32 posts / 0 new
Last post
Freemind's picture
Jun 2006
6 years ago

I have new American Strat, the guitar sound is great, but I am worried about the sustain - when I play on the same settings the gain and sustain is really much shorter than on my Epiphone Les Paul. Now I do not know, where could be the problem.
I always used 10. gauge, and nowe there is 09. on my new guitar - should I go up? What is the difference between nickelplated steel and pure nickel strings? Maybe it is a fault of pickups? Or maybe the sustain is smaller because of vibrato system?

Fender American Standard Strat
Epiphone Les Paul
Budda wah
Jekyll and Hyde (silver)
Ernie Ball Jr volume pedal
Line6 Echo Park
Roland Space Echo RE-201
Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
http://www.jedzok.own.cz
http://www.polstina.unas.cz

Cham_Clowder's picture
Brampton/Toronto, ON (Canadia)
Jul 2009
1 year ago

I don't know about Epiphone Les Pauls (I guess it depends which model it is; custom?), but I reckon Les Pauls generally have more sustain than strats. The tremolo also cuts on sustain compared to a tailpiece.

cubby's picture
Over there...
Jan 2003
1 year ago

The pickups could be too close. That's a big sustain killer on Strats. Fender single coils don't really allow for as much sustain due to the design of hte pickups and their pull on the strings. Also, you're dealing with more string tension which will not allow for quite as much sustain as the shorter Gibson scales.

Pics of my stuff are available here:

http://guitargeek.com/chat/showthrea...659#post581659

"I'm not usually a praying man but-Save me Superman!"

"I think I brained my damage."

"O.K. brain, I don't like you and you don't like me. Let's just get this over with and I'll go back to killing you with beer."

olddawg's picture
Southern California & Hawaii usually, but I get around
Dec 2004
1 year ago

I guess it is a personal thing. The setup and the build will determine the sustain. Some Strats are dead...even expensive new ones....even more expensive old ones. I always play a Strat unplugged to hear the natural sustain it has. If it doesn't sing I pick up another one. FTR I find a good Strat to have excellent sustain. I don't see how you can really compare an LP to a Strat anyway. Apples and oranges. If your Strat doesn't sustain take it to a good shop and ask why. It may be a lemon. It might be the setup. It might be the neck joint. It might be your technique. There are lots of variables to the equation. Play another Strat and see if you like it better.

Stage Guitars: '80s Thin line LP Custom, '70 LP Standard, '83 Squier Black Headstock Strat w/ Dan Torres pickups, '59 Black Danelectro DC, sometimes others.

Pedal Board: Nady UHF 10 -> TU2 -> Rocktron Big Crush -> 70s MXR Phase 100 -> Cry Baby -> Bad Monkey -> Early '80s Rat -> Early '80s Ibanez CS 9 -> Ibanez DE 7 -> Behringer Dr 100 Stereo Reverb

Stage amps: '63 Blonde Tremolux w/ two original 2X10 cabinets with a '60 Ampeg Rocket/18 watt VTB Marshall clone/ Epi VJ into a Mashall 1965A

Freemind's picture
Jun 2006
6 years ago
Originally Posted by olddawg

I guess it is a personal thing. The setup and the build will determine the sustain. Some Strats are dead...even expensive new ones....even more expensive old ones. I always play a Strat unplugged to hear the natural sustain it has. If it doesn't sing I pick up another one. FTR I find a good Strat to have excellent sustain. I don't see how you can really compare an LP to a Strat anyway. Apples and oranges. If your Strat doesn't sustain take it to a good shop and ask why. It may be a lemon. It might be the setup. It might be the neck joint. It might be your technique. There are lots of variables to the equation. Play another Strat and see if you like it better.

Oh man, that is not good news at all :D The guitar itself should be ok, I took it to the technician for general checkup and he told me it is in perfect condition. When I play it unplugged it also seems ok, the sustain is not dramatically lower. The problem is I am not in a situation I could choose from variety of strats - the region I live in is pretty "stratless", the guitar shops here have only cheap Squiers, you can order better guitars from the e-shop. That is it, I am thinking about changing nut to something better and getting greater gauge, because some say it provides better sustain.

