I have a 1960s replica wire tune-o-matic but it lacks sustain - Jemsite
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
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I have a 1960s replica wire tune-o-matic but it lacks sustain

When bending notes on the 15th fret and beyond the vintage style tune-o-matic bridge, while cool and retro, has very little mass. The stupid 1960s wire on it buzzes louder than the notes ring out. Is there a better saddle or bridge to improve sustain on a tune-o-matic.

http://guitarless.com/2010/06/buzz-k...gibson-bridge/

One friend has a Les Paul Custom Black Beauty reissue and he has this problem so he got an after market heavy duty all brass tune-o-matic style bridge and this helped.

Also I heard the expensive Graphtech graphite saddles that retrofit into a tune-o-matic bridge can greatly add sustain as well as reduce friction, too.

Thoughts?

btw- the Ibanez tune o matics are great with sustain and I wonder if it will just fit in
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: I have a 1960s replica wire tune-o-matic but it lacks sustain

Also I have a Bigsby B5 non-locking tremolo and only locking Grover tuners to deal with that. There's lost tuning with friction on nut and saddle pieces so the Graphtech graphite saddles for tune-o-matic may be best. I think they retrofit into all tune-o-matic designs. I don't know how hard, black graphite can have more sustain than any metal but they and guitar players make that claim. Also high end tones are increased which isn't bad thing for a two humbucker guitar.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-02-2014, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: I have a 1960s replica wire tune-o-matic but it lacks sustain

Anybody on how to improve old school tune-o-matic from 60s/70s?

Anyway, from what I have heard on Gibson style bridges (and Ibanez Artist), in the 1970s that is, that a more heavy duty steel bridge or full on brass bridge will increase sustain.

That being said a more modern theory is that it's important to keep energy in the string so the pickup has more to work with and not to let that precious vibration bleed to into a massive bridge and therefore something like a graphite bridge gives longest sustain. Both have their merits but plugged in I wonder which is more true. I have noticed that the old nylon bridge pieces in a tune-o-matic also have a lot of volume and a more pronounced high end and midrange. Is that energy being kept in the string because of plastic insert saddle or is it being bled into the body of the guitar and producing more volume, but less overall sustain on the G Nylon 66 model a few products down on page?

http://www.tonepros.com/products/

What I ultimately want to do is to get old school '57 era PAFs or at most a slightly hotter Tim Shaw type humbucker. I have had both and I like what I get even though they are not high power like DiMarzio Super Distortion or EMG 81. So for sustain, I don't want to get a hotter pickup but maximize it with what strings and parts I can work with.

What I do like with clean '57s or Tim Shaws is that they are not overpowering and I can treat them almost as if they are Fender single coils on a clean setting. There's no drowning out of the high end on the spectrum like a super hot humbucker would do in clean settings. The moderate output humbuckers of my choice do dirty up well enough for my tastes and I am not doing hardcore djent. The right sustain and gauge of strings without having to resort to 11s is my goal here. But with 11s on a Gibson PAF, I can get all the tones I like from a humbucker though my fingers have some problem with the tension. I do wish they made 10.5s as a string set gauge. The 9.5s are better than super slinky 9s and 10.5s could give me all the meat without having to go full on 11s.]

If I have to I could build a set of individual strings 10, 14, 18, 28, 38, 48 and handle it better than the standard 11-50 set and probably get all the sustain and thickness I need without having to change anything on old school bridge and two moderate output EMG-HZ passive humbuckers.

Last edited by 63Blazer; 06-02-2014 at 03:13 PM.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-02-2014, 05:05 PM
 
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Re: I have a 1960s replica wire tune-o-matic but it lacks sustain

Physics dictates (thermodynamics) that energy degrades, moving from one form to another until it reaches the point it can't become any lower form of energy. In doing this, energy tends to follow the path of least resistance on its way to becoming weaker forms of energy. In a guitar, the string's vibration forms an exit for energy, and is the easiest exit for that energy up to a point - once you put more energy into the string's vibration than the string itself will be able to comfortably dispose of, that energy will find another way out. Increasing the sustain of a string relies on providing that energy with as few alternative ways out as possible.

