#1
I have to do a science fair project and I thought this would be a good idea. I'm going to get 3 guitars, all with different shapes. A Les Paul, a Randy Rhoads V, and a Jackson Dinky, and I going to see which one has the most sustain. Obviously I know that body shape isn't the only factor that affects sustain but my Biology teacher wont know that.

I just wanted to get your guys' thoughts on it, and whether or not its a good idea, and if body shape does affect sustain.
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#2
Body shape affects sustain a damn fine amount. A fat Les Paul will outsustain a skinny little Strat or SG any day.
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#3
I think the type of wood and the construction of the axe is the main thing that determines sustain. It's an interesting idea though there may be certain shapes that are better than others.
#6
you'd have to test 3 guitars with the same bridge and pickups, but 3 different shapes in order to legitimately determine that.

Cause you can put good pickups on a squier and process it right and it will sound like a gibson. All in the know-how
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#7
You're going to need to have 3 guitars with identical specs and wood, with teh only difference being the body shape, in order for that to be a fair test.
#8
Quote by NickGiovanni
you'd have to test 3 guitars with the same bridge and pickups, but 3 different shapes in order to legitimately determine that.

Cause you can put good pickups on a squier and process it right and it will sound like a gibson. All in the know-how

Of course it will.
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#9
Construction quality,wood quality/species,and the bodies dimensions all contribute to an instruments inherent sustain and tonal properties.Even if two guitars have a similar shape and use the same type of woods they wont sound the same if one is thicker than the other or uses a heavier or higher quality piece of wood in the construction.

Example:

A Gibby LP and a Carvin single cut model have very similar shapes,but they don't sound the same even though they're both high quality because the LP has a thicker body and in general more wood used in its construction.There are also a myriad of other reasons why they have different sustain and tonal properties but I don't know enough about Gibby construction to go into details about it.

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#11
If the guitar is not set up right it dampens the sustain alot. There are many factors that determine the amount of sustain. Another is bolt on compared to neck through, again different types of sustain.

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#12
Well like I said in the OP, my Biology teacher isn't going to know all these things. Its just going to be a simple science project. Thanks for the input everybody.
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#13
The bridge, the bridge, the bridge. I am convinced that bolt-on necks don't sustain as much either.... but seriously, is this even an issue? Are you folks running short on sustain?
#14
Why don't you do something that's easier to not only prove and discuss, but to explain to a class of people who know nothing about guitars? Do the sustain properties of different qualities of neck joint types.
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#15
Quote by rooster456
Why don't you do something that's easier to not only prove and discuss, but to explain to a class of people who know nothing about guitars? Do the sustain properties of different qualities of neck joint types.

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#16
I'm very serious. There's a lot of debate about the pros and cons of a proper joint between bolts, or glue, and which one transfers vibrations better.

Waves through a medium is easier to wrap your head around that waves as they travel, reflect, and reverberate through a 3 dimensional shape.
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#17
Quote by rooster456
I'm very serious. There's a lot of debate about the pros and cons of a proper joint between bolts, or glue, and which one transfers vibrations better.

Waves through a medium is easier to wrap your head around that waves as they travel, reflect, and reverberate through a 3 dimensional shape.


I'm just curious as to why you think explaining something like that to a class of people who know nothing about guitars is easier than just talking about the shape of a guitar.
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Now that is an epic win right there!!!!


I made an epic win
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#18
Quote by Livewire8195
I have to do a science fair project and I thought this would be a good idea. I'm going to get 3 guitars, all with different shapes. A Les Paul, a Randy Rhoads V, and a Jackson Dinky, and I going to see which one has the most sustain. Obviously I know that body shape isn't the only factor that affects sustain but my Biology teacher wont know that.

I just wanted to get your guys' thoughts on it, and whether or not its a good idea, and if body shape does affect sustain.



take one guitar. keep all other things equal.

add mass to it's headstock. the more mass you attach at the headstock, the more sustain you will note.
Jenneh

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#19
Quote by jj1565
take one guitar. keep all other things equal.

add mass to it's headstock. the more mass you attach at the headstock, the more sustain you will note.


I want to compare the guitars to each other. Not just try to get the most sustain possible.
Quote by U-neek
Now that is an epic win right there!!!!


I made an epic win
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PSN: Livewire410
#20
Quote by Livewire8195
I want to compare the guitars to each other. Not just try to get the most sustain possible.

Well, there is no real practical way to do that. There are so many variables that will affect the sustain, the only way to properly compare the differences would be to build 3 (or more) guitars from the same pieces of wood, with exactly the same hardware, neck joint, pickups etc., with the only difference being the shape. Something like that is just too impractical for a science fair project.
#21
I could give you a great idea, but an old friend of mine got permabanned from here for posting it
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#22
Quote by Livewire8195
I want to compare the guitars to each other. Not just try to get the most sustain possible.



i knew what you were saying, but as a science major, i was trying to tell you that your experiment is not proving anything.

i'm telling you because you asked... the way to do this experiment (how the guitar's body alters sustain) would be to take the same guitar. and test it 3 times, altering its sustain, by altering its mass.

that's a simple way to prove that body mass effects sustain.

using 3 different guitars doesn't prove your theory because there are so many different variables. there's no way of knowing which ones effect the sustain most.
the body shapes arent the only differences here.

how would you know, is it the trem block, the string thru body, the fret sizes, the pup heights.....

unless you change your project to, many things effect sustain.

and somehow mod a guitar, testing its sustain after each factor is altered.
Jenneh

Quote by TNfootballfan62
Jenny needs to sow her wild oats with random Gibsons and Taylors she picks up in bars before she settles down with a PRS.


Set up Questions? ...Q & A Thread

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#23
dude, your science teacher is totally going to know...theres so many obvious variables affecting it that you should be genuinely concerned for the quality of your education if he/she doesnt realize
#24
Quote by Livewire8195
I'm just curious as to why you think explaining something like that to a class of people who know nothing about guitars is easier than just talking about the shape of a guitar.



Quote by rooster456

Waves through a medium is easier to wrap your head around that waves as they travel, reflect, and reverberate through a 3 dimensional shape.


Reading comprehension is a wonderful thing.
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#25
Quote by mishax92
You're going to need to have 3 guitars with identical specs and wood, with teh only difference being the body shape, in order for that to be a fair test.

THIS
#26
Quote by ePOWsa
THIS


Almost. There's too many variables for a "fair" test, though, if you wanted to get technical.