Tweaking an SG for maxium tone & sustain

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by parkhead, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. parkhead

    parkhead Member

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  2. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    sure.

    500k volumes, noticeable difference. (+500k resistor to smooth out the taper, nice touch.)

    longer steel studs for abr-1, subtle.

    lightweight tailpiece, subtle

    fancy caps, subtle.

    high-end pickups, dramatic.
     
  3. Baxtercat

    Baxtercat Member

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    ...you could hang a bunch of metal on it?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  4. GtrDr

    GtrDr Member

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    what is that Baxtercat?
     
  5. parkhead

    parkhead Member

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    Baxtercat

    adding bridge mass kills sustain in most cases ...

    p
     
  6. parkhead

    parkhead Member

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    Even the subtle stuff is very important

    I did the work in steps and actually replaced the pickups 1 week ago when I got the guitar

    Then I did the pots ...

    It did not sound right till it changed out the metal.

    improvements at the input signal level are massive when amplified 100x by

    the amp... & thats the KEY

    P
     
  7. Eagle1

    Eagle1 Member

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    No it doesn't.
    It keeps the string energy in the string (more sustain.) BUT it dose kill body resonance ,trade off.
     
  8. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    Right. For example, the whole concept behind the ES-347 was maximum sustain, so there are big hunks of brass set into the center block that the bridge and tailpiece are set into. Believe me, it works.

    The body doesn't really resonate at all. Even the nut is brass and the neck is laminated 3-piece maple. Little to no resonance... feels like playing an aluminum-necked Kramer or Travis Bean.

    But it sustains forever. Kinda neat. I have that and an old '67 Riviera which, despite looking alike, is worlds apart in tone and behavior. The Riviera has maximum jangle, is lightweight, vibrates out of your lap, very little sustain. The 347 is big and brooding, sustain for days, almost no body or neck vibration.
     
  9. Don A

    Don A Silver Supporting Member

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    I wouldn't put a lightweight aluminum tailpiece on a guitar that I wanted more sustain out of. It'll typically provide a more open airy tone- more blues, less rock- and less sustain.
     
  10. andrekp

    andrekp Member

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    I would (and do) add locking stopbar studs so that it can be cranked up tight for best coupling.

    Then I would (and do) top-wrap the stop bar so that I can also crank that thing down tight to the body of the guitar for best sustain.

    (I use an aluminum stop bar designed for top wrapping - sustains a long time)
     
  11. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    top-wrapping the stop bar is debatable. I don't believe in it. It might give you a touch more mechanical coupling, but at the expense of reducing the break angle to Trapeze-like shallow levels.

    I personally am of the belief that break angle/downward pressure on the bridge is FAR more important than mechanical coupling at the tailpiece.
     
  12. Baxtercat

    Baxtercat Member

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    That's an Epi SG [finally succumbed to the SG thing].
    I was reminded how wimpy the SG low end was—no punch—so I bought the bridge off the bay [had to make the gtr. string thru, a pain].
    It need a 1/4 inch spacer to shim up the bridge to the right height so I used a brass block. Man, I like the guitar now.

    Here's another, easier way to add some twang....just a brass rod.
    I did this before I did the more involved mod. It worked pretty good too.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. JLee

    JLee Supporting Member

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    I just installed Faber steel tailpiece studs and spacers along with their aluminum tailpiece on my SG. Really like this combo. Solved some sustain and abrupt note decay issues I was having prior. Final step for me after having installed RS Pots, Zoso Caps and WCR PUs.
     
  14. andrekp

    andrekp Member

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    I like the tone top-wrapping gives me - opinions can differ on that.

    BUT, I'd add that the guitar itself - as an individual - by far affects sustain more than anything you can do to it. My Standard sustains like the Pyramids, while a '61 RI that I compared directly to it, dropped off in half the time. ABR bridge and all. Set up was comparable on the two.

    I'd say you can tweak a good guitar, but if you have a dog, all the tricks in the book won't help get you to a basic level.
     

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