Jump to content

Fell At The First Hurdle...


Recommended Posts

Hi Folks,

those of you who read my earlier post know I'm trying to set up a sustainer guitar with built in delay...

Anyway, my plan was install the sustainer kit as-is first, then swap out the pickup, then install the delay. So guess what... Phase 1: straight out of the box, and my sustainer kit is displaying some really odd behaviour!

With the sustainer engaged, I'm getting plenty of sustain on the strings, just as I had expected. The harmonics/mix/normal modes are all working as I expected they would EXCEPT that I only get an output through the jack with the volume turned to full, otherwise the signal literally just cuts out. What output I am getting is really loud and heavily distorted.

Even stanger is that there is no output at all with the Sustainer in the 'off' position, effectively no 'normal' guitar output at all. The only sound I can get from it is a clicking/crackling/scratching noise when I turn the volume pot past certain positions. I thought this was a sign that the volume pot was broken, so I replaced it with a new one and still have the exact same results.

I haven't touched the mini pots on the back of the board as none of these seems to relate to my problem as far as I can tell. I've emailed Fernandes but I just thought I'd check with you lot too as one of you may have encountered this problem before... I'll have another search of the forum in case I've missed something.

Thanks folks, and Merry Christmas!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Xmas is here so no time to answer your questions...

You may have to post some pics and describe better exactly what you have in there. The sustainer is a tricky thing, there is a lot of EMI coming out of the driver which will directly input pickups. The output of the circuit, the power and placement of the pickups all play a role. I am not sure of the fernandes in particular, but it is an active system for the whole guitar I think (unlike mine where it is passive when off) so I will need to know more about it.

As for the volume control...I don't know how it is wired, but the circuit should be before the volume, at least in my guitar, but this stuff should be handled on board. It sounds like when turning down, you are turning down both the output and the signal going into the circuitry...hmmm

Anyway...a fair bit of tweaking may be involved to get it performing right. There is a reason why Fernandes didn't offer the sustainer as an aftermarket kit, and only on there own properly set up guitars, and Sustainiac recomend they install it for you...every guitar and every install is different...

Anyway, my plan was install the sustainer kit as-is first, then swap out the pickup, then install the delay.

I am not sure what you mean by "swapping out the pickup"...how is this being tested?

Bear with it, and you will find a solution I am sure. Good work taking the install step by step though...installing both systems would only add to your problems.

Seasons Greetings... pete

Link to comment
Share on other sites

they do offer it as an aftermarket kit....

Yes...they do now, but for years they didn't even though many were trying to get it...tis my point.

The sustainer is very different from a pickup installation...it is a bit of a balancing act between the power output and the sensitivity of the pickup especially.

With my DIY system and it's derivitives, we have found that you need total isolation of all but the bridge pickup to work...it is not enough to simply short the coils of the other pickups. I do this on my strat with a 4pdt switch but the fernandes and sustainiac circuits may be a little different in the way they achieve this as it is on the board.

"Plus" systems that use the driver as an acive pickup will have some potential problems and a mis wiring of this could produce some of the symptoms described. My DIY system uses a separate passive pickup under the driver when the sustainer is off.

One of the projects for the DIY sustainer thread in the coming year is to develop a mid position driver that will allow both neck and/or bridge to be used and so simplfy the installation process. Col has developed a circuit with 4 modes which is kind of neat and there have been some new ideas in driver designs (dual coil rail like drivers) and construction techniques following the very thin driver principles I originally developed. Even the most sophisticated circuits for the DIY sustainer are approaching the size of the fernandes and sustainiac systems and the basic sustainer that I use is remarkably smaller. A SMD component version would be very small indeed. As the DIY sustainer is developed more and if installation is simplified, versitility is increased and flexability in terms of control layout and such are improved...the DIY sustainer could become the prefered otption for this type of device.

As for now, the Fernandes system is easily up to the job and it will just take a bit of tweaking to get the performance required to balance out the system for your particular instrument...I hope that they can help enlighten you about what you should do at this time with the problems you are experiencing. I suspect it is not faulty if the thing is working and it is a combination of miswiring, adjustment and testing procedures. A little more info and perhaps some people here could help a little more... pete

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, someone may want to lock/delete this thread...

Visualise this: the guitar's entire electronics (bar the pickups) are mounted in/on a plastic take-away tray taped to the top of the guitar, with the wires feeding through the volume pot hole to the pups. Testing out the electrics before I start routing; I thought this was a farily intelligent solution.

And it is. But plastic takeaway trays have a lot of 'give' in them. So when you push a plug into a jack mounted on it the whole thing bends, giving the impression that the jack is all the way in... when it isn't quite.

Hence the above symptoms. So yeah, it works fine. I've fitted the Lace Sensor Red/Red Dually in the place of the frankly crap Fernandez pickup. There's probably some trimpot tweaking needed to smooth things out but it works, certainly. So, next step, wire in the Delay modboard. Woo!

Anyway, just came online to check all the festive emails and thought I'd put you all out of your misery!

Merry Christmas everyone!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...