Great guitar, great price, but 660 scale. Deal breaker?

Philosopherguy
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Re: Great guitar, great price, but 660 scale. Deal breaker?

Post by Philosopherguy » Mon Dec 24, 2018 5:35 am

wombosi wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 10:51 pm
So I'm starting to understand that nut width, string spacing and neck profile are bigger issues than the 10mm difference in length.

So with that being said, why can't the neck/nut/spacing simply be reworked to suit the player? Even as far as making the entire neck a bit narrower and/or thinner if those are problems?

I'm not a luthier, but I have a background in woodworking and have started building a classical. I certainly have the tools and ability to make the neck 52 or 53 mm wide at the nut if I so desired, as well as make it thinner in profile.

But I think I'd welcome the 54mm width over the 50.5 that I'm currently playing, which is way too cramped for me.

Thanks everyone.
The neck width is less of an issue than the string spacing. It’s easy to make a new nut with whatever spacing you want. I had a guitar with a 54mm nut and I made the string spacing narrower and I was very happy with it.

I suppose you could take some width off the neck if you really needed to. It would take some fret work to do it properly though. Extra space beside your strings is good!

Martin
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Nikos_Greek
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Re: Great guitar, great price, but 660 scale. Deal breaker?

Post by Nikos_Greek » Mon Dec 24, 2018 8:55 pm

Actually, as argued in another thread, the difference is length between an 650 an 660 is not 10mm but 1.5 or so, really negligible. Nut width and for some neck profile is far more important

wombosi
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Re: Great guitar, great price, but 660 scale. Deal breaker?

Post by wombosi » Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:00 pm

Nikos_Greek wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 8:55 pm
Actually, as argued in another thread, the difference is length between an 650 an 660 is not 10mm but 1.5 or so, really negligible. Nut width and for some neck profile is far more important
Could you link me to that thread? Not sure it makes sense. Isn't it measured from nut to saddle? 650mm or 660mm, the difference being 10mm in overall length, with a minute (less than 1mm) distance increase fret to fret. No?

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petermc61
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Re: Great guitar, great price, but 660 scale. Deal breaker?

Post by petermc61 » Tue Dec 25, 2018 12:09 am

It doesn’t make sense, nor did it in the other thread!

The difference between a 660mm and a 650mm guitar is 10mm in scale length. Inarguable.

What the practical impact of that difference depends on the user’s hand size and preferences. Typically long scale guitars have wider nuts which can add to the challenges of some stretches in lower positions. Also, commonly if not always typical, many older long scale guitars had chunky necks (think of Ramirez of 70s) which are regarded as many as far from sleek with regards to playability.

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Re: Great guitar, great price, but 660 scale. Deal breaker?

Post by riffmeister » Tue Dec 25, 2018 12:29 am

Rightly or wrongly, a 660mm guitar has considerably lower resale value than a 650mm guitar unless you are talking a Miguel Rodriguez or similarly high retail instrument.

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Re: Great guitar, great price, but 660 scale. Deal breaker?

Post by RichardUno » Tue Dec 25, 2018 6:12 pm

Herer's one way to think about it: the longest stretch you will normally have to make is from the first to the fifth fret. Using a fret position calculator(Stew-Mac's web site), the distance is 126.6 mm for a 650 mm scale and 128.5 mm for a 660 mm scale, measured along a single string. For all practical purposes, the difference is approximately 2 mm.

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Re: Great guitar, great price, but 660 scale. Deal breaker?

Post by JohnB » Tue Dec 25, 2018 6:57 pm

wombosi wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:28 am
Thanks everyone.
Another question: Is is true that 660 will require using hard tension strings, always?
I tend to prefer medium tension, but I guess that's not a deal breaker, either.
I don't understand the logic to that idea. The slightly longer scale length will mean that strings will have slightly more tension anyway. I always use normal tension on my beloved 661mm 1968 Hermanos Conde and it is just fine.
Hermanos Conde 1968, Stephen Frith 2007 "Guijoso", Christopher Dean 2018, Ana Maria Espinosa 2014

Nikos_Greek
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Re: Great guitar, great price, but 660 scale. Deal breaker?

Post by Nikos_Greek » Tue Dec 25, 2018 8:31 pm

I think RichardUno summarises the argument pretty well. It is only the difference in scale length in the first 5 frets that matters, higher frets being shorter, thus the difference being negligible. I am not a luthier, but 650 vs 660 or 664 refers to the space between saddle and nut, so for the player only the fret space is relevant, less than 650 or 660, thus the difference between the two scales is proportionally less as well

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petermc61
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Re: Great guitar, great price, but 660 scale. Deal breaker?

