ask because I have two NGD's coming up (have owned both guitars for a while though) and one of them is a 21.9" scale, which is actually like a 25.5" scale guitar minus the first two frets. However it has a 1.75" nut width. It was built by Tony Duggan-Smith at Linda Manzer's shop in 1995 and is named the "Mystic" (he names each guitar). I also have a 2006 Tony Duggan-Smith 25.5" scale archtop ("Birdseye") with basically the exact same neck other than the longer scale, so I feel I'm in a very good position to consider the scale length issue in isolation.

    Yes, it's different and yes it's a bit cramped way up the neck, but it's still super playable...and that's at 21.9" scale! Obviously the 1.75" nut width helps, however I still find that it's very playable right up until the 14th fret. I do have to be pretty careful past the 12th fret or so...like I do on a regular scale guitar after the 14th fret (not very often I'm up there...).

    In terms of tone, the sound is very mellow...very sweet. Very pleasing. The mystic is a 14.5" x 3" deep body, all carved woods, and with a floater. Those attributes obviously help the acoustic sound.

    Short Scale (23.5)-mystic-jpeg

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    This is an American view. The 26.25 scale is quite popular with French/Sicilian luthiers and has been for almost 100 years. Now that is my idea of long scale!
    I've played a couple of 66 cm/26.25" scale classical guitars and while they were true note cannons with lots of sustain the tone was not the sweetest and for certain pieces the long scale is
    simply a torture.... talked to Ralph Towner about that once and he (with his rather large hands) had also very quickly given up on the long scale models. In the Gypsy Jazz world (very much conservative)
    the Selmer sets the standard so a 66cm scale is "de rigueur", a must-have. For single note playing that is not so difficult to handle after all.

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    23.5" is fine so long as the nut width is decent, IMO. Gibson made the ES-350T with 1 11/16" nut widths in '59, but I'm not sure if they kept that feature when they went to the Florentine cutaway version. I think they did the same for some Byrdlands from the same time period. I played a '90s reissue Byrdland with a 1 11/16" nut, which felt great - it belonged to a local musician. So, they are out there.

    When the urge to go 23.5" scale hits me, I reach for my Hoyer Special mini-me, with a nice full-width neck.
    Attached Images Attached Images Short Scale (23.5)-hoyer-special-mini_9730-jpg 

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos
    - Hard to grip chords higher up the fretboard
    I don't think it would be as bad if it was a full width neck.

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    Really enjoying that Taylor GT flattop with it’s 24 1/8” scale and 1 23/32” nut. The neck carve is what I would call a shallow V. 24 1/8 is the halfway point between 24 3/4 and 23 1/2.

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    i played an old Es350T which was great
    but it had the narrow nut thing which I didn’t like ....

    I would love to try out an Epi Elite or Elitist Birdland
    (23.5 scale) sometime
    I believe they have a normal kinda nut width ....

  20. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    This is an American view. The 26.25 scale is quite popular with French/Sicilian luthiers and has been for almost 100 years. Now that is my idea of long scale!
    By no means is this a „American“ view. Every big guitar company produces guitars in these common scale lengths, across the whole wide world.

  21. #20
    I’m a bit obsessed with short scale…I primarily play both my ‘56 Gibson ES-140 and ‘56 Fender Duo Sonic, and can’t believe how comfortable the necks are. Both are 22.75”, and have nice round necks that fit the hand well and makes you want to touch them. The Duo Sonic especially has a nice wide profile that is not cramped in the slightest (I’m told it was designed to be equivalent to a tele or strat a few frets upwards along the neck). You have to get the right year tho’, as the early ones have the soft V like the similar era strats do and aren’t as narrow at the nut as later ones. Previous to the ‘56 I bought a ‘65 and couldn’t even form open chords comfortably as the neck was so skinny…it helps to do the research!

    If you’re looking for a jazz box, the es140 is amazing, and although it has a small body (about the size of a Les Paul), it’s much deeper: 3 3/8” like an es175. I find that while it gets that fat full hollow body sound (p90 sounds great), it is easier to keep from feeding back and works great with some grit in addition to clean almost acoustic-like tones.

    Short scale is indeed easier to fret, both for extended voicings along the neck, as well as tension. It just feels so supple and nice to use vibrato on a short scale with 12-56 strings. I don’t nearly have the hand fatigue that I used to (along with shoulder). They are also a lot lighter to wear on a strap, and make longer gigs much more enjoyable.

    I’ve been really studying the timbral qualities exhibited by short scale guitars in general over the last few years (I also have a Martin 5-18 that is 21.4” on the acoustic side, although that is tuned up a m3), especially in comparison with my other full scale guitars. Although every guitar is a different animal, I can assuredly say that they all posses a certain roundness and deeper tonality, especially on the trebles, emphasizing more fundamental. This is similar to short scale basses (think hofner violin bass) as the string has lower tension to create an equivalent pitch. I find this particularly lovely, and it suits my playing and compositional aesthetic.

    I guess I’m rather biased. The only issue I can think of is that the low e string can be a bit less punchy and I find that I tend to pick closer to the bridge than on other guitars to compensate. The reduced tension takes a bit to get used to, and can lead to the low e string going sharp if you press too hard. Takes practice but works fine for me, and I’m particularly sensitive to intonation.

    My two cents…

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    What gauge strings will you try on “Mystic?” 13’s?

  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    I acquired my Byrdland VSB Crimson Custom, 8 years ago , and like the 23.5" scale. it has;a 1&11/16ths" nut , the neck is a comfortable "C'' profile, not thin, and tapers, there is no difficulty switching between it and a 25.5"scale neck (despite having small hands}another advantage is ,as already mentioned, the use heavier gauge strings, without discomfort, but like the Tal Farlow ,underrated by many.

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    What gauge strings will you try on “Mystic?” 13’s?
    I’m pretty sure I have D’Addario nickel 13’s on there with 14/18 swapped in for the trebles strings. For comparison, on my 25.5” scale “Birdseye” I have TI Bebop 13’s also with 14/18 swapped in.

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    Short Scale (23.5)-925be87d-7d4b-471e-a475-5493089959df-jpg
    My short scale contribution. ‘57 Byrdland.

  26. #25

    User Info Menu

    oh wow. staples and a bigsby. that'll get the ladies worked up. that's a handsome guitar. maybe too cool for some of the folks here, but i think it's bad ass.