#1
I have recently been experimenting with ways and means to get more "acousticness" out of an electric guitar, and one approach has been to use a very subtle amount of echo/reverb/delay to emulate acoustic resonance. What I have most recently done is put an Ibanez DE-7 delay/echo in the loop of a Boss LS-2, so that the clean signal can be blended with the DE-7 signal. I have it set on fast echo, not too intense, and mixed in fairly small proportion with the clean signal.

What is very striking in this set up is the amount of echo I hear when different guitars are used with it. I tried six guitars and the echo, from most to least was:

'95 Gibson LP Special
'80s Burny Jr converted to Special

OLP Bari
Bitsa strat with steel saddle and basic trem block, blocked
Vietnamese Peavey Raptor Plus Exp with steel saddles and basic trem block, blocked.

'82 Westone Rainbow I, 335 style.

The gaps indicate roughly the extent of the effect, so the LPs were similar as were the strat types.

The pickups had similar outputs in all six guitars, so I'm assuming that the different echo effects were due too differences in sustain.

I have no idea what aspect of the guitars, timber, bridge, string mount, whatever, might be causing the effect, but insights would be welcome.
Last edited by Tony Done at Feb 11, 2016,
#2
There's a recently closed thread that has some discussion (some heated) on what causes native guitar sustain. Might want to read that. For the most part, differences in construction and hardware materials contribute to keeping energy IN the strings.
#3
I'm not sure this is a consequence of natural sustain, though. I'd suspect this may have more to do with how the guitars feed back.
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Last edited by K33nbl4d3 at Feb 12, 2016,
#4
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'm not sure this is a consequence of natural sustain, though. I'd suspect this may have more to do with how the guitars feed back.


He's looking for a more acoustic sound, which would seem to preclude feedback as an issue.
#5
The amount of wood, type of wood, and density/cavities can have a significant effect on natural sustain. The most startling example I've come across is on Gretsch hollow body guitars. The electromatic line uses a sound post at the bridge area to bind and support the front and the back. The premium line of Gretsch hollowbodies use a unique style of trestle bracing that was designed by Chet Atkins back in the 60's with two long planks of spruce running from just below the neck to the bridge on both sides of the pickups, with hollowed out sections along the bottom side of the planks to retain the hollowbody resonance and glued to the front and back of the guitar. The difference in sustain is awe inspiring simply due to more wood (highly resonant wood) in the body of the guitar.
#6
Quote by dspellman
He's looking for a more acoustic sound, which would seem to preclude feedback as an issue.

I may have used the wrong word, I was thinking of how delays and reverbs have a tendency to cause volume swells with certain frequencies. It's well beyond my area of expertise (if I could claim to have such a thing) so
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#8
[quote="dspellmanFor the most part, differences in construction and hardware materials contribute to keeping energy IN the strings.[/QUOTE"]

Yes. Energy can be lost as friction/heat, or it can be lost as sound waves. In this little experiment, the two that might have had the least echo effect, the Peavey and the Westone, were also the loudest acoustically.

I know this is all very contentious, but these results and some other things related to tone make me look more favourably on LP Jr/Special designs than those of Fender. - With the strong disclaimer that I'm looking for "acousticness", the kind of thing where you might hear a recording and might mistake it for acoustic with a lot of sustain.
#9
Quote by Tony Done
Yes. Energy can be lost as friction/heat, or it can be lost as sound waves. In this little experiment, the two that might have had the least echo effect, the Peavey and the Westone, were also the loudest acoustically.

That makes sense - in the case of the Strat-types energy would be lost to the tremolo springs and in the Westone to the top. As for the baritone, the different strings/tuning would behave differently enough that I'd hesitate to make any direct comparisons there.
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#10
^^^^ I didn't mention the the (30") bari is tuned to open D with 13-56 strings, so it is very tight - equivalent to open F on a standard scale. It is also a though-body hardtail. I thought it might have had more sustain than it did. What it does have is a lot of sympathetic vibration - you have to be careful to damp the unplayed strings if you don't want them to sound - which I'm guessing is due to the long neck and the way I have it tuned.