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24.75 vs 25.5
Old 20th July 2014
  #1
Here for the gear
 

24.75 vs 25.5

ok guys, i keep fighting this battle. and the problem is; i keep investing more and more money while wasting more and more time. first off, i grew up listening to bands like zeppelin and kiss. all of my favorite guitarist played les pauls. then came the 80's metal and a lot of fender scale guitars, super strats. and they sounded great. still, there was slash belting out huge thick notes on the les paul. i saw a classic shoot out when i went to a mayhem concert which had godsmack playing right before disturbed. godsmack was using two les pauls and disturbed a single strat-scale guitar. godsmacks sound was massive while disturbed sounded thin. without the loads of over laying tracks done in the studio, disturbed sounded really thin and weak. granted, godsmack was using two guitars. now, my favorite group id bullet for my valentine and they use 25.5 scale guitars and i like that sound. so, here's the thing, i have two really good 25.5 inch scale guitars. a kramer SM-1 and an ibanez prestige. they sound awesome, play awesome and i think i like them better than my les pauls. but.. i've spent over 5000 dollars on these two les pauls and they also sound awesome and play awesome too. i feel kinda stupid picking up a thousand dollar kramer to play when i've got a couple 2600 dollar les pauls put up in their cases. but it's the top end peakiness on the 25.5 scale guitars. it's more expressive and the low end is a tighter crunch than the les pauls. still, the les pauls are sooo thick and raunchy and the sound i thought i always wanted, but they have a kind of dull sound. you know what i'm talking about? and it also varies between my marshall dsl head and my triple rect head. i go back and forth, back and forth. i can't decide. any help?? brent.
Old 20th July 2014
  #2
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smili's Avatar
 

I know what you mean about the high end on the 25.5" scale. I like that also, and for cleans that sound combined with single coils is tough to beat. I do know what you mean about the meatiness of Les Paul type guitars. I don't like that sound as much for most things, but lots of other guys do like it for what they do. I've had lots of guitars, but gravitate to HSS pickup setups (which I think contributes as much to how a guitar sounds as anything), on 25.5" scale . all fwiw, but play the guitar that you like best. I sold my strat and kept a yamaha - so that tells you kindof where I come from.
Old 20th July 2014
  #3
Wait til you get your hands on a 27" scale, now that has some snap and punch.

But I believe the difference between your LP's and the Kramer has more to do with construction methods, pickups and the woods than the scale length. Unless you're using the same gauge strings for both? Then you'd also get different tension on the strings because of the scale length diff. (=more tension, more snap)
Old 20th July 2014
  #4
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yeah, i use the same strings on everything.
Old 20th July 2014
  #5
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I've been playing my whole life and professionally longer than I can remember and I never think about scale length. I pick one for a track based on pickups more than anything. I imagine the differences you are hearing are from a wide variety of variables and string length is just a small part.

I do recommend putting heavier strings on a few and using those for rhythm tracks only. You'll notice the difference in tone immediately. If you use 10-46, try a 11-49 set.
Old 20th July 2014
  #6
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Scale length between Gibson and Fender is not really that huge a variable, in my experience, I would be willing to bet that your observation at the concert had much less to do with the scale length and more to do with the single guitar player, amp, effects, pickups…

People that play Gibson scale guitars would generally want to have heavier gauge strings than on a Fender scale (assuming they are tuned the same), so that's going to contribute to the difference in sound as well.

I'd say play what you like and don't worry about it.

My main guitars are 25.5" and 30" scale...
Old 20th July 2014
  #7
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I move back and forth between 25.5" and 24.75" guitars all the time, and I honestly never think about it. It just never occurs to me while I'm playing. Each guitar has it's own sound, and while that's undoubtedly related to scale length in some way, I'd pick a guitar for the sound and feel first, and not give a second thought as to what the scale length happens to be.
Old 20th July 2014
  #8
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I've picked all the guitars I own because I liked them, they played and sounded good, felt great in my hands not because someone else used one like it or I was trying to sound like someone else I'm not. Sorry but I try to sound like me when I play guitar And you can disguise just about any guitar to sound like something it isn't with the right amp and settings and signal processing, like people use one type of guitar live and recorded the original version with a completely different kind of guitar. No offense meant but I don't go in for Idle Worship, there are quite a few guitarists I like and have inspired me, with their technique, tone and Soul but funny thing is they all seem to manage to retain the qualities I liked their playing for no matter what guitar, scale length, amp they use.
Old 21st July 2014
  #9
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ok, I decided to do some research on this thing about the different scale lengths and, what I thought, was a huge difference in instruments with different scale lengths. I found a lot of stuff about vibrating strings. here are some examples:

