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Author Topic:  please weigh in on this
Gary Rue


From:
Maryland, USA
Post Posted 3 Mar 2017 5:50 am     Reply with quote

I recently purchased a 1950 fender dbl. neck and have enjoyed the 22 1/2 " scale more than I thought. I'm considering offering "King Pins" with the shorter scale option but would like to get an idea of response from the forum. They are currently 24 1/2. As most things in life the shorter scale has advantages and disadvantages but so many of the early steels ran the shorter scale I wonder how much it's prefered.

Thanks, Gary.
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Bill Sinclair


From:
Hagerstown, Maryland, USA
Post Posted 3 Mar 2017 7:41 am     Reply with quote

It does seem that the 22 1/2" scale is more popular. Most builders that only offer one scale length seem to build the shorter scale. You've got a leg up in that you already offer a long scale instrument but it would be pretty easy for you to just build a shorter neck with the same hardware. If I'm ever in the market for a King Pin though, it would probably be a long scale since I already have a mess of short scale guitars. (22 1/2" Fender, 23" National, Supro).
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Gary Rue


From:
Maryland, USA
Post Posted 3 Mar 2017 1:54 pm     Finger boards Reply with quote

I decided to get some short scale finger boards made up and have the option. I go through this with guitars also. Shorter neck guitars simple offer a different sound and vibe.
Thanks for your imput Bill.
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 3 Mar 2017 3:04 pm     Reply with quote

I prefer 22 1/2" scale length. It makes for easier bar slants, especially on frets 1,2,3,4. As far as tone and sustain... Jerry Byrd played 22 1/2" scale for his entire career and he had no problem with tone or sustain. Winking
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Mark Eaton


From:
Sonoma County in The Great State Of Northern California
Post Posted 3 Mar 2017 3:41 pm     Reply with quote

I'm sure you would get some good interest in short scale steels.

I would imagine it's pretty hard to pin down, different strokes for different folks. Oversimplified electric guitar analogy: There are folks who prefer one of the three: Tele, Strat, Les Paul. And there are other players who prefer a combination of these guitars for different purposes.

Just thinking of three lap steel builders off the top of my heard who all tend toward 24" - 25" scale guitars: Asher, Clinesmith, Lap King.

If anything, there might be a current shortage of 22 1/2" steels from modern builders.

Don't know if it is due to a lack of interest in the short scale because of the types of music being played. It seems like nowadays folks play less slants (good for lower frets on short scale) and are playing more rock and blues oriented music where the long scale and possibly greater sustain is preferred and not many bar slants.

One thing I did notice in checking out the Lap King site - the six string models tend to be the longer scale, and the 8 string versions are in the 23" scale range. I would think his philosophy is that the eight string guitars will be played more in 6th type tunings where there could be slants involved - more in the Hawaiian, western swing and jazz vein, and the six string jobs are used more for the rock/blues stuff. Jerry Douglas and Cindy Cashdollar play six string Lap Kings with the longer scale in Open G and Open D tunings.
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Jeff Mead


From:
London, England
Post Posted 3 Mar 2017 5:06 pm     Reply with quote

I'm a big fan of 22.5" scale and all my non-pedal steels are that, from my quad to my Gibson BR-9 and my orphan Stringmaster single 8.
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Robert Allen


From:
Tennessee, USA
Post Posted 3 Mar 2017 5:39 pm     Reply with quote

I'm primarily a dobro player who is accustomed to a longer scale and I've never had a problem with slants. I've built lap steels from 22" to 24.5". Most of my customers are happy with my standard 23.25" scale. I've made only 3 short scale lap steels over the past year. I have a 22.5" scale Rick and it's not my favorite instrument. I prefer a longer scale lap steel.
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post Posted 3 Mar 2017 5:43 pm     Reply with quote

I have just embarked on an intensive period of exploration in straight 6 string C6 on a 22 1/2" guitar. So this, to me, is the gold standard. Now. When I am ready to come up for air and face distractions I will take my 26" Stringmaster out of its case and no doubt be wowed by it.
But for right now I am really digging the slanting magic of the short scale.

I must emphasize, though, that I am not in the market for one of your great looking guitars so don't put me in the 'potential sale' column.
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 4 Mar 2017 9:49 am     Reply with quote

I played a 26" scale Stringmaster and didn't have any trouble with slants.
I guess I just didn't know any better. Rolling Eyes
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Gary Meixner


From:
New York, USA
Post Posted 7 Mar 2017 8:37 am     Reply with quote

Gary,

I love the tone and ease of playing on a 22 1/2" scale guitar. I think it would be worth pursuing. Most of us own a variety of instruments and that is part of the joy in playing the (non-pedal) steel guitar.

Very best,

Gary Meixner
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