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Sustainer Ideas

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Are your strings hitting the frets?

If so (and "ferocity" would suggest so) then that could be a reason why everything goes to harmonics and is a little unpredictable.

not really when using the driver (unless it's at full power); this is a cheap plyood guitar with baaaad action though, so whenever I'm normally strumming or picking the strings hit all over the place. I tend to think of it as fret slapping ahum...'technique' that I have incorporated into my... 'style' :D

I found another IC that seems like it would be a great option for AGC

why is it I get all warm and fuzzy inside when a new opamp pops up? that one looks pretty promising...with all the new ideas and to do's popping up we'll have another few pages ahead of us. I have another box concept brewing to address the whole battery/implementation thing as well...this thread needs some more fancy renders :D .

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Hi David...

Not really up and running for wiring stuff, but someone here will no doubt help on the other thread. That article has been discussed here before I believe. Some thoughts... One thing that needs to be considered is the strong string pull of conventional single coils. Also, two single coils do not make a HB. The pickup is only a part of the equation, the guitar is important. More tone shaping can be found in the amplifier or signal processing than can be found in pickup selection. So many pickups will make the inclusion of a sustainer very difficult (I realise that you are suggesting that a different guitar be used for this purpose). The cost of five quality single coils would afford a whole new guitar (my contemporary squier top of the line strat with "duncan designed" pickups cost about the same as two new pickups and is lovely guitar to play). My new guitar has a very broad tonal range, but the combination of HB's and SC is a little mismatched...often such a guitar will not be as versitle as you may expect, you may get a range of sounds, but none that are stellar. The combination of pickups is sometimes problematic as the magnetic fields interact. to get a humbucking effect, some coils will need to be reverse wound, reverse polarity. You may get a loss of sustain and wolf tones from the strength of these magnetic fields... Just some random thoughts....

For specifics on wiring and opinions on this kind of thing you may find more at the specialist wiing forum...guitar nuts?

Tim

I have another box concept brewing to address the whole battery/implementation thing as well...this thread needs some more fancy renders :D

Those concepts in the page 30's were by far the most stimulating posts in the thread conceptually. I'd love to see the box idea, and I know when ever it comes up there is a lot of interest. Technically, it is very problematic. The bypassing of pickups on multi pickup guitars is a particular problem. Even on a single pickup guitar, or a mid-driver or some other solution...there is still the need for the signal to go in and the driver leads to go out. That is still a bit of modification to the guitar itself plus the installation of a driver. What people would like to see is something that just sticks onto the guitar or plugs into the jack socket (like my "sustain box")...I just dont see how that is going to work.

However...I have a guitar now that may suit such a solution. The box solves the problems of accomodating the battery and there is less restriction on the size of the circuit. The controls two can be accomodated without modification to the instrument, so the sustainer install is reversable at least and does not require extensive structural work on the instrument.

I think that we were able to show, that a stick on sustainer is accetable and can even be seen as being an ultra-cool accessory. It certainly sets itself apart from the devices that have so far been offered.

Will be looking forward to any visualisations you may come up with... pete

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Hi Pete, my apologies, have been changing over service providers, and could not get online....

</font><br><br>Not really up and running for wiring stuff, but someone here will no doubt help on the other thread. That <a href="http://users.chariot.net.au/%7Egmarts/pickupme.htm" target="_blank">article</a> has been discussed here before I believe. Some thoughts... One thing that needs to be considered is the strong string pull of conventional single coils. Also, two single coils do not make a HB. The pickup is only a part of the equation, the guitar is important. <br><br><font color="#0000ff">

Yes, I realize that. But my Ibanez Prestige already has a HSH configuration, and I just wanted to see whether I might be able to get more out of the guitar than it presently offers in terms of sounds. However, in view of the exhorbitant price, I decided to go for an alternative wiring configuration instead, that allows me the Les Paul twin HB combination. However the other combination I really wanted was that of the two outside humbucker coils, the same combination that sounds so good on a Strat. Rather than sell the Ibanez to finance another warmoth hollow body for the Strat, I decided to just replace the p/ups on the Strat with the Fender noiseless ones designed for Jeff Beck that I got very cheaply, keeping the already very useful push pull switch p/up combo I just mentioned, and using the Strat for the sustainer project. Then I decided to replace the broken FR trem on the Ibanez and lose the locking nut in favour of a set of Schaller locking machine heads, again much cheaper than the Sperzels, and still really nice. Then, once I can afford to replace the p/ups on the Ibanez, I will see how that affect the sound. Now I just have to work out how to wire the combination I mentioned, and if possible also split the coils with the same combination. But the 4 conductor wiring does not conform to any other pickup schematics I have found so far - on the single coil, the red goes to ground...really confusing. <br>I am also contemplating a small wattage valve amp kit with a power scaling. These can be obtained really cheaply from certain companies. But I realize that we are talking about killer voltages, so I am somewhat hesitant, even if I had the money to buy one. But some of the sound demos are incredible!

Combine that with a sustainer and you would have a tone to die for!<br></font><br>More tone shaping can be found in the amplifier or signal processing than can be found in pickup selection. So many pickups will make the inclusion of a sustainer very difficult (I realise that you are suggesting that a different guitar be used for this purpose). The cost of five quality single coils would afford a whole new guitar (my contemporary squier top of the line strat with "duncan designed" pickups cost about the same as two new pickups and is lovely guitar to play). <br><br><font color="#0000ff">

Yes, I realize that, which is why I went for the Fender noiseless p/ups - they were 90UKP for all three, nearly the price for a single SD, or a single Suhr or similar. And if they are incompatible with the Sustainer driver, then perhaps I can find another way to mount it so that it will work. But Juán seems to have disappeared from the scene for the time being.....probably bogged down with work, I don't know.

</font><br><br>My new guitar has a very broad tonal range, but the combination of HB's and SC is a little mismatched...often such a guitar will not be as versitle as you may expect, you may get a range of sounds, but none that are stellar. The combination of pickups is sometimes problematic as the magnetic fields interact. to get a humbucking effect, some coils will need to be reverse wound, reverse polarity. You may get a loss of sustain and wolf tones from the strength of these magnetic fields... Just some random thoughts....<br><br><font color="#0000ff">

I think that in terms of my Ibanez, as it was built and designed for that configuration, it is well balanced - my only beef is that the humbuckers sound a little too wooly to me, but they can sound really good. But I am reasonably sure that they are custom made by Dimarzio, and I have never liked Dimarzios. I don't like high hot overwound pickups. The kind of sound I am after is one that allows one to clean up the sound just by rolling back the volume control, like on a PAF, but I am unwilling to fork out for a set of '59 SDs, and they do not have 4 conductor wiring either. I will probably go for a pair of Carvin Allan Holdsworth pickups when I can get someone to buy them in the USA and send them on - their online prices US only are very low compared to the prices charged by their distributors....

</font><br><br>For specifics on wiring and opinions on this kind of thing you may find more at the specialist wiing forum...<a href="http://guitarnuts2.proboards45.com/index.cgi" target="_blank">guitar nuts</a>?<br><br><font color="#0000ff">

Tried them....not much help to me.