"A guitar string sound consists of standing waves: the fundamental and overtones. The fundamental wavelengh is twice the length of the vibrating part of the string.
The Western musical scale is based on the overtone series for a string: all the overtones up to the 9th are close to notes of the equal-tempered scale (and define the notes of the perfect-tempered scale).
The timber of a stringed instrument depends on the overtone content of the sound: a "twangy" sound has both odd and even multiples of the fundamental, while a "smooth" sound tends to have only odd multiples."

"A guitar string is a common example of a string fixed at both ends which is elastic and can vibrate. The vibrations of such a string are called standing waves, and they satisfy the relationship between wavelength and frequency that comes from the definition of waves:

v = f,

where v is the speed of the wave, f is the frequency (measured in cycles/second or Hertz, Hz) and is the wavelength.

The speed v of waves on a string depends on the string tension T and linear mass density (mass/length) µ, measured in kg/m. Waves travel faster on a tighter string and the frequency is therefore higher for a given wavelength. On the other hand, waves travel slower on a more massive string and the frequency is therefore lower for a given wavelength. The relationship between speed, tension and mass density is a bit difficult to derive, but is a simple formula:

v = T/µ

Since the fundamental wavelength of a standing wave on a guitar string is twice the distance between the bridge and the fret, all six strings use the same range of wavelengths. To have different pitches (frequencies) of the strings, then, one must have different wave speeds. There are two ways to do this: by having different tension T or by having different mass density µ (or a combination of the two). If one varied pitch only by varying tension, the high strings would be very tight and the low strings would be very loose and it would be very difficult to play. It is much easier to play a guitar if the strings all have roughly the same tension; for this reason, the lower strings have higher mass density, by making them thicker and, for the 3 low strings, wrapping them with wire. From what you have learned so far, and the fact that the strings are a perfect fourth apart in pitch (except between the G and B strings in standard tuning), you can calculate how much µ increases between strings for T to be constant."



~~~It appears that vibration (v) is determined by tension (t) divided by mass (u). That would mean that string tension is as equally important to string vibration as is the thickness of the string. Since the string on a strat scale guitar is longer than a les paul type guitar, it is necessary to put more tension on the string to get the same note. What I'm finding is that higher tensions increase overtones. This might explain why the 25.5 in scale guitar has a brighter, more expressive sound and a 24.75 inch scale has a more dull sound (played clean). I know that there are other factors involved in vibrating strings on a guitar. Wood types and construction will effect the vibration of a string, but how much difference could a set neck vs. a blot-on neck have on the vibration of the string? The main force was the pluck on the string which set the string in motion and the resulting wave is determine by the length and tension of the string. Variations in whatever rack or thing (guitar neck) that is holding it could only make minimal changes to the vibrations. The length, tension and thickness of the string are the main players. For an electric guitar, the strings vibrates inside of a magnetic field, the pick-ups. I know from my work background that moving a conductor through a magnetic field produces electron movement (electricity). This electric signal will oscillate, positive and negative, in an exact reaction to the string moving (vibrating) within the magnetic field. So, guitar pick-ups can have a large difference on the sound depending on how they react to the string vibrations. But, not near as much as scale length and tension. This is why putting a humbucker on a strat will accent more middle and low frequencies, but it will still not be as thick as a les paul. Likewise, putting a single coil on a les paul will not make it sound like a 25.5 inch scale guitar. It will still sound thick, just with more pronounced highs.
I was really surprised that scale length was not a big issue in here, but I see you guys are artists. Y'all are about sounds and painting those beautiful sounds into a work of art. I'm a techie kind of guy. I struggle with the art, but I can get into some damn technical ****. :-D
Old 21st July 2014
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hevechvy View Post
