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How can I improve sustain?


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#1 OFFLINE   faelin

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Posted 18 February 2007 - 10:47 PM

I have recently built a guitar from a kit. I had to make serious modifications to it, but that was expected (pots, switch, pickups, even shimming the neck joint).It was a HUGE learning experience and I love it; and it's my own one-of-a-kind tele style. My biggest problems now are replacing the nut (which I know how to fix), and fixing the sustain. It flat out stinks! Especially the G-String (no pun there). I have tinkered with the idea of drilling holes and making it a "string-through". Is there a better method without going so extreme?

#2 OFFLINE   allthumbs

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Posted 18 February 2007 - 11:27 PM

Look through this for some ideas. I have seen onboard sustainers in strats but, not teles.
http://www.sustainiac.com/aboutsus.htm

#3 OFFLINE   MC.exe

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 08:36 AM

Pictures? :)

#4 OFFLINE   Andy S

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 09:39 AM

faelin said:

...................It was a HUGE learning experience and I love it; and it's my own one-of-a-kind tele style. My biggest problems now are replacing the nut (which I know how to fix), and fixing the sustain. It flat out stinks! Especially the G-String (no pun there). ..................... Is there a better method without going so extreme?


Hi faelin,

I've not built a guitar but have repaired some. If it is primarily the G string, but including not so great sustain on the rest, you may be part way there with replacing the nut. Looking at it from strictly a mechanical point of view, the string needs to be free to vibrate between the nut and the bridge. I have seen some nuts, that under close look, the angle of the cut/groove was different from the other strings. The cut in the nut is usually not just a flat slice. The angle helps put the string at optimum contact. If that is off, sustain can be effected.

The other end, the bridge, is very important, too. Could be one of the saddles is sloppy. In your pic, it looks like a TELE knockoff. Does it have individual saddles for each string, or, like the original Tele, dual saddles for a pair of strings?

I would take a look there before drilling any holes for string-through setup. Some upgrade bridges can make a huge diff in overall sound for just a few dollars.

I'd check that out first before doing any major surgery.

Just my thoughts, YMMV !

Good Luck,
Andy S.

#5 OFFLINE   faelin

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 12:02 AM

Andy,

Thanks for the perspective. I had only thought of the nut in terms of action, not sustain. But it makes sense, since the whole guitar contributes to the sound.
It is a "knockoff". It is a kit by Saga. Like I stated before, I got it with the fore-sight that there would be "hurdles" to overcome. It seemed like it was all pre-fab and not customized per instrument. It is standard stuff... basswood body, maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, and LIGHT!!!
The saddles are individual, which I like. I understand that the vintge tele style with two srtings per is a little hard to get exact intonation. I have thought of a more strat-like bridge, but I think I will start with the nut. It affects playability right now more, so...
I have already put GFS pickups, and Grover tuners on it; as well as new pots and switch. As time/money allows, I will replace all the hardware. I just dig the fact that I can have control every aspect of the guiat, including shaping the headstock. Like I said, there's no other guitar like it. :winkthumb:

#6 OFFLINE   allthumbs

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 01:03 AM

"and light" That is a factor in sustain. Think of a the difference in tone between a pie plate and a gong. Denser material sustains more up to a point. Furniture wood, like oak, is too dense while Guitars with a plywood core have terrible sustain. To take advantage of t that fact, the better the hardware transmits the resenence from the strings to the body, the better.





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