#1
Hey everyone!
I would like to ask you for your help regarding this issue. I have a 6-string ESP LTP EC401B baritone, mahogany body, set maple neck, active EMGs. It´s a cool axe, except one issue with the lowest (thickest) string. The stock tuning of that guitar is B standard, I have it tuned to drop A. And the detuned string is dead, I mean: it looses sustain much faster than any other of the remaining 5 strings. It´s not a problem for palm muted chugging, but sounds horrible for sustained 2-note powerchords: the root note on the thicker string dies out much faster than the 5th on the thinner one. I have tried different string gauges, from 56 all the way to 68 - and the thinner the gauge, the bigger the problem. Also I have made sure the nut is cut enough for thick gauge strings. But it´s not a nut problem either, because this sustain loss also happens when I play the low string against the frets.... So what else could it be? I have run out of suspects....
Thank you all in advance for your help, I very much appreciate it!
B.C. Rich, Cort, Engl, Engl, Engl, Epiphone, Epiphone, Fender, Fender, Gallien-Krueger, Gallien-Krueger, Ibanez, Ibanez, Ibanez, KRK, KRK, KRK, Laney, Line6, Michael Kelly, Schecter, VHT, Yamaha....
Last edited by Airfish at Nov 26, 2014,
#3
Quote by AndyGray
Does the poor sustain happen all the way up the neck?


yes sir.... all the way up, on each fret, not just on nut/open strings.... what does that tell you?
B.C. Rich, Cort, Engl, Engl, Engl, Epiphone, Epiphone, Fender, Fender, Gallien-Krueger, Gallien-Krueger, Ibanez, Ibanez, Ibanez, KRK, KRK, KRK, Laney, Line6, Michael Kelly, Schecter, VHT, Yamaha....
#4
Replace the strings.

If a lot of fret buzz is present, that will also kill sustain.
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#5
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Replace the strings.

If a lot of fret buzz is present, that will also kill sustain.


You mean replace for new ones? Because the ones I have on are almost new.... Or for different ones? In what way different?

And as for fret buzz, there isn´t any, I have the action set relatively high, to avoid it....
B.C. Rich, Cort, Engl, Engl, Engl, Epiphone, Epiphone, Fender, Fender, Gallien-Krueger, Gallien-Krueger, Ibanez, Ibanez, Ibanez, KRK, KRK, KRK, Laney, Line6, Michael Kelly, Schecter, VHT, Yamaha....
#6
What amp are you running this through?

Most guitar amps' speakers can't reproduce much of anything below 110Hz (and this would be a 100W amp pushing a 4x12). The low E string on a standard guitar is 82Hz. A drop A would be 55Hz.

You have your 27" scale guitar tuned to the same spot as the second-from-the-bottom A on a 4-string bass guitar (most of which run a 34" scale, bass pickups and an amp and speaker combination designed to reproduce low end).
#7
Quote by dspellman
What amp are you running this through?

Most guitar amps' speakers can't reproduce much of anything below 110Hz (and this would be a 100W amp pushing a 4x12). The low E string on a standard guitar is 82Hz. A drop A would be 55Hz.

You have your 27" scale guitar tuned to the same spot as the second-from-the-bottom A on a 4-string bass guitar (most of which run a 34" scale, bass pickups and an amp and speaker combination designed to reproduce low end).



I´m afraid this is not the reason either. I have two custom-made 2x12 cabs, identical, for my stereo rig (Engl stereo preamp, Marshall stereo power amp) - and the combination of speakers in those cabs is: one Celestion G12-K100 guitar speaker and one Celestion BL12-200X bass speaker - so there is definitely no lack of bottom end in terms of frequency response.... And the problem is not the low A string being silent, for a short note, or a short staccatto riff it is equally loud as all the other strings. It just looses sustain much sooner than the other five strings....
B.C. Rich, Cort, Engl, Engl, Engl, Epiphone, Epiphone, Fender, Fender, Gallien-Krueger, Gallien-Krueger, Ibanez, Ibanez, Ibanez, KRK, KRK, KRK, Laney, Line6, Michael Kelly, Schecter, VHT, Yamaha....
#8
Quote by Airfish
I´m afraid this is not the reason either. I have two custom-made 2x12 cabs, identical, for my stereo rig (Engl stereo preamp, Marshall stereo power amp) - and the combination of speakers in those cabs is: one Celestion G12-K100 guitar speaker and one Celestion BL12-200X bass speaker - so there is definitely no lack of bottom end in terms of frequency response.... And the problem is not the low A string being silent, for a short note, or a short staccatto riff it is equally loud as all the other strings. It just looses sustain much sooner than the other five strings....


Honestly, your rig is probably seriously underpowered. I had a pair of 2x12s with Eminence Pro A's, with the cabinets ported and tuned to 52Hz. I was running it with a Carvin 50W/50W tube power amp, and I experienced something like what you are. I replaced the power amp with a 1500W (bridged, mono at 4 ohms total) solid state puppy and those issues went away. I'm betting you're trying to drive those bass speakers with 20W or less, each. As you increase volume, the bass goes away except for the occasional peak punch, right?

My current rig includes a pair of fEARful 15/6/1s or a pair of fEARless F115s, both of which are full-range systems capable of handling a 5-string bass with no farting out at the low end. Power is about 800W@ 8 ohms, bridged, mono, into a single speaker cabinet, or 1400W bridged mono@ 4 ohms (two cabinets). The fEARful 15/6/1 can be built as a DIY project using drivers you should be able to access where you are.

