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Thread: String spacing

  1. #1

    Default String spacing

    Thanks for answering my questions guys. This one is about string spacing on the new Broadway. I have made the nut 30mm - a bit wider than the old standard. Is 2mm clearance to the fingerboard about right (I make guitars 3,5mm)? Then should I divide the balance up evenly with say 2mm between course strings?
    I need this info so that I can design and make the tailpiece (will be similar the this tailpiece on the original Broadway).

    mandolin - broadway a by murray kuun, on Flickr

  2. #2
    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
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    Default Re: String spacing

    This might help, it seems to work quite well.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #3

    Default Re: String spacing

    This may also be helpful - works for mandolins as well as guitars: https://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tool...cing_Rule.html

    From StewMac: "The problem is: if you space the strings equally, they don't feel equally spaced. The thicker bass strings seem crowded together. Each gap between strings has to be slightly different to feel right to the player. How do you calculate this? The String Spacing Rule takes care of it, for guitars, basses, mandolins, and banjos"

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    DougC 

  6. #4
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Oct 2003
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    Banska Bystrica, Slovakia, Europe
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    2,539

    Default Re: String spacing

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Bollman View Post
    This may also be helpful - works for mandolins as well as guitars: https://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tool...cing_Rule.html

    From StewMac: "The problem is: if you space the strings equally, they don't feel equally spaced. The thicker bass strings seem crowded together. Each gap between strings has to be slightly different to feel right to the player. How do you calculate this? The String Spacing Rule takes care of it, for guitars, basses, mandolins, and banjos"
    There are defferent preferences among players so you need to know what is standard and what deviations are also used and preferred by some players.
    I used to test drive any mandolin within mile whenever I visited festivals with my band and learnd what feels right and what doesn't. I never measured string spacing on new builds or replacements of screwed nuts (either DIY or cheap junk) I just mark outside strings and put them in tiny nicks with triangulr file and then eyeball the rest of strings under moderate tension on ungrooved nut. I mark each string on both sides and file a tiny notch in center between the mrks for each string. I check once gain how that looks and feels and then proceed with filing the notches to their final depth. When I replace well-cut nut that is damaged I usually copy the spacing from the old nut unless owner asks for something different.
    Adrian

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