I have another box concept brewing to address the whole battery/implementation thing as well...this thread needs some more fancy renders <img src="style_emoticons/default/party.gif" style="vertical-align: middle;" emoid=":D" alt="party.gif" border="0">
<br><br>Those concepts in the page 30's were by far the most stimulating posts in the thread conceptually. I'd love to see the box idea, and I know when ever it comes up there is a lot of interest. Technically, it is very problematic. The bypassing of pickups on multi pickup guitars is a particular problem. Even on a single pickup guitar, or a mid-driver or some other solution...there is still the need for the signal to go in and the driver leads to go out. That is still a bit of modification to the guitar itself plus the installation of a driver. What people would like to see is something that just sticks onto the guitar or plugs into the jack socket (like my "sustain box")...I just dont see how that is going to work.<br><br><font color="#0000ff">

That would be the answer to so many problems....I know we can make it work one way or another! And it would be so much more elegant that the Roland hex driver systems...I don't know how a company who can make such amazing guitars with built-in hex p/ups can later design such an aberration as a MIDI driver and hex driver for the Virtual modeling series - I mean, what is the point of that when you have RMC and others making piezzo bridges that look no different from a normal Strat bridge, but which function in both those capacities and additionally act as piezzo electric p/ups?

BTW, Pete you are responsible for me having totally changed my position on modeling - now I have heard amps like the Suhr Badger, I realize that I have thrown away 3 years of ******* around with a Pod XT trying to get a tone, that is actually nothing to do with tone - what was lacking was the organic interaction between the instrument and the valves themselves - in combination with the power scaling (London Amps) I have heard and felt the difference - now there is no going back. I don't know whether to thank you or curse you! And just for an experiment, having seen that Scott Henderson still uses an old Boss SE-70 in his rig, I decided to fish mine out after years of disuse - wow! Better tone than the Pod XT, and far more versatile to boot! Because rather than model effects, it actually has all the stomp boxes as solid state units combined with the actual digital effects - now I can hear the difference. These guys are selling a lie that ties so well into our dream that we cannot see it.

<br></font><br>However...I have a guitar now that may suit such a solution. The box solves the problems of accomodating the battery and there is less restriction on the size of the circuit. The controls two can be accomodated without modification to the instrument, so the sustainer install is reversable at least and does not require extensive structural work on the instrument.<br><br><font color=#0000ff">

Sounds like an excellent start....</font><br><br>I think that we were able to show, that a stick on sustainer is accetable and can even be seen as being an ultra-cool accessory. It certainly sets itself apart from the devices that have so far been offered.<br><font color=#0000ff"><br>

Now we just have to find a way to make it a practical device for any instrument....David

Edited by Truth_David

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Interesting...the sustainer thread went dead there for a while but still got a thousand hits...hmmm

Anyway...

Interesting ideas. I do think a lot of the enthusiasim for a product, one device suits all kind of thing though...or am I wrong.

There are significant restrictions on what can be done with existing guitar pickups and formats, as well as expectations.

I am more than willing to help and engage in debate and fully expect to replicate and improve the project in time. For now I am really enjoying a change in guitar and the range of sounds despite the simplicity of the instrument. This may inspire some ideas around the box idea to limit the amount of modifictions required.

I am aware, however of a range of cheap push button 4PDT mini switches that are designed for computer on/off switches...that could be cool (A$2.95 each)...

So, always thinking.

A mid driver with some circuitry included perhaps could make the device work without the bypass circuitry...but you loose the mid pickup in that process. A mid driver/pickup...could work but you still have the complexity of bypassing. The neck driver does work, and may be the best option anyway.

Basically, there still is so much cr*p to sort out in my life, that this kind of thing is a pleasant distraction, but still quite a while off before I get so involved that I would be making a product...

pete

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Something for the next 100 pages;

I was thinking about a patch-through box that simply plugs into the guitar jack, with all the circuitry, battery, basic controls and a jack to plug the guitar chord in. I *think* that a dual driver could work in the mid position without any fancy switching config, just switch to the bridge pickup and turn on the sustainer..I have a one-pickup guitar though, so maybe I'm being too optimistic there...maybe a 6-way toggle switch instead of a 5-way, with option 6 being the sustainer. Anyone have any idea on a simple way to incorporate these? :D

On the circuitry front, I've got dibs on 2 tda7284's so hopefully I can get cracking on that ACG

Driver-wise I've found a supplier of 2x2x2 mm neodymiums; would make for the perfect Creditcard Driver™ :D

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Something for the next 100 pages;

I was thinking about a patch-through box that simply plugs into the guitar jack, with all the circuitry, battery, basic controls and a jack to plug the guitar chord in. I *think* that a dual driver could work in the mid position without any fancy switching config, just switch to the bridge pickup and turn on the sustainer..I have a one-pickup guitar though, so maybe I'm being too optimistic there...maybe a 6-way toggle switch instead of a 5-way, with option 6 being the sustainer. Anyone have any idea on a simple way to incorporate these? :D

I'm no expert, but I would recommend either connecting your existing volume and tone controls via a dual concentric pot, leaving a free control hole and then fit a rotary switch, (with any choice up to 12 positions available) or fit a push/pull combined with either volume or tone pot, if you really only want the on/off sustainer switching. The push/pull switch would have the same connection as a DPDT switch unless I am mistaken, but unfortunately as far as the rotary switch goes, I am hoping that someone will kindly provide a link to a circuit diagram for this, as I have no idea how to wire it.

I just got hold of a Megaswitch from Rockinger, but it is really designed for various p/up switching permutations. I don't see why it should not be possible to wire one of the connections to switch in/out the Sustainer circuit, but I think it is a wasteful use for an expensive switch, especially if you only use one p/up. I am going to fit it to my Strat in order to access the coveted bridge+neck p/up combination which will free up the push/pull presently being used for that purpose for a better use. I can vouch for the power of that particular combination of p/ups, it is a really useful and powerful sound, great for switching from rhythm to lead with far more balls to the sound than any single p/up.

Hope this info will be of some use to someone.

Thinking about it, it might be a useful option for Strat users who want to have all the possible harmonic modes of the sustainer and on/off all on one (secondary) switch, to perhaps use the Megaswitch for that. So presumably the combined switching for two pickups could substitute for two of the functions of the sustainer, and the other positions for harmonic mode on, harmonic mode 1 and 2. Even with a normal Strat switch, that would still leave you another couple of permutations as available options.....perhaps worth thinking about as an alternative to a rotary switch?

I remember seeing a few guitars fitted with two 5-way wafer switches side by side some years back, presumably in order to achieve a bunch of pretty useless in and out of phase combinations :D as was their wont in days of yore.....

BTW I just found this link where there is a device for making the internal power supply of an active circuit for guitar outside, and it does so safely too - could be very useful? :

http://www.precisionmusictech.com/xbat.htm

David

Edited by Truth_David

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I see we are about to reach 90K visits...a lot of interest it seems, even without a lot of action...

I just got hold of a Megaswitch from Rockinger, but it is really designed for various p/up switching permutations. I don't see why it should not be possible to wire one of the connections to switch in/out the Sustainer circuit, but I think it is a wasteful use for an expensive switch, especially if you only use one p/up. I am going to fit it to my Strat in order to access the coveted bridge+neck p/up combination which will free up the push/pull presently being used for that purpose for a better use. I can vouch for the power of that particular combination of p/ups, it is a really useful and powerful sound, great for switching from rhythm to lead with far more balls to the sound than any single p/up.

