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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:>

I think that this is a stupid question, but hey I'll still ask it to you, guys...
I've got two guitars sitting in front of my face right now.  One is a Fender '57 and the other is an Ibanez PGM300 and while both guitars was stated to have a 25.5 scale but when I'm trying to measure the scale, it comes out differently.  

How do you measure a scale length ( From ... to ... ) :
a. On a guitar with locking nut ( Floyd Rose Tremolo )
b. On a guitar with vintage tremolo
c. On a guitar with stop tail/tune-o-matic bridge

Regards,
Edo
 

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Good question!

Because of the variable position of the bridge saddles to achieve correct intonation, measuring the full length of the string will invariably give you different measurements for each string.

In my estimation, the best way to measure a guitar's scale length is to measure from the nut (right where the string breaks over the edge of the fretboard) to the middle of the crown of the 12th fret, then multiply by 2.
 

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here's something for the Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm... I read an interesting article in an old (like 1996) issue of Guitar Techniques (Brit mag) that had the author measuring "actual" scale length on a number of guitars and comparing it to the manufacturer's declared specs. It was amazing that a> most of the specs were inaccurate, and b> many of them were off by A LOT! I mean, you can feel the difference between a Les Paul's 24.75" scale length and the 25.5" scale length of a Strat, and some of these differentiations from spec were well over .5"! I'd think you could feel the difference between the declared and actual scale lengths...
 

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The way the Fender and Ibanez machines pump out guitars... chances are the scale lengths remain constant... but more likely than not, they just round the number off for simplicity.  At least, that's my guess...
 

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I always thought it was the length from the bottom of the nut above the first fret to where the string actually sits on the saddle of whatever bridge it is . And having just measured my 7v that is correct for that guitar.
 

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Measure from the saddle to the nut. The scale length isn't a set number and there will be variations based on saddle position, but all the numbers will either be close to 25.5" or 24.75".
 

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The only thing scale length really determines is the spacing between the frets, everything else is a matter of intonation. If two guitars have a 12th fret that is 12.75 inches from the nut, they are both 25.5" scale guitars, no matter where their bridges or saddles end up. Even if the saddles somehow wound up closer to 24.75" from the nut, as long as the frets are spaced for 25.5", it's still a 25.5" guitar, just probably one with terrible intonation. :)
 

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Funny, Mike.

I've been surfing the net since 1994, gratis of the US Federal Govt. Wasting YOUR tax dollars for over 20 years now...
 

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Jem7v scale length is 25.5" which is 25 and a half in inches from nut to saddle.. some ppl get confused with scale length as fretboard length
 

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some ppl get confused with scale length as fretboard length
You are right about that. I wonder if you're a bit confused too, as scale length indicates the length of the fretboard as well. The ringing part of the string is the total length, and it is - as Djohns74 said above - a result of the spacing between each fret. Resulting in a different scale.

11 year bump is nothing! At least the thread finally got answered properly. ;) Back then nobody knew!
 

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another bump for this thread - the stewmac calculator says different. im a little confused now :(

"Bridge placement for 25.5 mm scale:
Distance from the fretboard edge of the nut to center of forward-most mounting screw or pivot post"

this suggests its measured from the centre of the trem mount :s
help!
 

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Can't believe this is confusing as many people as it is.
As Darren Wilson posted back in 2001, measure the distance from the edge of the nut (or zero fret if your guitar has a zero fret) to the 12th fret and double the distance.

clintham, not sure where you read this as stewmack site says the same thing.

WHAT IS SCALE LENGTH?
A guitar's scale length is calculated by measuring the distance from the front edge of the nut, where it butts against the end of the fingerboard, to the center of the 12th (octave) fret, then doubling that measurement.
http://www.stewmac.com/freeinfo/Fretting/a-scalelength.html
 

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clintham, if you are building a guitar and are not sure where to place the bridge, place it so the edge of a saddle is the same distance to the 12th fret as the edge of the nut is.

Make sure your saddle is centred so you get as much adjustment travel each way as otherwise you may not be able to intonate some of the strings later.
I hope that makes sense.
 

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clintham, if you are building a guitar and are not sure where to place the bridge, place it so the edge of a saddle is the same distance to the 12th fret as the edge of the nut is.

Make sure your saddle is centred so you get as much adjustment travel each way as otherwise you may not be able to intonate some of the strings later.
I hope that makes sense.
Doing this has always worked out for me, never had intonation problems installing a bridge like this
 
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