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FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / String tension difference on same scale guitars?

Tony F

Long Island, NY

When you come to fork in road take it
Feb 10th, 2018 03:15 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Played mostly Fenders my entire life and used 10's. Now that this baby boomers hands are not what they were I switched to 9.5 on m y strat and very happy I did. I had some extra sets so I put them on my Gretsch and they felt fine. Lastly I put a set on my Epi 339 and they felt too flimsy, I took them off put 10's on and the Epi feels great. My question is the Gretsch and Epi are the same scale length so why is that?
Sorry for the long post.

Contributing Member

Northern VA

The Fine Line Between Clever & Stupid
Feb 10th, 2018 04:39 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Funny I've wondered the same thing lately.
I use 11's on my Ibanez JSM10, 10's were too loose feeling and 11's gave me the same feel as the 10's I use on my Strats. On my Casino the 11's feel stiffer, same scale length as the Ibanez, 24.75. Not unplayable or difficult to use, but feels more stiff like my acoustic guitars.
All strings are the same brand, actions are the same too...well, as close as I can get them.
I'm probably wrong, but I chalked the stiffer feel on the Casino to the hollow body vs semi-hollow Ibanez.
Is your Gretsch a hollow body?

Contributing Member


Feb 10th, 2018 04:54 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

When scale length and string gauge is the same, the reason for varying tension feel is due to guitar geometry. For example, the angle of string breakover at the nut and bridge, the distance between the nut and tuning machines, the distance from the bridge saddles to the string ball anchors, etc.

Another factor is string angles to the tuner posts: are they straight pull, like a PRS? Are there string trees?

Coral Head

Sunshine State

Groupies needed
Feb 15th, 2018 06:45 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

On some guitar designs, there is more string to stretch. On your typical Fender, the strings stop at the bridge. But on an archtop, the string crosses the bridge and extends to the tailpiece so the length of string that stretches when bending is longer by some amount.

Contributing Member


Feb 15th, 2018 08:31 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

If the guitar has a vibrato bridge, it can make for a softer feel too. A locking nut makes a guitar feel more stiff, but more responsive to string bends.

Contributing Member


Feb 15th, 2018 12:46 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I put Ernie Ball Super Slinkys (9s) on the Limited Ed. Gibson Flying V I got recently, even though I use 10's on my Gibson LP and Epiphone 335 Pro. For some reason the lighter strings work on the V.

"guitar geometry" - Is this going to be on the test Mr. Peegoo? (;oD

FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / String tension difference on same scale guitars?

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