long sustain

Gabriel 1313

A minor slip
Joined
Jan 4, 2022
Messages
134
Reaction score
49
Location
Helena, Montana
I was just watchimg a video of Jeff Loomis promoting his new signature Jackson, and I noticed his beautiful sustain and the clarity. would a certain setting on my delay help with that. by the way, I'm getting tht guitar this summer.
 

CanserDYI

Yeah, No, Definitely.
Joined
Sep 23, 2020
Messages
4,815
Reaction score
6,894
Location
419
I'm not really sure how settings on a delay pedal would affect your clarity or sustain, personally.
 

Lorcan Ward

7slinger
Joined
May 15, 2009
Messages
6,685
Reaction score
4,710
Location
Ireland
Got a video link?

Loomis plays with high action so that would help, he also picks like a gorilla and I presume he is playing through an amp with limited if any noise gating and some reverb.

Some guitars sustain more than others so as much as it’s up to the player, setup, pickups and rig if the guitar is dead sounding then it won’t help that much.
 

bostjan

MicroMetal
Contributor
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
20,472
Reaction score
11,835
Location
St. Johnsbury, VT USA
If you play in a vacuum, there will be no acoustic dissipation through the air, so the notes will sustain better. I'm certain that's unhelpful advice in any case...

If you are looking for a pedal to increase sustain, try a compressor/sustainer. It'll cut the peaks and boost the valleys of your guitar's output, making it sound like you have better sustain. But if a note is dead, nothing will help it sustain. I'm not sure how much sustain you have versus how much you need, so I can't really give helpful advice.
 

mastapimp

SS.org Regular
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Messages
1,245
Reaction score
1,849
Location
FL
I was just watchimg a video of Jeff Loomis promoting his new signature Jackson, and I noticed his beautiful sustain and the clarity. would a certain setting on my delay help with that. by the way, I'm getting tht guitar this summer.
Jeff is endorsed by Stone Tone sustain blocks. He likely has that installed on his personal guitars. I replaced the block in a guitar I was modding and it made a noticeable difference in sustain. Also helps to have your action a little higher, especially if you're a hard picker.
 

Emperoff

Not using 5150s
Contributor
Joined
Jul 24, 2005
Messages
6,569
Reaction score
7,084
Location
Spain
My guitar teacher showed me the best way to increase sustain was to have someone else bite the headstock while you're playing. That increases vibration transfer and you can even show the other guy some tunes with the guitar unplugged. True story.
 

Gabriel 1313

A minor slip
Joined
Jan 4, 2022
Messages
134
Reaction score
49
Location
Helena, Montana
Jeff is endorsed by Stone Tone sustain blocks. He likely has that installed on his personal guitars. I replaced the block in a guitar I was modding and it made a noticeable difference in sustain. Also helps to have your action a little higher, especially if you're a hard picker.

I did not know that about the block, makes perfect sense. I have found using my anolog delay, and somewhere between 512 and 495 ms. I can find a sweet spot that adds a seemingly long smooth delay, I have to mix the ratio and feedback just right, but when it works, its incredible. but thank you. I don't really use reverb much these days, found I like the right delay gives me what I want. I suppose I am trying to re-create the older use of tapeing the signal hen playing it back just a tad faster, it sounds impossible, but I have made some very strong attemps at re-creating that technique with just anolog delay,and lots of repitition.
 

cardinal

F# Dive Bomber
Joined
Mar 6, 2007
Messages
7,183
Reaction score
5,772
Location
Northern Virginia
Each guitar is going to be a bit different. After you get familiar with it, you will invariably notice some notes/frets sustain poorly and others sustain really well, while most are somewhere in between. Even the fanciest guitars are like this.

And then you can work with it. For example, the notes that don't sustain well will actually have a harmonic hit feedback quickly under high gain, so can be useful for that. And the spots where the fundamental does hang on for a long time, you can end your runs or licks at that spot to take advantage of it.

And yeah some guitars are just firewood and don't sustain well anywhere, but that's not too likely to run into.
 

Grindspine

likes pointy things
Joined
Feb 8, 2014
Messages
1,927
Reaction score
1,138
Location
Indiana
Good strings, proper setup without strings fretting out, and active pickups certainly help sustain.

That video definitely has some delay effect, but it does sound like some compressor or boost pushing the signal too.
 

wheresthefbomb

SS.org Regular
Joined
Jul 30, 2013
Messages
3,720
Reaction score
5,795
Location
Fairbanks, AK
Sustain is really important to what I do. High action and a decent setup helps, a high headroom amp helps, some dirt boxes/drives help (RAT), having a set or thru neck can help.

