#1
i bought a strat style guitar for €10 which is about 13 doller took out the tremolo & sanded the cavity it sounds great and has like 10 seconds sustain which makes it kinda annoying to hear people say les pauls are better because they hace more sustain so is it just my strat or does anyone else have one with alot of sustain
#2
Probably because you have your gain all the way up. And your LP isn't set up properly.
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#3
I have also heard people say that commas and periods are essential for grammar, but what do they know.
On topic, what ^he said!
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#4
Sustain isn't determined by brand, but more about how the guitar is shaped and what it is made of. Sustain is measured by the guitars ability to retain string vibration energy and how fast that energy dissipates. Les paul invented "the log" which was basically a 2x4 with strings that was known for amazing sustain. It was so amazing because the big heavy base of wood was very solid. Instead of the energy just dissipating into the body of the guitar and neck (which it does to some extent), the vibrations continue to occur in the strings. The string's ability to continue to ring is also decided by many other factors like the materials of the bridge and the magnetic pull of the pickups on the strings to name a few.

Les Paul's are historically known for sustain because they are big heavy guitars, but all guitars are different. Factors like dead spots in the wood or natural frequency can greatly influence the guitar. There are plenty of Lp's with crap sustain.
#5
Sustain on electric guitars is primarily determined by your amplification, effects chain and how loud you're playing
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#6
Quote by steven seagull
Sustain on electric guitars is primarily determined by your amplification, effects chain and how loud you're playing


Maybe it is on yours. But there are two kinds of sustain -- native guitar sustain and augmented sustain. You're speaking of the latter. That's not sustain on the guitar; it's the sustain of the amplification system.

Sustain as defined by most players has to do with the natural sustain of the guitar, no matter what amplification, effects chain and loudness you're using.
#7
Quote by ceinoman
i bought a strat style guitar for €10 which is about 13 doller took out the tremolo & sanded the cavity it sounds great and has like 10 seconds sustain which makes it kinda annoying to hear people say les pauls are better because they hace more sustain so is it just my strat or does anyone else have one with alot of sustain


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#8
Dunno about you but I'm nowhere near bothered enough about how much an unplugged electric guitar sustains to actuallly time it - because I'm not going to be playing it that way. As long as it's not choking out or decaying noticeably quickly it's fine.

In normal use my electric guitars are plugged in so I'm only really arsed about how they perform in that situation, and even with knackered strings that are months old you can usually get a guitar to sustain practically indefinitely provided everything else is set up correctly.
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#9
Quote by steven seagull

In normal use my electric guitars are plugged in so I'm only really arsed about how they perform in that situation, and even with knackered strings that are months old you can usually get a guitar to sustain practically indefinitely provided everything else is set up correctly.


Yes, we know. Toss a compressor into the mix and you're set for days.

But the thing is, not everyone uses a lot of gain, and so some players are arsed about native guitar sustain (or the lack of it). We're still talking about "plugged in," but there's a definite difference in sound between a guitar that sustains naturally, even on cleans, and one that requires compression/gain to do so.

There's a third kind of sustain, by the way, and that's the sustain provided by something like a Fernandes (or Sustainiac) Sustainer. With one of these, the "everything else" isn't required, and you can sustain a clean note indefinitely (until the battery runs out, at least). Another reason for using one of these is that you can create that sound where the note transitions to a harmonic (usually an octave above the note sustained) that you normally get by cranking an amp and standing in the sweet spot on stage. Thing is, you can get that to happen at virtually any volume level (or with the guitar alone, not plugged into an amp at all) with a Sustainer. Saves your ears when recording. And you can do it clean OR dirty. You can also set the Sustainer to give you about half and half original note and harmonic, and by switching between the three (original note, original note plus harmonic, harmonic only), you can affect the transition between them.

