whats the science behind different tension feel in similar guitar?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by footiee, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. footiee

    footiee Member

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    i have afew strats lying around but cant help to notice that there are 1 or 2 oddballs that feel harder during bends. it felt like i had strung 11 on them, when its on 10. i pretty much setup everything myself, similar action on nut and bridge, decked bridge, ghs boomer in all etc etc

    any idea what other factors into string tension? does the rigidity of the neck matter? does anyone experience this as well, you know, similar scale length, setup and strings but the tension felt different
     
  2. Charvel

    Charvel Member

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    Similar scale lenght or exact the same lenght?
     
  3. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    It has been kicked around here, repeatedly. Nobody can explain it.
    There is no actual data available.
    Best guess seems to be setup and fret variations affecting perceived feel and neck rigidity having an effect on actual neck movement.
     
  4. amstrtatnut

    amstrtatnut Member

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    Im guessing different radii finger boards. A vintage 7 1/4 radius is slightly harder to push strings accross than 9 1/2. My partscaster has a 12 inch radius and plays like butter.

    If they all have the same radius I bet I could set em up to play the same or close.
     
  5. /13guitarman

    /13guitarman Member

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    Check the truss rod measurement and spring tension on the whammy
     
  6. nerdbot

    nerdbot Member

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    Probably a ton of factors can effect that. The fretwork, the total string length, the neck profile, radius, and finish, the guitar's position on your body, and most importantly, the imperfect perceptions of our human mind.
     
  7. Mark Robinson

    Mark Robinson Member

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    Strats are a messy agglomeration of moving and non-moving parts. To summarize:

    The setup for the vibrato system which includes number of springs, and the softness or rate of the springs has a big effect on the tension feel, when bending on the instrument. Softer setups give, and feel loose, even though further motion to hit pitch is required.

    Different blocks on vibratos vary in the depth of the hole. Believe it or not this changes the bending feel, with the shorter string length of deeply drilled blocks being more slinky in feel

    The relief in the neck, if excessive can make a guitar feel stiff.
    I've also found that some '70 fenders have really narrow nut widths, and this makes them feel stiffer to me.

    The frets and the fingerboard radius have an effect, especially the fret height to my fingers. Taller frets pretty much cater to bending.

    Some Strats work so wonderfully, and some are toads, there is no question about it. Attention to the details of setup really helps.
     
  8. SPROING!

    SPROING! Member

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    I just finished a tele. It has a top load bridge and staggered tuners with no string tree so the break over angle at both the nut and saddles is very slight.
    It's far and away the slinkiest 25.5" scale guitar I've ever played.
     
  9. telewacker

    telewacker Member

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    More disconcerting to me is the same guitar one day practically plays itself and the next, for no apparent reason, is hard work.
     
  10. Mark Robinson

    Mark Robinson Member

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    I know what you are saying and I believe it to be a combination of neck relief and the condition of the muscle between my ears, in my case. YMMV!
     
  11. telewacker

    telewacker Member

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    Haha...yeah.
     
  12. Ulug

    Ulug Member

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    Rounded fretboard edges make a difference too.
     
  13. Sconnie

    Sconnie Member

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    Deck the bridge plate flush to the body to take spring tension out of the equation. If the odd balls remain it could be anything folks have said earlier. I may be crazy, and I feel crazy for saying it after studying physics (go buffs), but more wraps on the tuning machines makes it feel like there is more tension which shouldn't be the case. but observation > theory so if you experience it consistently then the theory may be irrelevant. I have always wondered about this too so I understand where you're coming from
     
  14. telewacker

    telewacker Member

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    I think saddle height relative to the bridge plate may be a factor.
     

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