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Author Topic: distortion with lots o sustain?  (Read 7452 times)

sweetspence

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distortion with lots o sustain?
« on: November 23, 2011, 12:24:19 AM »
my amp is quite dead in the terms of reverb and sustain can i solve this with an od/dist pedal?

joecool85

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Re: distortion with lots o sustain?
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2011, 09:37:48 AM »
What do you mean it is dead?
Life is what you make it.
Still rockin' the Dean Markley K-20X
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sweetspence

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Re: distortion with lots o sustain?
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2011, 01:43:50 AM »
sorry should have specified. its a crate mx10 and its just sorta lifeless i understand its the nature of cheap practice amps but it will have to do till i build my dream amp <3). so is there some sort of od/dist that might help remedy my problem some?

J M Fahey

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Re: distortion with lots o sustain?
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2011, 04:10:18 AM »
Your reverb is not dead, it just does not have one !!!!
The distortion sounds "small" because it´s a shoebox size 10W amp with a 6" speaker !!!!!
Please be realistic.
If you want *tons* of violin-like sustain at low cost, build a Big Muff clone.
I think GGG and others have published the project.
Or build a MXR Distortion+ clone, which is much simpler and sounds better (to my ears) although it has somewhat less sustain, and use it as a booster for the distortion you already have built-in.
Used together will provide gobs of sustain.
Good luck.

crowhue

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Re: distortion with lots o sustain?
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2011, 02:56:49 PM »
my amp is quite dead in the terms of reverb and sustain can i solve this with an od/dist pedal?

Save your cash for a new amp would be my advice
What's the future of your local Guitar Shop? Good article on why you should support it.

GarageDharma

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Re: distortion with lots o sustain?
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2012, 09:39:42 PM »
I read somewhere that Billy Gibbons from ZZ-Top uses several (3 i think) same model dist. pedals in line in his signal chain, this seems to increase sustain as i have done some experiments with a couple of ds-1 boss pedals with some success.

newbiediy

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Re: distortion with lots o sustain?
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2012, 06:47:46 AM »
Why don't you try to build Little Rebel? It has sustain and even feedback if you are close enough. Makes you feel like on a big stage. :dbtu: And that sound is coming from a cheap 6" speaker. <3)

A thread about my build: http://www.ssguitar.com/index.php?topic=2483.0
A "demo" video (sorry about my poor playing): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BO4j-4KXXs

A very rewarding practice amp build. <3) <3) :dbtu: :dbtu:
Sorry for my bad English. We say "laik dis" instead of "like this" in Facebook. :P

onebaldbloke

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Re: distortion with lots o sustain?
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2012, 06:54:10 PM »
I read somewhere that Billy Gibbons from ZZ-Top uses several (3 i think) same model dist. pedals in line in his signal chain, this seems to increase sustain as i have done some experiments with a couple of ds-1 boss pedals with some success.

Um..... I recorded with Billy's producer, Terry Manning, for a very long time & let's say that what Billy says in interviews & what he & Terry actually do may well be very, very different things!

Cheers,
Bob.

mexicanyella

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Re: distortion with lots o sustain?
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2012, 08:33:40 AM »
Billy Gibbons has done some interview talking about Bixonic Expandoras, and I believe he might've done some a decade or so earlier about Scholz Rockmans. But yeah, who knows with that guy.

OP: If you've got the distortion maxed out and you don't feel you have enough sustain, I'd turn next to your guitar, and how your hands are contacting it. You have to have ringing strings on the guitar for the amp to amplify. Unplug your guitar and listen to the acoustic sustain. That's all you've got to work with, and it varies a lot from one instrument to another...but playing technique is a big factor too.

The only way the amp will affect the sustain is if you're playing loud enough for the sound waves coming out of the amp to continue exciting the strings. In a small space like a walk-in closet, a small practice amp might do this if it's cranked up and your guitar's lively enough. In a big space, you'd need more amp, or to be pretty close to--and probably facing--the amp, to get this effect.

« Last Edit: April 14, 2012, 08:48:46 AM by mexicanyella »

onebaldbloke

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Re: distortion with lots o sustain?
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2012, 08:24:32 PM »
Yes, I agree, as mexicanyella suggested, that getting physically closer to your speakers may help with sustain. If you get too close to your transformers, you'll need to find the correct angle, relative to the amp, to minimise hum.

I would strongly discourage, in general, using a compressor before or after a fuzz/overdrive, as they will compress as a matter of course.

And never underestimate the value of a properly set up guitar - frets that aren't "scratchy" (stainless steel frets rule, IMO), a secure neck, strings that are still OK etc.

Go well,
Bob.

gefi

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Re: distortion with lots o sustain?
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2012, 07:22:24 PM »
Hello
if your looking long sustain the Big Muff Pi  Green Russian is an excellent option
regards

stormbringer

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Re: distortion with lots o sustain?
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2012, 03:28:11 AM »
Also, you could try a thicker pick and strings. :)

My guitar is tuned down a full step, but with .56 - .13 strings, the pick i use is a custom 1.5 mm gripx with band logo from intuneGP. Before i got that i used a 3.0 mm, but the gripx is really sturdy, so 1.5 mm is enough not to get any "paper effect" from it. This will give you better control and feel in the long over how much the string vibrates, atleast in my opinion. :)

QReuCk

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Re: distortion with lots o sustain?
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2012, 04:37:44 AM »
Actually, if we put feedback aside, the only way for a distortion unit to increase percieved sustain is by having enough gain to amplify the dying vibrations of the strings after having severly limitted the voltage produced by the initially loud vibration.
It will do nothing helpfull to the sustain, if there is no vibration left on the string.

What causes the string vibrations to attenuate with time are some resistance from the air, but also characteristic of the guitar wood and design (does it resonate with the string or does it fight the vibrations), and of course your fingers (do they actually let them ring/excite the string with some light vibrato or cushion it?).
The height of the strings in relation to other frets may play a part too: if the strings are too low, the initial peak of vibration will be attenuated by intermittant contacts with other frets (probably the next one to the one you play). I don't buy explainations about the height of pickups, as magnets should both fasten and accelerate the strings in cycle, resulting in an overall neutral influence.

Question: do you feel you have more sustain when playing an open string versus playing a fretted note?

If it's the case, then you could benefit highly upgrading your playing technique and tuning your bridge to have the strings a bit higher.
As said by stormbringer, some hard string attack (favoured by a heavy gauge pick) will certainly help the strings resonate longer.

Another aspect of the problem, is the ratio between the compression percieved as "clean" and the "dirt". Here, the type of harmonics produced by your distortion unit may help (odd harmonics are percieved as more dirty than even harmonics) and also the pre-dist EQ>dist>post-dist EQ plays a big part: the pre-dist EQ will set what part of the signal is actually clipped, while the post-dist EQ will act after the clipping to reequilibrate the frequencies. Carefull optimisation of these EQ settings may result in a sound that doesn't feel "that" distorted but is still actually really compresses, hence giving a lot of percieved sustain without sounding too much aggressive. The other way around, you can dial a tone that is really aggressive without being too much sustained, which can be nice for certain songs.

Question: did you ever played with an EQ before your amp? If you don't have the relevant material, did you at least try to ply with the tone knobs/pickup configuration of your guitar?

There certainly is some potential here.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 06:35:28 AM by QReuCk »