There's also the eBow, which really isn't a sustain device, but which mimics one by sort of continuously activating the string the way a violin bow does.
#10
I timed my SG Standard just because of this thread and it is around 11 seconds without an amp. It probably lasts longer I just stopped timing it when I could no longer feel the vibration or hear an audible tone which was always between 10-12 seconds regardless of how hard I picked.
#11
set neck guitars don't sustain longer than bolt on necks.

it was all bullshit.

that's my .02.

it's because maple is hard.
#13
A bolt on neck, if attached firmly in the neck pocket with as much surface area as possible touching between the neck and body, would have almost the exact same sustain as an exact copy of that guitar in a set neck.

The set neck should have slightly longer sustain though, maybe just an unnoticeable millisecond, almost immeasurable, but it is there.
#14
Quote by Starcounter1
The set neck should have slightly longer sustain though.

i disagree. or agree i guess. because if the difference is there, it's inaudible to me.

i think a lot of people (not you starcounter, i'm not trying to single you out here, just speaking generally) believe what the first guitar sales person ever told them.

"set neck guitars sustain longer because of set neck science. they are harder to build and therefor, cost more"

i mean, that's going to sell more guitars than...

"set neck guitars cost more because they cost more to build, but don't really do anything better than this bolt on tele that cost half the price".



call me crazy. my experience does not support the "bolt on necks don't sustain like les pauls" argument.

#15
I agree. I've never come across a model where the only difference is set neck or bolt on neck, and I've never been able to play two models next to each other that were substantially similar except for that one difference.

Strats sound great and they've all got bolt necks; Les Pauls sound great and they've all got set necks. If there's any difference in sound, I bet it's just that: different, not better. I don't think any reasonable person would say that Les Pauls are "better" because they sustain differently like the first post suggests.
#16
I don't think anyone should ever buy a set neck thinking it has better sustain either. I actually prefer bolt ons. I don't like neck repairs or the fear of a break. I can live with a new bolt on neck. I do own a couple set necks though.
#17
I think as far as style goes a set neck looks better than a bolt on. Bolt on seems to just be practical because it doesn't take a very experienced person to assemble it correctly while it does take someone who knows what they are doing to get a set or neck through design to look good and work as intended. I can't tell a difference in the sound of the two.
#18
Then there is the whole glue argument. Set necks are glued in, some say the glue deadens any sustain advantage a set neck might have over a bolt on. Bolt on necks are wood to wood, no glue in between the join.

Personally, I have bolt on, set and through neck guitars. I don't really see a huge difference in any of them sustain wise. Then again, they are all completely different guitars. I think it's really nothing anyone would notice.
#19
Good point, and in a similar vein let's not forget about the neck pocket geometry. A bolt-on neck is often no more than two strong contact surfaces (the butt and the back) and two kinda-sorta snug contacts on the sides. The neck joint on a Les Paul, on the other hand, has all four available surfaces directly connected by the glue, and a pocket that extends farther into the body, so there's quite a bit more surface area.

The fact that many high-end strat builders take a lot of care to fit the neck to the pocket as tightly as possible ought to tell us something. It might be the case that it's the geometry and not the glue that contributes to the (alleged) sustain of a set-neck.
#20
conversely a bolt on has 4 large screws holding constant pressure of one against the other.

it can be argued that a glued in set neck does not have that much pressure holding it in place. rather it's glued with less pressure and left to dry.

i'm not saying it's not a tight fit, it should be very tight before glue is introduced. enough so to support the body when held by the neck.

but.

i'd argue that some tight pocket strats with 4 screws could be just as tight if not tighter than a glued in LP type set neck.

i'm speaking in terms of constant pressure there.


#21
Does the pressure make a difference though? You've already got a couple hundred Kg of tension on the neck from the strings, and I don't know what mechanism would cause pressure to increase vibration conduction. The density increase would be negligible; you're not exactly compressing the wood much.