If the issue is really native guitar sustain, you're probably losing string energy to the guitar construction. There are a number of ways that the problem can be mitigated.

I have a couple of guitars that have heavier bridges (Schaller harmonica types or the Yamaha SG2000 bridge. On a couple of those guitars, the bridge is actually mounted to a 10.5 ounce solid brass sustain block bolted into a rout in the guitar. The Yamaha version is a neck-through guitar with extremely heavy body sides.

I have my frets superglued. You can actually lose string energy to "dead" frets if the fret is transmitting sound energy into a tang cavity. I've had a tech fill those fret tang cavities with thin superglue (http://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Online_Resources/Neck_Building_and_Repair_and_Setup/Super_glue_your_frets_for_better_tone.html ).

And finally, I use a Variax JTV-89F instead of a baritone. I've got an oversized sustain block on the Floyd (fu-tone.com has them). The body on the 89F is mahogany, and a fairly good sized chunk of it, so sustain is pretty fair across the board. But it's tuned to E Standard. No issues with sustain with a standard set of 10s. The Variax guitars will downtune using pitch replacement technology, so all you ned to do is turn a dial. You can tune Baritone using the factory presets, and if you need to drop the A, you simply change the preset to do so. The string energy remains the same, so there's no physical loss of sustain due to the downtuning. The pitch replacement technology sends the amp a low A at 55Hz instead of an E at 82Hz, that's all. This eliminates guitar issues pretty much altogether.
#9
I run into this issue on my seven strings when my truss rod needs to be adjusted. That low string just can't move freely and all sustain is killed off. You said you kept increasing the string gauge, but have you given the guitar a decent setup?
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#10
Quote by lemurflames
I run into this issue on my seven strings when my truss rod needs to be adjusted. That low string just can't move freely and all sustain is killed off. You said you kept increasing the string gauge, but have you given the guitar a decent setup?



Yes, the guitar has been set up very profesionally (i.e. not by me ) after each string gauge change - truss rod, nut, bridge.... everything....
B.C. Rich, Cort, Engl, Engl, Engl, Epiphone, Epiphone, Fender, Fender, Gallien-Krueger, Gallien-Krueger, Ibanez, Ibanez, Ibanez, KRK, KRK, KRK, Laney, Line6, Michael Kelly, Schecter, VHT, Yamaha....
Last edited by Airfish at Nov 26, 2014,
#11
Quote by dspellman
Honestly, your rig is probably seriously underpowered. I had a pair of 2x12s with Eminence Pro A's, with the cabinets ported and tuned to 52Hz. I was running it with a Carvin 50W/50W tube power amp, and I experienced something like what you are. I replaced the power amp with a 1500W (bridged, mono at 4 ohms total) solid state puppy and those issues went away. I'm betting you're trying to drive those bass speakers with 20W or less, each. As you increase volume, the bass goes away except for the occasional peak punch, right?

My current rig includes a pair of fEARful 15/6/1s or a pair of fEARless F115s, both of which are full-range systems capable of handling a 5-string bass with no farting out at the low end. Power is about 800W@ 8 ohms, bridged, mono, into a single speaker cabinet, or 1400W bridged mono@ 4 ohms (two cabinets). The fEARful 15/6/1 can be built as a DIY project using drivers you should be able to access where you are.

If the issue is really native guitar sustain, you're probably losing string energy to the guitar construction. There are a number of ways that the problem can be mitigated.

I have a couple of guitars that have heavier bridges (Schaller harmonica types or the Yamaha SG2000 bridge. On a couple of those guitars, the bridge is actually mounted to a 10.5 ounce solid brass sustain block bolted into a rout in the guitar. The Yamaha version is a neck-through guitar with extremely heavy body sides.

I have my frets superglued. You can actually lose string energy to "dead" frets if the fret is transmitting sound energy into a tang cavity. I've had a tech fill those fret tang cavities with thin superglue (http://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Online_Resources/Neck_Building_and_Repair_and_Setup/Super_glue_your_frets_for_better_tone.html ).

And finally, I use a Variax JTV-89F instead of a baritone. I've got an oversized sustain block on the Floyd (fu-tone.com has them). The body on the 89F is mahogany, and a fairly good sized chunk of it, so sustain is pretty fair across the board. But it's tuned to E Standard. No issues with sustain with a standard set of 10s. The Variax guitars will downtune using pitch replacement technology, so all you ned to do is turn a dial. You can tune Baritone using the factory presets, and if you need to drop the A, you simply change the preset to do so. The string energy remains the same, so there's no physical loss of sustain due to the downtuning. The pitch replacement technology sends the amp a low A at 55Hz instead of an E at 82Hz, that's all. This eliminates guitar issues pretty much altogether.



The underpowered rig is not my problem. Beacuse the loss of sustain is evident even without connecting the guitar to any amp - I can feel a clear difference in the resonance of the guitar body and neck between the low string and the rest of the strings.... I suspect it´s going to be that other thing you mentioned - the native guitar sustain - Thank you very much for all the tips you wrote regarding this topic, I will try to translate them to my language and forward them to my luthier who does not speak English....
B.C. Rich, Cort, Engl, Engl, Engl, Epiphone, Epiphone, Fender, Fender, Gallien-Krueger, Gallien-Krueger, Ibanez, Ibanez, Ibanez, KRK, KRK, KRK, Laney, Line6, Michael Kelly, Schecter, VHT, Yamaha....