As a result, things that will increase sustain -

1 - Harder contact points with less contact area. (Saddle, nut, tuner, frets, etc) The less surface area of the string is in contact with the hardware, the less area there is for energy to be transferred into the rest of the guitar. Making these areas harder will stop the string wearing into the hardware over time and lessening the efficacy.

2 - Less contact points.

The extreme case for this would be to have a guitar moulded out of an infinitely hard, dense, and strong material, all as one piece with zero adjustable hardware and therefore no moving parts beyond the string. Being infinitely impervious to any outside force, the string would be completely unable to dump excess energy into the structure itself, therefore sound, and a small amount of heat causes by the friction of the molecules and windings within the string itself, would be the only things that the string could produce to rid itself of kinetic energy and return to a state of equilibrium.

Seeing as we can't do this, things like making one piece moulded bridges without intonation adjustment, will have to do. This is one of the main reasons floyd rose guitars have common complaints about sustain - the number of components the string is attached to, all of which can move and be vibrated, is insane!

See also - why neck thru guitars sustain a long time, why fixed bridges sustain longer than tremolos, why locking tuners can help increase sustain (less movement around the capstan), things like Gotoh's magnum lock tuners are similar to this too, removing captsan post vibration from the system. etc etc.

This is the easiest point to actually address practically by design, so there's no shortage of products to help with it. Except maybe...

3 - More mass.

The greater the mass of an object, the greater its inertia and the greater the force required to put it into motion. In a guitar body, the inertia of the body vastly exceeds that of the string. If we continue to increase the mass of the body (presuming the body forms one homogenous system of equal strength, where the string is the only moving part), then the inertia required to move not only the body, but any part of the body, including resonance and pure vibration, becomes harder too. As a result, the string dumps that energy into sound once again.

This is why using brass hardware, tungsten sustain blocks, thick necks, thick bodies, heavy mahogany, and products like the "fat finger" all work to increase sustain - They add mass to the body. This also has the positive effect of moving "wolf tones" out of reasonable ranges - a very light, flimsy, weak guitar, will have wolf tones all over because it's essentially hyperactive - unable to supress the mixing of unrelated frequencies that will unintendedly boost the fundamental of a given note via waveform cancellation and addition. Making the guitar and its parts too solid, heavy and inert to have this happen, means they can only happen when huge amounts of force are used to strike the string. In an ideal world, such force that would never be used.


So yes, heavier hardware works to increase sustain. It's pretty much the only thing that DOES work, save for getting creative design wise and using hardware that suppresses vibration and cuts down on moving parts.


Oh, and you'll also get more treble lift - the treble frequencies, being the smallest amplitude, tend to be the ones that an inefficient system will bleed off first and fastest. (Hence why a bad guitar will have sharp sounding attack and ****ty dull sound notes that fade out too fast) - This is a good thing. Natural production of sound is a subtractive process - you can't add more treble to the string or the system. You can only design a system where less of that treble is lost. Since it's being lost because it's easy to bleed off via inefficiencies, making the system of sustain more efficient, will also mean your notes retain treble frequencies in greater quantity for greater durations.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-02-2014, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: I have a 1960s replica wire tune-o-matic but it lacks sustain

Quote:
Originally Posted by GuitarBizarre View Post
Physics dictates (thermodynamics) that energy degrades, moving from one form to another until it reaches the point it can't become any lower form of energy. In doing this, energy tends to follow the path of least resistance on its way to becoming weaker forms of energy. In a guitar, the string's vibration forms an exit for energy, and is the easiest exit for that energy up to a point - once you put more energy into the string's vibration than the string itself will be able to comfortably dispose of, that energy will find another way out. Increasing the sustain of a string relies on providing that energy with as few alternative ways out as possible.

