We consider a Wigner-type ensemble, i.e. large hermitian $N\times N$ random matrices $H=H^*$ with centered independent entries and with a general matrix of variances $S_xy=\mathbb E|H_xy|^2$. The norm of $H$ is asymptotically given by the maximum of the support of the self-consistent density of states. We establish a bound on this maximum in terms of norms of powers of $S$ that substantially improves the earlier bound $2\| S\|^1/2_\infty$. The key element of the proof is an effective Markov chain approximation for the contributions of the weighted Dyck paths appearing in the iterative solution of the corresponding Dyson equation.