Is there a difference in feel between different total string length with same scale?

Neverwhere

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For example:

Is there a difference in tension/feel/playability between a top loader Telecaster and a through body telecaster?
 

Benz2112

Memba?
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Definitely, any minor difference in the contact points with the strings can make a difference, whether it is how a tremolo bridge is set or whether a stoptail is top wrapped, it can all make a discernible difference.
 

Neverwhere

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Will the through body stringing have more tension or somehow a stiffer feel than a top loaded bridge? What is the cause of differences?
 

B Money

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5,880
For example:

Is there a difference in tension/feel/playability between a top loader Telecaster and a through body telecaster?
yes

Will the through body stringing have more tension or somehow a stiffer feel than a top loaded bridge? What is the cause of differences?
Theoretically, no. It should be the opposite, the guitar with the longer strings (through body) will have less tension.
This is because when you press down or bend a string, the deformation (stretch) is divided along the entire length of the string, not just the portion between the nut and the bridge saddle. This assumes that the string is free to slide along the nut slots and the saddles.
 

Tone_Terrific

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I have a partscaster with the Wilkinson bridge that allows stringing both ways.
I just switched form thru to top.
No discernible difference.
This guitar has SS frets and feels pretty slinky any way.
Consider that the extra string length from thru is only about an inch and that break angle i.e. friction from thru is slight sharper we are not looking at a lot of potential change.
I have no idea what other people feel and there is no way to measure this.
My stiffest feeling guitar has a 24.75 scale and an exceptional rigid neck.:dunno
 

Tony Done

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I've never noticed any difference at all due to mounting system and the Fender versus Gibson scale length - but there again I was brought up on and still use 13-56 strings on acoustics. Neck profiles can have a big effect on feel for me, and I wonder if this might be what some of those who claim differences due to mounting might be feeling.

It wouldn't be hard to test empirically, has anyone done it?
 
Last edited:

MartinPiana

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4,417
yes


Theoretically, no. It should be the opposite, the guitar with the longer strings (through body) will have less tension.
This is because when you press down or bend a string, the deformation (stretch) is divided along the entire length of the string, not just the portion between the nut and the bridge saddle. This assumes that the string is free to slide along the nut slots and the saddles.
But wouldn't the tension with the string through be more to start with, to bring it to pitch?
 

crazymauler

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My friend's Tele is a top-loader (parts build) and it definitely feels more slack/rubbery/bendy than my strings-through-the-body Tele (2004 Am. Std.) which feels more taut/snappy/stiffer.
Can't explain the physics behind that, but there's my anecdotal $0.02.
 
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Yes, but also the break angle affects a lot the string feel. So a top loader has the least break angle of the two, so that would make it quite slinky.
It's like the Tune o matic top loading effect
 

B Money

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But wouldn't the tension with the string through be more to start with, to bring it to pitch?
No, the tension is exactly the same regardless of string length, right? This is where my High School Physics education lets me down. I think, given a fixed scale length, that the amount of tension on the string to achieve a desired pitch between two defined points would be the same regardless of overall string length.
Somebody with more than a 2 year Community College degree should jump in a correct me if this is wrong!

Yes, but also the break angle affects a lot the string feel. So a top loader has the least break angle of the two, so that would make it quite slinky.
It's like the Tune o matic top loading effect
this is true, there is more to "feel" than just string length. The amount of friction introduced by the nut and saddles is one factor, as is the break angle over those friction areas. Obviously the greater the break angle, the more friction becomes a factor and the energy needed to deform the string is increased.
Again, please someone who actually knows what they're talking about please chime in!
 

dspellman

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No, the tension is exactly the same regardless of string length, right? This is where my High School Physics education lets me down. I think, given a fixed scale length, that the amount of tension on the string to achieve a desired pitch between two defined points would be the same regardless of overall string length.
Somebody with more than a 2 year Community College degree should jump in a correct me if this is wrong!



this is true, there is more to "feel" than just string length. The amount of friction introduced by the nut and saddles is one factor, as is the break angle over those friction areas. Obviously the greater the break angle, the more friction becomes a factor and the energy needed to deform the string is increased.
Again, please someone who actually knows what they're talking about please chime in!
You're correct regarding string tension to achieve a specific pitch between two points.

If you've got a longer bunch of string length on either side of the two points, however, it will affect things like bending, because you're essentially stretching the string. If you've got a lot more string to stretch in a bend (past either end of those two points), it will require you to move the string across the fretboard further in order to get to the pitch you want. That's been pretty well documented with things like trapeze tailpieces, etc. That will affect "feel" and playability.
 




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