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Thread: Scale length again!

  1. #1

    Scale length again!

    I want to glue the neck on my Gsj-1 and have set the saddles to the centre of the bridge but they are about 3-4 mm too far away, is this acceptable?
    I get that they and the bridge will need moving to set the intonation but surely that alters the scale length

  2. #2
    Member JimC's Avatar
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    At first it seems like a kinda backwards way of doing things, but setting the intonation is really the process of setting the correct scale length for each string. What we describe as scale length is a nominal figure because the very act of fretting a string alters its tension and thus tuning. The correct length for each string is subtly different! So all that's really needed is to install the bridge somewhere where enough adjustment is available to set the intonation correctly on every string.
    Build #1, failed solid body 6 string using neck from a scrapped acoustic (45+ odd years ago as a teenager!)
    Build #2, ugly parlour semi with scratch built body and ex Peavey neck
    Build #3, Appalachian Dulcimer from EMS kit
    Build #4, pre-owned PB ESB-4
    Build #5, Lockdown Mandolin

  3. #3
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Scale length is determined by the 12th fret distance from the nut, so you can't alter that. What you could have trouble with is correct intonation.

    I'm assuming that 'too far away' means that they need to move nearer to the neck.

    The high E saddle at least can be fully forwards to match the full scale length, as when intonated, it will be normally be moves back from there by 1-1.5mm.

    Obviously make sure that the two rear adjustment screws that push the bridge back from the posts aren't screwed in so they are pushing the bridge back at all.

    If there still seems to be a reasonable gap between the full scale length (measure from the nut, not the 12th fret, for better accuracy) and the most forward saddle position you can get, then it may be worth seeing how well the original kit bridge works instead (as I believe you've got a gold replacement bridge similar to the one I'm using on my kit).

  4. #4
    Thanks guys, I get it now. It was a long day yesterday with many distractions and I just couldn't see it clearly.
    Yes Simon we did get the same bridge it looks great against the black which I find perversely amusing seeing as they were originally the student budget guitar. It would be a shame if I had to use the original one as I think it would cause height issues.
    I will try and post some pics when I'm done.
    Oh, in the general instructions on page 15 it talks about neck bow and then straight into fret levelling without telling you to get the fret board level first.

  5. #5
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    I know the manual is a bit basic, occasionally wrong, and leaves out a lot.

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