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Thoughts on a 24" scale Strat

Messages
504
Due to some physical problems with my wrist and fingers, I'm considering having a Strat made with a 24" scale. I have found that if I put a capo on the second fret of my Strats chording, on the lower three frets, becomes much easier. However, I'm not sure what that will do to the sound of the guitar. Any thoughts on the that and some guidance on who might be able to build one for me would be appreciated.
 

rob2001

Member
Messages
16,929
Well, there are strat conversion necks that take a 25.5 scale to 24.75. Otherwise, Fender made the Cyclone, which is 24.75 scale. Maybe a local store might have one for you to check out.

24" would be a custom build. I'm sure there are builders here that would help you out if you had to go to 24.
 
Messages
504
Rob,
The Mustang and the Duo-Tone are both 24". I've played a Mustang and it was easier on my hand/wrist but I wasn't crazy about the fatter neck or the guitar itself. I think I would definitely have to have something custom made. I'm just looking for some "educated" opinions on what the shorter scale might do to the tone of a Strat and some ideas for a builder who would help.
 

Franklin

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,160
I've been wanting to try one of the Warmouth conversion kits, but yeah, they only go to 24.75
 

Jim Soloway

Member
Messages
14,403
Rob,
The Mustang and the Duo-Tone are both 24". I've played a Mustang and it was easier on my hand/wrist but I wasn't crazy about the fatter neck or the guitar itself. I think I would definitely have to have something custom made. I'm just looking for some "educated" opinions on what the shorter scale might do to the tone of a Strat and some ideas for a builder who would help.

Take a rubber band. Stretch it tight and then pluck it. Now loosen it a bit and pluck it again. That's what you're going to do to the strings. It's going to remove a lot of the snap. The wood and pickup selection can counteract some of this, but by definition, if you are looking for less tension, you are also going to get less high end clarity. The low end is going to be noticably looser. The attack is not going to be as fast and you'll lose some of the acoustic presence. The other side of the equation is that it's going to be a bit warmer.

One other thing to note....Like all shorter scale instruments, it's going to be a bit more difficult to tune precisely. One way to deal with this is to put on the highest ratio tuning keys that you can find so you can tune in smaller increments.
 
Messages
504
Lighter strings won't help the longer lower fret stretches.
Exactly!

Thank you all for the responses. But, maybe I’m not explaining things very well. I’m not looking for less tension; I’m looking to shorten the neck, so that the nut on the shorter neck is about where the second fret used to be (so that playing a barred Bb would be like playing a barred C or playing a barred F would be like playing a barred G.) The problem is that my left wrist (I’m right handed) will no longer bend the way it used to, so in order for me to play a barred chord on the first few frets (or even an A played with the index finger), I have to actually point the headstock of the guitar down (towards the floor) or it becomes very painful. If I tune the guitar down a whole step and put a capo on the second fret (so that it is in standard tuning) it makes playing much easier but of course that throws some of the dots off and changes your orientation to the neck. I wouldn’t even care if I lost a few frets because I never play above the 20th fret and practically speaking, I rarely play above the 17th fret.
 
Messages
504
Take a rubber band. Stretch it tight and then pluck it. Now loosen it a bit and pluck it again. That's what you're going to do to the strings. It's going to remove a lot of the snap. The wood and pickup selection can counteract some of this, but by definition, if you are looking for less tension, you are also going to get less high end clarity. The low end is going to be noticably looser. The attack is not going to be as fast and you'll lose some of the acoustic presence. The other side of the equation is that it's going to be a bit warmer.

One other thing to note....Like all shorter scale instruments, it's going to be a bit more difficult to tune precisely. One way to deal with this is to put on the highest ratio tuning keys that you can find so you can tune in smaller increments.
Jim,
If you shorten the neck, can't you move the bridge back a few inches and maintain the same relationship? In other words if you make the neck 2 inches shorter, can't you still have a 25 1/2 inch scale by moving the bridge backwards?
 

Jim Soloway

Member
Messages
14,403
Jim,
If you shorten the neck, can't you move the bridge back a few inches and maintain the same relationship? In other words if you make the neck 2 inches shorter, can't you still have a 25 1/2 inch scale by moving the bridge backwards?
You can (and that's part of how we get to 27"), but you won't solve your problem that way. You'd still have the same level of tension and the same distance between frets as a regular Strat. On the other hand, you'd make it difficult to get at the top frets. I think your best bet is really yoyur original idea. I'd suggest having someone build you a custom guitar based on the basic layout of a Mustang or Duosonic and just get the neck profile you want along with upgraded hardware. I think that could actually be a very cool guitar.
 

dayn

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,877
Go with smaller scale and higher string guage.

I have a 24.75 scale Strat neck and it is wonderful.

I also have a 1964 Fender Duo-Sonic with a 22.5" scale and it is great too.

Maybe look into a G# guitar which is a 21.5" scale.
 

googoobaby

Member
Messages
1,858
It's not a Strat, but have you looked at Peavey Wolfgangs? They're full 25.5 scale but the necks are quite short due to the bridge being fairly low on the body.
 

mikef1331

Member
Messages
849
The first thing I thought of was either a Fender Mustang, Jaguar or Duo Jet. Fender now makes a version of the Mustang along w/ a few variations of the Jaguar. Another option would be to have a guitar custom built as I don't know of any 24" scale conversion necks for a strat. Then there's the PRS Santana or sc245 not a 24" scales but a 24.5", might be worth trying them out @ a store to see how they feel to you.
 

Bluestar

Double Platinum Member
Messages
656
Due to some physical problems with my wrist and fingers, I'm considering having a Strat made with a 24" scale. I have found that if I put a capo on the second fret of my Strats chording, on the lower three frets, becomes much easier. However, I'm not sure what that will do to the sound of the guitar. Any thoughts on the that and some guidance on who might be able to build one for me would be appreciated.
You might want to consider buying a relatively inexpensive 24" scale guitar (such as a Fender Duo Sonic) to make sure you can really live with that scale length before you shell out the big bucks on something custom made or such.
 

mahoney

Member
Messages
72
Have you considered checking out a Brian May Red Special type of guitar?
The Red Special is 24" and has three pickups similar to a Strat.
 




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