Different length Sustain at Different Frets

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by emjee, Aug 20, 2006.

  1. emjee

    emjee Member

    Messages:
    2,870
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2004
    Location:
    Marin County, Ca.
    Hello Fellow tonefreeks,


    Can someone tell me why there are different lengths of sustain for different notes? I have timed it using my old schecter strat and a tweed champ, and some notes lasts for as long as nine seconds, and others as short as four seconds. Same thing happens on my acoustic. Anybody have a guitar that will sustain for the same amount of time at all places on the fretboard? Would like to hear all possibilities. Thanks!

    Mg
     
  2. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

    Messages:
    11,369
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    5868 ft above sea level
    Resonance.

    If a note fights the instrument's natural resonance badly enough, the result is a dead spot.
     
  3. WaitForMe

    WaitForMe Member

    Messages:
    77
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    Location:
    Virginia
    I'm sure there's a mathematical explanation involving the mass and momentum of a length of vibrating metal wire.
     
  4. emjee

    emjee Member

    Messages:
    2,870
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2004
    Location:
    Marin County, Ca.
    Thanks for the info! I guess my next question to those who replied would be what guitars have you owned or played that sustains consistently all over the fretboard, and what can be done to improve and increase this consistency?
    Thanks again for all of you guys' help.:eek:

    Mg
     
  5. LaXu

    LaXu Member

    Messages:
    2,944
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2004
    Location:
    Finland
    Are you talking about frets next to each other on the same string, for example 11 fret = 9 seconds and 12 fret = 4 seconds and for example 14 fret = 9 seconds? Because obviously sustain can't be the same going up the neck since there's less string length to vibrate.

    A good way to see if it's a dead spot is to tune the string a half step down and see if the poorly sustaining note moves to another fret. This would mean that in that area of the neck the guitar's resonance works against the string's and thus robs sustain.
     
  6. slowburn

    slowburn Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,679
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    my grosh has a few notes that I deem "magical" in that they start resonating louder and longer than the rest of the notes, though I haven't noticed any dead spots. Off the top of the my head, C (5th fret, G string), A (10th fret, B String) are a few "magical" notes....
     
  7. Brewmaster

    Brewmaster Member

    Messages:
    189
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    I call them sweet spots. Santana mastered the combination of amp, guitar sweet spot, and where to stand on the stage to maximize sustain years ago.
     
  8. emjee

    emjee Member

    Messages:
    2,870
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2004
    Location:
    Marin County, Ca.
    Thanks for your replies guys, they're much appreciated. It seems when I hit the B string at the third fret, it lasts about seven to eight seconds. However when I hit the same string at the ninth fret, it lasts four to five seconds, then again at the tenth fret and it lasts about three to four. Some notes have a nice smooth gradual decay and others will sound for a few seconds then come to an abrupt silence. I have always notice that all the strings when played open (Unfretted) ring longer than fretted ones. The guitar I am using for this test is an old '80ish Schecter w/strat hdstk, but I have noticed it to some degree on most every axe I play. I notice on my Baker guitars, that all the notes seem to ring real close to the same length of time, about seven to nine seconds, everywhere on the neck. Anyway, thanks again to everyone who gave input and feedback.;)

    MG
     
  9. TheBronze

    TheBronze Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Thats a string length issue then (in my unprofessional opinion). Open strings are going to have the lowest vibrating frequency vs fretted strings. The further down the neck you go, the less length you are physically acting against (and less mass), and the higher the frequency of vibration, which will peter out faster.

    A good example is to pluck the high and low E strings. The low E will ring for ever compared to the high. The string has more mass to it and therefore, more energy to dissipate once struck.
     

Share This Page