Sustain On My Strat

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by mozzarate54, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. mozzarate54

    mozzarate54 Tele-Holic

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    What can I do to improve the sustain on my strat. Now I've heard of lots of ideas and have tried lots of ideas but some don't work or make sense to me. I believe in a post similar to this at the strat talk forum I asked what could I do to improve my sustain/make it last longer?

    So a member suggested that I lower my pickups, that would help sustain the notes longer. So I did that and I didn't notice any difference. I also got another reply to buy a compressor pedal, that would help as well but I didn't have the money to buy a pedal so I couldn't do that.

    Then someone else told me to raise the action on my strat, but to be honest I have no idea what it means to "raise the action". And finally someone said to buy a full steel tremolo and replace the nut on that neck.

    Can anyone please help me out I've tried some of these suggestions but there's no difference that I can hear. What do they mean by raise the action
     
  2. paul74

    paul74 Tele-Meister

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    Raising the action means raising the strings away from the fretboard by turning the 0.05 Allen screws on your bridge saddles. A higher action helps sustain but makes it slightly harder to play.

    Heavier strings can help, what gauge are you using? Is it on all strings or just specific ones? The G string on a strat is usually weaker, doesn't cut through like the B does, you just have to work around that!

    Try different string brands, different tone settings.
     
  3. fenson

    fenson ---------------------------------

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    Well hello ! What model strat is it ? You probably have heard most of this before so here goews anyway. First off, Strats and tele do not sustain as well as many other electric, such as les Pauls , or many many other Humbucker type guitars. Or the other guitar models that use a higher output single coil pickup .
    That being said some strats do sustain better than others just the way she goes ( same with any make guitar same model)combo of different things, pickups ,AMP /AMP has a big part in it, nut ,saddles, block as you know of.
    If you have done those mods (nut , block) and hear no diff. or do not want to , IMO the guitar was giving you all it could before the mods so either you expect to much ,your amp is not the greatest or the guitar is dead sounding . Which means the combo of its parts just do not work together , in other words a dud.

    many people use a boost pedal or overdrive of some sort to get the sustain they want with any guitar Les Pauls included .

    Action refers to the string height at the 12 fret and or at the nut. The action they speak of is at the 12th fret some say better sustain with higher action but IMO you will not hear a great diff at all. Unless your action is stupid low .
    A good all around action IMO is the factory spec. with 10-46 strings you can find info by searching the forum on setups or you tube , fender web site etc. IMO the sustain you are wanting is going to come from a good amp and or boost pedal .

    I can show links to some if you like


    P.S. some set their string height at the 17th fret as the fender guide states but most use the 12th. IMO a good setting is 5/64ths of an inch for the 6th through to the 4th strings and 4/64ths for the 1st and 2nd strings. Measured from the top of the 12th fret to the bottom of the string. . It is important to have the relief set properly , nut height and trem set before adjusting the action. A full setup is what I am suggesting . Which you should have done by a repair person, if you feel like you can not. The relief and nut may be set right from the factory or shop you got the guitar from . After the relief nut and action are set to your liking you set the pickup height as recomended by Fender or lower IMO . Next you set the intonation and the guitar is set up.
     
  4. fenson

    fenson ---------------------------------

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  5. mozzarate54

    mozzarate54 Tele-Holic

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    I current use Ernie ball 11's I did by a pack of d'adderio but haven't tried them yet. It's the G B E strings. Especially when I do bends. I do mess around with my nobs on my strat and also on my amp
     
  6. mozzarate54

    mozzarate54 Tele-Holic

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    I have a MIM standard Stratocaster. The only mods/changes I have do is screw down the floating tremolo and lower the pickups.
     
  7. Frontier9

    Frontier9 Friend of Leo's

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    Make sure that the neck pocket is cleaned out - no irregular surfaces or stickers (on the heel of the neck), make it nice and flat with a scraper or a piece of 240 grit paper glued onto a steel block.
     
  8. tekbow

    tekbow Tele-Afflicted

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    it, as others have noted could be a fit and finish thing, neck join, nut job, smooth tuners, snug fitting bridge elements, good fret job, proper radiusing of the strings, all of which should be elements of a good general setup.

    with a strat and many other guitars, there are so many elements that can cause string vibration to die prematurely, anything which hinders or dampens it basically. certain things will increase sustain, a callaham block, for example does help, but that is a preference thing. premium parts are nice, but not always necessary.
     
  9. fenson

    fenson ---------------------------------

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    what kind of sustain are you wanting got any examples of strat players that have want you want.
    Changing the nut to tusq, bone or brass will only affect open string sustain . A full size block will add a tiny bit but I am thinking it will not be nearly what it is you have in mind. I would not waste money on a Callaham steel , The GFS steel block will do ya. The neck pocket should be fine on your guitar and sanding will do nothing for you.
     
  10. fenson

    fenson ---------------------------------

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  11. MonkeyKing

    MonkeyKing Tele-Meister

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    The neck pocket in MY mim tele was a nightmare - a sticker, random blobs of paint, finish, mystery holes. BUt if you sand the wood away, you`ll destroy the fit.
    There`s a difference between the string sustain and metal fuzz/amp sustain - which are you after?
     
  12. tazzboy

    tazzboy Former Member

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    add more tension springs.
     
  13. fenson

    fenson ---------------------------------

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    :confused: the trem is decked what is adding more springs going to do :rolleyes:
     
  14. SixShooter

    SixShooter Friend of Leo's

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    I think upgrading your trem block will help. The GFS block is pretty good. You stock mim block does not have the mass that a steel block has.

    Another thing to check with strats is to make sure the pick guard is not overhanging the neck pocket and preventing a snug fit of the neck in the pocket.

    Lastly, try this :

    http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-technical/136456-luthier-neck-tighten-sustain-trick.html
     
  15. mozzarate54

    mozzarate54 Tele-Holic

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  16. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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  17. mozzarate54

    mozzarate54 Tele-Holic

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    How does the GFS compare to the Callham Bridges?
     
  18. JurassicCactus

    JurassicCactus Tele-Meister

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    I think youre slowly finding out theres only so much sustain a strat can give you without the help of a pedal.
     
  19. mozzarate54

    mozzarate54 Tele-Holic

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    Well I do have a overdrive and boost pedal. But I mean like what can I do to give it more sustain when just playing clean
     
  20. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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