View Full Version : Question about Large Hollow Body guitars.
09-12-2009, 03:17 PM
I have noticed that many of them shorter than usual scales.
Even upto 23".
Can anyone tell me why this is done?
Second question is what is the difference in tone between a floating pickup and one that is installed into the body?
Just curious at this point.
Maybe by christmas or later I may get a hollowbody and want to know.
09-12-2009, 04:24 PM
the floating pu gives more of an acoustic sound and the built in one gives more of an electric sound. and the floater seems to let the top move more naturally when played unplugged. especially if the top is made of spruce. but the down side is if you want a darker sound with less feedback the built in pu is gonna be bettter.
and these are just generalizations each guitar can be different ymmv etc.
Marty s Horne
09-12-2009, 04:30 PM
Gibson's L-5 and Super 400 are both 25 1/2" scale length. Only the Byrdland and ES 350 are shorter than 24 3/4".
09-12-2009, 05:51 PM
Gretsch White Falcon and Country Club are 25.5" scale. What hollw guitars are you looking at??
strat a various
09-12-2009, 06:05 PM
On the pick ups, my understanding from talking to old time makers and luthiers is that the floating neck or pickguard mounted pick up is not for a more acoustic electric sound, it's for a better unimpeded acoustic tone when not amplified. This may very well translate into a better electric tone, but it's not the original motivation. I have and have had some of both styles, and I'll say that the floating pick up really helps the unamplified tone of the archtop, but the electric sound isn't that different from similar guitars with a built in pick up.
09-12-2009, 06:06 PM
Gibson Byrdland and contemporary ES-350s had 23-1/2" scales. The reason they appeared on the Byrdland was that Billy Byrd and Hank Garland, for whom the model was named, were experimenting with extended jazz chords that required spanning several frets at a time, and the shorter scale facilitated that.
Floating pickups are supposed to allow the top to vibrate more like an acoustic, giving a guitar so equipped a different sound compared to pickups mounted to the top. A couple of reasons for this: the floating pickup guitar can be made with lighter braces, and the pickups add mass to the top, inhibiting vibration. Many arch tops with top-mounted pickups have decorative, and sometimes fairly thick, maple tops, while the floating pickup models tend to thinner spruce tops.
09-12-2009, 10:15 PM
I have an archtop with a floating pickup and X-bracing, and a couple with routed tops and parallel bracing. The one with the floating pickup is at least twice as loud acoustically as the ones with routed tops, and very lively and bright sounding. I don't necessarily like those qualities better, but it does make a difference.
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