Fender American Standard Strat
Epiphone Les Paul
Budda wah
Jekyll and Hyde (silver)
Ernie Ball Jr volume pedal
Line6 Echo Park
Roland Space Echo RE-201
Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
http://www.jedzok.own.cz
http://www.polstina.unas.cz

jonbye's picture
UK
Apr 2006
3 years ago

Try toghtening up the trem up to improve sustain. Either screw down the bridge a bit or move back the claw in the cavity. Also make sure your saddles and string trees are ok and not too loose or anything. Your new nut idea is also good - try bone or metal nuts.
Strats will sustain less than les pauls due to the body mass, fixed neck and fixed bridge of the LP

My Rig

"...We should be wasting that space with another discussion about something truly useful, like tits or religion or something......." - Fiveways

beerski's picture
Jun 2003
2 months ago

I've always used heavy strings and high action with my strat, and it is quite loud unplugged. You might have to pick up some extra springs to balance the tremolo out if you use heavier strings, but its probably the first thing I'd try for more sustain.

Like Olddawg said though, there are a lot of factors involved and it might take some experimenting to figure it out.

Fender Strat
Fender Blacktop Tele
TB FX Loop/Channel Switcher > (in loop) > Mojo Hand Analog Filter > EQD Dream Crusher Fuzz > Subdecay Liquid Sunshine > Frazz Dazzler > Line 6 M9 > EHX Memory Toy > (end of loop)
Soldano HR50+

Rig Thread

asatbluesboy's picture
Brasil
Dec 2005
5 months ago

Ah, Strats... Don't get started on the neck's dead spots...

crew

Quote:

Originally posted by pop_n_fresh
The thought of EMGs on a Jag makes me vomit a little.

Originally posted by paradeblonde
Beep beeeep beeeeeeeeeep beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEPPPPPPPPP

Selling BOSS FW-3. I live in Brazil, mind you, so prepare yourself for $30-ish for shipping and waiting. Local pickup available, along with beautiful beaches and cheap bitches.

Mr.Wednesday's picture
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Aug 2007
4 years ago

1-Get your guitar set up by a professional luthier. We have an excellent one in town who has done work for the following:

* Jon Bon Jovi (Bon Jovi) - custom double neck
* Robert Charlbois (Charlebois)
* John Choi (Claude Dubois)
* Denis (Piggy) D'Amour (Voivod)
* Stephane Dufour (Eric Lapointe and Saints & Sinners)
* Howard Leese (Heart) - two custom guitars, one very unique with photos of ex-wife & model Pamala Santini covering the complete guitar
* Frank Marino (Mahogany Rush)
* Aldo Nova (Aldo Nova) - two custom guitars
* Micheal Pagliaro (Pagliaro)
* Walter Rossi (Walter Rossi)
* Jeff Stinco (Simple Plan)
* Jean-Yves (Blacky) Theriault (Voivod) - three custom basses

and me! lol

a luthier will help fix the stadard imperfect set up of the guitars and remove the dead notes on your strat.

2-If your tremolo bar is not being used fill the hole where it would typically go. Ask a luthier to fill it with wood or some sort of composite.

3-change your nut. the Nubone nut is quite good.

4-remove the back plate the hides the spring. I personally made Mauro make the hole bigger.

5-replace your diecast bridge, bridge saddles and inertia bar with a metal ones

6-heavier tuners=more sustain. I recomend grover.

7-get a fat finger clamp from groove tubes.

8-pickups...even if they are fender's finest...you might not like them.

Thus concludes Mr.Wednesday's awesome guide for making your strat screamous.