ok guys, i keep fighting this battle. and the problem is; i keep investing more and more money while wasting more and more time. first off, i grew up listening to bands like zeppelin and kiss. all of my favorite guitarist played les pauls. then came the 80's metal and a lot of fender scale guitars, super strats. and they sounded great. still, there was slash belting out huge thick notes on the les paul. i saw a classic shoot out when i went to a mayhem concert which had godsmack playing right before disturbed. godsmack was using two les pauls and disturbed a single strat-scale guitar. godsmacks sound was massive while disturbed sounded thin. without the loads of over laying tracks done in the studio, disturbed sounded really thin and weak. granted, godsmack was using two guitars. now, my favorite group id bullet for my valentine and they use 25.5 scale guitars and i like that sound. so, here's the thing, i have two really good 25.5 inch scale guitars. a kramer SM-1 and an ibanez prestige. they sound awesome, play awesome and i think i like them better than my les pauls. but.. i've spent over 5000 dollars on these two les pauls and they also sound awesome and play awesome too. i feel kinda stupid picking up a thousand dollar kramer to play when i've got a couple 2600 dollar les pauls put up in their cases. but it's the top end peakiness on the 25.5 scale guitars. it's more expressive and the low end is a tighter crunch than the les pauls. still, the les pauls are sooo thick and raunchy and the sound i thought i always wanted, but they have a kind of dull sound. you know what i'm talking about? and it also varies between my marshall dsl head and my triple rect head. i go back and forth, back and forth. i can't decide. any help?? brent.
25.5 is thin sounding, if someone uses a fender style guitar and it sounds heavy, then they are tuning down. You can't get a heavy or thick sound from 25.5 it's not possible with standard tuning.

If you want good tone you play Gibson style...It's just the way it is. The Rock and Roll sound is Gibson. All the biggest bands played them. There is no way around it. If you tune down you can get decent results with 25.5 but it will still sound tinny and thin. Plus the materials like mahogany Gibson uses will give you a thicker tone than typical ash and poplar bodies like the cheap 25.5 guitars


Gibson's are 24 5/8 by the way.
Old 21st July 2014
  #11
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kafka's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chainrule View Post
25.5 is thin sounding, if someone uses a fender style guitar and it sounds heavy, then they are tuning down. You can't get a heavy or thick sound from 25.5 it's not possible with standard tuning.

If you want good tone you play Gibson style...It's just the way it is. The Rock and Roll sound is Gibson. All the biggest bands played them. There is no way around it. If you tune down you can get decent results with 25.5 but it will still sound tinny and thin. Plus the materials like mahogany Gibson uses will give you a thicker tone than typical ash and poplar bodies like the cheap 25.5 guitars


Gibson's are 24 5/8 by the way.
I very rarely do this, but .
Old 21st July 2014
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kafka View Post
I very rarely do this, but .

I do the same when I hear a 25.5 in standard , although I try to not only facepalm, but earpalm also...... so this way I don't have to be subjected so the thin tone since it makes my tinnitus worse
Old 21st July 2014
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chainrule View Post
25.5 is thin sounding, if someone uses a fender style guitar and it sounds heavy, then they are tuning down. You can't get a heavy or thick sound from 25.5 it's not possible with standard tuning.

If you want good tone you play Gibson style...It's just the way it is. The Rock and Roll sound is Gibson. All the biggest bands played them. There is no way around it. If you tune down you can get decent results with 25.5 but it will still sound tinny and thin. Plus the materials like mahogany Gibson uses will give you a thicker tone than typical ash and poplar bodies like the cheap 25.5 guitars


Gibson's are 24 5/8 by the way.

I'm glad we got these clear and unrefutable facts clarified!


Should I call up every manufacturer and tell them to shut down or shorten their scales?

Old 22nd July 2014
  #14
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kafka's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kslight View Post
I'm glad we got these clear and unrefutable facts clarified!
Should I call up every manufacturer and tell them to shut down or shorten their scales?
Yeah, I think we better. I read on the Internet somewhere they were doing it wrong.
Old 22nd July 2014
  #15
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I've seen it all now.