Hope this info will be of some use to someone.

I actually like the idea of using one position of the switch for sustainer control, especially in a strat with dedicated mid driver that does not act as a pickup...then the bypassing is not an issue so much...

Push button switching, though not so good for pickup selection, might actually be very good for a sustainer where it could be quickly switched on and off... such control with a mid driver would mean that you would get it driven by whatever combination of pickups you have selected anyway...

We discussed the xbat as a means to run the device from remote power...should work with a stereo lead if that is the way people would like to do it, it is something I am thinking of with my new guitar as I don't really want to find a spot to fit the battery. You coul just have a box on the guitar strap or somewhere... A dedicated mid driver could also make the stick on sustainer a closer reality, avoiding bypass switching problems, it could run from the output jack...there would still be a bit of rewiring to do though... it will take some clever lateral thinking to make it work right, sourcing parts and making an attractive enclosure... the idea though is appealing.

While the sustainer is a mega cool device, the sustainer strat got a bit damaged in the move and is very long in the tooth now. I advocate that people try the device out on a cheapo instrument like this, it's great to have such a thing around to experiment with, the joy of playing a "proper" guitar is too strong. Don't worry though, the S-strat is ok, but needs a lot of work on the action and setup. Typical of these japanese 70's instruments though, it has a skinny neck with bad frets and the neck has a tendency to move... The sustainer is still going strong however, and I hope to do a little recording in a few weeks...

Still a ways off getting my broadband connection up, a lot of trouble with my ISP...meanwhile, my personal difficulties are coming to a head and is having a bad effect on me. Hopefully when that is over, however it may turn out, I can mod another guitar and try out a few more of these ideas....

pete

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I see we are about to reach 90K visits...a lot of interest it seems, even without a lot of action...

Yep....

I actually like the idea of using one position of the switch for sustainer control, especially in a strat with dedicated mid driver that does not act as a pickup...then the bypassing is not an issue so much...

Well actually the megaswitch (Schaller) does not allow the option of the middle p/up alone, but it does allow neck and bridge p/ups both on at once. The switch actually only has 7 contacts despite having 4 poles, so with that particular switch you are no better off - except that given the middle position actually skips the middle p/up, perhaps that might be an option for having the mid driver on but having both the neck and bridge on so they can be driven. When I get around to rebuilding the guitar, (and if and when Zfrittz6 sends me the driver, as he seems to have disappeared recently) - I am doing some extensive mods to the guitar, re-finishing, changing the profile of the neck joint and fitting the Fender noiseless p/ups, and perhaps also replacing the bridge. Incidentally, a question slightly off topic.....does anyone know whether the Fender Standard USA push fit trem block will fit a vintage style bridge plate, and if so where I can get hold of one? My trem block is very worn, so that even with a sleeve the trem has to be wound in overtight just so it doesn't rattle, and it feels terrible. As the RMC piezzo saddles would need to be desoldered in order to refit them to a replacement bridge plate, I thought of only replacing the plate.

I know what you are about to say....that there will be difficulties with the noiseless p/ups for fitting a sustainer driver. But all is not lost, because I have also modified the Ibanez slightly. I have removed the p/up surrounds and screwed the p/ups directly into the body. I also replaced the bridge and put a set of Schaller locking tuners on it. That was the only let down - they really don't seem to hold tune at all. I replaced the nut lock and it stays in tune more or less. Not ideal....

In terms of the wiring, I also wired in a push-pull pot that switches in the neck p/up in positions 3,4, and 5. The sound is awesome, even without changing the p/ups, effectively giving me 8 different sounds. So it is looking as if the Ibanez is now the most likely candidate for mounting the sustain driver. I think it is going to be my main guitar now anyway, unless the Strat turns out significantly better. But I am going to get hold of an X-Bat so I don't have to rout a cavity for an on-board battery. And in the meantime I am going to hope that you guys will come up with a working box type system as you have just been discussing.

Push button switching, though not so good for pickup selection, might actually be very good for a sustainer where it could be quickly switched on and off... such control with a mid driver would mean that you would get it driven by whatever combination of pickups you have selected anyway...

Yes, push/pull or push/push seems ideal.

But the same company who produce the X-Bat have produced another product that seems incredible, called the Guitar Max. It allows literally hundreds of possible configurations to be programmed into a tiny onboard switching processor. These can be saved and recalled at the touch of a switch and requires very little in the way of modification and works directly with whatever switch type is already installed. I have been unable to find a price or more info as All Parts and the other distributors do not yet have the product in stock, only the X-Bat. But it might also be a way to isolate the sustain driver from the middle pickup and have a preset choice of which of the other p/ups it will drive. It is very small and sits over the control cavity at the rear of the guitar. The idea is not to switch the device during performance, but rather in between performances requiring radically different p/up coil combinations. Certainly in that context my idea for a combination of 5 pickups would make a lot more sense, as presumably you could autoprogram phase reversal for whatever pickup might be necessary. It really sounds like a revolutionary idea. But I fear the price will be excessive and given the size it could well be fiddly to set up.

We discussed the xbat as a means to run the device from remote power...should work with a stereo lead if that is the way people would like to do it, it is something I am thinking of with my new guitar as I don't really want to find a spot to fit the battery. You coul just have a box on the guitar strap or somewhere... A dedicated mid driver could also make the stick on sustainer a closer reality, avoiding bypass switching problems, it could run from the output jack...there would still be a bit of rewiring to do though... it will take some clever lateral thinking to make it work right, sourcing parts and making an attractive enclosure... the idea though is appealing.

Well the RMC circuit Strat is already stereo wired, so as to be able to switch between the piezzos and magnetic p/ups, so it would definitely be an interesting option for me. It is also available in 18v versions which could also be interesting for more headroom on the preamps. Perhaps the Guitar Max could be configured to deal with the wiring necessities. And yes the idea is certain to catch on big time, especially as the X-Bat is hot switchable between instruments.

As regards the enclosure, we can learn from what I consider the failing in the design offerings from Roland Korg and Yamaha for their on-board MIDI drivers. They were all ugly and unwieldy. Presumably a main consideration is that of being able to protect and cover the wiring running from the driver to the box. I was thinking about some sort of silicone like coating in the form of a tube, running alongside the pickups and back to whereve the enclosure was fitted. It need not stick out like a sore thumb, and the enclosure might be nice in plexi-glass, especially with the LEDs illuminating it. It could actually be quite attractive, unlike the MIDI drivers I just mentioned. In fact, I just remembered the early Zoom multi-FX processors that were all the rage in the early '80s, and they were designed to be either clipped to the guitar strap or to a belt worn by the player. In fact this was not very convenient because the wiring was so fragile, but if some sort of Wi-Fi or Blue Tooth connection system could be rigged that would be amazing....then the entire system could be off board and phantom powered from the X-Bat or similar device, perhaps running off an AC/DC convertor.

