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Brian

4 New Modification Tutorials

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OK, so are we talking Ansil's sustainer right...not mine?

Give me a little time, actually there was some discussion early in the sustainer ideas thread also as well as plenty of other stuff if you do a search. Mostly, it was of people complaining that it didn't work!!!!!!!!!!!

I even found the other day my original Ansil circuit so I can take a picture of it. I may even go to the extent of trying it again since it's come up again with a vengence. Knowing what I know now, perhaps I can get it to work in what ever fashion that it does, and settle this ounce and for all!

Anyway, I'll make it so that there can be no doubt how it's supposed to go together and it's up to you to fiddle around with it and see if you have more luck.

I hope people realize that if I were to tell you exactly how my drivers work and show you how to put it together, you might not be able to get it to work. I've been working with the CPx for over six months almost everyday now so that's a lot of thought and as much disappointment when the things fail by sitting there doing nothing.

To illustrate the point, LK correspond on the side and we have a confidentiality agreement on the subject. He has a single string CPx prototype and hasn't yet got quite the results I'm getting. Mind you the newer drivers are better. But he surely knows a lot more than me on the electronics side of things. I spent quite a bit of time studying the magnetic side of things.

Anyway, as I say give me a little time

Hope that helps and takes the heat off of Ansil

psw

PS thanks for the compliments A.G.

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I need help with the wiring now. His schematic is for the sustainer with two humbuckers, and I need one for a guitar with one humbucker, one volume, one tone, a trim pot for the sustainer, the sustainer with a switch, and the output jack. Once I get it wired up, I'm going to play around with placement and mods to the circuit to see what I can do.

This is what I have so far. It may be wrong. It needs a switch, volume, tone, and output jack.

sustainer2p4vt.png

I appluad both you and ansil (and everyone that's added input) for your work with sustainers. I'm really impressed with what you've done. I don't mean to criticize either of you in any way.

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Hmmm...must be now,

well...off the top of my head, put a switch on the 9v battery + supply (any switch will do, just so it's connected, or not. This turns off the power.

I think I used a 100uF capacitor on the output by the way, gives a little more bass that's all.

For your sustain knob...just replace the trim pot with a 1K log pot (usually marked A1k (think A for Audio). B resistors are Linear (think B is not Audio!). The pot gives an amplification of between 20 to 200x.

Now ansil reports using tiny speakers as you find in headphones by the way. I'd be going with those two. Technically the 386 chip is looking for 8ohm load and it's easier to get somewhere between 4-16 ohm with speakers. They are also magnetic so that may have an effect as I suggested in the previous post.

OK, now one pickup guitar. I have had a lot of trouble getting this type of thing working with the "driver" and pickup together. It's exactly the same as sticking a microphone into a speaker, howling feedback, not sustain. Also there is more "throw" the further along the string you go, hence sustainers are usually up by the neck where the strings are easier to vibrate and away from the bridge pickup which is usually driving it.

Ansil does however suggest that it will work on the body and in the tremolo cavity. I'd even suggest trying it on the tremolo block. They will have to be securely fixed but still allow the cone, or piezo element to vibrate. Perhaps super glue when you find that spot (if you dare).

All that's required is that you take a signal direct from the pickup to the sustainer. Probably best to take it from the first place the pickup wires connect to (usually the selector switch) but probably the volume control.

Another tip, a small cap across the pins 1 and 8 where the trimmer is connected (or the pot if you replace it) will cut back on hiss, a bigger oune will roll of a lot of treble or you could place a 22uF like your output from one pin to the pot and then the pot to the other pin (ie in series) to dramatically loose the highs. These are measures I've been trying to control the high frequency oscillation (feedback squeel) that you may find.

One more thing....try reversing the speaker wires each time you try it. This effects the phase of the signal (in this case detirmines whether the speaker is moving in or out). This has a dramatic effect on experiments. Get it wrong in the right place and you'll find the thing unsuccessfully trying to stop the strings from vibrating!

I certainly hope you appreciate that as that was very bad timing for me to do this at dinnertime tonight :D ...I would have gotten something up tomorrow. I expect to here some reports success or not of what happened when you tryed it out.

psw

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This is becoming ludicrous! The fact is that Ansil made his system work, but he's got years of electronics experience, and psw's got a working system, but he's put an incredible amount of research and countless man hours into his project. The patent applications and the currently available products clearly show that either approach will work. If you're willing to do the work, you should be able to mock up a working system using either approach in about a month or two, provided you do your homework and stay at it - if you're not willing to do all that and want a turnkey system with zero issues, stop whining and buy a Fernandes or a Sustainiac! This is DIY guitar, and a lot of it is experimental - once it stops being DIY, you'll see it in Guitar Gallery with a $495 price tag on it. :D

