scale length and tuning problems

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by paulscape, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. paulscape

    paulscape Member

    Messages:
    3,356
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    Location:
    red dog saloon
    I have a washburn N4 vintage (the nuno thing) and I believe its a 24 3/4 scale. Ive never really taken much note of scale lengths or had any problems until I bought this guitar. I like it a lot and it plays very well but at standard tuning the strings are so unbelievably tight I simply can't do any serious string bending and chops without fatiguing my hands or missing notes. Ive been playing 20 years so its not a strength thing. Unless I tune way way down its just to taught. I use 009's strings usually.

    The only other guitar I have that is a short scale I think is my Peavey V-type Vandenburg which is also 24 3/4 but I never experience the same issue with it at all. At standard tuning with a set of 009's its fine. At half a step down (as I often tune to) its rad, loose and fast. Both guitars have floating locking tremelo's.

    Does anyone else experience tuning difficulties with short scale guitars? I love using the guitar but its difficult to use it effectively with concert pitch instruments and other players that are at standard tuning or half a step down tuning.
     
  2. Rick51

    Rick51 Member

    Messages:
    3,231
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Short scale = less string tension.

    Something is wrong if 24.75" scale with 9's is unbelievably tight. There are very few possibilities:

    1. Strings are not nines. Try changing strings, make sure it is a brand you are familiar with.

    2. Scale longer than 24.75". Measure.

    3. Tuned above concert pitch. You know what to do.

    That's it. No other possibilities. Good luck.
     
  3. jimlp

    jimlp Member

    Messages:
    612
    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    The Nuno N4 is 25.5 inch scale.
     
  4. Rosewood

    Rosewood Member

    Messages:
    1,875
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Fret height will affect the tightness if the frets are too low. If both guitars are the same scale I would look to see if one has jumbo frets and the other has medium or small. Frets, setup, scale, etc would have to be the same on both, but it looks like you have locking trem so that eliminates one.
     
  5. paulscape

    paulscape Member

    Messages:
    3,356
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    Location:
    red dog saloon
    The nuno has jumbo frets, the v-type has smaller, many of my other guitars have jumbo frets and i dont experience this taughtness. I had another look at the bridge and all the saddle is level whilst my other locking bridges are staggered. Ill try changing that around as ive changed a bunch of string sets im familiar with already, although i have not tried 008's.

    Its one of my weirder guitars.
     
  6. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

    Messages:
    14,736
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    The Nunos are made to play super soft. Flat radius, big frets, low action etc.. Put some .011's on and jack up the action for awhile and play. Then put your .009s on again, and it'll feel super slinky!
     
  7. paulscape

    paulscape Member

    Messages:
    3,356
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    Location:
    red dog saloon
    Yeah I tried lowering the action and that helped playability but not string taughtness. There are some other factors like the ebony fretboard is also quite hard and stiff.

    Eitherway its a tricky guitar for me to get going. Some things play exceptionally well on it but when I get into the excessive string bending its just really hard after agressive playing... Ive tried an N2 that was completely loose and easy - soft touch playability. I dont know what it is about my particular N4 guitar but I'll keep experimenting. I have a yamaha semi acoustic that has taught action but its super easy to play because the action is low and spot on. The nuno is a soft playing guitar too in the sense of it sounds more strat like...the V-type is much more crunchy.

    Anyway thanks for the help
     
  8. PFCG

    PFCG Member

    Messages:
    2,806
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Location:
    Calabasas - CA
    yeah i thought the nuno was strat scale 25.5

    I play heavy bottom light top 10 set on a fender scale and it feels plenty smooth and is easy to bend.

    something is up! Rick51 has a good post!
     
  9. paulscape

    paulscape Member

    Messages:
    3,356
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    Location:
    red dog saloon
    Ok so it may not be the scale of the neck as such...I think because the nuno has a small headstock and body the neck just appears smaller... what about the distance between the nut and the bridge? Maybe its shorter?

    I still haven't got around to changing the saddles from level to staggered. That would add a little extra distance to the string lengths between the nut and bridge and may solve it. Im pretty sure all my other electric guitars have some sort of staggering to the saddles. I'll try that out tonight because it may be causing the tension particularly on the bottom heavier strings.

    Thanks
     
  10. darkbluemurder

    darkbluemurder Member

    Messages:
    465
    Joined:
    May 6, 2005
    A 25.5 scale is about the longest there is. In addition, a Floyd Rose has more string pull than any other bridge type I know. But with 9s it should be OK. Have you checked the set up of the guitar, i.e. correct nut height, correct neck relief, correct action? Too much neck relief can make the guitar very hard to play.
     
  11. 77custom

    77custom Supporting Member

    Messages:
    257
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    How many springs are in the trem cavity? You may just need to pull one out or add one and re-adjust your tension of the remaining springs. I usually run 3 springs in my trem cavities. Your springs may be over stretched causing the stiffness of the strings. This is where I would start.
     

Share This Page