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i like to think having a through neck has alot to do with sustain, i also think, from my personal, as well as observation on this site , that red oak, is a factor. then add what you want to not talk about. pickups , amps feed back. just my personal experience not really even qualified to be talking lol
I have to agree with the thru neck for sustain. I use black walnut for the necks and have good sustain acoustically.
I'm not sure the pickups add any sustain, they just amplify what's there. So a nice hard wood helps.
Yep. hard wood for the neck and as Michael and James said, through neck I'm sure helps. I think it is really a sum of the parts though. The thickness/thinness of the top, bridge/saddle material (hard better for transmission of vibration). I'm a little torn about break angle right now. I always thought a sharp break angle over the saddle was best but my best sounding CBG so far and my Morell resonator guitar both have a rather shallow angle over the saddle and the have tons of acoustic sustain. Ultimatley, I think the box will have the most influence on sustain and volume. A large box with a thin soundboard will produce more volume and sustain, or at least you can hear the sustain longer since it is louder. Just my feelings about it.
In my understanding, sustain is increased when nothing else absorbs the energy from the string so the string can keep moving and nothing else on the guitar except the sound board vibrates to suck energy out of the string. I've had the best sustain with dense wood for a nice stiff neck (like a tight grain piece of oak or even better hard maple) with a very solid neck joint or through neck constructions. And a thin and securely fastened box lid. Better if the box lid is wood instead of compressed paper too. But that's just my 2 cents - your mileage may vary and I'm sure there are people out there making great sounding instruments doing all kinds of different things.
This is exactly the question Les Paul was trying to answer when he built his Log. He wanted the string to vibrate; nothing else (you can look it up, it's a direct quote). He achieved this, for the day and time, by doing what was essentially a neck-through, using a piece of 4 X 4 straight pine.
Mag pups have nothing to do with it; it's about keeping the string vibrating as long as possible, leaving as little energy as possible to be transmitted through the neck, the fretboard, the soundboard, the back and sides, the bridge, the saddle, the nut, and the tuners. Other luthiers have achieved this with even thicker or denser woods, and still others have improved on that by using denser metals. The denser the neck (wood or metal), the better the sustain. Energy from string vibration doesn't get absorbed as easily in a dense wood, which has smaller cells.
The ideal sustaining guitar would be a neck, no box, made out of metal, with tuners, bridge, saddle, etc. made out of the same dense amterial. Everything made of titanium woiuld be about right. This has already been done (check the Internet for the Gittler guitar). The ideal way for a cigar box would be two that I can think of: 1) A neck through with very dense neck wood, or a solid metal neck; 2) same thing, but fill the box cavity with an extremely dense material, and attach the neck directly to that. There are builders here at CBN who fill the entire box cavity with a dense wood; go back to about mid-2009 or early 2010 here for some examples.
Dense woods commonly used for necks: mahogany, rock maple, rosewood (not typically used for necks, but often used for fretboards), koa, walnut, wenge, bubinga, and ebony.
Your expense may vary. Remember, we're building cigar box guitars.
ooh, yes, go for it, get the Les Paul with the $$$$ saved from cigs. Would love to see you with it!
"String-break angles at the nut / saddle?
Reinforcement during construction?
Nut / saddle materials? "
yes all these things! get these right and sustain should be pretty good, but a solid bridge and properly cut and dressed bone nut should help a lot! (-:
The more rigid the overall structure, the greater the sustain. Through-necks are gonna sustain more than a bolt-on hollowbody; more rigid neck-woods longer than more flexible ones. The bridge vibrating on the boxwood is gonna rob energy from the string. The guitar of mine that *sustains* best (not best sound) is a Crow-style build where the neck screws to the *outside* of the box. Like everything else, I think, the whole sustain-vs-tone thing involves a lot of trade-offs.
This is exactly the sort of discussion that new builders need, Thanks guys.
regards to all