Incidentally I have also been looking into some of the latest boutique pedal offerings, and they seem to now be capable of almost total transparency, not changing the tone of the original signal at all, but actually buffering it instead. Perhaps one could look into incorporating some of that advanced circuitry into the opamp design of the sustainer driver circuitry. Some of those pedals are now capable of almost infinite sustain when combined in the right way, so that would mean that the sustainer would have less physical work to do....I am particularly referring to some of the Lovepedal and Xotic lines, which seem excellent.

While the sustainer is a mega cool device, the sustainer strat got a bit damaged in the move and is very long in the tooth now. I advocate that people try the device out on a cheapo instrument like this, it's great to have such a thing around to experiment with, the joy of playing a "proper" guitar is too strong. Don't worry though, the S-strat is ok, but needs a lot of work on the action and setup. Typical of these japanese 70's instruments though, it has a skinny neck with bad frets and the neck has a tendency to move... The sustainer is still going strong however, and I hope to do a little recording in a few weeks...

Sorry to hear that your project guitar got damaged in transit - I know the feeling, my travel guitar (there's sheer bad luck!) was the only one of my instruments to suffer damage in my move from the UK. Although I drove over on a motorcycle and had a nasty prang on the motorway on black ice, I reckon the guitar might have survived had I been carrying it. Sod's law....

Still a ways off getting my broadband connection up, a lot of trouble with my ISP...meanwhile, my personal difficulties are coming to a head and is having a bad effect on me. Hopefully when that is over, however it may turn out, I can mod another guitar and try out a few more of these ideas....

Wish you all the best, and you are in my thoughts. Keep on keeping on.....

Incidentally I am rather worried, because despite avoiding all contact with the paint stripper I used to strip off the paint on the Strat, after I sprayed the body cavities with conductive paint I got some on my hands (that in itself being pretty toxic), and I used the solvent to remove it without realizing that I had an open wound on the palm of my hand. I later started to feel distinctly unwell and to not be able to rid myself of the odour and taste of the solvent, as it felt as though I was continually breathing the vapour. 24 hours have passed now and every time I touch any part of my body, I can still feel the irritant effect of the solvent despite vigourous washing of my hands and face. I finally managed to decipher the toxic warning on the container (very small print), and found that it is highly toxic with apparently irreversible effects if it comes into contact with the skin of if it is inhaled or ingested, mainly affecting the lung tissues. Whilst it is unlikely that I have absorbed significant quantities, it is disturbing to note that I have had diarrea and bouts of feeling really strange and unwell with so little exposure to the product. So I called a toxicologist who explained that the substance is indeed highly toxic, so tomorrrow I am headed to casualty as soon as I feel well enough to drive there. So keep me in mind please..... :D

The product Toluene and Methanol and other chemicals.

David

pete

Edited by Truth_David

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Incidentally I am rather worried...
Sorry to hear of your "injury" hope all is ok. It is one of the reasons I still encourage people to use PVA glue or similar, over epoxies and such for potting the driver coils. At least we know it is harmless and the mess cleaned off with water. I have a feeling that I have been affected by inhaling "super glue" fumes myself. It's kind of insidieous. So beware everyone, it is amazing that they can even sell some of this stuff.

Wish you all the best, and you are in my thoughts. Keep on keeping on.....

Thanks David, I appreciate that...sincerely :D

Sorry to hear that your project guitar got damaged
Well, like tim's guitar, it is very poor quality, and it wasn't so much damaged as just needs to be completely re set up after all this time lying about and following me from place to place. I hope to start again with this new guitar.

Some of those pedals are now capable of almost infinite sustain when combined in the right way

Well, you can get a distorted kind of approximation at a reasonable volume with Fuzz boxes and compressors, but unless something is actually keeping the string vibrating, infinite sustain is a myth.

It could actually be quite attractive, unlike the MIDI drivers I just mentioned.
Tim and Emre did some mighty realizations in the mid 30 pages of this thread of very desirable units. The practicalities of connecting it all is a little tricky. We did have some novel approaches to the controls worked out but it is the connecting and interface to the guitar that is the difficulty. At the time, we were looking at tiny hex driver designs in the hope of avoiding at least some of those problems. There may well be some life in the idea yet, but there still needs to be rewiring of the guitar and installing of a driver to consider, once you have gone that far, perhaps it would be easier to be done with it and install the whole thing internally. It may be possible to install the bulk of the electronics inside the pickup sized driver itself in time, given that our driver's are so thin...

Well the RMC circuit Strat is already stereo wired, so as to be able to switch between the piezzos and magnetic p/ups, so it would definitely be an interesting option for me.

Or a major problem for you... The stereo lead is required, one hot for earth the other for power, and a shared ground/earth. Having a stereo system already may mean that such a method will not be suitable for your particular instrument. Perhaps a separate power jack on the back to a strap mounted box would be more the go and far simpler...

I know what you are about to say....that there will be difficulties with the noiseless p/ups for fitting a sustainer driver.
Most of the noiseless pickups like kinmans and fenders are really just variations on the stack designs. The question is whether you'd want to modify such an expensive pickup for this project. Lace and EMG pickups have particular problems with any kind of modification and are not suitable of course. A HB could be modified into a dual coil type of device similar to that used by Col to good effect I assume. A rail type deisn may even be better given the results of Tim's thiner dual coil experiments.

Well actually the megaswitch (Schaller) does not allow the option of the middle p/up alone, but it does allow neck and bridge p/ups both on at once.

That's odd, I think there are switches that will do just about any combination. I am hoping to look into some to tweak my new strat's range of sounds. I am interested in seeing how the HB would split into combinations with the other pickups and enhance noise cancelling in the process. With a two pickup guitar and mid driver it could work ok to use the selector to choose the sustainer in one position...but limiting also. You would probably also need a push/pull pot for the harmonic function as well anyway...

But the same company who produce the X-Bat have produced another product that seems incredible, called the Guitar Max.

Interesting, it sounds a little like something I was kicking around with and is kinda in the sustainer strat also. The sustainer strat is a test instrument for a lot of ideas. It was extensively rewired...there are three phase type switches in place of the five way and a gibson style 3 way selector and volume control for the mid pickup that works in any position. So, the result is any possible relation of pickups and phase relations except the mid alone and many variations of these also. The tree phase switches anre really for a kind of programing that changes the way the 3 way responds. It could be a similar passive switching idea to this. The other thing that would be more exciting is if it were a powered digital switching system...that could really be helpful if powerful enough, but then this is yet more power and complexity, and expense.

SO...a few comments in reverse order for you there David and hope you get better soon. I am really missing my sustainer function on the new guitar and the reluctance to hack into it may well inspire some more thought on the modular idea.

These pushbutton switches are interesting and cheap. Reasonably small when depressed they would be almost flush with the surface of the guitar and when released in a push/push action come up about 10mm. The knob is 5.5mm round and can be a black aluminium or clear (as I have some samples) with a choise of three different color LED lights, separate from the switching mechanism itself. They are 4pdt and are interesting in that they seem to offer extensive switching power for all kinds of applications, not just the sustainer... There may even be others that are even more compact, as these types of switches are used in computers for power functions and looking at my machine here, the reset and such are pretty much flush at all times.

Bye for now... pete

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Hi Everyone,

I've been reading through most (but not all) of this thread and thought it time I introduced myself.