OP..would ya not just play the guitar and get on with the business of rocking?
Old 22nd July 2014
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chainrule View Post
25.5 is thin sounding, if someone uses a fender style guitar and it sounds heavy, then they are tuning down. You can't get a heavy or thick sound from 25.5 it's not possible with standard tuning.

If you want good tone you play Gibson style...It's just the way it is. The Rock and Roll sound is Gibson. All the biggest bands played them. There is no way around it. If you tune down you can get decent results with 25.5 but it will still sound tinny and thin. Plus the materials like mahogany Gibson uses will give you a thicker tone than typical ash and poplar bodies like the cheap 25.5 guitars


Gibson's are 24 5/8 by the way.
You need to be barred from the internet..you're a menace
Old 22nd July 2014
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BingoBongo View Post
I've seen it all now.

OP..would ya not just play the guitar and get on with the business of rocking?
yeah, i guess so :-D
Old 22nd July 2014
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kslight View Post


Should I call up every manufacturer and tell them to shut down or shorten their scales?

I think most people are oblivious to scale length. They just play what they can afford or whatever shape guitar they like, neck shape included.

When I was young there were no Gibson dealers in my area. This was long before the internet an mail order catalogs. There were only fender dealers and other cheapo guitars for sale. So I bought a strat. At the time it wasn't that big of a problem since I couldn't play. But as I got older and took guitar more seriously I always wondered why my tone was thin compared to my fav bands like Zep and Sabbath and UFO. I realized I didn't have a Les Paul or an SG or a V.... but I naively thought all guitars sounded the same. Once I figured out Gibsons had humbuckers I carved up the strat and put in a super distortion. Still sounded thin... Then I finally bought a flying V, boy was that a wake up call. Then I realized eventually it was the indeed 24 5/8 scale that gave it the big tone............

live and learn.
Old 22nd July 2014
  #19
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kafka's Avatar
I think there's more to the difference between a Gibson and Fender than just scale length. Would a 25.5" LP be brighter, or a 24.75" Strat darker? Sure. Probably. It sounds reasonable. But would a 25.5" LP be as bright as a Strat, or a 24.75" Strat be as dark as a LP? I'd be surprised.
Old 22nd July 2014
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kafka View Post
I think there's more to the difference between a Gibson and Fender than just scale length. Would a 25.5" LP be brighter, or a 24.75" Strat darker? Sure. Probably. It sounds reasonable. But would a 25.5" LP be as bright as a Strat, or a 24.75" Strat be as dark as a LP? I seriously doubt it.
well les paul does have a set neck and has a bigger thicker body and weighs a lot more, but then again an sg is thinner body than a strat bet yet has a 2x bigger sound. Is it the wood? the scale length?, the set neck? or all 3?

strats with humbuckers still don't sound nearly as big as an SG or a V. PRS has set neck and humbuckers yet still not a beefy as a Paul or an SG. scale is a big deal

I have a schecter c1 exotic it is almost as thick as les paul has a bigger body than a fender, stock humbuckers, real flame-top, mahogany back but a 25.5 scale and it sounds like a fender. I bought it on ebay so I couldn't try it out. It is very tinny and thin sounding like a strat. I would have never bought it had I tried it out first. It looks cool and is a good shredder guitar since so I keep it as a beater.
Old 22nd July 2014
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chainrule View Post
I think most people are oblivious to scale length. They just play what they can afford or whatever shape guitar they like, neck shape included.

When I was young there were no Gibson dealers in my area. This was long before the internet an mail order catalogs. There were only fender dealers and other cheapo guitars for sale. So I bought a strat. At the time it wasn't that big of a problem since I couldn't play. But as I got older and took guitar more seriously I always wondered why my tone was thin compared to my fav bands like Zep and Sabbath and UFO. I realized I didn't have a Les Paul or an SG or a V.... but I naively thought all guitars sounded the same. Once I figured out Gibsons had humbuckers I carved up the strat and put in a super distortion. Still sounded thin... Then I finally bought a flying V, boy was that a wake up call. Then I realized eventually it was the indeed 24 5/8 scale that gave it the big tone............

live and learn.
