Discussion:
Strings for Shorter Scale Lengths
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s***@gmail.com
2020-02-06 14:33:18 UTC
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Does anyone use a different string for a 630 mm scale length guitar?

I have heard some people say that it's better to go heavier gauge. I ask because I have a student whose parents bought her a full-sized guitar (at, I confess, my recommendation) - the neck thickness of what they got has made the student uncomfortable but she is happier with one of my guitars that has a slightly smaller body and thinner neck, but is still 650 mm.

I'm thinking that a 7/8 size is our next stop, and I've had students use Cordoba 7/8 size classical guitars in the past with great results.

But now I'm wondering if we should try a heavy or medium gauge string.

I'm also wondering if there is a standard way to measure neck thickness - I know profiles will vary, but does one, e.g., measure at the center of the neck at the first fret or something along those lines?

Many thanks in advance for your replies.

-S-
dsi1
2020-02-06 19:47:38 UTC
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Post by s***@gmail.com
Does anyone use a different string for a 630 mm scale length guitar?
I have heard some people say that it's better to go heavier gauge. I ask because I have a student whose parents bought her a full-sized guitar (at, I confess, my recommendation) - the neck thickness of what they got has made the student uncomfortable but she is happier with one of my guitars that has a slightly smaller body and thinner neck, but is still 650 mm.
I'm thinking that a 7/8 size is our next stop, and I've had students use Cordoba 7/8 size classical guitars in the past with great results.
But now I'm wondering if we should try a heavy or medium gauge string.
I'm also wondering if there is a standard way to measure neck thickness - I know profiles will vary, but does one, e.g., measure at the center of the neck at the first fret or something along those lines?
Many thanks in advance for your replies.
-S-
Strings for classical guitars are not typically sold by gauge. For steel string guitars, it's all about the string gauge. For classical guitars, it's all the string tension. If you're looking for thicker strings, get a high tension set. For a thinner set of strings, get the low tension strings.
s***@gmail.com
2020-02-07 03:02:09 UTC
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Post by s***@gmail.com
Does anyone use a different string for a 630 mm scale length guitar?
I have heard some people say that it's better to go heavier gauge. I ask because I have a student whose parents bought her a full-sized guitar (at, I confess, my recommendation) - the neck thickness of what they got has made the student uncomfortable but she is happier with one of my guitars that has a slightly smaller body and thinner neck, but is still 650 mm.
I'm thinking that a 7/8 size is our next stop, and I've had students use Cordoba 7/8 size classical guitars in the past with great results.
But now I'm wondering if we should try a heavy or medium gauge string.
I'm also wondering if there is a standard way to measure neck thickness - I know profiles will vary, but does one, e.g., measure at the center of the neck at the first fret or something along those lines?
Many thanks in advance for your replies.
-S-
I use gauge and tension interchangeable in this context. Would one use what would feel like a stiffer string because of a 630 mm scale length in order to duplicate the feel of a 650 mm scale length.

-S-
Matt Faunce
2020-02-07 03:19:18 UTC
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Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by s***@gmail.com
Does anyone use a different string for a 630 mm scale length guitar?
I have heard some people say that it's better to go heavier gauge. I
ask because I have a student whose parents bought her a full-sized
guitar (at, I confess, my recommendation) - the neck thickness of what
they got has made the student uncomfortable but she is happier with one
of my guitars that has a slightly smaller body and thinner neck, but is still 650 mm.
I'm thinking that a 7/8 size is our next stop, and I've had students use
Cordoba 7/8 size classical guitars in the past with great results.
But now I'm wondering if we should try a heavy or medium gauge string.
I'm also wondering if there is a standard way to measure neck thickness
- I know profiles will vary, but does one, e.g., measure at the center
of the neck at the first fret or something along those lines?
Many thanks in advance for your replies.
-S-
I use gauge and tension interchangeable in this context. Would one use
what would feel like a stiffer string because of a 630 mm scale length in
order to duplicate the feel of a 650 mm scale length.
-S-
I don’t know. But I do know that 630 is 97% of 650. That makes me wonder
what the tension difference is between each string-manufacturer’s ‘medium’
and ‘hard’ strings. How close to 97:100 is it for each manufacturer?

