Sustain Guitars was born out of both obligation and demand. Yearning for a zero-compromise instrument that can be customized within reason and our goals.
It is the collaboration among an old-school, master grade Italian luthier, an Orange County "go to" repair & finishing guy with a distinguished eye for detail, and finally a lifelong guitarist with an ECAD & MI retail background and obsession with tone.
Our guitars begin their journey in Tuscany, Italy. There they are CNC'ed, hand-sanded, and buffed to perfection in-house, to our exacting design specifications one at a time, by only one man.
Then they're shipped to us in sunny Southern California and assembled, finished, and finally set-up.
This is an ideal way for our guitars to acclimate and transition to new climate and humidity levels which can have a major effect on any guitar.
Typically we allow an instrument to remain in-tune and under tension for at least a week before shipping or pickup.
Some of our designs are private, including alterations to the neck and body, electronics, and circuitry.
Currently, we have two USPTO Patents Pending.
"The Starwood" model is our initial release, melding '80's Sunset Strip style design with perfect tones, and playability. It's got all you need and nothing you don't, including a variety of enhancements we think you'll love.
Here Are Just a Few:
Our unique take on a "thinnish-C" compounded neck, with rolled fingerboard edges for comfort & playability, stainless frets beveled at a 35-degree angle then rounded over, 8mm oversized Brass circular inlays; Brass control knob positioning that's outta the way yet always in reach, and a Brass "boat-style" input jack that's literally out of sight.
Our necks are reinforced with carbon fiber that parallels the two-way adjustable truss rod, as well Brass doweling and inserts for the stainless steel machine screws, securing the neck joint at the guitar's most critical connection point.
Residing in our accurately angled headstock is an all Brass inlaid logo, that weighs in at a precise amount to increase the mass and some of the guitar's resonant properties, also assisting with the overall counterbalance of the instrument.
Obviously sustainably sourced lumber is utilized whenever plausible.
Brass has been utilized for centuries in the manufacturing of all kinds of musical instruments, from orchestral to drum cymbals, yet strangely enough, it's not seen enough when it comes to building guitars, sans the over-hyped tremolo block. Typically costs are cut and in lieu of Brass,"pot metals" and die-cast zinc are used.
There are generally three main types of Brass alloy used in a musical instruments produced today; typically employing gold, red or yellow.
We here at Sustain use only Yellow Brass (aka Musical Brass), which has a copper content of around 70%, the music industry standard, if an instrument's specification doesn't indicate the Brass used by color, don't just assume it's yellow.
Yellow Brass is very resonant, although light alloy, which produces a radiant yet direct tone that 'cuts through' practically any mix.
Thorough testing has been done here at Sustain, which we will continue to do so in the continuous pursuit of natural resonation enrichment for our instruments and our players. We aim to achieve this by listening; to our guitars and, more importantly, our customers.
Our Beliefs & Thoughts on Finishing
Nitro lacquer finishes seem to generally contribute to a stable, darker tone that projects very well, and non-lacquered instruments appear to typically have a deeper resonance. We use the thinnest nitrocellulose possible, as to allow the timbre or resonation of each note to oscillate as long as possible. Sufficiently stated for the time being.
While we cannot deny that the overall look of our guitars isn't influenced by reliced or aged guitars, this is partially due to our design concept.
In fact, we are merely attempting to provide some of the initially chosen body woods to "breathe" and be heard, as some say, exposing approximately 25% of the body wood and not merely smothering it with coat after coat of suffocating paints or other finishing alternatives. No automotive paints in stock here at Sustain!
Multi-coat polyurethane paint jobs are thick, and those viscous chemicals can dampen the resonance of the instrument. It's like encasing your guitar in a wetsuit. A common route to go for some builders, but not the one we took because the look, feel, and resonance released through thin, satin nitro coatings cannot be surpassed or denied.
Finish options here at Sustain Guitars are confined only to your imagination and our reasonably lenient approval.
The sounds that emanate from our instruments are some of the most soothing, resonate tones that you can create, notwithstanding your musical style. Everything you hear from our guitars is true, nothing active, or electronically intensified.
Whether you're here to be transported back to a bygone era when Rock-n-Roll ruled the Hollywood scene, and guitar heroes reigned supreme, or if you too simply believe there's a more reliable path to guitar design & build quality; one that's genuine and not just parroted hype, we think you've finally arrived.
At Sustain Guitars, here's what you won't find: compromises of any kind, quality substitutions, or apologies regarding the instruments we make.
This is never cheap; however, we make every attempt to control expenses, whenever and wherever we can.
Welcome to Sustain Guitars, we're glad you've arrived.
Comparison between yellow and gold brass.