I have had and repaired Gibson guitars for almost 50years and if anyone had asked me “What is the scale length?” I would have answered ‘ 24.75” ‘ . A quick search on the interweb will also come up with the same result.
After a resent thread I measured my ‘ 61 Gibson and was surprised to find it is 3/16th” less ,and the excellent StewMac website gives some dates and tell us that Gibson have not used 24.75 since the late 50s, then 24 9/16” till ‘69, 24 5/8” from ‘92 ( and back to 24 5/8 at the Montana factory)
So why does this matter?
There are a lot of guitars out there with Gibson on the headstock that ,unless you really know your guitars, are Far Eastern copies. After detailed research,( I have an old Chinese neck , so it was a very small sample size) I think most ( all? some?) Gibson copies/ counterfeits will have a 24 3/4” . So my idea is that you may be able to find a fake with a tape measure. The quality of copies is increasing and often you may have to remove pickups or truss rod cover , not something a shop might be willing to let you do. Could this be a quick way of authentication?
If you have a Gibson copy please check the distance from the nut to the 12th fret, I am expecting it to be 12 3/8th”.
I have a 90s Les Paul and a Copy coming in for repair next week , will this confirm my hypothesis ? Pete
This 2000 built Gibson is 12 9/32” to the 12th, so it matches the predicted 24 9/16” scale, the copy has been delayed, if you have a Les Paul copy a measurement would be good. I would be most interested in the scale of a Gibson fake ( of any style) I think I know of one around here but I don’t think the jams will get going very soon. Pete
Just had a Vantage Gibson copy in, sure enough it’s 24.75. Could all Chinese ‘fakes’ be detected with a tape measure?... Pete
The answer seems to be “not always “. This ‘Gibson’ is in fact a Gould ( made in the Far East, Korea??) and the scale is dead on 24 5/8” , not the 24 3/4” I was expecting. So back to the drawing board, there are other things that are not ‘Gibson ‘ but my ‘tape measure test’ doesn’t show this up as a fake! Pete