(I’d look for that info online but I’m in Verizon’s safe padded room until
the 10th of this month.)
--
Matt
John Nguyen
2020-02-07 04:21:33 UTC
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String tension is T=4mLf^2, where m is mass of string, L is length, and f is frequency (f^2 notation is f squared, in case you wonder).

So the tension is proportional to the length of the string.

Comparing the 650 and 630mm scale, the 630 is about 97% of the 650 length.

With D'Addario Pro-Arte strings, normal tension is rated at 85.85 lbs, where hard tension is rated at 89.94 lbs. So normal tension is about 95.5% of the hard tension.

Based on these calculations, I would go with one higher tension level for the 630 in order to have roughly equivalence of the tension on the 650.
If normal tension is needed on the 630, then use the hard tension strings. If hard tension is needed, then call for the extra hard tension.

All the calculations and possible mistakes are mine and only mine, and I approve this message!
Cheers,

John
Matt Faunce
2020-02-07 23:00:43 UTC
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Post by John Nguyen
String tension is T=4mLf^2, where m is mass of string, L is length, and f
is frequency (f^2 notation is f squared, in case you wonder).
So the tension is proportional to the length of the string.
Comparing the 650 and 630mm scale, the 630 is about 97% of the 650 length.
With D'Addario Pro-Arte strings, normal tension is rated at 85.85 lbs,
where hard tension is rated at 89.94 lbs. So normal tension is about
95.5% of the hard tension.
Thanks, John.
Post by John Nguyen
Based on these calculations, I would go with one higher tension level for
the 630 in order to have roughly equivalence of the tension on the 650.
If normal tension is needed on the 630, then use the hard tension
strings. If hard tension is needed, then call for the extra hard tension.
All the calculations and possible mistakes are mine and only mine, and I
approve this message!
Cheers,
John
In a perfect world I’d have slightly lighter tension strings on my guitar
on days that have lower humidity, and higher tension strings on more humid
days. And, while I’m fantasizing, it would be nice for the strings to
instantly get less tense when I need to play those difficult bar chords,
then go back to normal afterwards.
--
Matt
dsi1
2020-02-07 16:49:46 UTC
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Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by s***@gmail.com
Does anyone use a different string for a 630 mm scale length guitar?
I have heard some people say that it's better to go heavier gauge. I ask because I have a student whose parents bought her a full-sized guitar (at, I confess, my recommendation) - the neck thickness of what they got has made the student uncomfortable but she is happier with one of my guitars that has a slightly smaller body and thinner neck, but is still 650 mm.
I'm thinking that a 7/8 size is our next stop, and I've had students use Cordoba 7/8 size classical guitars in the past with great results.
But now I'm wondering if we should try a heavy or medium gauge string.
I'm also wondering if there is a standard way to measure neck thickness - I know profiles will vary, but does one, e.g., measure at the center of the neck at the first fret or something along those lines?
Many thanks in advance for your replies.
-S-
I use gauge and tension interchangeable in this context. Would one use what would feel like a stiffer string because of a 630 mm scale length in order to duplicate the feel of a 650 mm scale length.
-S-
You might be able to duplicate the feel of strings of a standard scale length on a non-standard scale length in either tension or gauge of the string. Pick one.

As far as young players goes, it'll always be easier to play with low tension/light gauge strings. As they develop, they'll probably want to play with higher tension strings. If they don't, that's fine too.
e***@gmail.com
2020-02-12 01:08:54 UTC
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Higher tension is one way to go. But the G string particularly is where one brand may work better than another. (I've had better luck with Savarez than D’Addario here).

