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

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Tony F

Long Island, NY

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

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.

daveg
Contributing Member
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Northern VA

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

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?

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Lassoing

armadillos
Feb 10th, 2018 04:54 PM   Edit   Profile  

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  

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.

Peegoo
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Lassoing

armadillos
Feb 15th, 2018 08:31 AM   Edit   Profile  

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.

5Strats
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Edmond/OKC

GospelBilly!
Feb 15th, 2018 12:46 PM   Edit   Profile  

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

rvwinkle
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Twin Cities, USA

Land of Sky Blue Waters
Apr 5th, 2018 05:21 PM   Edit   Profile  

I think Coral Head has mostly got it.

The longer the distance from the tuning peg to the string anchor, the softer the touch.

Spring vibratos tend to soften the touch, but not so much.

rvw

scott-s
Contributing Member
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juneau ak.

If you must smoke, please smoke salmon!
Apr 5th, 2018 05:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

The tension on my LP Jr. is softer than the SG. A wrap around bridge equipped Guitar seems to always feel softer than one with a stop bar tail piece all things being equal.

5Strats
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Edmond/OKC

GospelBilly!
Apr 6th, 2018 05:55 AM   Edit   Profile  

"guitar geometry"? I flunked that course in high school. (;oD

ps - Excellent question posed by the OP. I've often wondered the same thing.

BrentD
Contributing Member
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Michigan

5 DIFFERENT CITIES 15 DIFFERENT MORONS.
Apr 6th, 2018 06:03 AM   Edit   Profile  

Don't forget the wood! Quartersawn is stiffer than flat sawn, different wood types react differently, etc.

Peegoo
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Get ready for the

Buena Buena
Apr 6th, 2018 11:41 AM   Edit   Profile  

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

Funny you mention that, 5Strats. Guitar geometry sometimes changes over time because wood continues to move around.

The neck, if not properly seasoned, can twist, bow, etc., because it thinks it's still part of a tree. Which recalls the old joke with the punchline, "Gee! Omma tree!"

5Strats
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Edmond/OKC

GospelBilly!
Apr 6th, 2018 12:02 PM   Edit   Profile  

After-math I'm going to RECESS! (;oD

scott-s
Contributing Member
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juneau ak.

If you must smoke, please smoke salmon!
Apr 6th, 2018 12:17 PM   Edit   Profile  

I knew I should have paid more attention in geometry class, But Kathy James sat right across from me.


Mini skirts!

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Get ready for the

Buena Buena
Apr 6th, 2018 01:13 PM   Edit   Profile  

shweeeeet.

At least you were thinking curves and angles at the time.

Achase4u

U.S. - Virginia

Apr 6th, 2018 02:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

This is definitely a perceptible thing. My guitars have different tension with the same gauge and brand of string. Though some of this is affected by the neck shape, too(as far as my own perception)

I failed guitar and regular geometry because I was studying female geometry with hands on extra curriculars.

LeftyMeister

Buckeye Country, USA

Tone is in the lingers
Apr 6th, 2018 05:51 PM   Edit   Profile  

Young's modulus states that a material in proportional deformation will attempt to maintain its elasticity once linear stresses are removed. Therefore, when lateral pressure is applied, the modulus will resist elongation by maintaining tensile strength until structural integrity is exceeded.

In other words, string tension is all in the ju-ju. :o)

(This message was last edited by LeftyMeister at 08:09 PM, Apr 6th, 2018)

RicOkc

Nicoma Park, OK.

"Let the music do the talking"
Apr 9th, 2018 12:49 PM   Edit   Profile  

Years ago some luthiers were asked the same question. Their response was "If we knew that we'd make a fortune".

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Get ready for the

Buena Buena
Apr 9th, 2018 01:36 PM   Edit   Profile  

Just to be clear, identical string brands & sizes on identical guitars will all have identical tensions...when in a static state. The frequency of a vibrating string, at basic level, is the result of a combination of mass (size/materials/weight), tension, and length.

The difference is how they feel when played. As tension is added to a string (bends, etc.), dissimilar guitar geometry comes into play because additional string length beyond the speaking length/scale of the string increases the softness (elastic feel) of the string being bent.

The speaking length of a string is the portion between the nut and the bridge saddle. That is different from the total string length.

In other words, on identical guitars, the longer the total string length (tuner post to tailpiece), the farther the string must be bent to achieve the same pitch.

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

Apr 9th, 2018 01:50 PM   Edit   Profile  

And when you have a static state use a cling-free.

Achase4u

U.S. - Virginia

Apr 10th, 2018 01:46 AM   Edit   Profile  

So if we use the idea of string bending being the state where tension is different, is it safe to say that because fretting a string is also a similar state? Because the string is deviating from its normal static state and position much like a bend but to a lesser degree?(depending on action of course)

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




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