I started teaching myself guitar for a few months ago and own a budget strat. Electronics has been a hobby of mine for about 15 years and is now my job. As such I've already rewired my strat and built a headphone amp. I've been considering all sorts of guitar mods and I've now caught the sustainer bug.

I had a little go at building one last night without success. I've tried to roughly follow the formula for the driver (0.236mm wire, just under 8 ohms, 4mm x 4mm x 65mm plain steel core). The finished driver is about 5mm x 15mm x 83mm. I've got a few ideas of what might be wrong but haven't had a chance to try them yet. I'll update you on any progress.

Here's a pictire of the driver:

driver2.jpg

Before you say - it is potted - just not the last few turns. I was using epoxy and the batch had set by the time I was finishing. This is on the list for debugging.

The ends are made from 0.5mm aluminium sheet by the way. There aren't any magnets on it - I'm trying to use the field from the neck pickup (a single coil with staggered pole pieces).

I'm using a different pre amp and power amp, but I'm pretty confident of these. My electronics knowledge is pretty good - if only my playing could match it.

Ross

Edited by Ross

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Hi Everyone,

I've been reading through most (but not all) of this thread and thought it time I introduced myself.

driver2.jpg

Welcome to the sustainer thread, Ross...great to see another project sustainer launched.

Well, that driver looks pretty good. Many would suggest that aluminium would not be the best for bobbin ends, but I did make casings of thin aluminium for the Hex drivers, so that shouldn't rule it out.

A problem with it may be that the aluminium and the staggered poles, do not allow for direct contact of the magnet(s) to the steel core itself.

If the potting were a major problem, you would hear and feel the coil vibrating...and loose high string response, it should still work.

I'm using a different pre amp and power amp, but I'm pretty confident of these. My electronics knowledge is pretty good - if only my playing could match it.
Ok...well as long as it is still a low powered kind of amp it should work fine. I always suggest testing the device with a speaker like a practice amp just to be sure the circuitry is working.

What you should find is that there is a shrieking when the driver get's too close to the pickup.

I would suggest testing the driver with some kind of magnet independent of the pickup to see how it performs like that.

There aren't any magnets on it - I'm trying to use the field from the neck pickup (a single coil with staggered pole pieces).

Now...the staggered pole issue is an interesting one that can make things a little tricky. Traditional fender single coils have bobbins press fitted to the magnets and the pickup wire is wound directly over the magnets themselves. Cheaper and more production oriented pickups have a bobbin in which the magnets are press fitted into a complete bobbin after the winding process. This second type, it is possible to de-stagger the poles. Alternatively, it could be possible to raise the mags a few mm and wind the driver directly on to that...perhaps use a bobbinless coil jig suitable for such an installation. You could push the mags fluch and add the flat driver to the bottom of it.

However, you would not try to mess with the magnets of traditional fenders and if you are not sure as to the construction, this would destroy the pickup completely.

You could try and make a core that followed the contours of the stagger....little tricky.

Other than those suggestions, the driver looks pretty good. Epoxy is tricky to deal with and messy and tends to 'go off' before the final measurements and tidying up can be done. Tim used epoxy to make his bobbinless dual coil devices (like col) but these are only 4 ohm each so allows a little more time to work with, plus he has a litle more practice by now.

I've got a few ideas of what might be wrong
hmmm...so does it work at all, and how thick are those aluminium "ends"?

Don't be discouraged if the first driver doesn't work out as expected, most have found they need a couple of goes as coil winding is not a familiar process for a lot of people...

My electronics knowledge is pretty good - if only my playing could match it.

That's great, the sustainer is the kind of device that can inspire more playing. It is a little tricky to get used to playing what is effectively a 'very loud' guitar for a beginner. Basically, you need to be able to dampen any open or unwanted notes that try to play themselves! That means both palm muting at the bridge and some muting with the left hand as well. A cheat is to wrap a cloth lightly at the nut to stop unwanted open strings ringing (though that stops the cool drone effects) and could be effective for people wishing to record lead lines with the device. Also, it is rewarding to play with a light picking, this allows notes to 'bloom' rather than fade then build again as the sustainer takes over affter the initial attack. Also, playing along the string, rather than in box positions (across the strings), works well (a little like playing slide. This is a good technique to practice anyway as people do tend to get stuck in box positions and rely on common cliche's of each box, ather than thinking melodically...all good stuff for building technique and style. The sustainer also offers the chance to get the feel of a loud guitar without actually having to play really loud. Styles like EVH and Santana or Hendrix often rely on this kind of volume for sustain and techniques like feedback or tapping to a degree...the sustainer allows these 'effects' to be created without that kind of amplification...a bonus if you ever do hop up onto a stage or jam session and turn up, only to find that the guitar seems uncontrolable with your basic 'home practice' technique... B)

So, good luck and keep in touch, the thing will work in a basic form and be very satisfying. You obviously have the skills to create this thing and really, the whole project is no harder than a fairly simple stomp box to construct. The most difficult bit IMHO is the installation process, particularly bypassing and isolating pickups with a guitar like a strat so that only the bridge pickup is activated when the sustainer is engaged...

I've been reading through most (but not all) of this thread...

I'm not sure that this is such a good idea, but well done for trying. You seem to have gotten the basic specifications right for the basic DIY device amoungst all the speculation and failed endeavours within the thread... :D

pete :D

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Incidentally I am rather worried...
Sorry to hear of your "injury" hope all is ok. It is one of the reasons I still encourage people to use PVA glue or similar, over epoxies and such for potting the driver coils. At least we know it is harmless and the mess cleaned off with water. I have a feeling that I have been affected by inhaling "super glue" fumes myself. It's kind of insidieous. So beware everyone, it is amazing that they can even sell some of this stuff.

Hi Pete, I'm back, and I apologize for the delay in replying to your kind message. The fact is that I was very lucky, in that not very much of the toxin entered my system, but even that little bit made me taste and smell the methanol continuously, and apparently that is likely to continue for up to a week before my system can entirely cleanse itself. I think inhaling the fumes from solder cannot be very healthy either....

I was actually being very careful, working with gloves on, until I needed to spray the pickup cavities, when I took the gloves on for more precision, and got the copper based insulation paint on my hands. That was when I used solvent to remove it. But I forgot about the friction burn on the palm of my hand. Then later on, when I thought I had removed all traces of the solvent from my hands, I bit off a hang nail that had been bugging me for ages, and noticed the characteristic cold/warm feeling from the methanol. That night I was in agony with stomach cramps, then awakened with diarrhoea. That lasted all the next day. Two days later, I could still taste the methanol and smell it everywhere, and after I read the label in very fine print on the can of solvent, I started to panic, because it spoke in terms of 'irreversible effects to the respiratory system if inhaled, absorbed through the skin or if consumed'....when I rang the toxicology emergency number they told me that this product was especially toxic but that if I had not taken in large quantities it should not be irreversible. So that was why I was so perturbed. However according to the casualty department there is very little in my bloodstream and there are no signs of neurological damage, so as I say, thank God I seem to be UK.

Well, like tim's guitar, it is very poor quality, and it wasn't so much damaged as just needs to be completely re set up after all this time lying about and following me from place to place. I hope to start again with this new guitar.

