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Sustainer Strat

Postby Dave B » Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:58 am

Oooh ... and I thought I had my GAS well and truly under control, but then this popped up :

https://shop.fender.com/en-GB/ed-obrien-sustainer-stratocaster

Looks nice. I quite fancy a white strat and I like that someone is setting up the sustainer 'wrong' so that you can swell it in rather than use it 'properly' to hold existing notes. I'd be concerned about the neck and would want to try it out first. But it does look rather nice.

:)
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Re: Sustainer Strat

Postby The Elf » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:04 pm

I recall having a conversation with a certain [namedrop]Mr Hackett[/namedrop] many years ago, when he pretty much abandoned his eBow in favour of the Fernades system. At the time I thought we would see every guitar fitted with similar systems, but it never happened - much like almost no guitarists ever seem to appreciate the power of a volume pedal.

Conservative lot you plank spankers seem to be.
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Re: Sustainer Strat

Postby Wonks » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:28 pm

It looks to be based on a Clapton Strat, so if it's the same neck shape, it should be very nice to play.
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Re: Sustainer Strat

Postby blinddrew » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:28 pm

I'll have you know I have just this weekend fitted a volume pedal onto my board thankyouverymuch...
That sustainer does look interesting though - I wonder what it would do with my B9 pedal...
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Re: Sustainer Strat

Postby CS70 » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:47 pm

The Elf wrote:I recall having a conversation with a certain [namedrop]Mr Hackett[/namedrop] many years ago, when he pretty much abandoned his eBow in favour of the Fernades system. At the time I thought we would see every guitar fitted with similar systems, but it never happened - much like almost no guitarists ever seem to appreciate the power of a volume pedal.

Conservative lot you plank spankers seem to be.

I would like to have a Fernandes to play, or one with their sustainer! Every now and then they pop up on eBay and I'm thinking about getting it. One day.

However, thing is that with decent instrument and proper technique you can get it to sustain a lot with just the right gain structure. You generally don't want sustain on chords, but on individual lines and for that you can set your gain so that it sounds cleanish even if it's all but - it's only the attack that gives away the fact that you're overdriving.

Volume pedals, plenty of people uses' em! Tough in the realm of the reasonable, they're useful mostly for swells and violin-like sound, anything else is just as easy to do with the volume knob, which on Strats is just there under your hand..
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Re: Sustainer Strat

Postby Studio Support Gnome » Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:59 pm

The Elf wrote:
Conservative lot you plank spankers seem to be.


you know you said that to Dave right ????


what he might spank in the privacy of his lounge is anyone's guess, but i'm reasonably sure he's not spanking a plank.... most of the time......


PS.... you HAVE watched me play..... volume swells R us , cheeky bloody midget

I have always had at very least a volume pedal to muck about with.... sometimes more than one..... even thought i do most of this on the guitar...
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Re: Sustainer Strat

Postby The Coastal Path » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:09 pm

CS70 wrote:
The Elf wrote:I recall having a conversation with a certain [namedrop]Mr Hackett[/namedrop] many years ago, when he pretty much abandoned his eBow in favour of the Fernades system. At the time I thought we would see every guitar fitted with similar systems, but it never happened - much like almost no guitarists ever seem to appreciate the power of a volume pedal.

Conservative lot you plank spankers seem to be.

I would like to have a Fernandes to play, or one with their sustainer! Every now and then they pop up on eBay and I'm thinking about getting it. One day.

However, thing is that with decent instrument and proper technique you can get it to sustain a lot with just the right gain structure. You generally don't want sustain on chords, but on individual lines and for that you can set your gain so that it sounds cleanish even if it's all but - it's only the attack that gives away the fact that you're overdriving.

Volume pedals, plenty of people uses' em! Tough in the realm of the reasonable, they're useful mostly for swells and violin-like sound, anything else is just as easy to do with the volume knob, which on Strats is just there under your hand..

I can't recommend the Fernandes sustainer enough to folk - I've fitted them to several of my guitars & for me it's the device that makes an electric guitar make sense. Although you can make a guitar sustain with volume and technique, IMO the sustainer really comes into its own when used with soft, delicate clean sounds. Take a listen to Robert Fripp's solo on the Fripp/Eno Equatorial Stars opening track for a great example - it's a sound that couldn't be created any other way... and personally, I love sustaining whole chords, and use the mode switch to flip in and out the 5th harmonics... all with a volume pedal of course.
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Re: Sustainer Strat

Postby The Elf » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:21 pm

Studio Support Gnome wrote:
The Elf wrote:Conservative lot you plank spankers seem to be.
you know you said that to Dave right ????

what he might spank in the privacy of his lounge is anyone's guess, but i'm reasonably sure he's not spanking a plank.... most of the time......