La Bella also makes fractional sizes and their 7/8 specifies 620/630 scale length. https://www.labella.com/strings/category/fractional/
s***@gmail.com
2020-02-12 01:32:30 UTC
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Post by e***@gmail.com
Higher tension is one way to go. But the G string particularly is where one brand may work better than another. (I've had better luck with Savarez than D’Addario here).
La Bella also makes fractional sizes and their 7/8 specifies 620/630 scale length. https://www.labella.com/strings/category/fractional/
The only strings I buy these days are Ramirez - they sound so much better to me than anything else I've tried and across a wide range of guitars. Yes, they're expensive, but when you have $300 of strings on your cello and $400 of strings on your upright bass, $25 for guitar strings doesn't seem so terrible. I use high tension on most guitars but medium tension also sounds great on many. I will try high tension on this guitar - it's a possible purchase by a student so we'll see if they actually get it.

Thanks for all the good info, everyone.

-S-

-S-
John Nguyen
2020-02-13 04:32:16 UTC
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Has anyone tried the 80 lbs Seaguard Fluorocarbon fishing line for low-medium tension G string. I had good result and very happy with it, sound wise and cost wise.
John
aledda
2020-02-14 12:16:07 UTC
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Post by John Nguyen
Has anyone tried the 80 lbs Seaguard Fluorocarbon fishing line for low-medium tension G string. I had good result and very happy with it, sound wise and cost wise.
John
0.78mm is too light for my taste, that's about 5.664 Kg tension. For a low-tension G string i would not go lower than 0.81mm diameter.
John Nguyen
2020-02-14 17:06:34 UTC
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Post by John Nguyen
Has anyone tried the 80 lbs Seaguard Fluorocarbon fishing line for low-medium tension G string. I had good result and very happy with it, sound wise and cost wise.
John
0.78mm is too light for my taste, that's about 5.664 Kg >tension. For a low-tension G string i would not go lower >than 0.81mm diameter
I should have qualified my comment a little more. It was one a 640mm-scaled guitar.do for me, the tension is just right for a low- medium feel.
Cheers,

John
Gerry
2020-02-15 02:23:04 UTC
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Post by John Nguyen
Post by John Nguyen
Has anyone tried the 80 lbs Seaguard Fluorocarbon fishing line for
low-medium tension G string. I had good result and very happy with it,
sound wise and cost wise.
John
0.78mm is too light for my taste, that's about 5.664 Kg >tension. For a
low-tension G string i would not go lower >than 0.81mm diameter
I should have qualified my comment a little more. It was one a
640mm-scaled guitar.do for me, the tension is just right for a low-
medium feel.
Is such product as fishing line really consistent enough in it's width
and density for such use?
John Nguyen
2020-02-15 05:09:02 UTC
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Post by John Nguyen
Post by John Nguyen
Has anyone tried the 80 lbs Seaguard Fluorocarbon fishing line for
low-medium tension G string. I had good result and very happy with it,
sound wise and cost wise.
John
0.78mm is too light for my taste, that's about 5.664 Kg >tension. For a
low-tension G string i would not go lower >than 0.81mm diameter
I should have qualified my comment a little more. It was one a
640mm-scaled guitar.do for me, the tension is just right for a low-
medium feel.
Is such product as fishing line really consistent enough in >it's width and density for such use?
it depends on brands, but I found the Seaguard Fluorocarbon very consistent in its physical properties to be used as guitar strings. The non fluorocarbon type is not suitable as its tension is not stable -stretching a little to much to keep it in tune.
Cheers,