That can be very fiddly, but provided that you allow the neck to settle and adjust to the change in temperature, it should be UK.

Well, you can get a distorted kind of approximation at a reasonable volume with Fuzz boxes and compressors, but unless something is actually keeping the string vibrating, infinite sustain is a myth.

Yes.....but I am now thinking in terms of combining the sustainer with a small valve amp - I have been looking at the market for some time now, and the best I have found for the price is a Carvin Vintage 16 or Nomad 112. Both are incredibly cheap if you buy direct from Carvin, and both have a power soak in which Allan Holdsworth had a hand in the design. In fact I have read rave reviews on these amps, and the only negative comment was speaking of amps arriving DOA which were replaced under warranty with no fuss, and the fact that one customer expressed concern that the valves were mounted on pcbs, which he thought might eventually be problematic for servicing at some stage.

The difficulty I have at the moment is in deciding whether 16w is going to be loud enough and whether it will give me enough clean headroom. Unfortunately the smaller Carvin Vintage 16 does not have an FX loop or DI out either, whereas the Nomad has both, as well as discrete power soak for the lead channel only. But it is significantly larger and heavier, although not much more expensive. But what I am thinking of doing at the suggestion of a friend, is A/B/Y switch between the Vintage 16 and my Roland Cube 60 (the old type from the '80s) if I really need a lot of volume. The price of the Carvin is really silly compared to some of the 1/2 watt boutique amp prices. $400 direct from Carvin, which is the price of a couple of stomp boxes!

Tim and Emre did some mighty realizations in the mid 30 pages of this thread of very desirable units.

I don't suppose you could please be more specific? - I would like to see these, but don't have time to search for them in the archives....

The practicalities of connecting it all is a little tricky. We did have some novel approaches to the controls worked out but it is the connecting and interface to the guitar that is the difficulty.

Yes, that is a concern to me.....

At the time, we were looking at tiny hex driver designs in the hope of avoiding at least some of those problems. There may well be some life in the idea yet, but there still needs to be rewiring of the guitar and installing of a driver to consider, once you have gone that far, perhaps it would be easier to be done with it and install the whole thing internally. It may be possible to install the bulk of the electronics inside the pickup sized driver itself in time, given that our driver's are so thin...

That would be a really good option, and another possibility might be a solder free harness, such as those provided by Kinman for his systems.

Well the RMC circuit Strat is already stereo wired, so as to be able to switch between the piezzos and magnetic p/ups, so it would definitely be an interesting option for me.
Or a major problem for you... The stereo lead is required, one hot for earth the other for power, and a shared ground/earth. Having a stereo system already may mean that such a method will not be suitable for your particular instrument. Perhaps a separate power jack on the back to a strap mounted box would be more the go and far simpler...

How would that work exactly? would it literally simply be a case of bringing a lead out from the guitar battery connection to the jack, then into a small enclosure containing the battery and connector, or something more complex? The present stereo jack is presumably in order to be able to get a separate output from the magnetic and piezzo pickup systems.

I know what you are about to say....that there will be difficulties with the noiseless p/ups for fitting a sustainer driver.
Most of the noiseless pickups like kinmans and fenders are really just variations on the stack designs. The question is whether you'd want to modify such an expensive pickup for this project.

Not if I can help it....which is why I am feeling more inclined to modify the Ibanez, which just has a pair of humbuckers and a single coil, with a slight modification of a p/p switch which now adds the neck pickup to either the bridge or middle p/ups in positions 3,4 and 5 of the 5 way switch (the switch already coil taps the humbuckers in positions 2 and 4).

Lace and EMG pickups have particular problems with any kind of modification and are not suitable of course. A HB could be modified into a dual coil type of device similar to that used by Col to good effect I assume. A rail type deisn may even be better given the results of Tim's thiner dual coil experiments.

Well, the good news is that Zfrittz6's sustainer should be on its way soon, he has just been to busy to be in touch and although the unit is ready to go, he hasn't had time to post it to me. But actually mounting everything in the Ibanez is not going to be physically feasible. The body is just too thin, and the instrument control cavity is very small. So it makes far more sense to me to mount the hardware and circuit inside a little enclosure, like one of Col's prototypes, and just have the driver temporarily mounted either on the middle pickup, or if possible on top of one of the humbucker's coils. Although the neck humbucker's sound is so warm and fat that I would be really loathe to spoil it in any way.

Well actually the megaswitch (Schaller) does not allow the option of the middle p/up alone, but it does allow neck and bridge p/ups both on at once.
That's odd, I think there are switches that will do just about any combination. I am hoping to look into some to tweak my new strat's range of sounds. I am interested in seeing how the HB would split into combinations with the other pickups and enhance noise cancelling in the process. With a two pickup guitar and mid driver it could work ok to use the selector to choose the sustainer in one position...but limiting also. You would probably also need a push/pull pot for the harmonic function as well anyway...

There are two circuits not used in the E Megaswitch when it is wired for a Strat SSS configuration. They were meant for a HSH configuration with coil taps, like on my Ibanez, so presumably those would offer the extra combinations you need.

But the same company who produce the X-Bat have produced another product that seems incredible, called the Guitar Max.

Interesting, it sounds a little like something I was kicking around with and is kinda in the sustainer strat also. The sustainer strat is a test instrument for a lot of ideas. It was extensively rewired...there are three phase type switches in place of the five way and a gibson style 3 way selector and volume control for the mid pickup that works in any position. So, the result is any possible relation of pickups and phase relations except the mid alone and many variations of these also. The tree phase switches anre really for a kind of programing that changes the way the 3 way responds. It could be a similar passive switching idea to this. The other thing that would be more exciting is if it were a powered digital switching system...that could really be helpful if powerful enough, but then this is yet more power and complexity, and expense.

I believe that it is a digital powered switching system. But although I have not found a price for it, it has the apearance of something really expensive. Here is a direct link: http://www.precisionmusictech.com/gmax.htm

I think it is mind blowing - 1000 possible switching combinations with an HSH configuration!!!!!

SO...a few comments in reverse order for you there David and hope you get better soon. I am really missing my sustainer function on the new guitar and the reluctance to hack into it may well inspire some more thought on the modular idea.

That might go some way to describing how I feel, never having had access to one! I sincerely hope that you will be inspired to work on the modular idea. But the solder free harness option I mentioned could incorporate a plug system small enough to all a user to simply snap fit the driver complete with the circuit and a tiny power cell directly over say the middle p/up, perhaps with some sort of combination p/up base that replaced one of the standard p/ups with the snap in system......

These pushbutton switches are interesting and cheap. Reasonably small when depressed they would be almost flush with the surface of the guitar and when released in a push/push action come up about 10mm. The knob is 5.5mm round and can be a black aluminium or clear (as I have some samples) with a choise of three different color LED lights, separate from the switching mechanism itself. They are 4pdt and are interesting in that they seem to offer extensive switching power for all kinds of applications, not just the sustainer... There may even be others that are even more compact, as these types of switches are used in computers for power functions and looking at my machine here, the reset and such are pretty much flush at all times.

Could you please post a link to a pic of these pushbutton switches?

