Wanna increase the sustain from my 73 strat

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Wanna increase the sustain from my 73 strat

Postby steveokla on Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:51 pm

I was lucky to get a good '73 (it's the one pictured in my avatar). It's barely 7 lbs. (rare in the 70's strats I've played) and has a wonderful neck profile. Nice, tight neck pocket. I really like the pu's as well. In short, it just feels good to play.

Now, all that said, I would like to wring some more sustain out of it. I know just enough about the various changes to strats over the years to be annoying. Somewhere I've read that the 70's strats often lack the sustain of earlier models (apart from the woods) because of the stamped metal vs steel bridge and saddles, and owing to the extra string tree (which the article annouced was really unnecessary) which adds friction and increases string tension as well. It occurred to me that the string tree is certainly easily removed, assuming the article is correct and it's not really necessary for anything. The bridge and saddles are another matter. I assume one can buy high quality steel replacement bridges or even find pre-CBS bridges at exhorbitant prices. Thing is, I don't know if either can simply be swapped for the original or if the configurations (cavity, holes for attachment screws, etc.) are different. Sustain or not, I won't drill holes or commit other such abominations. If it's just a matter of removing the original bridge and putting on another, that's ok. Can anyone fill me in here?
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Re: Wanna increase the sustain from my 73 strat

Postby Michael Patrick on Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:46 pm

Steve, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I think you might have gotten ripped off on your Strat. In fact, it's not a Strat, that's a Tele in your avatar... :wink:
The price of meat has just gone up, and your old lady has just gone down
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Re: Wanna increase the sustain from my 73 strat

Postby Pacafeliz on Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:16 am

Michael Patrick wrote:Steve, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I think you might have gotten ripped off on your Strat. In fact, it's not a Strat, that's a Tele in your avatar... :wink:


HEY! you took the words outta my mouth! thant's NOT very hygenic. or of good manners! :lol: :wink:

Pat.
oaklandanny too wrote:Pat...
This is way late in posting... but I want to say that she's beautiful, man!!! You are blessed and the world will be a better place because of your little girl. Mark my words... She will live in a better world than we live in now... because she will help change it. God bless!!!!

RIP OaklandDanny, thanks for EVERYTHING! God bless you, always!
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Re: Wanna increase the sustain from my 73 strat

Postby steveokla on Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:43 am

In fact, it's not a Strat, that's a Tele

On NOoooooo. Another cruel hoax . . . .
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Re: Wanna increase the sustain from my 73 strat

Postby steveokla on Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:49 am

Ok, here's the truth--my '73 strat is in the witness protection program. That's why it's masquerading as a Nocaster. After it testifies againt a criminal Les Paul, it's back to the strat look.
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Re: Wanna increase the sustain from my 73 strat

Postby mkguitar on Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:34 am

check out the Callaham bridges and/or trem blocks.

His trem blocks make a huge difference compared to a current trem block...huge.

saddles are responsible for "ping"

trem...set it tight to the body for more mid range growl...float it only if your playing demands that you pitch up...that said I usually back off the 4 inside mounting screws a full turn for better return to pitch- the 2 outside screws are strong enough to act as a pivot point

more springs gives more sustain...I try to use 5, yes it is stiff, but added sound and better pitch return are the pay off.

strings- try different strings, look for a formulation with high steel content which means more excitation of the pick up. Larry Cragg uses Markley SLP's on Neil's guitars- I prefer D'Addario xl's. and yes, heavier gauge means more steel wiggling over top of the polepieces

string retainer gives a sharper break angle over the nut this is GOOD for sustain...try to get enough winds on the post so that you do have a 20º or better break angle ( lube your nut).

that's what comes to mind right away.

and then there are electronic solutions, raise the pick up ( careful that the bridge pick up doesn't pull the string off pitch) compressors, the Zinky Master Blaster is a good warm boost as is the RC boost

mk
Last edited by mkguitar on Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wanna increase the sustain from my 73 strat

Postby steveokla on Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:57 am

Thank you very much!! Love to hear more! Regards, Steve
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Re: Wanna increase the sustain from my 73 strat

Postby yngwie308 on Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:18 am

You might look into converting to the 4 bolt neck mounting. This is if you don't mind affecting the value of your Strat for future sale. Yngwie Malmsteen, you may have heard of him..? :lol:
He started converting his early seventies Strats to 4 bolt connection for better tonal transfer and a more secure mechanical connection. The micro-tilt adjustment might of seemed a good idea at the time, but is practically useless if the guitar is set up properly. Larry Lashbrook in Florida...Lashbrook Guitars. Look him up, he offers this conversion to machine screws with brass inserts in the neck at a quite reasonable price. He works on Yngwie's guitars and has for many years.

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This may seem dramatic, but it is the ultimate for a three-bolt bullet truss rod guitar. Sure you can do all the Callaham bridge stuff, which is expensive, but this mod, though altering the value of the guitar, is the ultimate improvement and utilizing the stock vintage trem is amazing!!
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Re: Wanna increase the sustain from my 73 strat

Postby Frails on Sat Jan 24, 2009 4:38 am

I tried a Callaham and was blown away. It's the first thing I change now on new guitars.
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Re: Wanna increase the sustain from my 73 strat

Postby Tone-Freak on Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:11 pm

would a callahm help a old 62 strat or is it already heavy enough :D
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