Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Jay, Jun 11, 2001.

  1. Jay


    Oct 19, 2000
    Bidwell, OH
    What sort of things affect sustain? Of course strings would, so what kind of strings have the best sustain? And what about stuff like woods and tension? Mod, wasn't sure where to put this, move it if necessary. Thanks y'all.
  2. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    Probably wind-up in Setup :p

    hmm... I hear "sustain" I think o' one thing...

    2Tek! :D


    $245 w/installation. Click the pic for the site.
  3. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Is it is said, so it shall be.
  4. The quick answer to the question is very simple - Sustain is accomplished when the bass doesn't absorb the energy of the strings. The more difficult question is "How does this happen?" First, understand that when a string is plucked, there is a finite amount of energy that is imparted to it's movement. From the point of pluck (or pick) the energy imparted to the string decreases. This energy goes someplace and that is usually into the body and neck of the bass through the bridge and nut. In a perfect situation the other components of the bass like the body and neck wouldn't absorb this energy allowing it to remain in the string longer. Since the bass is far from perfect, you have to look at how to minimize this absorption. IMO there are probably 2 situations where you could predict long sustain. First would be in a bass with dense, heavy components. Not necessarily the bass you would want to play but it certainly would get the job done as far as sustain. The more mass the bass has the less vibration from the strings can be absorbed by the components. The second situation is where all of the components (neck body, hardware) are all "in tune" with each other. By that I mean that the woods and metals all seem to vibrate in a common way - call it sympathetically. This is the same phenomenon described by guys with old Fenders (pre CBS) who talk about rich tone and sustain. These instruments, perhaps from use, perhaps from serendipity, have nicely matched components and will vibrate together creating sustain. You can't predict easily when this type of sustain will arise but I suspect that quite a few of the boutique builders out there have a sixth sense about how to achieve this combination.
  5. Jay


    Oct 19, 2000
    Bidwell, OH I use one of the older Ibanez Ergodyne basses (5) which is made of luthite. It's noticeably heavier than a wood body bass, but has a smaller body. I should deduce that the mass of the bass is greater. I use tapewound flats (Labella) which don't really gimme much sustain. Anyone know anything I could do to maybe increase my sustain some but still keep the sound I have? And I'm asking besides installing a new bridge, I don't really have the money for that. :( :rolleyes:
  6. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    Dang! That's a toughie. You wanna keep the sound
    of the Labella's, huh? I was gonna' suggest tryin'
    just one of them tapercore DR Longnecks - fer grins :D

    Can ya' get some compression goin' on with that TNT?
    Mebbe even run the preamp OUT of the Minx into the
    INPUT of the TNT - overdrivin' her just a tad :)
  7. That is a tough one.

    Have you considered DR roundwound strings, and just running the treble on the bass down? You might need some more low mids as well.

    Otherwise, you might want to start looking for another bass, because it is very difficult to change the basic voice of the instrument.
  8. Jay


    Oct 19, 2000
    Bidwell, OH
    Yeah ND, I love the feel and sound of the LaBella's. I had the DR's on my four until I put the TI flats on...I have some obsession with flatwounds. Would runnin the Minx into the TNT work like that? I never woulda thought... :D

    Like I said, I really love the LaBella tapewounds. I would rather sacrifice some sustain or something to be able to use the flats. I don't know about a new bass, I really love this one.

    Sheesh..if only we all had Warwicks or Sadowskys...:p
  9. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    Oh hell yeah! :D I had a Peavey Basic 60 that I ended-
    up sellin' to a feller in a financial pre-dickle-ment...
    he had just reconciled with his ex, hence - no new gear :p.

    Anyhoo. I ran the cable from the bass to the input of the P/V.
    Took the PREAMP OUT of the P/V into the INPUT of the Ampeg.
    Put the P/V's "pre-gain" ~8, the Ampeg's pre-gain ~5 or 6,
    and finally the Ampeg's "Master" around 3 or 4.
    Crunch...distort...crunch...(tweak)...singgggg :D

    But PLEASE! It's the "PREAMP OUT" or "PREAMP SEND"
    you wanna' run to the INPUT of your TNT. N-O-T the
    Minx' "SPEAKER OUT" :eek: