Re: Don't Understand "scale length"
There is no extra length. The scale length is a function of lenght, string gauge and tension. If a mandola comes in two scale lengths 16 or 17 inches and it is tuned the same (CGDA) there will be greater string tension on the 17 inch one than the 16 inch one (I hope I have that right and not backwards- I'm a microbiologist!). You'll sometimes hear about people saying shorter scale length octave mandolins sounding rubbery on the G courses (like a losse rubber band). This is a string tension function. You can get around that by using different string gauges. That's why the standard mandolin scale makes it easier to compare instrument to instrument more than when comparing mandolas, OMs, Zouks, or mandocellos.
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