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45 second sustain "good guitar" test

3252 Views 76 Replies 31 Participants Last post by  xevek90490
In a recent article I came across, Paul Reed Smith says:

"A great electric guitar is harmonically rich and bright on the low strings, thick-sounding on the high strings, and rings about 45 seconds," Smith told Guitarist. "A very poor electric guitar is bassy on the low strings, tinny on the high strings, and rings for about 16 seconds. No pickup is going to fix that!"

I'm guessing he means unplugged? A casual test of a few of my guitars revealed about 16 seconds of sustain when I strum a chord (not an open chord). Open string, sure a bit longer, but not 45 seconds.

I guess my guitars have shitty unamplified sustain. Oh well. It's a good thing I have amps, then. 馃榿
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I had a bit more respect for Paul Reed Smith's take on things. He has now lost a few points on my respect radar.
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I wonder where he gets the 45 second thing. I don't know if I've ever heard an acoustic sustain the long and while I haven't tested very many electrics unplugged, none that I have, even came close to that. Maybe he is using some instrument that records sound way below what registers in human ears.

Playability is still the most important thing when playing any instrument. If you want sustain, there are ways to get that without having your guitar do it.
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I think if I bought a PRS and threw it off the CN Tower in Toronto, it would sustain for at least 45 seconds. Unfortunately, after that drop, it would no longer be a guitar. :)
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Can Mr. Smith sustain his theory? :)
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I am now wondering how long this thread will sustain our interest. :)
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