But as someone who's been down the rabbithole I'm here to tell you that the answer is 95%:

Practice your technique.



My guitar teacher showed me the best way to increase sustain was to have someone else bite the headstock while you're playing. That increases vibration transfer and you can even show the other guy some tunes with the guitar unplugged. True story.

This, but put the headstock directly on your amp or cab while it's cranked. Enjoy infinite sustain.

Push gently (or not) on the neck from behind, get the wildly vibrating strings to bounce off of frets and/or pickups, and have fun opening a pit to hell. Works best with nasty dirt.
 

vilk

Very Regular
Joined
Apr 30, 2013
Messages
6,402
Reaction score
3,549
Location
Japan
I just use an Xotic SP. Get the inside toggles sorted, set compression to low, blend around 20-25%, volume just a touch above unity, and now every guitar and amp has the sustain you've been looking for. Literally zero squish or tone coloration.
 

ScottThunes1960

SS.org Regular
Joined
Oct 13, 2018
Messages
197
Reaction score
323
you will invariably notice some notes/frets sustain poorly and others sustain really well, while most are somewhere in between. Even the fanciest guitars are like this.
*Laughs in Parker Fly*

Concerning the OP: A combination of a ducking delay and hall reverb can indeed give the impression that notes are sustaining for longer at lower gain settings. But if sustain from the guitar itself is what you’re after, then there’s no substitute for raising your action higher than what you may prefer for shred-noodling,
 

Lucifer66

SS.org Regular
Joined
May 6, 2010
Messages
19
Reaction score
11
Location
Twin Falls, ID
First, let's take a look at what feedback is. When you srtike a note, it creates vibration. If this vibration is strong enough, the amplifier will amplify it loud enough to vibrate the string. This will cause a feedback loop with the amplifier continuously vibrating the note you played. This can cause a shift in the note as the harmonics of your guitar come into play. Sometimes you will get feedback turn into a harmonic note from the guitar. This is because a harmonic on your guitar gets enough vibration to cause it's own feedback loop. While some people believe that you need massive volume to get feedback this is not true. If you have your guitar setup properly you can get feedback at very low levels. In fact, this is a really good test. If you can get feedback at low volume then you are golden. Because when you turn up the volume you will have the same feedback loop, only louder. This makes it more manageable.

There is another kind of feedback that you don't want. That high pitched squeal that sounds like microphone feedback. This is caused by the pickups. They are either too hot, or it can be because of the resonance of your body around the pickups. I had a Fender Stratocaster and because of how the pickups were on the pickguard and the hollow space around them they squealed like crazy. Kind of like when you cup your hand around a microphone. Dust in your pickups can cause this too. I found that putting dust covers over my pickups helped keep that dust and pieces of broken strings out of them. Eddie Van Halen used to dip his pickups in wax. This helps fill in the gaps in the wire windings of the pickup coil and reduces squealing. Hard mounted pickups can help too. Basically what they do is mount the pickups on the guitar without using the springs on the height adjustment screws. Again this increases vibration because you lose less vibration when you have less parts to go through.

If you have a Floyd Rose bridge, a Tungsten sustain block will help. I did my research and found that between the stock steel, brass, titanium, and tungsten sustain blocks, the tungsten block was much more dense. This density adds to guitar sustain. It's a combination of density and hardness is what you want. Tungsten is 4x more dense than brass. Because of this, it works better than a brass, steel, or titanium blocks. When you use one of these "Brass Big Blocks" that are thicker than the original sustain block, you loose the travel distance on your tremolo bar. Using tungsten sustain blocks, you can get the same benefit without the extra thickness. You can actually feel the difference in weight when you hold them in your hand. While titanium is a little harder than tungsten, for sustain you want that density. Titanium is great for things like frets, some bridge parts and locking nuts because it is scratch resistant. I also leave off the spacer between the sustain block and the bridge plate.

Also, your springs in a Floyd make a difference. They have some springs that are rubber coated to reduce spring noise. I tried these and while they do reduce spring noise a lot. they effectively kill any sustain. You want the stock springs to get sustain. Sustain is all about vibration. So you want to do what you can to keep that vibration going long enough to create feedback. Different materials will increase or decrease this feedback. as I mentioned before, denser and harder materials are what you want. Someone else posted about strings and yes they do make a difference. Old and dirty strings will absorb vibration so you want new, clean strings. In fact it doesn't hurt to do a good and thorough cleaning while you change them.