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if its only a speaker that vibrates the strings

An internally mounted piezo speaker or guitar mounted speaker does not cause the strings to vibrate. The only kind of feedback you are going to get with that is the microphonic type - like the kind you get when you stand close to an amp and start to get feedback. Same principle with Ansil's sustainer mod. :D

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:D I understand your point, Paul, but I have to disagree somewhat with your conclusion - I've been laying the lower bout of my bass against the side of a 4-10 cabinet to pull feedback for well over 2 decades without once getting any pickup squeal. Anything that causes the guitar body (or neck, for that matter) to vibrate causes the strings to vibrate - the Sustainiac Model C is a good example, as is actual acoustic feedback from a really loud amp.

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I can't speak to Ansil's sustainer, but standing in front of your amp generates sympathetic feedback (physical vibration of your strings), not microphonic, provided your original signal is being produced by magnetic pickups and not a microphone. :D

Greg

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Hi, Dlaxer6

As you can see from the history of this thread...it comes and goes at regular intervals...at time poor Ansil's come in for some stick too! :D

It was in searching out sustainer stuff that I came across Project Guitar so it's fun to see it back...kinda

Anyway...the model C Sustainer is what sustainiac call an Acoustic Sustainer and works by physically vibrating the guitar from the end of the neck. I posted a link to a guy who cut the speaker cone out of a little speaker and installed it in the body of the guitar to produce a similar effect. I've made a few but with mixed results. The best was with the speaker cone still attached but face down on the front of the guitar behind the input jack of a (largely hollowed out) strat. A few others have tried similar experiments too.

More recently, Ansil himself has be working on this idea and seems to have gotten a bit further than I did with it. You'll find these posts somewhere between pages 40-50 of the Sustainer Ideas Thread, I would imagine.

If you have loose wound, unpotted pickups, or anything inside the guitar that could resonate to vibrations and be picked up by the pickups, you will get squeel.

I've returned to continuing to work with magnetic sustainers...both these and the acoustic type...have advantages and disadvantages.

So, to answer your question...Vibrations will transmit more effectively through solids than through air. Hence, when LK pushes his bass up against the speaker box the vibration's are transmitted directly to the strings, which vibrate in sympathy.

You are right then, the speaker mounted on the guitar could/will produce infinite sustain/feedback. However, it does this by transmitting the vibrations through the body to the strings. There is no need for it to be "in the middle"...ie under the strings...as it is not the air pressure coming out of the speaker that's doing the work, but the vibrations of the speaker itself. Now Fernandes may have mounted the speaker in such a way to limit sypathetic vibrations as their intention was not to produce a sustainer guitar. The other thing though, is that you need quite a bit of acoustic power to get it to work effectively....the speaker needs to physically vibrate the instrument so it will need to be loud!

For me...I've explored the magnetic sustainer and we are getting it to a viable DIY project. The advantages are that it's quiet and requires less power to operate as it is only working on the strings themselves....not trying to vibrate the whole instrument.

So, join us over there at the sustainer thread if you want to see what's going on with all types of sustainers, including this project and other acoustic sustainers, to the ebow, to...well anything that will sustain really B)

Hope this has been useful :D

psw

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Hmm... well when I get my amp to feedback, I don't feel the strings vibrating, or if they do, it's in an inperceptable manner. The way I understand this, all pickups are microphonic to one degree or another. I have been under the impression that if you get too close to a loud amp, those pickups will cause a microphonic feedback loop between your amplifier and your guitar. I know, your pickups are not microphones, but they sort of act like one in this situation, IMO.

I know what the sustainiac type systems do, and the Sustainiac Model C literally vibrates the neck, causing the strings to vibrate. Ansil's sustainer mod is more akin to microphonic feedback due to being very close to the pickup rather than making the strings vibrate sypathetically.

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Well,actually Paul, I think what Ansil is also exploiting....at least from what he's told me about it...is inductive feedback. He liked "the added resonances created by mounting it to the pickup". In general he didn't use piezos as described but speakers from headphones.

What can occur is that the speaker coil is radiating EM which is picked up as a disturbance of the magnetic field by the pickup, and the two work together like the two coils of a transformer. This can produce a massive amount of gain, and compression like sustain as a result, if the conditions are right. Basically, this EM is the signal. If the source is the other pickup you can kinda get a way with it...it's a sustain-like effect...if not a sustainer as such.

This effect can be used to help though and was used in my last hex designs and could be used with my new pickup/driver combo too!