Not 6 feet from me I have almost every variation of scale length available and I'm just gonna
Old 22nd July 2014
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chainrule View Post
well les paul does have a set neck and has a bigger thicker body and weighs a lot more, but then again an sg is thinner body than a strat bet yet has a 2x bigger sound. Is it the wood? the scale length?, the set neck? or all 3?

strats with humbuckers still don't sound nearly as big as an SG or a V. PRS has set neck and humbuckers yet still not a beefy as a Paul or an SG. scale is a big deal

I have a schecter c1 exotic it is almost as thick as les paul has a bigger body than a fender, stock humbuckers, real flame-top, mahogany back but a 25.5 scale and it sounds like a fender. I bought it on ebay so I couldn't try it out. It is very tinny and thin sounding like a strat. I would have never bought it had I tried it out first. It looks cool and is a good shredder guitar since so I keep it as a beater.
I've become convinced it the scale length... with the other stuff helping a little. The vibrating string makes the sound. Change it and you change everything.
Old 22nd July 2014
  #23
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Jimmy page on the first LZ album, Tele and Danaelectro on most of it for what I've read, doesn't sound thin to me. Pete Townsend with a Strat into A fender Vibro King still sounds exactly like you would expect Pete Townsend to sound. Billy Gibbons, Every time I see him it a different Guitar from Teles to Grestches, Single coil, soap bar, Filtertrons, Pearly Gates Humbuckers, Long Scales, Short Scales, Always sounds the same to me. Joe Wlash is another one who I've seen using all kinds of different guitars over the years, Always sounds just like I expect him to sound. Imagine That.
Old 22nd July 2014
  #24
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you can hear it here. especially on the single notes. he is playing the exact same thing, but on different guitars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJ6meuyNO0Q

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4O26AAD4O-M
Old 22nd July 2014
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allphourus View Post
Townsend with a Strat into A fender Vibro King still sounds exactly like you would expect Pete Townsend to sound. Billy Gibbons, Every time I see him it a different Guitar from Teles to Grestches, Single coil, soap bar, Filtertrons, Pearly Gates Humbuckers, Long Scales, Short Scales, Always sounds the same to me. Joe Wlash is another one who I've seen using all kinds of different guitars over the years, Always sounds just like I expect him to sound. Imagine That.
Townsend played Gibson's on the virtually all the hard rock stuff they did. Live at leeds, Who's next Who are you, is all les paul or sg. Page played Les pauls on almost everything. Billy Gibbons used Korina Vs and his pearly gates is world famous. Joe Walsh played Les Pauls, Rocky mountain way is a Paul. Page has Joe Walsh's 59 Paul.

The fact of the matter is, the heavy bands played Gibsons. There are exceptions. Megadeeth used 25.5 also Iron Maiden used fenders. But if you look at most of the big heavy bands like Metallica, AC/DC, Sabbath, The Who that BIG sound is Gibson. It's just the way it is. 25.5 is inherently very thing and tinny. That's why guys like VH tuned down to compensate for this. But he also played an Ibanez destroyer alot too. That was 24.75

Play what you like, but 24 5/8 is going to give you a fuller sound. 25.5 is going to give you more tension so you can play faster. Notice all the shredder guys play 25.5. It gives you more resistance. Fenders sound better cleaner. It depends. One is not better than the other, just different.
Old 22nd July 2014
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hevechvy View Post
you can hear it here. especially on the single notes. he is playing the exact same thing, but on different guitars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJ6meuyNO0Q

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4O26AAD4O-M
I hear the differences in rosewood vs maple fretboard, thicker neck vs thinner, glued neck vs bolt on, difference in bridges and headstock design and mostly differences in how hot the pickups are. But if you can narrow it down to string length and that makes you play better and with more gusto, more power to you.
Old 24th July 2014
  #27