Bye for now... pete

Keep well,

David

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starts from here http://projectguitar.ibforums.com/index.ph...st&p=167113. All my images are also in this folder.

You can see a prototype box in the subfolder proto_box.

Thank you, I agree with Pete, your graphics are superb! But it is clear that the driver itself has evolved since then, it would be great if you could maybe get around to doing a similar representation of the slim driver mounted over one coil of the existing neck humbucker, and perhaps one of it mounted over a middle position s/c.

The actual enclosure for the sustainer electronics and power supply is really an elegant idea, when you compare that to the stuff that Roland and Korg and other top names churn out (I am referring to the hex pickups and drivers for MIDI devices), it makes them look really crude by comparison. To me at least. :D

So it would be good know see how much development has actually been achieved in this area by everyone involved, especially ideas for connecting the driver to the box, that is something I find difficult to visualize...

BTW, I mentioned fibre optics in a post along with many other suggestions a while back, as a possible solution for reducing the amount of visible physical wiring connections used (as well as the size). But absolutely nobody replied - is it because it is too highly specialized, or just a stupid idea on my part? If fibre optics is so widely used in both the telecommunications industry and high end audio, why should we not consider it? The little I know about it, each fibre can carry signals either way, just as it carries light itself, that's a start, I actually have a fibre optics cable for the I/O of my digital multi-track, and despite being somewhat rigid, the cables are very thin and compact. I can imagine actually connecting the entire unit to the driver using a similar interface, with a snap in connector...

David

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So it would be good know see how much development has actually been achieved in this area by everyone involved, especially ideas for connecting the driver to the box, that is something I find difficult to visualize...

IIRC somewhere between non and very very little...

Personally, If I got to the stage where I needed extra gubbins attached to the outside of my guitar, I would try to go the whole way and have an umbilical to a floor mounted mains powered setup... that might remove some of the other issues we have related to using a battery powered system... although it would surely add new, equally difficult problems for us to solve...

BTW, I mentioned fibre optics in a post along with many other suggestions a while back, as a possible solution for reducing the amount of visible physical wiring connections used (as well as the size). But absolutely nobody replied - is it because it is too highly specialized, or just a stupid idea on my part? If fibre optics is so widely used in both the telecommunications industry and high end audio, why should we not consider it? The little I know about it, each fibre can carry signals either way, just as it carries light itself, that's a start, I actually have a fibre optics cable for the I/O of my digital multi-track, and despite being somewhat rigid, the cables are very thin and compact. I can imagine actually connecting the entire unit to the driver using a similar interface, with a snap in connector...

Three major problems with fiber optics:

#1 difficult hi tech... the real hard thing with any fiber optic system isn't the cable, it's the bits at either end - the part the sends the signal and the part that receives it...

#2 (afaik) you would want a digital signal - so we would need to have an ADC and a DAC.. although this would also let us do fancy stuff like AGC and filtering in the digital domain, it also makes it less of a simple diy project adding even more complexity to the circuitry... more to go wrong, more to debug, more $$$ as well...

#3 you cannot send electricity through a fiber optic cable... so if you were to use fiber optics for the signal, you would need some other way to power the driver... and as the problem we're trying to solve is getting the power to the driver, that's a bit of a showstoppa' :D

cheers

Col

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54.jpg

Just got these in the mail...found them in Austria through a colleague from work. I'll have a go at zfrittz's circuit over the weekend.

Maybe I'll have time to do some more visualisations as well. Busy, busy, busy :D .

Tim

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So it would be good know see how much development has actually been achieved in this area by everyone involved, especially ideas for connecting the driver to the box, that is something I find difficult to visualize...

IIRC somewhere between non and very very little...

Personally, If I got to the stage where I needed extra gubbins attached to the outside of my guitar, I would try to go the whole way and have an umbilical to a floor mounted mains powered setup... that might remove some of the other issues we have related to using a battery powered system... although it would surely add new, equally difficult problems for us to solve...

Yeah, I wouldn't be up for that either....too dangerous if anything went wrong too.

Three major problems with fiber optics:

#1 difficult hi tech... the real hard thing with any fiber optic system isn't the cable, it's the bits at either end - the part the sends the signal and the part that receives it...

#2 (afaik) you would want a digital signal - so we would need to have an ADC and a DAC.. although this would also let us do fancy stuff like AGC and filtering in the digital domain, it also makes it less of a simple diy project adding even more complexity to the circuitry... more to go wrong, more to debug, more $$ as well...

And in its present stage of resolution, digital still sucks....I recently read a very interesting article on this topic, it explains why I never quite got the right feeling from digital systems. It was intuitive on my part, but this guy explains it in scientific terms, I'll try and find the article again for you.

#3 you cannot send electricity through a fiber optic cable... so if you were to use fiber optics for the signal, you would need some other way to power the driver... and as the problem we're trying to solve is getting the power to the driver, that's a bit of a showstoppa' :D

Oops :D ....well we all have to learn, and I suppose one way is to ask silly questions and risk being exposed as being ignorant. Thanks Col. Just think how much easier all this would have been if Nicola Tesla's work had not been 'lost' (sold to the Russians and probably what was left over was put to use in the development of FBI and CIA secret projects ). He would have changed the way science has evolved, but his philosophy of free energy for all was too dangerous to the powers that be (the entire capitalist infrastructure). If I had found out about his work when I was younger, I would definitely have studied electronics and physics, but now I have loads of his documents that I have collected over the Internet, but don't understand much of it at all. And it is not often that such genius enters our world. And to think he died a relative pauper, sad and alone, a man ahead of his time, his life work known only to the very few.

Cheers,

David

cheers

Col

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onelastgoodbye

Cuando hagas el circuito me imagino que utilizaras solo una parte del circuito del tda7284, porque es stereo, no te olvides de conectar en la salida del que no utilizes las resistencias de 56k y 56 ohmios y el condensador de 10 uf que lleva, asi como el potenciometro a la salida de este circuito con la etapa de potencia debe ser de 500k.

Saludos

onelastgoodbye When you do the circuit I imagine that you used single a part of the circuit of tda7284, because he is stereo, you do not forget to connect in the exit of which not utilizes the resistance of 56K and 56 ohms and the 10 condenser of uf that takes, as well as the potentiometer when coming out of this circuit with the power stage must be of 500k. Greetings

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sustain is always something ive wanted since ive seen the videos of dave kusher and his fernandes

so do i have this right :

the driver (ontop of the neck pickup) > feeds into a preamp board > on/off switch + harmonic mode switch > pickup selector > tone and volume > jack

is that right ?

how do you create the harmonic mod with the preamp board ?

a schematic anyone ?

im guessing that placing the driver on top of the neck pickup means that you can still use the neck pickup when the driver is not activated

can someone give me a schematic for the preamp borad with on/off and harmonic mode switch and possibly the sustain length pot

thanks

:D

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onelastgoodbye

Cuando hagas el circuito me imagino que utilizaras solo una parte del circuito del tda7284, porque es stereo, no te olvides de conectar en la salida del que no utilizes las resistencias de 56k y 56 ohmios y el condensador de 10 uf que lleva, asi como el potenciometro a la salida de este circuito con la etapa de potencia debe ser de 500k.

