#1
So I'm at my usual rehearsal studio today and in the next room there's this AC/DC cover band nailing song after song. These dudes were really exceptional. I go into the hall to get a better listen and I noticed the lead guitarist was getting ridiculous amounts of sustain on single notes without an overly high-gain tone. He had perfect note clarity with a thick tone, which told me the gain knob was at a reasonable level, but the sustain was insane.

Assuming he wasn't using a sustainiac gizmo, how on earth do you accomplish this?
#3
Well they were definitely super loud, he was probably using a 100w Marshall at low-ish gain but very high volume.
#4
Quote by PB26
Well they were definitely super loud, he was probably using a 100w Marshall at low-ish gain but very high volume.


volume is how AC/DC does it. you don't really need a ton of gain to get sustain and honestly if you goose the front of a decent tube amp with an overdrive or a boost you'll get sustain at lower volumes. as mentioned good technique in terms of finger vibrato helps as well.
#5
A compressor and/or having a very well made guitar probably.
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#6
New strings, compressor, loud volume will all help. Also hollow and semi hollow guitars sustain more generally. I find stacking overdrive pedals I can get loads of feedback without much gain.
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#7
Active pickups and a nice compressor/ sustainer if it was like, insane sustain. Hard to notice listening... but playing the instrument, it's easy to tell. However the difference between a chinese knock off strat and a very high end guitar is only the matter of a second or two, before the string resonates down to a super quiet sound.

Since active pickups are usually mounted a lot closer to the strings, they cut down the initial harshness of a plucked string, but then boost the signal as the string dies down. Pretty neat.
#8
I forgot higher string action also improves sustain.
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#9
^^^All else being equal, I would expect (and experienced first hand) hollows and semi-hollows to have less sustain than solidbodies, because they dissipate more energy as sound waves, and probably have more frictional losses in the thin timber components, but they are certainly good if you want to exploit feedback for sustain. I've seen John Butler using a volume pedal to control feedback from an acoustic, very effective.
#10
as everyone's been saying:

- yeah if they were loud that's probably it. loud plus tube amp generally equals sustain.

- technique- good vibrato etc. will help with sustain.

- compressor pedal will give you more sustain.

- an od pedal as a boost to a tube amp will give you more sustain at lower volumes (but also more distortion, whereas a compressor won't).

- higher action will help a bit.
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#11
Thanks, it's probably a bit of everything I imagine.

I've always been a fan of keeping the action up at 5/64 bass, 4/64 treble. Huge impact on sustain and thickness of tone.
#12
Quote by PB26
Thanks, it's probably a bit of everything I imagine.

I've always been a fan of keeping the action up at 5/64 bass, 4/64 treble. Huge impact on sustain and thickness of tone.



My action is often lower than that, but with no impact on sustain.
#13
Technique is a lot of it too. First off you have to practice regularly so you have proper calluses on your fingertips. Without that you will not get the sustain even with good technique otherwise. Also where you pick on the guitar if it is too close to the bridge you will lose some sustain.

I remember giving my guitar to someone else to play and it went from long sustain to sounding like a banjo. Nothing was changed.

A lot of other things attribute to it too effects like compressors having a tube amp with some natural compression.