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  • Help an electric player who wants an acoustic.

    I play electrics like Les Paul Juniors but I want to get a quality acoustic to use for practise and the possibility of a few solo gigs, but here's the catch that is going to annoy all of you beyond belief, I want to string the thing with .009-.046 electric strings with an unwound third. The other thing is that I want a 24.75" scale. I saw a Santa Cruz OMS which I fell in live with but was a bit pricey.

    So, can I do what I just said or am I being an idiot ?
    Professor Tom

  • #2

    Look for a Zager.:smiley-flamewar:


    • #3

      Hi Prof Tom

      Offhand, I don't know which acoustics have a 24.75 scale length - not many I would wager, most acoustics are 25.25 - 25.50.

      But, apart from that, I would recommend something like an Ovation Applause or Celebrity shallow-bowl. I've played one of these fitted with 9s and it was OK. Nice fast neck and low action - very playable compared to many acoustics and sounded OK(ish) acoustically - certainly fine for practising - and very good sound when amped.




      • Oldguy64
        Oldguy64 commented
        Editing a comment
        Depending on what you want to spend:
        Gibson makes a few dreads with short scales.
        Rainsong also makes a short scale instrument. You are looking at about $1500...
        Another source you might consider is Carvin.
        I've run into exactly two used Carvin guitars. But they make an electric with a piezo that also has a blend function so you can blend electric and acoustic tones thru an amp or DI.
        And a Carvin will run you $800 - 1500, but at that higher price point you can do quite a bit of customization. Their shortest scale is 25"
        The only caveat I have is that I've only been able to lay hands on one electric and one acoustic used. They seemed like quality guitars, and I honestly wish I could have freed the $1000 to buy the acoustic.
        That leads me to believe that either their guitars are so good that no one ever gets rid of one, or that they just aren't making it this Far east from CA in great numbers.

    • #4

      Not really annoyed beyond belief, just bewildered.


      Putting those light strings on will make the guitar sound plumb puny. Not a big deal if you are going to plug it in, I guess. The other thing is that you will most likely have to have the guitar set up for those light strings. New nut, possibly a new saddle. And the neck relief will need to be adjusted to compensate for the new light load.

      Yep. You can do it. Nope. You're not being an idiot. Well, maybe just a little bit strange.

      __________________________________________________ _________
      Proud reject from the HCAG Civil Posters Society.


      • #5

        Hmmmm. Nah - you're just a newbie to acoustics, that's all. We've all been there. I used to play a Kramer with a Floyd Rose strung with GHS Boomer ultra light .008s. Keeping that thing tuned and properly intonated was maddening. With acoustics, very rarely will you find a guitar with an adjustable saddle - though a capo can suffice as a locking nut in a pinch. As for short scale, 24.9" is pretty much it as far as I know. Given that translates to the first fret of full 25.4" scale fretboard you could always tune it down a half step and capo at th first fret. That will reduce the string tension so that going up to .010" or .011" won't be as painful.

        ...as for the unwound G string, now THAT'S just weird. Is that something you can let go of or are you planning on trying to play acrobatically? If so, consider that your frets will wear out more quickly and it'll be murder to keep in tune.

        Like I said, acoustics are different. You don't necessarily have to limit yourself to strumming with one but you have to consider that some things are better-suited being done on a solid body electric and finding the right effects chain to get a satisfying clean tone.

        Anyhoo, if you're convinced that you want to try out an acoustic then look at Taylors first - but try not to be shocked by the price. If you really do want short scale and aren't concerned about tight string spacing then check out the GS Mini. They come in around $500. They're considered to be a "travel" guitar but are pretty full sounding for their size.

        2013 Official Luthier's Forum Medium Jumbo (Western red cedar/mahogany)
        2012 McKnight McUke (soprano ukulele, redwood/mahogany)
        2010 Martin D-16GT
        2006 Larrivee OM-03R
        1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (natural ash finish)
        1989 Kramer Stryker
        197? Epiphone Texan FT-160N


        • Professor Tom
          Professor Tom commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks for the advice, it was much appreciated.
          I'll let you know what happens.

      • #6
        Gibson just put out a J35 remake selling for about $1800 new. A really nice short scale box...Also look for a used LG2, B25 prior to 1970....really nice guitars which can be found around $1000.

        Recording King offers a nice short scale ($800) and so does Eastman ($1200).

        The Eastman is as close to a J45 you will get for half the price....a nice choice.