Neck-trough construction: This is the ideal way to build a guitar. The neck is actually 1 long piece that goes all the way through the body. This means that the bridge and pickups are actually mounted right on the neck wood. The less stuff you got between the note you are playing and the rest of the guitar the better.

There are guitars that have sustain circuitry built into them. I know that Jackson has one they offer called a "Sustainiac". This works by using a special pickup at the neck position. While these do give you feedback, the tone is not quite the same as natural feedback. Framis is another guitar brand that has these. I like a natural feedback because it slowly builds up and sounds proper. I use a Seymour Duncan TB-4 for my bridge pickup. I find that these have a really great sound and are not too hot or too weak. Bad wiring can also cause you to not get enough signal to create feedback. Most guitars, even high end models believe it or not, come with crappy wiring. They use thin cheap wire to save on building costs. You want nice thick wire because the pickups produce a small amount of voltage when you strum the strings. Voltage travels on the outside area of a wire. This means that you get more voltage traveling though a thicker wire. More voltage = more input volume. More input volume = more power going to your amp. So use the thickest wire you can for your wiring. Also use the thickest wire you can for your speaker cables. 12ga. is what I use for my speaker wire. This will give you more mids and low end, just what you need to get that feedback. Tone is important to create that juicy feedback too. The guitars frequency range is geared towards mids. So boosting your mid range can help get that feedback.

I even saw a guitar that incorporated a built in amplifier with the speaker mounted on the headstock. This caused lots of feedback because the speaker vibrated the neck at the just right pitch. By simply adjusting the volume you could set the feedback amount. I don't think they did this intentionally, but it was a pretty coool design.
 
Last edited:

budda

Do not criticize as this
Contributor
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Messages
30,006
Reaction score
13,379
Location
Earth
See: piing on the fractal forum.
 

stratboy7

SS.org Regular
Joined
Mar 27, 2019
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
I was just watchimg a video of Jeff Loomis promoting his new signature Jackson, and I noticed his beautiful sustain and the clarity. would a certain setting on my delay help with that. by the way, I'm getting tht guitar this summer.

In my long experience (almost 30 years) I can say:

1. Nothing has to do with sustain. Sustain is a kind of chemistry, I don't know. I personally own only good sustaining guitars and without any dead spot, because I searched for them in all my life, giving away the ones that didn't sustain really well. And currently the one that is sustaining the more, is an 1990 Ibanez UV7. Then 2 old and very cheap Ibanez Blazer ('95 and '97). Than a telecaster. So, in theory, since the Tele has the greater mass and a huge fixed bridge and thick neck (1 piece maple), it should sustain the better. Instead, the better is the UV7, which has not that mass, a really thin neck and a lo pro edge bridge with poor metal alloy sustain block and poor materials. Man, that guitar sustains to the infinite.

2. So, no tonewood, bridge, mass, necks, pups, no nothing alone is going to help natural sustain. I said natural. Natural sustain comes from somewhat a chemistry of all the guitar components together. Probably, the most importants are neck and bridge, but you'll never know for sure. Every guitar is its own. You can't be sure that by changing or adding some components, you will really gain a resonable amount of sustain.

3. So, if you're not happy with the sustain of your guitar, the only thing you should do is change that guitar.

4. A certain amount of artificial sustain can be achieve with electronics, especially sustainacs and distortion. Also a good compressor can do a little. But again, this has nothing to do with natural sustain. If you feel lack of sustain, do not get mad with all those things: again, change guitar.

5. Bridge sustain blocks sometimes can help a little. but in the end you'll not be that happy. Again, change guitar.

6. Dead sposts: they deserve a special consideration. They have something to do with sustain, even if they're something different. Anyway, no device at all will be enable you to get rid of them. Again, if your guitar's neck has dead spots that are annoying you, change the guitar.

And when you change your guitar, quite obviously, if you can, carefully try it first playing it in every fret of the neck, with a totally clean tone and without any effect.

Hope it helps.
 

Marked Man

SS.org Regular
Joined
Jan 28, 2018
Messages
598
Reaction score
949
Location
Atlanta, GA
Loomis is what I want to be when I grow up! That freakin' guy was good enough to play for Megadeth when he was 17 years old, but Mustaine couldn't get past the age issue and declined his audition.

He is one of my favorite 7 stringers for sure. Most of the time, Petrucci doesn't bring out the aggression that I expect for a 7, but Loomis nails it. When I bought my Schecter Loomis and Loomis sharp picks, I understood part of how he can play so magnificently, they are both game changers. We've learned a lot about 7 strings since 1990. :hbang:
 


Top