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the way i'm seeing it now is this; build a rack. 3 pieces of wood. one long one and 2 short ones. say, 12 inches for the long one and the two ends are about three inches high. you build several of these rigs and you put a guitar string, all the same diameter and type, on each of them. one rig has mahogany as it's 12 inch piece of wood. another has maple as it's piece of wood. etc. the short pieces are attached in different ways. some glued. some bolted. etc. each of the guitar strings are tuned for, say, a C. now, how much difference would the different woods and different joints have on the sound of the string? only a very small difference. a solid joint, whether bolted or glued, is still a solid joint. likewise, a solid piece of wood, whether mahogany or maple, is still a solid piece of wood. now, when we talk about different woods or joints, we have to remember that we are not talking about an acoustic instrument where the wood itself is the amplifier, resonating and emphasizing different frequencies as it amplifies the vibrations into sound waves. no, we're talking about nothing but a vibrating string that is strung between two posts. imagine trying to measure the difference in a vibrating string that is strung across a mahogany piece of wood as opposed to a maple one. for an electric guitar, all we have is a string stretched tightly enough for it to flop back and forth at, say, 440 times a second when plucked by a pick. that's all that's happening here. a magnetic field inside of the pick-up causes the speaker, after being amplified by an amp, to flop back and forth exactly as fast as the string is flopping back and forth. that's the simple version of what takes place. so, really, how much difference could a solidly bolted joint as opposed to a solidly glued joint have on a vibrating or flopping string? same with the solid chunk of mahogany vs a solid chunk of maple. It would be an extremely small amount of difference, if any. BUT... make one of those long pieces 15 inches, instead of 12. then ratchet that sting tighter and tighter until the longer string now will vibrate at 440 cycles per second, like the string on the 12 inch piece of wood. according to the formula above, that extra tension will produce extra harmonics. but you don't need a formula to see that changing the length of the string will have a much greater effect on it's vibrating than the different woods that the rack is built from. the key to seeing this is realizing that this is not an acoustic instrument. it is just a vibrating string. i would agree that the wood made a big difference if it were the wood that was amplifying the sound. but it's not. so, the main player here is the scale length. then the pick-ups. then subtle nuances occurring from difference woods or joints.
Old 24th July 2014
  #28
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I see your point, I would just think that I'd be really limiting my "quiver" if I decided to only choose based on one criteria.
Too many freaking great guitars in all scale lengths to choose from, so I'll just enjoy my blissful ignorance.
Old 24th July 2014
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chainrule View Post
Townsend played Gibson's on the virtually all the hard rock stuff they did. Live at leeds, Who's next Who are you, is all les paul or sg. Page played Les pauls on almost everything. Billy Gibbons used Korina Vs and his pearly gates is world famous. Joe Walsh played Les Pauls, Rocky mountain way is a Paul. Page has Joe Walsh's 59 Paul.

The fact of the matter is, the heavy bands played Gibsons. There are exceptions. Megadeeth used 25.5 also Iron Maiden used fenders. But if you look at most of the big heavy bands like Metallica, AC/DC, Sabbath, The Who that BIG sound is Gibson. It's just the way it is. 25.5 is inherently very thing and tinny. That's why guys like VH tuned down to compensate for this. But he also played an Ibanez destroyer alot too. That was 24.75

Play what you like, but 24 5/8 is going to give you a fuller sound. 25.5 is going to give you more tension so you can play faster. Notice all the shredder guys play 25.5. It gives you more resistance. Fenders sound better cleaner. It depends. One is not better than the other, just different.

Who's Next was recorded with a Gretsch 6120 w/ Filtertrons - relatively low output pickups.

Jimmy Page frequently recorded with Telecasters and Danelectros, reportedly more often than his ubiquitous Les Pauls.

I can't say whether or not scale length actually affects the "fullness" or lack thereof of a guitar's sound. I'd argue that it's a bit of a red herring - since many of the popular shorter-scale guitars (Les Pauls, for example) also employ different pickup designs (P90 and PAF-style), more commonly regarded as "fatter" and "fuller" than their Fender single coil counterparts.


Whether you're right or wrong - you're masquerading your opinions as facts - and that hurts your credibility.
Old 24th July 2014
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tridelica View Post
In fact, I even like those short-scale Cobain-style Jaguars.
oh dude.... you just gave me an idea!!!!!!
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