As a result, things that will increase sustain -

1 - Harder contact points with less contact area. (Saddle, nut, tuner, frets, etc) The less surface area of the string is in contact with the hardware, the less area there is for energy to be transferred into the rest of the guitar. Making these areas harder will stop the string wearing into the hardware over time and lessening the efficacy.

2 - Less contact points.

The extreme case for this would be to have a guitar moulded out of an infinitely hard, dense, and strong material, all as one piece with zero adjustable hardware and therefore no moving parts beyond the string. Being infinitely impervious to any outside force, the string would be completely unable to dump excess energy into the structure itself, therefore sound, and a small amount of heat causes by the friction of the molecules and windings within the string itself, would be the only things that the string could produce to rid itself of kinetic energy and return to a state of equilibrium.

Seeing as we can't do this, things like making one piece moulded bridges without intonation adjustment, will have to do. This is one of the main reasons floyd rose guitars have common complaints about sustain - the number of components the string is attached to, all of which can move and be vibrated, is insane!

See also - why neck thru guitars sustain a long time, why fixed bridges sustain longer than tremolos, why locking tuners can help increase sustain (less movement around the capstan), things like Gotoh's magnum lock tuners are similar to this too, removing captsan post vibration from the system. etc etc.

This is the easiest point to actually address practically by design, so there's no shortage of products to help with it. Except maybe...

3 - More mass.

The greater the mass of an object, the greater its inertia and the greater the force required to put it into motion. In a guitar body, the inertia of the body vastly exceeds that of the string. If we continue to increase the mass of the body (presuming the body forms one homogenous system of equal strength, where the string is the only moving part), then the inertia required to move not only the body, but any part of the body, including resonance and pure vibration, becomes harder too. As a result, the string dumps that energy into sound once again.

This is why using brass hardware, tungsten sustain blocks, thick necks, thick bodies, heavy mahogany, and products like the "fat finger" all work to increase sustain - They add mass to the body. This also has the positive effect of moving "wolf tones" out of reasonable ranges - a very light, flimsy, weak guitar, will have wolf tones all over because it's essentially hyperactive - unable to supress the mixing of unrelated frequencies that will unintendedly boost the fundamental of a given note via waveform cancellation and addition. Making the guitar and its parts too solid, heavy and inert to have this happen, means they can only happen when huge amounts of force are used to strike the string. In an ideal world, such force that would never be used.


So yes, heavier hardware works to increase sustain. It's pretty much the only thing that DOES work, save for getting creative design wise and using hardware that suppresses vibration and cuts down on moving parts.


Oh, and you'll also get more treble lift - the treble frequencies, being the smallest amplitude, tend to be the ones that an inefficient system will bleed off first and fastest. (Hence why a bad guitar will have sharp sounding attack and ****ty dull sound notes that fade out too fast) - This is a good thing. Natural production of sound is a subtractive process - you can't add more treble to the string or the system. You can only design a system where less of that treble is lost. Since it's being lost because it's easy to bleed off via inefficiencies, making the system of sustain more efficient, will also mean your notes retain treble frequencies in greater quantity for greater durations.
Thanks for the info. I have thought about the Compton Bridge as a simple solution. It lacks the fine tuning of moving parts but its compensation should be good enough for my guitar and my ear, or lack of ear:

http://www.comptonbridges.com/home

I am leaning more toward steel instead of brass or copper, and titanium is too pricy and may not offer any better sustain, but I may be wrong.

The guitar is an LTD Viper 301 with mahogany body and mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard, on a slightly heavier than normal SG copy. It has the same 24.75" inch Gibson scale neck. The fuller sounding OEM stop tailpiece has been replaced by a Bigsby B5 but tuning has been shored up from Gotoh mini tuner copies to massive Grover locking tuners. The pickups are moderate output, passive EMG-HZs which are slightly hotter than original spec PAF. Here are some pages on the net about this model.

http://www.elderly.com/new_instrumen...s/V301-VSB.htm

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/revie...ltd_viper-301/

Last edited by 63Blazer; 06-02-2014 at 09:14 PM.
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