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Huge Project


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Alright, i know i'm a new member, but i have been using this site for the past year in the process of making a custom guitar myself. I've made the body and neck and everything, and i've gotten very close to the wiring aspect of it. My plan is pretty complex:

Dimarzio pickups- Tone Zone in the bridge and a blue velvet in the middle

Fernandes FSK-101 sustainer in the neck

a tone and volume pot for each pickup

and a stew-mac rotary switch with this set up:

1. Tone Zone Humbucker

2. Tone Zone coil tap w/ Blue Velvet

3. Blue Velvet

4. Fernandes Driver coil tap w/ Blue Velvet

5. Fernandes Driver Humbucker

yes, i understand that i won't be able to use the sustainer with positions 2-5. that's fine.

My problem is i have no idea how to make this happen. someone please help me make my dream guitar!

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One small thing, Are you sure you can tap the fernandes driver?


actually, no, i'm not, now that i think about it. if anyone can answer this, can you help me? and, if it's possible, can you help me get this wiring done?

if not, suggestions on a similar concept would be greatly appreciated

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If you can't tap the fernandez model, and you want a tappable humbucker, you could always go with sustainiac's single coil susainer that comes on a humbucker bobbin. Just throw a 4 conductor single coil sized humbucker on the plate with it and you're golden. The fernandez model is made by sustainiac, but not the same exact thing, I believe.



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  • 3 weeks later...

Ok, i've changed my mind yet again, because i'm tired of trying out these weird concepts. I'll just go with an easier set up with some customization. here's a brand new one for ya.

Bridge: EMG 81

Middle: EMG SA

Neck: Fernandes Sustainer/Driver

One tone

One volume

5 way selector switch (strat style).

Like i said, much easier than before. I'd like the selector to work like an ibanez rg series, or something akin to it. also, i'm looking for ideas on maybe a gainbooster (i.e. emg afterburner or pa2) in the guitar as well.

So anyways, if you guys have any ideas on the set up or the gainbooster, please post 'em here. In fact, give me some cool ideas you come up with or tell me what you think about the afterburner or the pa2. I'll probably go with the pa2 just for looks (they're the same things, right?), but I'm still undecided.

Edited by nodachi
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Sustainer Basics:

The Fernandes Sustainer is an electromagnetic system powered by a 9 volt battery that magnetically vibrates the strings of the guitar once you set them into motion. It allows you to sustain single notes or chords with no decay.

How the Fernandes Sustainer Works:

The patented Fernandes Sustainer is powered by a 9-volt alkaline battery, and works in conjunction with the Driver in the neck position, the bridge pickup and the Sustainer circuit board. To achieve infinite sustain the Driver projects magnetic pulses which continuously vibrate the strings of the guitar.

The Harmonic mode:

When the Harmonic mode is activated the Fernandes Sustainer alters the signal sent to the Driver causing the strings to vibrate the same way stings vibrate when they are hit by the sound waves of an amplifier played at extreme volumes. The result is controlled harmonic feedback without the need for excessive volume.


Standard Mode: In the Standard mode the Fernandes Sustainer will continuously vibrate the note. Harmonic Mode: In the Harmonic mode the Fernandes Sustainer will create string vibration similar to the vibration that occurs when sound waves hit the strings at extreme volumes, generating the 5th harmonic of the note being played. Mix Mode: Only available on certain models, the Mix mode is a blend of Standard and Harmonic sustain.


ON/OFF switch: (Black toggle switch) The On position activates the Fernandes Sustainer and automatically selects the bridge pickup while deactivating the pickup selector and the neck pickup. The off position deactivates the Fernandes Sustainer, reactivates the pickup selector and allows the Sustainer driver to function as a normal neck pickup.

Sustainer Mode Selector:

Push/Push: On the 2-mode models that have tone controls, the mode selector is a push/push potentiometer on the tone control. Pushing the tone control will raise the knob to the UP position activating the Harmonic Mode of the Sustainer. Pushing the knob again will lower the knob and return the Sustainer to the Standard Mode. Push/Pull: On the 2-mode models that do not have tone controls, the Intensity control (see below) is a push/pull potentiometer. Pulling the knob up will activate the Harmonic Mode, and pushing it back down will return the Sustainer to the Standard Mode.

Toggle Switch: On the 3-mode models, there are two mini toggle switches. The toggle switch nearest the Bridge Pickup is the mode selector. The UP position is the Standard mode, the MID position is the Mix mode, and the DOWN position is the Harmonic mode. Sustainer Intensity Control: The Sustainer Intensity Control knob, which looks like another volume knob, allows you to control the intensity of the sustainer. When the knob is at “0” there is no sustain while at “10” the Fernandes Sustainer is at the maximum setting with the fastest attack and longest sustain.

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Hold on a sec, Drak, that's the FSK 401. It's got a single coil for the driver. I'm still going to use the FSK 101, which is the humbucker version, which also isn't prewired.

Anyways, I've decided on making it even easier. I'll use the wiring diagram from the manual: http://fernandesguitars.com/manuals/FSK101.pdf.

If you look there, the Active Pickups diagram is the one I'll use. I just have a few questions that could possible wrap this up.

Following this diagram, where would the red (battery) wire go from the middle pickup (and yes, an EMG SA has one)? I'm thinking that you either connect in on the free slot on the board (bottom right corner, slot 2 in the vertical set) or you connect it with the Bridge red battery wire.

Second question: supposing that I do use a PA2 gainbooster, where would it connect? My best understanding, using the instructions from the EMG manual, the PA2's green wire would connect to the output jack, it's white would go to the middle node on the volume pot, and the black would connect to the casing of the volume pot. Essentially, I think it takes the place of the bottom two wires connecting the volume pot to the output jack. However, this leaves the red wire. I have no idea where to put the red wire from the PA2. EMG says, for normal projects, to connect all the red wires from the pickups, battery connectors, and PA2 together, but because of the sustainer board, I don't know if this is possible.

Last question: supposing what I just stated about the PA2 is true, should the extra black wire from the PA2 take the place of the ground wire connecting to output jack?

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