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Thread: Short scale guitar options?

  1. #1
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    Default Short scale guitar options?

    I've been playing a Kanilea Islander recently and really like it.But I'd like to know what other similar options are available for short-scale (20" or baritone scale preferred) guitars are out there.

    What I'd really like is something like Yamaha's Silent Guitar - a travel instrument, nylon, solid body, able to be amplified... but also a shorter scale.

    Any suggestions?
    Ian
    -------------------------------------------
    “By all means break the rules, and break them beautifully, deliberately and well.”
    Robert Bringhurst: The Elements of Typographic Style
    Ukulele reviews * Vintage Uke Music * Tequila * Henry Hudson * Harmonica reviews * Blog

  2. #2
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    The closest thing I have seen to what you are looking for is made by Traveler Guitar:

    http://travelerguitar.com/guitars/acoustic

    They have a uke also, and their silent guitars are a little cheaper than the ones made by Yamaha.

    I have been eye-ing this brand for a while, and if this were 5 yrs ago I might have made the jump, but since ukulele has become my primary instrument now, it's difficult for me to justify the investment, otherwise I would have likely bought the Traveler nylon string model.

    There are also, other cheaper options on eBay and Amazon if you search for 'silent guitar' but in all of these choices I'm not sure you are going to find anything smaller than a 25.5" scale length.

    But you can ALWAYS say put a capo at the 3rd fret or something, and using higher-tension strings you can tune the guitar such that standard E-A-D-G-B-E pitch or 'E' tuning is on the shorter scale of the 3rd fret AT THE CAPO instead of at the nut (which would make it a shorter scale length) as opposed being tuned up a 3rd like a Terz guitar in G tuning...

    So you may be able to shorten the vibrating string length with a capo instead of finding one of these with a shorter neck and thus scale length, effectively giving you a shorter scale

    The only real problem with doing this is that if you rely upon the fret dot markers for 3,5,7,10.12 - they may all be in the wrong spots depending which fret you put the capo on.
    Last edited by Booli; 06-02-2016 at 06:12 PM. Reason: clarity & typos

  3. #3
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    I really like my Composite Acoustics Cargo in the raw finish. Got mine new with pickup for $800 shipped. You should be able to find one for less used. It sounds great with the amp, is a little quiet without but pretty great for a small body. It's a steel string but has impeccable feel. Scale is 22.25 or 22.50. I think they might have a nylon version now, but you can also string silk and steel. Otherwise check with Emerald Guitars, they have a pricier travel model. Rainsong should have a travel model too. It's more fun if you dig around yourself though! All are carbon fiber or composite variations, with all the advantages of not having to worry about bumps or humidity changes.

    Or get a little 24" scale and capo at the second fret, then the fret markers are more accurate, at least in first position. I love my Larrivee' parlor, it's just an old P-01 and they run around $5-600 now used. If you get something with only side dots like a small classical or crossover, you can ignore those or buy some brighter PET dots to place where you want, or just count fret wires from the capo as the nut, it get pretty easy after a few sessions.

    If you want a 19" scale and don't mind tuning A to A look for a Tacoma Papoose.

    I LOVE my short scales!!!
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    I should be curling up with a good uke, a book and my dog.

  4. #4
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    Searching for both nylon string and solid body really limits your options, regardless of scale length.

    25.5” scale electric SoloEtte “Classical” guitar w/ nylon strings.
    Overall length 33”
    Offered by SoloEtte.com for $985
    http://www.soloette.com/nylonspecs.php

    25.5” scale electric Aria “AS-100C/SPL Sinsonido cutaway” guitar w/ nylon strings.
    Overall length 33.5”. This model is evidently licensed from SoloEtte, but costs less.
    Offered by AdirondackGuitar.com for $599
    http://www.adirondackguitar.com/elec...ria/as-100.htm
    http://www.ariauk.com/aria-as-101c-spl-electric-guitar/
    http://www.ariauk.com/aria-as-105c-electric-guitar/

    25.5” scale acoustic-electric Traveler “EscapeON” guitar w/ nylon strings.
    Overall length 29”
    Offered by Sweetwater.com for $380
    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/EscapeON

    25.5” scale acoustic-electric Traveler “EscapeClass” guitar w/ nylon strings.
    Overall length 30”
    Offered by Sweetwater.com for $500
    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/EscapeClass

    24.75” scale acoustic-electric Traveler “UltraLightN” guitar w/ nylon strings.
    Overall length 28”
    Offered by Sweetwater.com for $300
    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/UltraLightN

    25.5” scale acoustic-electric Godin “MultiAcNyl Encore” guitar w/ nylon strings.
    Overall length ?
    Offered by Sweetwater.com for $849
    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MultiAcNyl


    I have no personal experience with any of these, but I have read that (1) steel strings might require less finger pressure than you anticipate, and that (2) hollow bodies can be muffled quite a bit for night-time playing by stuffing fabric in the sound hole. Searching for a short-scale steel-string or a half size classical hollow body would expand your options (Epiphone Express, Lap Axe, Guitalele, SmallGuitars, numerous 1/2 scale classical acoustics, etc.).

  5. #5
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    OOooo I saw "Kanile'a Islander", which is just the name for the import line, so missed "solid body"! THAT is the perfect excuse for a custom if you want nylon strings!

    Or just learn to love steel, way more options for shorter scale. I just sold my Epiphone Pee Wee, it was pretty decent through a nice amp. Full width fretboard, radius, humbucker, 19" scale. Slinky gauges are very comfortable on electrics, and electrics are easier to play than acoustic steel string.

    Otherwise if you aren't looking for a super short scale, there's a few nice options in standard bodies at 24" out there. For true electrics there's the Peavey T-15 and T-30 at 24", they are cheap vintage USA made, and the Fender Mustang re-issues. The vintage mustangs had two necks, an A and a B, one was 22" (I believe the A), the other 24".
    Last edited by Teek; 06-03-2016 at 08:19 PM.
    I should be curling up with a good uke, a book and my dog.

  6. #6
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    Not a solid body, but Pono makes a really nice Terz Guitar for steel strings that is just about an inch longer than a baritone:


  7. #7
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    cordoba mini of course. Pickup would have to be added later.

    In order of play time: Martin OXK, Lanikai LU21B, Islander MT4, Rubin Sopranino

  8. #8
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    Pete Howlett has just made a brilliant Terz Guitar. (Baritone Uke size).
    Ziegenspeck Spruce and Yew Tenor, Howlett Mahogany Concert, Howlett Spruce and Walnut Tenor (Concert body), Alder Concert, Acacia Soprano, Mahogany Soprano, Acacia Sopranino.

  9. #9
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    Have you seen this? It exceeds your scale length criteria.
    http://miranda-tech.com/cfx-200.html

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the suggestions. Like the Pono... I picked up a Yamaha travel guitar recently, too. 23" scale- not as short as I wanted, so I'm still looking...
    Ian
    -------------------------------------------
    “By all means break the rules, and break them beautifully, deliberately and well.”
    Robert Bringhurst: The Elements of Typographic Style
    Ukulele reviews * Vintage Uke Music * Tequila * Henry Hudson * Harmonica reviews * Blog

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