Do Dohenys sustain better than Jazzmasters?

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beninma
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Re: Do Dohenys sustain better than Jazzmasters?

Post by beninma » Thu Sep 22, 2022 11:17 am

Larry Mal wrote:
Thu Sep 22, 2022 7:12 am
You know, I'm going to stop this a little bit and talk about sustain, and why it's not really a goal worth pursuing.

I went on an acoustic guitar tear a couple years ago, and bought a whole bunch of them, including a lot of Gibsons.

Gibson guitars aren't really able to be categorized into one kind of "sound", but they do tend to have less focus on sustain overall compared to other guitar makers, such as Martin, that seem to have more sustain typically.

So, according to this thread, that makes them "worse", or, it's a shame not to have the sustain.

However, once you get to recording these guitars, you find out that this is actually a strength. Since the notes decay quicker, you end up with a situation in which you aren't hearing the previously played notes as much when you are playing the current notes. This can translate as having a guitar that sounds cleaner and more crisp.
This is a technique thing. If the big Martin is booming and sustaining when it shouldn't that's the players fault.

If the player is sloppy then yes, the Gibson might sound better if they're just going to hit all the strings even when they shouldn't and never mute anything. My IRL experience is sure, lots of people are probably the kind of player that will sound better on the Gibson.

We're talking about electrics here where that kind of technique is even more important.

If you're the type of person who collects a lot of guitars and chooses to get different things by swapping guitars that's one thing. If you're trying to keep the # of guitars down to a minimum a guitar with more sustain seems to offer more possibilities if you're willing to work on those techniques.

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Re: Do Dohenys sustain better than Jazzmasters?

Post by johnnysomersett » Thu Sep 22, 2022 11:29 am

As much as I'm all for modifying guitars, and feel you should make them 'your own', I'm also a firm believer in using appropriate tools for appropriate jobs... no point using a sledgehammer to tap in a drywall nail. Part of the intrinsic character and sound of a Jazzmaster or Jaguar is their attack and sustain amount and trying to make it sustain like a Les Paul or hardtail Strat or whatever is pointless when you could just buy one of those guitars.

The question still begs, as it has already been asked, how long do you even need a guitar note to go on for?!?
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Re: Do Dohenys sustain better than Jazzmasters?

Post by mbene085 » Thu Sep 22, 2022 11:44 am

beninma wrote:
Thu Sep 22, 2022 11:17 am
This is a technique thing. If the big Martin is booming and sustaining when it shouldn't that's the players fault.

If the player is sloppy then yes, the Gibson might sound better if they're just going to hit all the strings even when they shouldn't and never mute anything. My IRL experience is sure, lots of people are probably the kind of player that will sound better on the Gibson.
I don't think you're talking about the same thing as Larry, really.

"Sustain" in the context of a guitar actually means "slow decay" in the ADSR sense of sound characteristics (attack, decay, sustain, release).

Now, when playing, you only have so many techniques available. You could certainly play staccato for "low sustain," and legato for "high sustain." You could use fingers for "softer attack" and a pick for "sharper attack."

But the inherent characteristics of the instrument still make a huge difference. What about arpeggios? There's no technique you can use to cause a note to ring out but decay faster. So, a Jaguar (or Gibson acoustic, in Larry's example) with a strong attack and rapid decay will ring out each note in the arpeggio in a more distinct sounding way given whatever technique youre using.

On a guitar with smoother and longer decay, the only way to try to compensate with technique would be to aim for a harder or sharper attack, but sharpening the attack has a different musical effect than increasing the decay, so now you're just aggressively playing an arpeggio that still has a smaller difference in amplitude between one note and the previous. Case in point, playing a Jaguar with fingers (softer attack, faster decay) and a Les Paul with a pick (sharper attack, slower decay) doesn't yield an equivalent sounding arpeggio at all.

Conversely, someone whose ideal tone and playing style is a super smooth legato lead would probably love a slower decaying instrument.

It has nothing to do with sloppy vs skilled technique. They're just qualities inherent to an instrument that interact differently with any given playing technique.

I'm with Larry in that I often prefer the musicality of a strong attack and more rapid decay for my personal playing style, but it's entirely a matter of taste and not an attempt to make up for deficient technique.

