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Old 08-30-2010, 02:20 PM
darylcrisp darylcrisp is online now
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Question Wide nut width(1.8/1.75) and a 2 1/8" saddle spacing-why?

I've noticed in the classifieds over the past couple years a few really nice guitars built with those specs( wide nut width ranging from 1.8 to 1.75") and a saddle string spacing at 2 1/8". Most "modern" made guitars I see that come with a 1.75" nut or above, usually come with at least 2 3/16" saddle string spacing(Taylor/Santa Cruz/others) and just as or more often 2 1/4"(or 2 5/16" for some Martins).

Seagull i think builds all of theirs along the lines of 1.8 for the nut and 2 1/8" for the saddle. I've also saw a couple high end Froggy Bottoms with these specs.

Is there a benefit in keeping that saddle string spacing more narrow?

thanks
daryl

Last edited by darylcrisp; 08-30-2010 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:37 PM
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I've often wondered that same thing, daryl. Do we assume that a wider nut width invites players who also seek/desire wider string spacing at the saddle??? I can tell you that many customers looking at vintage parlor guitars are looking for WIDE string spacing at the saddle.
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:41 PM
Tone Gopher Tone Gopher is offline
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Perhaps, just maybe, someone preferred that spacing in favor of strumming. It doesn't work for me. In fact, that was what put me off the idea of one of those Froggy's in the Classifieds. Bummer.

I've worked with 2 1/4" spacing (mixed styles) for the last couple decades but my next guitar will be spaced wider yet - devoted to fingerstyle playing.
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:43 PM
Brent Hutto Brent Hutto is offline
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It's horribly simplistic sounding but the market that comes to mind for fairly wide up at 1st position but quite narrow at the saddle would be beginners or occasional players who have trouble fingering cowboy chords cleanly and they're going to be straight down-down-down-down strumming those chords.

The narrow spacing at the picking end will make a nice, tight strum even if you drag your hand a little too slowly and it will avoid any tendency to push the pick down between the strings which doesn't work well with a super-thin pick. The wide spacing at the fretting end makes a three-finger A shape or the dreaded B7 shape a little easier to get without muting the open strings.

But there could well be other kinds of players who prefer that combination.
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Old 08-30-2010, 03:23 PM
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Seagulls have a wide nut, but the string spacing is actually the same as most 1 3/4" nuts. Sometimes I think the big companies have a dartboard with numbers on it. They throw darts blindfolded and use whatever measurements they hit.

I had one client with HUGE hands, but he's a bluegrass flatpicker. I built his guitar with a 1 7/8" nut (along with wide spacing) and 2 1/8" spacing at the saddle. He wanted the space at the nut for his big hands and fingers, but wanted tight spacing at the saddle for speedy flatpicking. He's a huckuva player.
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Old 08-30-2010, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woody b View Post
Seagulls have a wide nut, but the string spacing is actually the same as most 1 3/4" nuts. Sometimes I think the big companies have a dartboard with numbers on it. They throw darts blindfolded and use whatever measurements they hit.
Hi woody…
I think it's a bit more simple than that with Seagull.

Godin (the parent company) is in French Speaking Quebec (Canada) and their default measurement is metric, and on the French side of their site the widths are expressed in mm instead of inches.

When you plug them into a converter, it converts them to inches with too many decimal points to list, so they are listed with a bit less precision and in hundredths of inches instead of 1/16ths or 1/32nds of inches. Most of us who work with imperial measure express measurements in 16ths or 32nds of inches not hundredths of inches...which is how our rulers are laid out. So it's really a metric/imperial expression issue...

You are correct, with Seagull's 1.8'' nut, strings are spaced like an average 1 3/4'' fingerboard.

Saddle width…
Flatpickers prefer narrower saddles than fingerstylers. We who fingerstyle like the extra string width around the soundhole to work with whereas flatpickers like having the adjacent strings close for speedy flat picking.


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Old 08-30-2010, 10:09 PM
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No one has mentioned it yet, but some people who pick with bare fingers like the wider saddle spacing so they can get their fingers in between the strings for picking.
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poorbs View Post
No one has mentioned it yet, but some people who pick with bare fingers like the wider saddle spacing so they can get their fingers in between the strings for picking.
+10 !!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-31-2010, 06:24 AM
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Years ago, string spacing at the saddle was established very conservatively. In other words, factory makers such as Harmony, Kay and Regal could have made string spacing wider but didn't.

Fast forward to today...when I install a new bridge on an old parlor, I can often increase the string spacing at the saddle another 1/8" and sometimes more without worrying about the outside strings falling off the fretboard. This makes fingerstyle players very happy.
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:38 AM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darylcrisp View Post
I've noticed in the classifieds over the past couple years a few really nice guitars built with those specs( wide nut width ranging from 1.8 to 1.75") and a saddle string spacing at 2 1/8". Most "modern" made guitars I see that come with a 1.75" nut or above, usually come with at least 2 3/16" saddle string spacing(Taylor/Santa Cruz/others) and just as or more often 2 1/4"(or 2 5/16" for some Martins).

Seagull i think builds all of theirs along the lines of 1.8 for the nut and 2 1/8" for the saddle. I've also saw a couple high end Froggy Bottoms with these specs.

Is there a benefit in keeping that saddle string spacing more narrow?

thanks
daryl
Fat fingertips and small hands.

HE
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:42 AM
JasonA JasonA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Emerson View Post
Fat fingertips and small hands.

HE
Hey, I resemble that remark! Still, it's harder to get those fat fingertips in between the strings at 2-1/8". I can't stand anything smaller than 2-3/16, and 2-1/4 is much better.
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