Post by petermc61 » Tue Dec 25, 2018 9:59 pm

Nikos_Greek wrote:
Tue Dec 25, 2018 8:31 pm
I think RichardUno summarises the argument pretty well. It is only the difference in scale length in the first 5 frets that matters, higher frets being shorter, thus the difference being negligible.
Hi Nikos_Greek

Richard does indeed do the maths/research well. The increase in fret spacing is indeed a bit under 2mm.

I don’t agree, however, that this distance is negligible. The market (a collection of many, many thousands of players) has spoken - 660mm is definitely less sought after than 650mm guitars. This is because of playability issues. This is also the reason most contemporary luthiers offer 640mm and sometimes 630mm scale guitars for clients - because for many people those extra few millimeters matter.

To the OP: it really is quite simple. 660mm are thought to be less playable by a significant part of the classical guitar playing fraternity. This lower demand for these instruments means their price is lower. If the OP has larger than average hands and/or is not put off by the increased stretches then the OP can probably get a very well priced instrument for its sound quality. The OP, if he/she buys, needs to recognise though that the lower purchase will also translate into a lower sale price in future. That’s about the whole thing in one paragraph.

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Re: Great guitar, great price, but 660 scale. Deal breaker?

Post by Nikos_Greek » Wed Dec 26, 2018 5:50 pm

Hello petermc61,
you are absolutely right, 650 guitars are most sought after because they offer more advantages to the player in terms of playability. Resale value is also an issue, although we should not buy guitars having this in mind in the first place. Since the OP is going to buy online he should make sure there is a return policy in case he does not like the guitar. I would be more alarmed, however, about the nut width, 54,5 is way stray from the normal 52. You really need to have long fingers to handle this fret board. Last thing, what makes a guitar less playable may not be the scale alone but the whole set up, I think that is the problem area with Ramirez 664 built in the 60s, 70s at least according to owners of these guitars.

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Re: Great guitar, great price, but 660 scale. Deal breaker?

Post by celestemcc » Wed Dec 26, 2018 5:56 pm

Last thing, what makes a guitar less playable may not be the scale alone but the whole set up, I think that is the problem area with Ramirez 664 built in the 60s, 70s at least according to owners of these guitars.
Raises hand as one of those! It has an unusually wide, dead-flat fingerboard, high action by design, and a thick D-shaped neck. Glorious sound but I couldn't take full advantage of that. Since I thought it was my "guitar for life" I had lots of small modifications done which helped some (but not enough). Frankly if you can't play it or the same model nearby, it may be better to pass on it.
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
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Scott Phillips
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Re: Great guitar, great price, but 660 scale. Deal breaker?

Post by Scott Phillips » Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:55 am

wombosi wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:28 am
Thanks everyone.
Another question: Is is true that 660 will require using hard tension strings, always?
I tend to prefer medium tension, but I guess that's not a deal breaker, either.
The longer scale will make whatever strings you put on higher tension. I currently play a 655mm scale, and my next build is going to be a 660. Or I may get a 1a. Who knows.

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zupfgeiger
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Re: Great guitar, great price, but 660 scale. Deal breaker?

Post by zupfgeiger » Thu Dec 27, 2018 1:03 pm

scale length of 66 in combination with nut width of 54,5 is definitely a good reason to part with a guitar for playability reasons - and for potential buyers to step back from the purchase. It's a build for giant hands. If you have them, go for it. If not, at least try the guitar out before buying.
Fritz Ober, Torres/Hauser model, 2010, spruce/maple
Giovanni Tacchi, Bouchet model, spruce/BRAZ, 2018

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Re: Great guitar, great price, but 660 scale. Deal breaker?

Post by GuitarsWeB » Thu Dec 27, 2018 2:39 pm

I have a friend who just bought a Jose Oribe Gran Suprema 665mm/53mm. It plays like butter, and I have a small hand. Here again, we’ve hashed this long scale/short scale issue over and over...kind of a “Dead Horse.” Whats' the difference between 650mm and 660mm, from the 1st fret to the 5th fret ? I have three 650mm and one 660mm. Why would anyone want a short scale flamenco? Most use a cejilla/capo.

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Re: Great guitar, great price, but 660 scale. Deal breaker?

Post by Lovemyguitar » Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:40 pm

I suppose the only relevant question is: could you return the guitar if you really didn't like it? It may be worth the shipping cost(s) to give it a try.

For what it's worth, I have small-medium sized hands (a 650 is just fine for me), and I used to think that a longer-scale instrument would be a problem, but I recently acquired a 662, and when I gave it a test-play before buying, I didn't even notice a difference at all with the added length. It has completely changed my view of longer-scale guitars! I also have medium-low tension strings on it, which is no problem at all (as others have mentioned, the longer scale adds tension, so hard tension strings would feel extra-hard).

I'd be inclined to try it out, especially since you say you have large-ish hands. As others have also pointed out, neck shape, etc., will have an impact on playability, too, so scale length is not the only factor, and it might be the perfect guitar for you. Good luck, whatever you choose to do.

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