How does scale length effect sound?  I mean a 25.5 vs 23.5 or 27.0,

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All other things like string gauge, box size, bridge and nut material being equal, etc., the tone / pitch will be like this:

"Deeper / Lower" 27.0 > 25.5 > 23.0 "Lighter / Higher"
There are books written about the physics of a vibrating length of string.
If you have two different lengths playing the same note (pitch) with the same thickness of string, then the longer one with be tighter, the shorter one will be more slack. Some people who play slide guitar prefer tighter strings so that they can avoid hitting the neck. Those playing a fretted guitar may prefer having the strings more slack so they can bend to the fret board more easily.
Another way to look at it:
If the tension is the same on two different lengths of string, then the shorter one will be a higher note. The longer string will be a lower note. In general, lower pitched instruments are longer and higher pitched ones are smaller.
Anything from 23" to 25.5" is considered "full scale". Fender Stratocasters are 25.5" and many consider that to be full scale. Most guitarists can't tell the difference when playing guitars up to an inch and a half different in scale length. Many can even play 3/4 size with no problem.
Some people prefer a scale length that fits the size of their body/arms.
In general a larger scale length has a fuller tone and a shorter scale length had a thinner or tinier tone.
String selection influences the sound a lot also. Thicker strings have fuller tone, thinner ones have a brighter, thinner sound.
Lots of other things effect the sound also: type of box, method of attaching the neck, if using piezos, placement has a huge impact on the sound.
I hope something that I rambled on about was useful to you.
Happy building!!!

I recommend you build many, many guitars of different lengths and methods of construction.

Stop encouraging him, you...you...ENABLER! >:-E

agreed . only way to find out what you think sounds best . 

** oddly enough, these things are played by altering the length of the strings...
So I guess you can see the impact of altering the string length.... By playing em some ;)

longer you go more bass your gonna get . shorter you go the more treble . Build as many guitars as you can with any scale length you can think of . dont just stick with the norm . my personal favorites so far 22.2 with light strings  and 26.6 with super heavy strings . 

All things being equal...longer scale more sustain, more "overtone"/harmonic potential

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