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Thread: 5 String Electric String Spacing?

  1. #1

    Default 5 String Electric String Spacing?

    I'm looking to make a 5-string electric mandolin (CGDAE), but I'm having trouble finding examples of appropriate nut spacing/neck dimensions for a five string instrument. I found one website advertising bridges at 0.4375" string spacing. Does this seem reasonable to any of y'all who build/play 5-string emandos?

    Many thanks.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    S.W. Wisconsin

    Default Re: 5 String Electric String Spacing?

    Build the neck to be comfortable for you, then space the strings on the nut for the neck you made. I never worry about spacing. Measure the distance from each end you want the strings to be and mark on the nut, use a caliper (some call it a compass or divider) and walk it from one spacing to the next changing the distance of the caliper until you get it to land on the second line. You will have perfect spacing.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 5 String Electric String Spacing?

    Just about every five string I build has a 1.25" nut and the .4375" bridge spacing was the compromise between standard guitar spacing and my acoustic mandolin bridge. I've never had anyone complain about the string spacing on the bridge. I set the outside of the string slot 1/8" from the edge. I typically use a StewMac string spacing rule to set up my nut however from time to time I also space them evenly off the centers. If using the ruler, the middle string will look a little off center from the fretboard dots. It will generally work itself out by the time it gets to the pickup. The most critical dimension is the width of the neck at the 12th fret. You don't want the strings to be wider than the neck. It happens more often then you think. You need to draw out the entire scale with spacing at the nut and bridge to make sure you are correct.

  4. #4

    Default Re: 5 String Electric String Spacing?

    Thanks. That's just about what my gut was telling me. But my gut also tells me to go back for a fifth piece of cake, so maybe its just luck?

  5. #5

    Default Re: 5 String Electric String Spacing?

    Look for Fret2find I think it is. An online fretboard design page. You can lay it all out and the print it off as a PDF. It’s accurate enough to cut fret positions if your printer is set up right.

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