Sustain


ian.thompson26
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Joined: 05/11/19
Posts: 5
ian.thompson26
Full Access
Joined: 05/11/19
Posts: 5
10/12/2019 2:26 pm

I'm still a relative beginner - I've just bought a Boss Katana 50 amp but still have a cheap guitar which was gifted to me (yamaha erg121). I've been trying to get better sustain for playing long sounding power chords for rock / metal. Despite turning both the gain & booster knobs up to high on the amp, I cannot get a decent level of sustain for power chords. Anyone got any ideas for best amp setting for good sustain? I suspect it might be just down to cheap pick ups on the Yamaha ( I am using the humbucker in the bridge position). I will be looking to upgrade the guitar in the near future (something like an Epiphone Plus Top Pro). Hopefully a better guitar will improve the sustain but very grateful for any advice in the meantime regarding amp settings on the Katana.

Thanks to anyone who can respond.


# 1
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,380
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,380
10/12/2019 8:01 pm

The Katana is a great amp! While that Yamaha is an inexpensive model you should still be able to get some decent tone from it.

Originally Posted by: ian.thompson26

I've been trying to get better sustain for playing long sounding power chords for rock / metal. Despite turning both the gain & booster knobs up to high on the amp, I cannot get a decent level of sustain for power chords. Anyone got any ideas for best amp setting for good sustain?

The guitar does affect the tone through natural sustain. Good strings, a good fitting neck pocket, decent nut & bridge saddle metal. These are all things that will affect the sustain no matter what you do with FX or an amp.

However, there are 3 things an amp can do to increase sustain:

1. Volume. While this is the least practical option, it's also the most effective! Turn it up & stay close to the amp. There's no substitute for sheer volume! And don't forget to shake those strings. Add a little vibrato to any fretted notes to keep them in motion & ringing to help keep feeding that signal into the amp.

2. Amp model. Models with a lot of natural gain can help. So, try the crunch, lead or brown amp settings, then set the gain & volume on 50%. Turn up the master volume until you've got the appropriate amount of overall volume for your situation. Then you can gradually turn the gain & amp volume up a bit until you get the sustain you are looking for.

The problem with just turning up the gain to 100% is that at a certain point it works against the natural sustain from the guitar & turns into buzzy noise.

3. Use the Boost setting on the FX. Set the button to green for Blues Driver, or red for overdrive. The yellow for distortion won't help as much for sustain unless you've already got some sustain happening. Turn up the Boost volume until you notice that punchy midrange pushing a little more presence into the tone. That will help wil sustain on chords & single notes.

You could also add a little reverb to fatten it up or add depth. It won't add a lot of sustain, but it will help shape a decent tone that does have some sustain!

Hope that helps! Please ask more if necessary & best of success!


Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

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# 2
ian.thompson26
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Joined: 05/11/19
Posts: 5
ian.thompson26
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Joined: 05/11/19
Posts: 5
10/12/2019 8:57 pm

Chris

thanks for your very comprehensive reply - much appreciated 👍

i'll definitely give your suggestions a go, although I am a bit restricted on volume, playing in the bedroom 🤘


# 3

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