Nyx asked in Entertainment & MusicMusic · 1 decade ago

What electric guitar has best sustain and why?

I'm looking to buy an electric guitar over the internet. I need good sustain (and jazzyness), and wonder how sustain is affected by the construction and material (woods) of the guitar. It occurs to me that quality (rigidity?) of the neck is of greate importance. But what qualities, woods, construction should I be looking for to get good sustain?

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    There are really two kinds of sustain. The first kind is natural sustain -- where the note can hold for a long time purely through the guitar's construction. The second kind is amp sustain, which is an effect created by feedback from the amp's interaction with the pickup. But it also depends on how you play -- if you're good with finger vibrato you'll have controllable sustain regardless of what guitar you play.

    For natural sustain, it generally helps if the guitar is made from a good heavy wood like mahogany or maple that has lots of resonance. It also depends on the tailpiece. A stop-tail (like you'd see on a Les Paul) or a trapeze tailpiece (like you'd see on an Epiphone Riviera) would give very nice sustain. The best would be a string-through body, but you never see that on the kind of guitar you're looking for.

    For good amp sustain, you basically only need two things: An amp turned up really loud and a guitar facing the amp's speaker. But you have to achieve a balance otherwise you get pure feedback. The vibrations of the speaker cause the string to keep vibrating, hence, sustain.

    As for "jazziness" -- that probably means you want a hollow-body electric...Epiphone, Gibson and Gretsch make the best, but expect to pay out the wazoo for them.

  • 1 decade ago

    A few things to look for on a guitar for good sustain is a larger body mass, a bigger headstock(where the tuners are), and a string thru body.If the strings go through the body the make a lot mroe contact with the guitar and resonate like hell, its great.Buying a compressor will actually add some sustain too.But try not to put a noise supressor on unless you need to as that will cut your notes when its turned up a lot.

    Also some fernandes guitars are equipped with a sustainer system, where you can just put it on and hit a note and it will ring out for a long time, its usually used by rockers for feedback fun but the point is it works.You can also buy the system and install it in any guitar, but Ive never personally done this, so I couldnt tell you how hard it is.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    the gibson les paul is good. also look for a guitar with hot pickups such as humbucking pickups or pickups that are battery powered. Be advised that a good amp and plenty of distortion is a key factor in long sustain. Best advice is to look in local stores to see what makes the type of sound and sustain you are looking for.

  • 1 decade ago

    ask someone at a guitar center. they sell used stuff there too. check it out.

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  • soxfan
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    to hell with all that just go for a fender strat it's all i ever play

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