I have a lack of sustain on my 3 string guitars: using A-D-G strings tuned G-D-G, my lowest string (the A tuned to G) has a noticeable lack of sustain, especially with a slide, from about the 10th fret on up. I notice it more with a tailpiece than with strings coming through the bottom of the neck. Any suggestions? Note- it is not really a big deal to me, but if I can improve it, it'd be nice.

Views: 892

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

By the way, I build fretless, so using the word fret really means the line on the neck. I also expect fretless fingering to be more muted, it's more of an issue with slides in glass or brass.

Materials used for the nut and saddle can improve or hinder sustain, as well as the mass underneath these two points of string contact.

A lot of builders I see are using stove bolts or threaded rods...but bone is better. Even better than that is stone, but difficult to shape.

Tailpieces look nice, but for cbg purposes regarding sustain, I prefer to run strings through tail end of neck.

Also, might try something like Randy Bretz's half n half bone slides.

I've tried bone, hardwood and bolts on many builds, while bone has a cool sound, nothing beats metal bolts.

maybe try thicker strings and or tuning up a step

Need more tension IMHO. Pitch your necks for taller bridges and crank it higher, use fatter strings

seems like the opposite to me, tuning up gives even less sustain, as does raising the bridge.

Slack strings don't have the energy for sustain, so tighter is better. Longer scales help increase tension. Also, if there are any components vibrating it will rob energy from the vibration of the string, and cut sustain.

One other thing; harder woods will also help increase sustain... if you are using pine step up to poplar, if you're using poplar step up to maple or oak, or even ash, hickory or walnut if you can find them.

Try bracing the sides of your cigar boxes, especially the long sides, and add a rigid support under the neck - inside the box.  For this purpose I have used some scrap 1x2 pine that is light weight.

The box lid is a big factor as well.  Hardboard lids are likely worse than all-wood lids for sustain (I guess).

Screw or glue the perimeter of the lid to the edges.

Try a different brand and alloy of strings.  I have some acoustic strings that just seem numb while the Elixir nanoweb strings just seem to growl and shine.

Just some ideas that I have tried.  My second build is an all-wood Punch box with the aforementioned specs.  The sustain is surprising given the all-thread nut and thumb screw bridge.

I'm going to jump on the string bandwagon. The longest sustaining build I've made is a one-string boat paddle bass. 36" scale. .105 gauge string, tuned to D. Sting vibrates past 30 seconds. Using a one-pole flatpup it just goes forever. I don't know what wood the paddle is made of, but it's not exotic hardwood and since it's a paddle, there's no sound chamber or box.

If your strings are tight enough they'll vibrate long enough. I wager that a cigar box isn't a sensitive enough thing to amplify the strings past a certain point in the sound's decay, but that doesn't mean the strings aren't still vibrating.

In addition to strings, neck wood, bracing, your slide material, thickness and weight of same will affect sustain. Heavy chrome steel increases sustain, as does thick walled glass, and some ceramics.

it's all about vibrations

pretty much what has been said I have found success. A compressor can help a bit if you are electrified,

i would suggest:

- a thin soundboard that is free to vibrate

-a long scale length

-bone, metal, or corian nut and bridge

RSS

The Essential Pages

New to Cigar Box Nation?How to Play Cigar Box GuitarsFree Plans & How to Build Cigar Box GuitarsCigar Box Guitar Building BasicsCigar Box Guitar Parts Store

Site Sponsor

Recommended Links & Resources

Forum

Build This DIY Guitar Fuzz Pedal in 10 Minutes - VIDEO

Started by Shane Speal shanespeal.com in Feature Articles. Last reply by Paul Craig Jul 8. 19 Replies

Cigar Box Kalimba - Builder's Notes, Hacks & Blues Tuning Mod

Started by Shane Speal shanespeal.com in Feature Articles. Last reply by Shane Speal shanespeal.com Jul 7. 7 Replies

Offset Guitar Necks

Started by Aidan Gunter in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Jeff 'Bones' Reilly Jul 4. 6 Replies

Latest Activity

Richard Sundberg commented on Uncle John's video
Thumbnail

Hello Josephine

"You may be an old fart, takes one to know one, but you sure are a soulfully compassionate blues man…"
2 minutes ago
Br Harold F Stubbs III posted a video
11 minutes ago
Richard Sundberg liked BeetleJuice!'s video
11 minutes ago
Richard Sundberg commented on BeetleJuice!'s video
Thumbnail

1950's Cigar Box Guitar 3 string - Music vIdeo

"Haunting and ever piercing, in such a beautiful way! Loved it Beetle! Signature Red Dog!"
11 minutes ago
James O Lunsford commented on shane wagstaff's video
15 minutes ago
James O Lunsford liked shane wagstaff's video
15 minutes ago
Richard Sundberg liked c# merle's video
16 minutes ago
Richard Sundberg commented on c# merle's video
Thumbnail

one soul tonight

"WOW, this surprised me! I had no idea such a great production from a little sliding rock n roll…"
16 minutes ago
James O Lunsford commented on Rowdy Berry's video
Thumbnail

CBG build #8 Sound test and such

"Good looking guitar nice playing Like your Bike I also ride a Harley "
19 minutes ago
James O Lunsford liked Rowdy Berry's video
23 minutes ago
James O Lunsford liked c# merle's video
26 minutes ago
James O Lunsford commented on c# merle's video
Thumbnail

one soul tonight

"Good colab guys toe tapping tune indeed"
26 minutes ago

Music

Loading…

© 2018   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service