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Lots of discussion re neck length, string length and such, but can I ask for a clarification, cos I'm missing something in my reading.
People talk about building a cbg with a string length of 22.5".
Is that nut to bridge? Because If I build a thru-neck plank into a box, nut to end of box will be more than 22.5, if the bridge is set somewhere in from the end of the box lid.
And do the fret spacing calculators all calculate from a nut-to-bridge distance? (Looks like it to me, but I'm an 'umble beginner.
I've got a 42" lump of oak, and looking at a 14-16" box, I'd probably use 22" + 2" + 6", where 22" is nut to bridge, 2" bridge to end of box, and 6" (is) for headstock. That sound sane?
22" is a BIT shorter than commercial guitars (Fender Mustang 22.5", Gibson Byrdland 23.5"). If you've been playing a Fender Strat (25.5") all your life, it might take a little bit of getting used to it. If you're like the rest of us, you won't even notice.
I've been taking a tuning fork with me every time I go to my favorite tobacconist. I strike the fork and press it against any box I'm looking at. The juty is still out on best place to put the bridge, but it has helped me avoid some lemons.
Diane in Chicago said:
"They" say that you often get better/louder sound if your bridge is somewhat in the center of your box.
You're in pretty good shape. where the bridge is on th box affects the tone quality... closer to the tail of the box, more guitar, closer to the middle of the top, more banjo like. I tend to use a +3 inches for the head stock... largest number of tuners on one side (2+2 design is 2, 3+1 design is 3, 4 inline is 4) So, a 2+2 desgn would cut a minimum =5.
So, if you have a 10 inch box that you do a 1/4 bridge placement and a 3+1 headstock design and a 25 inch scale length, the neck you would have would measure
2.5 + 25 + 6 = 33.5 inches.... remember to add for an exposed tail piece...
I think that covers it... more people would know what you're talking about if you use "Scale Length" and not "String Length"...
Thanks everyone, much clarity ensues.
Alan: given that my normal instrument is a bass, everything will seem short! Haven't picked up my 12 string in about 2 years.
Diane, Sam: Good point re bridge positioning and tone, I'd not considered that.
Plan is 3 string dulcimer / diatonic fretted, piezo pickup, with no / little protruding tail. I'd even considered not having a full thru neck, going down the guitar route where neck just enters top of box for a few inches. Is this a bad idea for sound / stability and strength or will it work out ok?
Also, with piezo's, would you recommend building a buffer to match impedances with my little practice amp?