However, if the conditions are not right...you will get what sounds like microphonic feedback. Basically, the amplifier goes into oscillation. This effect is obvious when you get the driver coil too close to the source pickup. Even a perfectly potted pickup and driver is not immune to this as there are resonances within the amplification circuitry itself that will result in this oscillation (or so I believe)

It's all very confusing, I know. :D

In general, no one but ansil seems to have been able to get the balancing act right for this mod. :D

Certainly, (from what ansil has said) acoustic feedback through the body was the principle behind it and he has successfully installed such devices in a number of instruments with the speaker element in various locations. He seems to be still working along these lines and others have had some success with the principle. I have had the speaker thing going but I much prefer the magnetic style...it's less noisey and evasive for me...but the acoustic thing does have it's advantages

pete

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psw-

Inductive feedback and not microphonic feedback, huh? Hmmm... interesting. I thought the piezo speaker was acting in a manner similar to a guitar amp speaker to create feedback. So how does a peizo/headphone speaker accomplish that?!

Just for the record, I was going to build this circuit, but I never did because it seems like no one has ever gotten to work, except for Ansil...

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psw-

Inductive feedback and not microphonic feedback, huh? Hmmm... interesting. I thought the piezo speaker was acting in a manner similar to a guitar amp speaker to create feedback. So how does a peizo/headphone speaker accomplish that?!

Ok, a piezo wont because it's not magnetic. But then, correct me if i'm wrong, Mr A was proposing a piezo, he reported that his working examples used headphone sized speakers, in varying locations. He confirmed that the idea was to transmit acoustic energy to the strings. This acoustic energy does not need to be that great, but it does need to be in an exact resonance. You can break a glass if you get the resonant frequency right, it's not air pressure that does it but sympathetic vibrations.

I don't believe that a conventional piezo could do this. The only time I was able to get sustain from a piezo was to actually have it touch the string where it crossed over the bridge! I did try to have it vibrate tiny powerful magnets to try and vibrate the string via their magnetic field. Ansil inspired this avenue too as I mistakenly thought that, by him vibrating the pickup, the strings were in turn vibrated by the movement of it's magnetic field...well it seemed like a good idea at the time!

You can use a headphone speaker as a rudimentry driver. A driver is a low ohm (say 8 ohm) coil with a magnetic core. That's exactly what a speaker is except that there are moving parts and not really designed to emitt EM radiation. I does however and if you amplify the signal and place it very close to a string, that string will vibrate just like a magnetic sustainer!

I also wondered if it were not possible that Ansil's was working because this EM was causing a pulse through the pickup, and thereby getting a result...nope! But another inspiring avenue to undertake so I was working on more conventional designs with driving coils below conventional pickups, that fed off of the pickups own magnetic field and would be invisible on the instrument and be retrofitted to conventional pickups...again, no luck...it does seem that the driving coil does need to be close to the string.

Nevertheless, I have been able to make my latest pickup/driver combination work well...with the driving coil close to the strings....so the inspiration did bear some fruit you could say. I'm so happy with the performance and concept that I'm designing a guitar around it!

So inductive feedback....there are various ways to observe this. One is simply to place one of the driving outputs to a string or any earthed part of the guitar. The electric/magnetic pulses will be picked up by the pickup and amplified. As the pulses are an analog of the string's vibrations, these pulses will immediately compound in strength till they reach their maximum possible output.

Trouble is, the effect only lasts while there is a signal in, it does not create the signal, the string does, and when that stops, so does the effect. But not in a good way. It now tries to sustain any noise or harmonic frequency that it can now find in it's system and try to amplify that. The result is instant oscillation...just like microphonic feedback (well, I guess it kind of is). This will stop if the string sounds again as this will now be the dominant frequency and overwhelm the comparitively little oscillating causing ones...so I believe.

So this effect isn't it'self a sustainer. But it does produce maximum output with very little input. I was able to harness this innate power...it's a little complicated...in combination with extremely small driving coils close to the strings, to produce true infinite sustain...but the sonic results were not that impressive and there were all kinds of problems in it's practical application. It was at this point that I abandoned the hex driver system for more conventional driving coils.

Still it's a fascinating effect...a bit like the theory of cold fusion...could lead to nothing. I might dabble in it again some time. My new pickup/driver is a very similar transformer like arrangement of secondary and primary coils on a common magnetic core, so the door is still open if I choose to experiment with this further in the future.

Just for the record, I was going to build this circuit, but I never did because it seems like no one has ever gotten to work, except for Ansil...

The circuit...the LM386 and 100uf output capacitor does work and was used for quite a long time in the early day's of the sustainer thread to great effect. It will load passive pickup down though although with actives you may be ok as they're buffered against loading. The LM386 has everything in it to make an amplifier. The rest of the components are there just to keep it happy. One reason for the other caps and such is to resist some of this oscillation. At some point I switched to the more conventional LM386 schematic but I really dont know if it is necessarily better for this application.