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Re: Do Dohenys sustain better than Jazzmasters?

Post by beninma » Thu Sep 22, 2022 11:49 am

You're talking about playing an arpeggio and holding all the notes in the chord and not temporarily muting any of them? As opposed to the style of playing the notes one by one, or just adding some right hand muting.

There's different ways of talking about arpeggios. Sure I get it there. And there's still different ways of playing to get those same different effects.

Some of those things are techniques that are certainly not easy to pull off all ways in all conditions.

This is guitar, I would obviously never win any argument about getting a sound with more technique or different technique versus buying different guitars or pedals or whatever, and so I concede.

But the OP wants more sustain. A Doheny gets there and sounds a lot more similar than a lot of other electric guitars with lots of sustain.

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Re: Do Dohenys sustain better than Jazzmasters?

Post by Larry Mal » Thu Sep 22, 2022 12:33 pm

beninma wrote:
Thu Sep 22, 2022 11:17 am


This is a technique thing. If the big Martin is booming and sustaining when it shouldn't that's the players fault.
Well, to some degree, however you would not be able to get around the fact that a Martin dreadnaught is designed to be a loud and powerful guitar. They advertised it as a "bass guitar" back in the day, it was supposed to compete with the banjo.

And sure, you can play it differently, it's a versatile kind of guitar. But then again, sustain or what you might call "resonance" is part of the design of the guitar and if you don't want that, would it be easier to adjust your playing to reduce it or just use a guitar that is built differently?

And I know this doesn't quite apply to electric guitars the same. My only point was that sustain isn't some Holy Grail to be chased, and guitars that sustain a lot aren't inherently "better". Sustain is just a facet of how a guitar plays the notes, you may want a lot of it or you may want less of it, neither choice is by default right or wrong.
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Re: Do Dohenys sustain better than Jazzmasters?

Post by Larry Mal » Thu Sep 22, 2022 12:38 pm

beninma wrote:
Thu Sep 22, 2022 11:49 am


But the OP wants more sustain. A Doheny gets there and sounds a lot more similar than a lot of other electric guitars with lots of sustain.
I mean, he does want more sustain, and that's fine. I've had a hard time figuring out how to answer him.

First of all, why doesn't his guitar right now have much sustain? It's a Tune-O-Matic bridge on there, and those bridges are found on any number of guitars famous for sustain. You can't say that the TOM bridge shouldn't be able to have all the sustain that anyone could want.

And that's why I'm not recommending the Mastery bridge, because shit, it might just be that this guitar sucks and won't have a lot of sustain no matter what you do to it. I'd have a hard time telling someone to drop $350-450 on buying a Mastery and having the body drilled out for it.

You could maybe get a better TOM, I'm sure the one on this guitar is absolute garbage, but again, would that not be throwing good money after bad?

But is the solution an entirely new guitar? It's a bit of a step to recommend that, you know? And if we are discussing new guitars, why are we only limiting it to the G&L?
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Re: Do Dohenys sustain better than Jazzmasters?

Post by eggwheat » Thu Sep 22, 2022 12:41 pm

There are various sort sorts of polyphonic ebow effects these days...so you can get it to sustain forever like a synth or violin? I think I have it built into my Helix board.. must admit I've never really considered the sustain level of my guitars. I do notice the Jaguar has a plunky more percussive sound compared to a Jazzmaster.

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Re: Do Dohenys sustain better than Jazzmasters?

Post by beninma » Thu Sep 22, 2022 12:44 pm

Why not just not try to convince someone who wants more sustain that they're wrong and they should instead want to play like you/sound like you?

These kind of discussions remind me of the whole "be an individual as long as you make sure you're just like everyone else who plays an offset" angles.

If somebody asks for more sustain it's more useful to offer them options than to try and say they shouldn't do that.

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Re: Do Dohenys sustain better than Jazzmasters?

Post by Larry Mal » Thu Sep 22, 2022 12:53 pm

beninma wrote:
Thu Sep 22, 2022 12:44 pm


If somebody asks for more sustain it's more useful to offer them options than to try and say they shouldn't do that.
Well, I've done that, and I just put out some reasons why I find the question a little more complex than just should I get Doheny.

