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Thread: How to get the scale length right ?

  1. #1

    How to get the scale length right ?

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    Sorry, I already posted this, but I reckon it was the wrong forum, hope to get better luck here, so here we go ...

    Hi !

    I'm close (hopefully) to finishing my first build (EX-1) however, if most of it went rather smoothly, I'm quite unsure on how to set the scale before gluing the neck. Here's the problem :
    - When I measure between the inside of the Nut to the 12th fret (middle of the crown), I get 313.5 mm
    - When I measure between the 12th fret and the front of the saddle of the E string (high one - the shortest distance) , I end up with 314.5 mm --> I would tend to think that 0.5 mm is no biggie but to get that result, I did screw the saddle as far forward as possible.

    I compared this with one of my guitars, an Epiphone dot studio and the distance between the nut and the 12th fret (same as on the EX-1 neck by the way) is exactly the same as between the 12th fret and the saddle of the high E string (see picture, it explains better the whole situation I think). The difference is that the saddle is about mid-range... about 2 mm or so from shortest position (most forward).
    Both Epiphone and the EX-1 sharing the same gibson DNA and following some research, I guess that they both should have a scale length of 24.75" or 628.65 mm --> different from my epiphone but if I'd bring the saddle forward, looks like it might be spot on

    So if I want the middle of the scale to be in the middle of the 12th fret on my EX-1, my bridge is too far. So I would need to "shorten" the neck by 1 mm or 2. I could achieve that by gentle sanding and all would be good, however, at the same time I cannot bring the neck any closer to the body because it is right up against the neck pick up (see picture as well).

    Quite the pickle... My hope is that all is OK and I worry for nothing but if anyone could confirm or not and explain to me how to get out of it, that would be great so I can get on to gluing the neck !

    Many thanks in advance !



  2. #2
    Moderator Brendan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Perth, WA
    I'd think that 0.5 mm is no biggie as you mentioned, but I'd also check the neck alignment and make sure that its properly square. Don't take some meat off the neck - it can end up making things worse...


  3. #3
    GAStronomist wazkelly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Caloundra West, Sunshine Coast Qld
    Hi Buddy, I think most people get hung up about measuring nut to 12th fret & then 12th fret to bridge when the best and easiest solution is to just measure the whole distance from inner side of nut on treble side to mid point of high E bridge saddle.
    # 1 - EX-5
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  4. #4
    Overlord of Music Sonic Mountain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Toowoomba, Qld.
    I agree with Waz. So long as the scale distance falls around the halfway point of the adjustment available you are all good. The high e string will be the closest to the stated scale measurement of ~628mm. All the thicker strings will be a little longer once intonation is setup.
    Build 1 - Shoegazer MK1 JMA-1
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  5. #5
    Thanks guys ! I ended up creating a little groove just under the rosewood line at the base of the neck so that I can push the neck as far as possible, without being trouble with the edge of the neck pick up, which now sits snugly in the groove... that got me 1.5 mm or so and now the scale length is right !
    All glued up, ready for the next stage !
    cheers !

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