Sustain killers on Telecasters? Myth or...

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by newtwanger, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. newtwanger

    newtwanger Blackguardian. Ad Free + Supporter

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    I've been seeing threads around lately talking about sustain and lack-of.

    What are your thoughts on sustain killers? Who's sucking the sustain from our guitars?

    1. cheap nuts?
    2. low action?
    3. Bigsbys?
    4. saddle material?
    5. pickup height?

    What do you all think? Myth, Anti-Mojo or problems to throw money at?
     
  2. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Friend of Leo's

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    I just widened the slots on the nut of my pure vintage series 59 sunburst Strat.I own a sonic blue one that just seemed more lively acoustically and sounded and played better electrically.I compared the set-up and both were very close.I then noticed the nut slots on the sunburst one seemed to hold the strings a lot tighter and higher.I took a chance and widened the slots slightly to make the strings fit better.Big difference!!!Now the sunburst sings beautifully like the blue one with greater acoustic resonance and sustain and a slinkier feel to bending the strings.
     
  3. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

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    Poor neck to body fitment?
     
  4. Jefe

    Jefe Tele-Afflicted

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    Justin Bieber.
     
  5. bo

    bo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Poor neck joints, too low action, cheap/poorly designed top loading bridges. For the record, I've only seen sustain increase with the addition of a Bigsby. It adds a lot of mass.
     
  6. samato

    samato Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't have an answer but I'm also not sure I care about sustain on a guitar.

    I do think it's interesting to consider the effect these things have on the overall sound or "tone" on the guitar.

    Sometimes I wonder if that's what people really mean when they talk about sustain; or are they really concerned with how long the notes ring out? I guess that's important to some, depending on the song or style of music.
     
  7. dduncan

    dduncan TDPRI Member

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    +1
    I had an Epiphone ET-275. Sounded great but it didn't have sustain to amount to jack.
    It had a top loading tremolo bridge, silicone or plastic saddles that fit loosely and a really loose neck joint and the body also was very thin where the neck bolted on to it. I had a bone nut installed, did seem to help a little but I knew the problem was more just the design of the guitar.
     
  8. Bongocaster

    Bongocaster Friend of Leo's

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    Darn kids these days. In the late 70s we discovered just how important it was for a guitar to suuuuustaaaaain and that the answer is braaaaaass.
     
  9. GigsbyBoyUK

    GigsbyBoyUK Friend of Leo's

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    I have 20 guitars and I really couldn't say which of them sustain more than others. Is it just me that thinks all guitars seem to sustain as long as they need to?
     
  10. jabsalt

    jabsalt Tele-Meister

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    Not meant toward OP. I sometimes wonder how much minutiae we worry about with guitars.....nitro vs poly...long neck tenon vs short...this pup vs that pup....most of the music we've come to admire were mostly production guitars, some probably dogs by modern standards. How many guitars get thrown to the side by the time you get done with forums? just my .02
     
  11. samato

    samato Tele-Afflicted

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    What happened in the 70's that led to this discovery and was it not important before that? Maybe higher powered amps and music with heavier, distorted lead tones? That doesn't have so much to do with the guitar, does it?

    Pretty much any guitar I run through a loud, distorted amp and/or pedals sustains as long as I want it to.
     
  12. newtwanger

    newtwanger Blackguardian. Ad Free + Supporter

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    Nope, some go

    strummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    and others go

    strummm m m ....

    like palm muting without the palm.

    Bo, you must be wrong about Bigsbys because....

    Mr. Callaham (Callaham Guitar hardware) says:
    "All guitars equipped with a Bigsby B5 or B7 Vibrato suffer greatly from reduced frequency response and sustain because of the complete lack of quality of the front roller of the units."

    Oh, that's right, he's selling a $42.00 bit that'll fix your suffering. :rolleyes:
     
  13. Shoshin

    Shoshin Tele-Meister

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    Tone and sustain are in the fingers. Mine are tone deaf and as calloused as pillows.

    Yes, I'm sustainically challenged, but I joined this board to help get over it.
     
  14. BradL

    BradL Friend of Leo's

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    I used to worry about sustain until I realised the secret was maintaining a parabolic decay in the rate of sustain. Underststanding the importance of this coefficient has been the greatest revelation in 30 years of guitar playing. All other concerns are now subordinate: I dont worry about practicing; being in tune or even in time any more. Oddly enough no other band member gets it but I'm sure this is pure jealousy.
     
  15. Bartholomew3

    Bartholomew3 Friend of Leo's

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    When a guitar player masters clean vibrato by moving the string from side to side - that player will achieve really good sustain.

    The rest will always be complaining, using overdrive pedals or bitching about the axe or set-up, amp or whatever.

    That's the Bottom Line.
     
  16. jabsalt

    jabsalt Tele-Meister

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    I agree. I don't think many masters worry so much. heck some interviews i've read the guy doesn't even know what he's playing....tongue in cheek of course.
     
  17. Stringbender11

    Stringbender11 Tele-Meister

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    I generally think of my overdrive as adding any real sustain. Sustain, like a lot of terms, is really subjective. For me, I like notes to really go on and on - sort of like David Gilmore's leads. I dont think it's possible to get that sound without electronics.
     
  18. JohnK24

    JohnK24 Friend of Leo's

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    It's because the "fragile harmonics can't survive in a solid state crystal lattice"...yep, Howie Dumble said so.
     
  19. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    what improves sustain is the rigidity of the "platform" the string is attached to… and the lack of interference from external considerations…. the longer the string can vibrate with enough amplitude to generate an electrical signal from the pup, the better the sustain will be.


    But. . .

    Lower action reduces the air flow around the string, thus the resulting higher atmospheric pressure immediately surrounding the string will make it more difficult for the string to vibrate…

    The closer to the pickup, the more the magnets can pull on the string, acting as a "shock absorber" diminishing sustain..

    the Nut has very little to do with it except on 6 notes… However the more solid the neck, the less the string can make it vibrate, ala Newton's laws..

    the bridge assembly, rather than the Bigsby would be the influencing factor... this could include the material the saddles and that “sub assembly”.

    the real factor is “resonance” of the wood... the antithesis of “sustain”. What causes the wood to resonate is the strings vibrations (energy) being transferred and dissipated into the wood.... to much, and the booger will sound as Dead as can be, there has to be a compromise between the two, sustain, and resonance,,

    Ron Kirn
     
  20. WildcatTele

    WildcatTele Tele-Meister

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    Nigel: "The sustain, listen to it"

    Marty: "I don't hear anything"

    Nigel: "Well you would though, if it were playing"
     
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