Originally Posted by Johnny Two Tone
Really... my RGA121 has the worst sustain of any guitar I've ever played and I can't figure out why. My cheap-o B.C. Rich has better sustain. I've had my RGA121 set up twice, had strings from 10s to extra thick meant for detuning on it, and I've even tried tilting the saddles back to put more pressure on the strings all to no avail.
What the hell is going on? It seems like the G string is by far the worst. It's so bad on the upper frets (10 all the way up) that I can't even play singing passages in songs without replucking a lot as the sustain just fades out within a couple seconds.
The one and only thing I can think of that could possibly be the culprit is that some of the upper frets are too high and they cause anything played before them to be fretted out quickly but even if I play on the last fret (24) the sustain still sucks. Maybe concluding it's a saddle thing - but how could that be? And how could that be fixed.
I brought the guitar into the shop and physically showed the guy what was happening and we whipped out another RGA (321f that they had on the shelf) and it was pretty crappy in the sustain too. That was discouraging because now I can't know for sure it's just my guitar. The shop guy said the only thing they can do is send it to friggin' Japan were it was made to have it looked at. But he said they rarely do anything to 'send-outs' unless they really find something.
What in God's name is going on and how can I fix it? This is my favorite guitar of all time (that I've played) but with horrendous sustain it's not fulfilling the dream.
From what you're saying, it sounds like the problem is severe. I suggest these simple trouble shooting tips on sustain:
1. One way to trouble shoot is to get a straight edge and see if the neck is bowed. Place one end of the straight edge at the 1st fret, and lay it down across the fretboard, the neck should dip slightly in the middle around the 12th fret, a tiny bit of space is expected and acceptable. Check the neck.
2. Check the frets. It requires a special tool that can cover 3 frets at a time, if it teeters back and forth on any set of three frets, likely the middle fret is too high.
I owned an RGA121NTF, and I had no problems with sustain, in fact, it was the best constructed guitar I have EVER played. the articulation, and neck was astounding. Not just eh, good enough, but so good I could tell from just playing it.
The problems you are having are troubling to me because typically fret and neck bowing has the symptom of fret buzz. Do you have any fret buzz?