Wednesday

p.s. hold on to any parts that you remove as it will make a difference in resale.

sloppy_phil's picture
Toronto, Ontario
Aug 2008
3 years ago

definitely use the heavier strings. i've got 12s and i'm moving to 13s shortly. it really adds some heft to your notes. agreed on the new nut as well. if you've got money to throw around, try some jumbo or extra-jumbo frets.

however, strats generally don't have as much sustain on them as gibsons, or even teles. the tremolo bridge doesn't help in that regard, and the longer scale also creates less sustain. to that end, it might be a plan to consider non-guitar options such as a compressor pedal. they help add sustain. the mxr dyna or super comp, barber tone press, even the boss cs-3. they could all help give you what you're looking for in the strat without really altering your tone in any unpleaseant way.

a last point is that a lot of it is in your technique (not meant as a knock in any sense). i have a similar issue with my strat (especially so because it's a squier body and bridge. latter part is being altered soon though!), so i slung on some heavy strings and really practiced holding my notes. it involves some painful finger practice, but it can be done. i'm no sustain expert, but i've definitely improved my tone and sustain capability as a result of the work. don't fool yourself into thinking that it's all in your instrument; guitar playing and sound is all in your hands!

olddawg's picture
Southern California & Hawaii usually, but I get around
Dec 2004
1 year ago
Originally Posted by Mr.Wednesday

1-Get your guitar set up by a professional luthier. We have an excellent one in town who has done work for the following:

* Jon Bon Jovi (Bon Jovi) - custom double neck
* Robert Charlbois (Charlebois)
* John Choi (Claude Dubois)
* Denis (Piggy) D'Amour (Voivod)
* Stephane Dufour (Eric Lapointe and Saints & Sinners)
* Howard Leese (Heart) - two custom guitars, one very unique with photos of ex-wife & model Pamala Santini covering the complete guitar
* Frank Marino (Mahogany Rush)
* Aldo Nova (Aldo Nova) - two custom guitars
* Micheal Pagliaro (Pagliaro)
* Walter Rossi (Walter Rossi)
* Jeff Stinco (Simple Plan)
* Jean-Yves (Blacky) Theriault (Voivod) - three custom basses

and me! lol

a luthier will help fix the stadard imperfect set up of the guitars and remove the dead notes on your strat.

2-If your tremolo bar is not being used fill the hole where it would typically go. Ask a luthier to fill it with wood or some sort of composite.

3-change your nut. the Nubone nut is quite good.

4-remove the back plate the hides the spring. I personally made Mauro make the hole bigger.

5-replace your diecast bridge, bridge saddles and inertia bar with a metal ones

6-heavier tuners=more sustain. I recomend grover.

7-get a fat finger clamp from groove tubes.

8-pickups...even if they are fender's finest...you might not like them.

Thus concludes Mr.Wednesday's awesome guide for making your strat screamous.

Wednesday

p.s. hold on to any parts that you remove as it will make a difference in resale.

I'm sure all of this stuff could probably help, but I have an old '83 Japanes Squier Strat that I've been playing for years. It's stock except for the tuners, pickups, and the electronics. I put Grovers on it a while back because an old stock tuner wore out. It's a simple fact that some guitars are good and some are crap even the same model of the same year. Just because something was expensive does not necessarilly mean it is great and an inexpensive guitar is bad. BTW, I would block the trem before I filled anything in. I always hear people talk about increased sustain from more massive tuners, set necks have more sustain, and the like. IME it just isn't so. That said, a good setup will make a lot of difference. Keep in mind that there are a lot of shops doing setups that don't know what they're doing really and at a good shop you have to tell them what you want. I have my action and my bar set high because of my style, attack, and tendancy to use a slide. Your setup might be different. Your touch might be different. My pickups are also overwound.

Stage Guitars: '80s Thin line LP Custom, '70 LP Standard, '83 Squier Black Headstock Strat w/ Dan Torres pickups, '59 Black Danelectro DC, sometimes others.

Pedal Board: Nady UHF 10 -> TU2 -> Rocktron Big Crush -> 70s MXR Phase 100 -> Cry Baby -> Bad Monkey -> Early '80s Rat -> Early '80s Ibanez CS 9 -> Ibanez DE 7 -> Behringer Dr 100 Stereo Reverb

Stage amps: '63 Blonde Tremolux w/ two original 2X10 cabinets with a '60 Ampeg Rocket/18 watt VTB Marshall clone/ Epi VJ into a Mashall 1965A