I agree with the conclusion, though: glue probably inhibits vibration to some extent, so if you can get equal contact between a bolt and a set, the bolt would probably transfer vibrations better. Of course, this sort of sets us up for the next question: doesn't that insinuate that a neck-thru or a one-piece guitar would transfer vibrations most readily? What better way to reduce loss than to simply have no joint at all?
#22
Quote by Roc8995
Good point, and in a similar vein let's not forget about the neck pocket geometry. A bolt-on neck is often no more than two strong contact surfaces (the butt and the back) and two kinda-sorta snug contacts on the sides. The neck joint on a Les Paul, on the other hand, has all four available surfaces directly connected by the glue, and a pocket that extends farther into the body, so there's quite a bit more surface area.

The fact that many high-end strat builders take a lot of care to fit the neck to the pocket as tightly as possible ought to tell us something. It might be the case that it's the geometry and not the glue that contributes to the (alleged) sustain of a set-neck.



Neck pocket geometry is why all the Ibanez guys want the older model ibanez's because they had a square neck heel. Around 2000 ibanez went to a rounded heel for better fret access and comfort. As a result, less of the guitar body comes into contact with the neck on a rounded heel. Many players think this smaller surface contact has resulted in less sustain though it has never been proven.

As with most things guitar, everyone thinks tiny things make huge differences in tone and noise quality. 99% of the time it is total BS and they couldn't tell a difference in a blind test if their life depended on it.
#23
So true. I love talking about this stuff but I can't tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi and I think people who can either just think they can and never tested it, or they're a witch.
#24
Quote by Roc8995
So true. I love talking about this stuff but I can't tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi and I think people who can either just think they can and never tested it, or they're a witch.

coke is sweeter.

it's actually easier in a blind test when you have both. if someone handed me one i don't think i'd guess with as high of accuracy as if someone had me try both.
#25
I had a glass of each at the same time last week and if I closed my eyes I had no idea which one was which.

I would not be a good chef.
#26
Coke may or may not be sweeter, but it is definitely spicier. Pepsi doesn't have the same kind of contrast.
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#27
So I pour coke in the neck pocket of my strat now? Or mix it in with the hide glue when I re-set my Les Paul neck? What kind of binding sounds best, now? I'm confused. TGP send help pls
#29
I don't see how glue would deaden the wood. It would be harder and there would be so little of it that it shouldn't have an impact on the wood itself. It shouldn't deaden it anymore than a finish would.
#30
Finish can deaden resonance, though. Ever tried a guitar before and after painting it, or had an idiot friend who spray-painted their acoustic? John Lennon famously stripped all the finish off his Casino because it "breathed" better without it.

Glue might also mess with the tone in other ways beyond just inhibiting vibration. For example, a brass nut might actually resonate more than a bone one, but a lot of people find the way that it sounds to be grating and unpleasant. Sustain isn't the only consideration to take into account.
#31
Quote by Roc8995
So I pour coke in the neck pocket of my strat now? Or mix it in with the hide glue when I re-set my Les Paul neck? What kind of binding sounds best, now? I'm confused. TGP send help pls


since we all want to know the secret to sustain...

#32
Quote by ceinoman
i bought a strat style guitar for €10 which is about 13 doller took out the tremolo & sanded the cavity it sounds great and has like 10 seconds sustain which makes it kinda annoying to hear people say les pauls are better because they hace more sustain so is it just my strat or does anyone else have one with alot of sustain


Like a lot of these guys have said, it comes down to small details.
1. hardness of body and neck material will affect how much vibration is transferred to body.
2. how tight the neck joint is
3. bridge, nut material, and quality of tuners
4. scale length vs string gauge - same gauge on longer scale will have more sustain than shorter scale b/c of string tension. lower than standard tuning on lighter strings will lessen sustain obviously and the opposite will be true for more sustain.
5. frets: proper level, crown, polish will give you a tad more sustain unless you place your fingers in a weird place.