John
dsi1
2020-02-15 23:12:53 UTC
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Post by Gerry
Post by John Nguyen
Post by John Nguyen
Has anyone tried the 80 lbs Seaguard Fluorocarbon fishing line for
low-medium tension G string. I had good result and very happy with it,
sound wise and cost wise.
John
0.78mm is too light for my taste, that's about 5.664 Kg >tension. For a
low-tension G string i would not go lower >than 0.81mm diameter
I should have qualified my comment a little more. It was one a
640mm-scaled guitar.do for me, the tension is just right for a low-
medium feel.
Is such product as fishing line really consistent enough in it's width
and density for such use?
My guess is that the dirty little secret about guitar strings is that the monofilament strings are made by manufacturers of fishing line and sold on reels to the string manufacturers. This would mean that the manufacturers' quality is indeed consistent enough. The string company will then cut the string to length and package. A company may wind their own bass strings or they might get that made in house and repackage that too. It's kind of a scam, if you ask me.
Matt Faunce
2020-02-16 01:00:23 UTC
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Post by dsi1
Post by Gerry
Post by John Nguyen
Post by John Nguyen
Has anyone tried the 80 lbs Seaguard Fluorocarbon fishing line for
low-medium tension G string. I had good result and very happy with it,
sound wise and cost wise.
John
0.78mm is too light for my taste, that's about 5.664 Kg >tension. For a
low-tension G string i would not go lower >than 0.81mm diameter
I should have qualified my comment a little more. It was one a
640mm-scaled guitar.do for me, the tension is just right for a low-
medium feel.
Is such product as fishing line really consistent enough in it's width
and density for such use?
My guess is that the dirty little secret about guitar strings is that the
monofilament strings are made by manufacturers of fishing line and sold
on reels to the string manufacturers. This would mean that the
manufacturers' quality is indeed consistent enough. The string company
will then cut the string to length and package. A company may wind their
own bass strings or they might get that made in house and repackage that
too. It's kind of a scam, if you ask me.
On the Ernie Ball website they list their classical-string set at $8.99.

From the same website, you can buy a six pack of D-strings for $9.99; six
A-strings for $10.99, and six low-E-strings for $11.99. That makes a single
D-A-E set go for $5.50, which leaves $3.50 for the treble side.

I haven’t tried price shopping for the correct test-lbs of fishing line.

But, I usually buy my Ernie Ball string sets from Amazon whenever I need a
few extra bucks added to my order to get free shipping. The normal set is
offered for free shipping but their bass sets aren’t. The free-shipped set
costs slightly more than I can find elsewhere, but the savings from free
shipping makes up for that cost and then some. So I’d have to factor that
“and then some” savings into my bottom line too.

Ughh. It’s starting to look like not much of a scam…
--
Matt
dsi1
2020-02-18 17:40:18 UTC
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Post by Matt Faunce
Post by dsi1
Post by Gerry
Post by John Nguyen
Post by John Nguyen
Has anyone tried the 80 lbs Seaguard Fluorocarbon fishing line for
low-medium tension G string. I had good result and very happy with it,
sound wise and cost wise.
John
0.78mm is too light for my taste, that's about 5.664 Kg >tension. For a
low-tension G string i would not go lower >than 0.81mm diameter
I should have qualified my comment a little more. It was one a
640mm-scaled guitar.do for me, the tension is just right for a low-
medium feel.
Is such product as fishing line really consistent enough in it's width
and density for such use?
My guess is that the dirty little secret about guitar strings is that the
monofilament strings are made by manufacturers of fishing line and sold
on reels to the string manufacturers. This would mean that the
manufacturers' quality is indeed consistent enough. The string company
will then cut the string to length and package. A company may wind their
own bass strings or they might get that made in house and repackage that
too. It's kind of a scam, if you ask me.
On the Ernie Ball website they list their classical-string set at $8.99.
From the same website, you can buy a six pack of D-strings for $9.99; six
A-strings for $10.99, and six low-E-strings for $11.99. That makes a single
D-A-E set go for $5.50, which leaves $3.50 for the treble side.
I haven’t tried price shopping for the correct test-lbs of fishing line.
But, I usually buy my Ernie Ball string sets from Amazon whenever I need a
few extra bucks added to my order to get free shipping. The normal set is
offered for free shipping but their bass sets aren’t. The free-shipped set
costs slightly more than I can find elsewhere, but the savings from free
shipping makes up for that cost and then some. So I’d have to factor that
“and then some” savings into my bottom line too.
Ughh. It’s starting to look like not much of a scam…
--
Matt
What I mean by "scam" is that the string manufacturers want to hide the true nature of their monofilament strings i.e., it's fishing line. They wish to foster the illusion that they manufacture the strings in-house. OTOH, I don't have any proof that they aren't so perhaps I'm just being delusional. OTOH, that would be cool - being wrong for once, that is.
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