        The strings are another thing....I use 12-13's on my acoustics....one guitar with 11's (Recording King). I wouldn't think of using anything smaller....sound disappears with lighter strings.....good luck
        Steve Goodman Fan/Eddie Wright Fan/Damon Fowler Fan 2006 Martin OM21, 2014 Martin GPC12string, 2012 Gibson J45 Standard Spruce/mahogany1969 Framus 12 String Spruce/Mahogany1990's Larrivee D2 (Spruce/Mahogany)2007-8 Guild C0-2C (Spruce/Mahogany)2009 Recording King RO-26 (Spruce/Mahogany)1962-3 Gibson LG2 (Spruce/Mahogany)


        • #7

          Im not sure you would get a decent sound out of putting electric strings on an acoustic -

          Are you thinking this to divide the learning curve ?

          Im also wondering if those strings wouldnt wear out the frets on certain acoustics -some

          electrics have harder frets ( or so im told )


          Why not just use a custom light or even an extra light string .

          80/20's would be brighter than PB's -But i try a set of each and see what you think .

          By using extra light acoustic strings- the volume will go down , but youll stillget a decent tone -

          (You may have to make a new nut and possibly a saddle for a lower gauge )

          but dont forget as you go down in gauge, the strings will not drive the top as much -which to a degree does hurt the sound - but experimemnting for a particular guitar is your best bet .

          Alot of electic players who turn to the dark side ( just a joke , when electric guitar people go to acoustic guitars ) you may not be able to go back -i use to be a telelcaster guy back in the early seventies - thou i still own electrics (4 of them ) I rarely play them -


          Good luck- basically experimenting is the ticket !


          • codecontra
            codecontra commented
            Editing a comment

            It would help if you could tell us "why" you want to go with such an unorthodox set up.   

            I would second an Ovation.  Look for a used Balladeer or Legend with a super shallow bowl.  You can get these all day long on Craigslist and ebay for under $500.  IMO, they sound and feel the closest to an electric (light, close to the body, fast necks) and they are great players. 

            Most if not all acoustics will sound horrible with the strings you are suggesting.  I would personally not go below an 11 gauge string.  Your fingers will adjust quickly.  It really makes no sense to go with the set up you are suggesting (unless there is something we are totally missing).

        • #8
          I suggest you look into getting a Graph Tech ghost piezo setup for your LP, with a good preamp/DI unit. That's the only way I see you getting decent sounds with your requirements. They sound great too.


          • #9

            Professor Tom wrote:
            I play electrics like Les Paul Juniors but I want to get a quality acoustic to use for practise and the possibility of a few solo gigs, but here's the catch that is going to annoy all of you beyond belief, I want to string the thing with .009-.046 electric strings with an unwound third. The other thing is that I want a 24.75" scale. I saw a Santa Cruz OMS which I fell in live with but was a bit pricey.

            So, can I do what I just said or am I being an idiot ?


            Your seach will be very limited - I can't think of many guitars that fit these specs.   First, 24.9 is considered :"short scale" - any shorter than that is usually only found on things like parlors.   I've never heard of a SCGC "OMS" (I took a brief look at their page) but the normal scale length for an Orchastra Model (OM) is long scale -25.4.    A true OM will also have a wide fretboard - 1-3/4 at the nut - which you may not like - your LPJ is much narrower.

            We've discusssed stringing with lighter than normal strings in some other threads - nines will be incredibly floppy and the short scale will make them worse.   A good tech can proabably make them playable but you won't like the unplugged sound - they simply will not drive the top well enough.   If you have a soundboard transducer (UST or bridgeplate) or an internal mic you probably won't be satisfied with the plugged sound either - again, you simply won't have enough energy to drive the top properly.  If you install a magnetic pup (one of those kind that bridge the soundhole) you'll probably get an acceptable electric sound - but gosh, it will should like an electric guitar (duh).

            If you insist on strings that light you will be forced to use an unwound third - I don't know of any manufacturer that makes a wound one with that small a core (remember that the G string has a core wire smaller than the high E).   And remember too, that electric strings (nickel) are designed to drive the mag pickup, not give the best acoustic sound.

            So really, you don't want an acoustic after all.  You might be a lot happier with something like a T5 Taylor (altho it is longer scale) or some other hollow body electric.   If you truely do want acoustic sound you'll need to change your search criteria.


            • Professor Tom
              Professor Tom commented
              Editing a comment
              Hmmmmm, lots to think about from what you guys re telling me.
              Thank you.