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Feb 27, 2024 - 11:47:30 AM
588 posts since 1/8/2005

Will a 25.5 scale neck work on a 12" pot?

Feb 27, 2024 - 12:17:16 PM

csacwp

USA

3333 posts since 1/15/2014

A historically accurate scale length for a 12'' pot would be 28'' to 28.5'' long. Will a 25.5'' scale length "work?" Yes. But there will be nothing old timey about the tone produced.

Feb 27, 2024 - 2:48:28 PM
like this

3388 posts since 2/18/2009

I have sold at least 100 banjos with that combination of 12" pot and 25.5" scale length, and lots of other makers use it too. The propriety of this combination is anybody's guess, but it is fairly popular.

Feb 27, 2024 - 3:59:05 PM

645 posts since 4/14/2014

quote:
Originally posted by Zachary Hoyt

I have sold at least 100 banjos with that combination of 12" pot and 25.5" scale length, and lots of other makers use it too. The propriety of this combination is anybody's guess, but it is fairly popular.


It is my understanding that this comes from the influence of Kyle Creed. I may be under a misapprehension, and if I am, I am sure someone will set the record straight.

Feb 27, 2024 - 4:26 PM

4981 posts since 9/12/2016
Online Now

The baritone I built I put the scale length --about an inch and a half longer than my master clone--to get the seven frets down tuning--this kept the strings at a somewhat regular size and normal tension--Most of the time I play it in D which is the capo at 2--this -- then---also gives me the master tone scale necksize-
for a fairly standard tuning--no need to go to a longer neck
my opinion on my own --I don't say it is correct for anyone else

Feb 27, 2024 - 5:58:18 PM

1604 posts since 1/13/2006

Depends how you play and what sound and tone you are looking for, I have made quite a few 12" pot banjos using 25 1/2", 26 1/4", 27" and 28". I have an original Kyle Creed 12" banjo that has the 26 3/16" scale that sounds great. The longer scale banjos really bring out a lot of tone and can sound great, but the 25 1/2" scale banjos can sound really good too, it sometimes takes a little playing with the string gauges to get them tweaked just right (to play in all the normal fiddle tune keys). Although I have several with the longer scales, I personally enjoy playing the 25 1/2" banjos these days as they are just more comfortable with my increasingly arthritic hands. I gave my favorite 12" rim, 25 1/2" scale player away last year to a fishing friend and have another in the works.

Feb 28, 2024 - 5:29:37 AM

8204 posts since 9/21/2007

I find it interesting, this current trend of short and shorter scale banjos. The scale gets shorter while the fingerboard gets wider.

Yet "nylon strings are floppy".

Funny how that works.

I have a Clifford Essex professional that has a 26.5" scale and to me it is about 1/2" short. I prefer 27.5" or longer on a 12" rim. My Fred Van Eps is 28.5" which is about as big as I can handle.

Feb 28, 2024 - 6:56:06 AM

Alex Z

USA

5769 posts since 12/7/2006

Comparing a 25.5 to a 28.5 scale, on a 12" pot with a 22-fret neck, how does the bridge position on the head differ?

Feb 28, 2024 - 7:57:19 AM

8204 posts since 9/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Alex Z

Comparing a 25.5 to a 28.5 scale, on a 12" pot with a 22-fret neck, how does the bridge position on the head differ?

 


Bridge position has more to do with the neck length than the scale. 

Feb 28, 2024 - 10:36:39 AM

Alex Z

USA

5769 posts since 12/7/2006

I'm asking for numbers -- bridge position from the string edge of the pot, assuming the 22nd fret is next to the pot. 

Feb 28, 2024 - 10:41:52 AM

123 posts since 3/16/2014

Will a 25.5 scale neck work on a 12" pot?
You're describing my favorite banjos! I haven't found it limiting at all. I use fairly heavy-ish gauge steel strings (11-13-15-24-11) or classic nylgut on all my banjos, and play out of all the common tunings without issue (fretted and fretless). A common statement from people using my main player is that they love how it feels in their hands and the booming sound of the 4" pot depth.
But then, traditionally, change is a traditional part of carrying on a tradition so i don't really prescribe to boxing these things in myself. I'd rather be an "old time player" than an Old Time Emulator (tho I appreciate people doing that too!). So for whatever that's worth..

Feb 28, 2024 - 10:42:14 AM
likes this

8204 posts since 9/21/2007

Here is one of my FVE banjos-- sorry I don't have a measurement at this time.


 

Feb 28, 2024 - 10:43:38 AM

8204 posts since 9/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Alex Z

I'm asking for numbers -- bridge position from the string edge of the pot, assuming the 22nd fret is next to the pot. 


If speaking of classic era banjos, those with 12" rims usually do not have a three octave neck. 

Feb 28, 2024 - 11:28 AM

martyjoe

Ireland

508 posts since 3/24/2020

quote:
Originally posted by Joel Hooks

Here is one of my FVE banjos-- sorry I don't have a measurement at this time.


I like how the bridge is pretty close to the vibrating edge of the head where it crosses over the tone ring. That  should give it a nice bright top end. 

Feb 28, 2024 - 1:22:39 PM

4981 posts since 9/12/2016
Online Now

the distance from the nut to the bridge is twice that of the distance from the nut to the 12th fret-
adding a fret on the nut end would change the bridge--=
adding it on the other won't

Feb 28, 2024 - 1:24:38 PM

4981 posts since 9/12/2016
Online Now

a person can't get too many unique tones--

Feb 28, 2024 - 3:23:27 PM

Alex Z

USA

5769 posts since 12/7/2006

Found a scientific calculator and figured it out.  About 3 pm EST.  Somehow the post didn't get in.

This will seem like a 9th grade algebra word problem, when the students are learning about smiley exponentials.  

Assumptions:  (a) 12" pot, (b) 25.5 scale neck meets pot at the 22nd fret, (c) 28.5 scale neck meets pot at the 22nd fret, (d) distance from 22nd fret to the edge of the pot is small enough to ignore for now.

  -- Now, we know that the distance from the 24th fret to the bridge equals 1/4 of the scale.

  -- Add to that the distance from the 22nd fret to the 24th fret, and we can find the distance from the 22nd fret to the bridge.

  -- 22 to 24 on the 25.5 scale = .781"

  -- 22 to 24 on the 28.5 scale = .873

Consequently:

  -- distance from 22nd fret to bridge on the 25.5 scale =  (25.5/4) + .781  =  5.594"

  -- distance from 22nd fret to bridge on the 28.5 scale =  (28.5/4) = .873  =  6.252"

 

What immediately comes to mind is that the two bridge positions end up on either side of the center of the 12" pot.

    -- for the 25.5 scale, the bridge is 6 - 5.594 =  .406" toward the neck.

    -- for the 28.5 scale, the bridge is 6 - 6.652 =  .252" toward the tailpiece.

Extra Credit:  What might be the affect on the sound of the banjo due only to the different bridge positions?

 

(We can ignore for now that the inch was standardized at 2.54 cm in 1959, while the banjos could have been made decades before 1959. smiley)

Feb 28, 2024 - 4:38:29 PM

4981 posts since 9/12/2016
Online Now

earl's book covered the math--on any reasonable length--

Mar 5, 2024 - 7:55:03 PM

13071 posts since 10/27/2006

The Vega Professional Artist size was advertised as being 12" with a 28" scale. After 1915 or so, the head diameter is 11 13/16". 20 frets are clear of the pot on the 5-string and plectrum versions but many have fretboard extensions. More frets clear would move the bridge closer to the center which Vega did not think produce ideal tone.

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