As far as the Mod goes...I tried but couldn't get it to work but Ansil assures me that he has done it a number of times. I have gotten say a 2" speaker powered by a LM386 circuit to produce enough vibration to qualify as a sustainer. I'm sure that you could also use the "circuit" to power a rudimentary coil. I certainly did, but in practic a preamp or buffer is going to be needed for moast applications.

Still for about $2 it's cheap and simple...you got to give it that!

pete

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in regards to your black ice tut

can you go into more of a descripton of what types of diodes are suitable, what their ratings should be, what to look for

maybe even go into how the ovderdrive sound is created by a diode

"low voltage schottky diodes" doesn't help me much in understanding how this tut is supposed to work

for example what is the difference between a diode you see on a distorion pedal and the ones you mentioned

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in regards to your black ice tut

can you go into more of a descripton of what types of diodes are suitable, what their ratings should be, what to look for

maybe even go into how the ovderdrive sound is created by a diode

"low voltage schottky diodes" doesn't help me much in understanding how this tut is supposed to work

for example what is the difference between a diode you see on a distorion pedal and the ones you mentioned

actually if you search the forum you will see the strawberry ice which is a diy attempt at the black ice. bat41's are the seemingly best ones so far thanks to LoveKraft. if you search for a definition of Schottky diodes. w hich i probally misspelled you will see that they have a very low forward voltage.. a normal 1n4148 or so has about .6v in which it takes to turn it on.. thus meaning you would need very beefy pickups to drive it.. i think Germaniums are what .4 .3 or so. and bats are in the low.15 range or so. i don't rem right off the top of my head.

i just posted what it was because i have experience in electronics and thought it was interesting. and brian actually got down in one. i have taken apart so many things now i would need a database to rem all of them.

alot of my tutorials weren't written for a entry level [by no means do i know your electonics level and make no asumptions] i have had a few questions and complaints on the ease of my schematics so alas i have had to resolve to let people better at teaching do this to interperate my ideas since i can't seem to fully express them hear without mass confusion and chaos. Lk is a good one to explain he explains things to me lol.

I spent way to much time at diystompboxes.com [good times dont' get me wrong] but everyone over there is building pedals so alot of the quesitons are geared more on higher level questions such as a/d converters and doing fun things like stacking trannys or opamps to see what kind of sonic mayhem we can get into.

ciao

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"low voltage schottky diodes" doesn't help me much in understanding how this tut is supposed to work.
Schottky diodes are special diodes - they are not the same as silicon signal diodes. A quick google search will explain how they differ, but you really don't need to know that to make this work.

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true but the more info one has the better off they are in deciding

when i look up schottky diodes i see thousands of part numbers so it helps to give referance to a part number instead of a brand name

and when you normaly look up diodes you see all kinds things that throw you off if your not a electronics geek and know what to look for

silicone, recrifier, switching, zener, singal, dual, ect

all that is greek to someone who doesn't know from experience

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:D And I suppose it's Mandarin Chinese to somebody who won't use the search feature - a forum search for schottky brings up the following part numbers: BAT43, 1N6263, 1N5711, 1N5817, BAT41, 1N5819. Any of these will work - none of them will work very well unless you've got really hot pickups.

It will also yield a link to a construction article that I've posted at least twice (and Paul Marossy at least once) - the by now infamous Strawberry Ice page has pictures and instructions. With the time and effort you've spent asking (in 3 or 4 different threads), you could easily have found this for yourself. Nobody expects you to be an electronics expert, but exhibiting a little initiative and self-reliance is going to make you more likely to get some help when you need it. Now go search, and no more questions until you've read everything in the archives. Please take this in the friendly spirit it is intended - Ansil already pointed you towards the BAT41, and Perry told you to look for the Strawberry Ice, so it's not like you've gotten no assistance. At this point, you can probably expect very little further help until you show some effort on your part. :D

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:D  And I suppose it's Mandarin Chinese to somebody who won't use the search feature -

haaaaaaaaaaaaaa.. True true man. but shoot we have alll benn there. man this keybouard sucks donkey ears.

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heh

why are you assuming that i didnt search and didnt read

all im doing is lookin for clarification

more often than not the responses in over 3/4 of the diodes posts consist of "search you peon" instead of actual usefull information

now i know it gets annoyin for you mods and i appologise

for me it gets annoying to seach a forum for info when your results are replies sayin "search the forum"

so yeh heh

im a nub my bad

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Of course, if everyone actually *did* search first, there would only be the original (ie: the informative one) thread cropping up in the search...

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