Saludos

onelastgoodbye When you do the circuit I imagine that you used single a part of the circuit of tda7284, because he is stereo, you do not forget to connect in the exit of which not utilizes the resistance of 56K and 56 ohms and the 10 condenser of uf that takes, as well as the potentiometer when coming out of this circuit with the power stage must be of 500k. Greetings

Hola Juán, voy a volver a traducir este mensaje para intentar ser más preciso....salu2 - ¡es bueno volver a verte aquí amigo!

Here is another translation of this post of Juán's:

When you are making the circuit I imagine that you will use only one part of the tda7284 circuit, because it is stereo - don't forget to connect the 56k and 56 ohm resistors and 10uf condenser (capacitor?) not used (on the other channel of the amp) to the output, and the potentiometer on the output of this power amp circuit must have a value of 500k.

Cheers

Hope this will help clarify any misunderstanding,

David

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sustain is always something ive wanted since ive seen the videos of dave kusher and his fernandes

so do i have this right :

the driver (ontop of the neck pickup) > feeds into a preamp board > on/off switch + harmonic mode switch > pickup selector > tone and volume > jack

is that right ?

how do you create the harmonic mod with the preamp board ?

a schematic anyone ?

im guessing that placing the driver on top of the neck pickup means that you can still use the neck pickup when the driver is not activated

can someone give me a schematic for the preamp borad with on/off and harmonic mode switch and possibly the sustain length pot

Welcome Metalsustain

ok, nearly right...got a bit of an ISP problem at the moment so good to see the board is still up and running.

So...signal from bridge pickup->preamp->little poweramp->harmonic switch->driver

There are a number of links on the end of this post in my signiture which will take you to various tutorials and such.

As for a humbucker neck pickup/driver combination....still needs some work there. Various ideas have been floated. To get the thing working you have to have a switch that disables all other pickups and selects the bridge. If you can stand a single pickup guitar you could replace the neck pickup like col has done. I did an experiment with a single coil driver on top of a standard HB...kinda works. Primal blocked up the bottom of one coil in an HB and wound a driver on to it. It looks like a pickup but operates only as a driver...that worked out ok.

So...the the HB is still a bit of a problem till someone does it...could be a fair bit of modding to do on the pickup...

I do have a sensitivity pot, it does not control the length of sustain...it is infinite, but how sensitive it is to going into sustain. I really don't use it and you may well be advised to just use a trim pot on the circuit and adjust to your playing style.

The harmonic function is just a phase switch on the driver or signal leads. This just reverses the leads and brings about the harmonic function by dampening the fundumental of notes....

If we ever do get this thing standardised and miniturised, the idea of an outboard box may become mute...really the battery is the biggest part and so much has to be done to the wiring of the guitar and fitting the driver itself that it makes sense to leave the thing inside the guitar itself. Perhaps a better appraoch is to further explore switching, cols use of the rotary switch of simple push buttons may be the go. That said though, I still like the idea of a new strat jack socket box type thing. Most jack socket holes in strat type guitars will fit a 9 volt and be easy to access...if the jack was then mounted in a box proud of the surface with the switches incorporated somehow, it could be an easy approach and all the wiring would be hidden within the guitar. It would be especially easy if a dedicated mid driver were a goer as the bypassing functions would not be necessary... just a thought revisited...

pete

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ok thanks

although modding my newest guitar when im new to this may not be to clever

i do have a S-S-S strat , would that be easier ?

so you need a preamp and a mini poweramp ? then a dpdt to switch between the two magnets on the bottom of the driver ?

why so much amplification ? does it dont work otherwise

also , is there a schematic of the whole preamp > poweramp > harmonic switch ?

i think it would help newbies (like me) to understand it easier

thanks

oh , and couldnt you do what sustainiac do ? coil tap the lower coil so that only the driver of the humbucker is on ? effectively making it a single coil diver , then when its deactivated the coil tap turns off and the full humbucker is engaged , just a thought

:D

Edited by METALSUSTAIN

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so you need a preamp and a mini poweramp ? then a dpdt to switch between the two magnets on the bottom of the driver ?
...between the leads to the driver, so that the signa; is reversed...

I recommend building a driver and the circuitry and testing it on a guitar by holding it above the strings like an ebow to be sure it works before any modifications to an instrument is made. The circuit can always be installed later and suitable swithes found (you can simply reverse the wires by hand for the harmonic switch) for a proper install later. People generally do need a test run on the driver making side anyway.

why so much amplification ? does it dont work otherwise

No, it doesn't work otherwise...think of the driver as a speaker coil and the strings as the cone of a speaker. To get any kind of volume you need a fair bit of power to move the air, similarly a guitar string. We are only talking 0.25-0.5 W here.

also , is there a schematic of the whole preamp > poweramp > harmonic switch ?
As you will see in even recent posts, there is still a bit of development on the electronics and the driver side of things. The typical set up is a fetzer / ruby preamp/amp circuit and switches as required for your guitar. The installation process can be tricky and means the rewiring of the guitar. I use a 4PDT switch on my sustainer strat to get the bypass,battery on, bridge pickup selection going. Check out the "make your own sustainer" tutorial for notes on the F/R and my set up (see links in my signiture at end of post)...also parts of this thread. You may also find a better stripboard layout of the F/R on here...not sure if someone can find it, but a little pressed for time right now....

oh , and couldnt you do what sustainiac do ? coil tap the lower coil so that only the driver of the humbucker is on ? effectively making it a single coil diver , then when its deactivated the coil tap turns off and the full humbucker is engaged , just a thought

I don't think that is how the sustainiac works given it's bi-lateral design. In fact they use the driver coil as the pickup with active preamplification, I believe, for their stealth models. My design is the only one that uses conventional passive pickups and active driver.

The question of how to convert a humbucker is really down to no one attempting it yet. It is conceivable that you could make a driver such as col's with two very thin 4 ohm coils atop a humbucker. This would however require some tricky rebuilding of the pickup so that the cores go from the magnet all the way through to the top of the driver coils. It is possible that such a dual coil scheme, like col's would produce a better driver (with significantly more work and logistics put into it) or you could opt for a single coil driver on one bobbin, but the you would have to raise the other one which may be tricky. I did test this kind of idea with my Les Paul with the "sustain box" and it did work (in a testing mode) but the pickup had to be lowered so much (3-4mm or so) that it was totaly ineffective as a pickup in this position...

SO, we don't know the effect of such modifications to the working of a humbucking pickup. The additional driver coils means effectively lowering the pickup itself. With my single coil pickup the tone was very good, especially with the additional mass of the steel blade inserted through the whole thing over screw poles, but a HB has both polarities side by side and are attracted to eachother. The magnetic strength towards the string is different to that of a single coil and the results are at present unknown.

For the newbie then, I would follow pretty much an experimenters approach with a simple circuit and single coil driver held above the strings over the neck. If all goes well, you may consider something like my pickup/driver mod on your strat, at least you know that this has successfully been done and the technology proven. If you really get the bug after this, you may wish to develop fancy drivers and/or try out something like col's forward feed compressing preamp circuit to even response and get 4 sustain/harmonic modes on a rotary switch, or develop some of your own ideas. You might find, that for your purposes, like curtisA or me, a basic setup does the job adequately...

pete

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