IMO i don't think there are many other major things that affect sustain. after mechanical thingies, the amp, pedal chain, pickups, and any knobs on the guitar will affect it greatly depending on settings. That's all i can figure. Some LPs have shite sustain, and some go on forever. it's all about the construction. Hope that helps.
#33
Many Neck thru and Set neck guitars have better sustain than many bolt on necks because more often than not, they are more expensive instruments in general. A good bolt on neck is just as a set neck, and there are many other factors that affect sustain.
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#34
Quote by Roc8995
So I pour coke in the neck pocket of my strat now? Or mix it in with the hide glue when I re-set my Les Paul neck? What kind of binding sounds best, now? I'm confused. TGP send help pls


Other poster was wrong. It's Mello Yellow, everywhere.
#35
first of all, RC Cola >> coke or pepsi. Coke is too harsh, Pepsi tastes too much like aspartame. Having said that, there's no defined formula for good sustain. It's a mix of things, and the physics behind it are so complicated that the slightest of factors can affect sustain in minute ways--for example, neck A is bolted to a guitar and has certain characteristics, such as low end sustain, harmonic resonance, etc. Neck B fits ever-so-slightly more snugly and suddenly the high end rings out forever, different frequencies are heard more clearly, certain notes just seem to sing. That kind of stuff. No two guitars are going to sound alike. It even can come down to a player's fingers. Sustain is something highly personalized and unique to each individual instrument.
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#36
Quote by Roc8995
Finish can deaden resonance, though. Ever tried a guitar before and after painting it, or had an idiot friend who spray-painted their acoustic? John Lennon famously stripped all the finish off his Casino because it "breathed" better without it.

Glue might also mess with the tone in other ways beyond just inhibiting vibration. For example, a brass nut might actually resonate more than a bone one, but a lot of people find the way that it sounds to be grating and unpleasant. Sustain isn't the only consideration to take into account.


You don't want to confuse sustain and resonance.

Resonance is what an acoustic guitar does. String energy is transferred into the guitar where it's used to move air. The more string energy that leaves the string, the less sustain you have and the more attack and decay you'll hear. No guitar feeds energy back into the string -- that would violate several laws of physics and give us a pretty good basis for a perpetual energy machine.

Sustain results from energy *retained* by the string. Attack and decay is much reduced. String energy is NOT used to move air.

Some guitar construction details simply absorb or lose string energy.

Frets with too-wide fret slots will sometimes transmit string vibration through the fret and cause the fret tang to vibrate inside the tang cavity. We usually hear these as dead frets. Frets that have been glued when installed have that tang cavity filled and the tang is unable to vibrate, and those are more "live" when tapped. StewMac has a newsletter that explains supergluing your frets if your frets were never glued in the first place. Some Parker guitars don't have slots at all, but the frets are glued directly onto the fretboard material.

Various nut materials may absorb certain frequencies; brass nuts were chosen to retain those frequencies in the strings. A nut that absorbs some frequencies (let's say that bone sucks up some treble frequencies for the sake of argument) will reduce overall sustain and will change the sound of the guitar.

The same goes for other materials used in the guitar; a heavy brass bridge and tailpiece will reduce transfer of string energy out of the string, and will usually not absorb string energy itself.

And then there's the construction of the guitar. A small-bodied very dense guitar will (generally) sustain better than a lighter-weight larger-bodied guitar with a bunch of points and wings. There are, apparently, a couple of university studies on this, though I'm not sure whether they're scientific enough to provide us with any real information.

And then there's the whole business of pickups and their flux densities.

One of the best sustaining guitars on the planet is the Yamaha SG2000 of the early '80's. It's an LP-size neckthrough guitar with a very dense body. Bridge and tailpiece are heavy, and the bridge is screwed into a solid brass sustain block (about 10.5 ounces worth) that is further screwed into the body inside a rout in the body itself. Another of the all-time best sustaining guitars is the Travis Bean guitar, which has a solid aluminum neckthrough piece that mounts everything from the tuners to the tailpiece.