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build a sustainer


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Guys if u wanna build a sustainer i herd that if u wind a coil with thickish wire such as 23 guage to about 9 ohms and then hook it up to a thing called a little gem found here, http://www.runoffgroove.com/littlegem.html. u can the get a good sound with the sustain, while also if u use a swithch of some kind( i cant remember exactly how u do it) u can create the harmonic thingy as on the fernandes sustainer.

Hope this helps, plus can anyone tell me how to build a hexdistortion pickup?



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I found this on another forum.

I'm sure fernandez's is much cooler, but I have a home made jobby in my guitar. It took one day to build.

First I ripped the wire off a junker ceramic magnet single coil. R.G. pointed out that if you used alnico, the strong magnetic field will unmagnetize it.

I bought some magnet wire from radio shack, pretty heavy guage...28 guage maybe? I measured the spool and total it had 20 ohms, so I wound about half onto my bobbin making a 9 ohm coil. About what a speakers ohm's are!

The coil has to run alot of current to get the strings to move!

The driver I built using a lm386 headphone IC. You can get that at radio shack too, But the radio shack book's circuit oscillates because it doesn't have compensation.... So go to : runoffgroove.com and start by building a "little gem" with that lm386!(he has the needed compensation!).

In order to get the octave effect that fernandez has, just instal a dpdt "invert" switch between the headphone amp and the coil. Think of it like a positive and negative feedback switch... The harmonics effect is gotten by negating the fundamental.... And getting really SICK with the magnetic field.

the coil will have alot of power and the wires will want to vibrate, so try to wind it tight... and maybe glue it. I had to pot mine twice because I could hear the wires vibrating. And my anger almost shattered my molars....

And another thing...The new load is highly inductave, so the compensation thing is key... in the little gems amp thing, it is a resistor and a cap across the output. You might have to play with it. maybe if you added a small series resistor with the coil... just to chill the load a bit, that might help.

It is fun and pretty easy. there are like 30 turns on the coil, and building a headphone amp is a real good beginning soldering project.( except do watch out for that bastard inductive load!)

Good luck!


OHHHH! By the way build it outside of the guitar first... solder a temporary jack to it and use the coil with your right hand while you fret with your left hand. And you will want to use the invert switch no matter what, because the phase will be any bodies guess!

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