Honestly, I wouldn't have said anything otherwise except I started seeing the old canards that sustain is better and your guitar should have as much of it as possible, which I emphatically don't agree with. If I wanted that I'd buy a glossy magazine at the drug store and read about Duane Allman or something.

Because I do believe that everyone should make their own choices, sometimes a guitar that offers a lot of sustain is the choice and other times it's not.
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Re: Do Dohenys sustain better than Jazzmasters?

Post by bessieboporbach » Thu Sep 22, 2022 5:42 pm

beninma wrote:
Thu Sep 22, 2022 6:33 am
Right more sustain is always better.

It's easier to eliminate the sustain with technique than to have to add it in with electronics that require extra purchases, unless the sustain somehow harms some other aspect of the tone I guess.
Well most serious jazz guitarists do accept that excess sustain is something that harms the articulation of their phrasing. This is a large part of the reason why so few jazz guitarists play Les Pauls or SGs. (I exclude fusion players who are working in more of a rock idiom.) And you could hardly think of a constituency that cares more about "tone" than straight-ahead jazz players.

A lot of surf players are similarly wary of SG or LP type guitars (even the ones with vibratos and P90s) because they feel they cannot get the correct articulation out of them.

So it's perfectly valid for a serious musician to want a bridge, tailpiece, or body style that sustains less and not more. Just as the reverse is true if the goal is to play like Peter Green. But even that requires a lot of "help" from the amp.

That being said, I've never felt that Jazzmasters or Jaguars in their traditional configurations sustained inadequately for any kind of music I care to listen to. A properly set up Jaguar sustains as well as a Strat, if not an SG. I do however think that the obsession with sustain, seemingly to the exclusion of other qualities, deserves the mockery that Spinal Tap doled out almost 40 years ago!

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Re: Do Dohenys sustain better than Jazzmasters?

Post by marqueemoon » Thu Sep 22, 2022 7:37 pm

I’d say Doheney.

Not gonna knock anyone’s preferences in the sustain dept.

Who here has listened to Les Paul’s recordings with Mary Ford? That shit is packed full of stacatto notes played on the quintessential “sustain” guitars.

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Re: Do Dohenys sustain better than Jazzmasters?

Post by mbene085 » Thu Sep 22, 2022 7:57 pm

johnnysomersett wrote:
Thu Sep 22, 2022 11:29 am
As much as I'm all for modifying guitars, and feel you should make them 'your own', I'm also a firm believer in using appropriate tools for appropriate jobs... no point using a sledgehammer to tap in a drywall nail.
Well, your first problem is that you're using drywall nails instead of drywall screws.

Vastly superior.

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Re: Do Dohenys sustain better than Jazzmasters?

Post by andy_tchp » Thu Sep 22, 2022 8:26 pm

mbene085 wrote:
Thu Sep 22, 2022 7:57 pm
johnnysomersett wrote:
Thu Sep 22, 2022 11:29 am
As much as I'm all for modifying guitars, and feel you should make them 'your own', I'm also a firm believer in using appropriate tools for appropriate jobs... no point using a sledgehammer to tap in a drywall nail.
Well, your first problem is that you're using drywall nails instead of drywall screws.

Vastly superior.
But why do you want drywall affixed in the first place? What is this obsession with drywall when brick or masonry walls can be just as effective?
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Re: Do Dohenys sustain better than Jazzmasters?

Post by mbene085 » Thu Sep 22, 2022 10:14 pm

andy_tchp wrote:
Thu Sep 22, 2022 8:26 pm
But why do you want drywall affixed in the first place? What is this obsession with drywall when brick or masonry walls can be just as effective?
I just prefer the tone of a semi-hollow.

8)

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Re: Do Dohenys sustain better than Jazzmasters?

Post by johnnysomersett » Thu Sep 22, 2022 10:28 pm

mbene085 wrote:
Thu Sep 22, 2022 10:14 pm
andy_tchp wrote:
Thu Sep 22, 2022 8:26 pm
But why do you want drywall affixed in the first place? What is this obsession with drywall when brick or masonry walls can be just as effective?
I just prefer the tone of a semi-hollow.

8)
So, what you're saying is, get a Casino?...with a Bigsby?
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