PS.... you HAVE watched me play..... volume swells R us , cheeky bloody midget

I have always had at very least a volume pedal to muck about with.... sometimes more than one..... even thought i do most of this on the guitar...
:) There are always exceptions! You're some tasty player, mate.
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Re: Sustainer Strat

Postby Wonks » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:21 pm

If everyone had them, there wouldn't be any need for keyboard players.

You're doing yourself out of a job, Elf. ;)
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Re: Sustainer Strat

Postby CS70 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:30 am

The Coastal Path wrote:I can't recommend the Fernandes sustainer enough to folk - I've fitted them to several of my guitars & for me it's the device that makes an electric guitar make sense. Although you can make a guitar sustain with volume and technique, IMO the sustainer really comes into its own when used with soft, delicate clean sounds. Take a listen to Robert Fripp's solo on the Fripp/Eno Equatorial Stars opening track for a great example - it's a sound that couldn't be created any other way... and personally, I love sustaining whole chords, and use the mode switch to flip in and out the 5th harmonics... all with a volume pedal of course.

Noooooo now I'll have to find space for one more guitar... :D
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Re: Sustainer Strat

Postby ManFromGlass » Sat Dec 16, 2017 4:29 am

Oh crap - it's very cool. I've wanted a Fernandez Sustainer for many years. This looks like it goes a few steps beyond. I'm glad the marketing dept included that silly mumbo jumbo about the custom neck plate design being the basis of music or I would have bought one on the spot. ........
Being able to jump the octave as well as the fifth is nice. Cripes, what to do?
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Re: Sustainer Strat

Postby blinddrew » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:14 am

Ah, marketing BS. Saving the technically literate from themselves since 1950. :)
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Re: Sustainer Strat

Postby Wonks » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:48 am

After reading the Guitarist review, I know the neck is rather thick. I've tried that profile neck on some Custom Shop Strats that I was looking at for/with a friend and that profile is not for me. Not a 'thumb over the top' friendly profile.
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Re: Sustainer Strat

Postby The Coastal Path » Sat Dec 16, 2017 5:36 pm

ManFromGlass wrote:Oh crap - it's very cool. I've wanted a Fernandez Sustainer for many years. This looks like it goes a few steps beyond. I'm glad the marketing dept included that silly mumbo jumbo about the custom neck plate design being the basis of music or I would have bought one on the spot. ........
Being able to jump the octave as well as the fifth is nice. Cripes, what to do?

There are two basic sustainer circuits available if you're thinking of buying either a Fernandes guitar or a self-fit kit. The 101 kit is the most basic - there are two settings, sustain or sustain plus the 5th, one octave up. The 401 kit is better - it offers both these modes, plus a blend of the two and an intensity pot that allows for sustain swells. The main thing I find is that you can develop a style of playing that makes the right hand redundant... or rather, instead of using it to pick notes, you roll your palm to mute everything except the string you want to sound.
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Re: Sustainer Strat

Postby ManFromGlass » Sat Dec 16, 2017 5:52 pm

Thanks. I was researching this very thing. Also the other products out there that can be placed in the guitar - the Sustainiac Pro, the Keith McMillen one. I heard of a Hamer one but didn't look it up yet. Then I found a post from a guy who said he has a few of them and the only one that does polyphonic sustains is the Moog guitar. All interesting and exciting stuff.

Sadly none of them come with a switch to make a crap guitarist into a medium good guitarist! The lengths I go to not to practice! :roll:
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Re: Sustainer Strat

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Dec 16, 2017 6:21 pm

ManFromGlass wrote:Thanks. I was researching this very thing. Also the other products out there that can be placed in the guitar - the Sustainiac Pro, the Keith McMillen one. I heard of a Hamer one but didn't look it up yet. Then I found a post from a guy who said he has a few of them and the only one that does polyphonic sustains is the Moog guitar. All interesting and exciting stuff.

Doesn't the Fernandez sustain chords?

Sadly none of them come with a switch to make a crap guitarist into a medium good guitarist! The lengths I go to not to practice! :roll:

Ah the mythical 'Talent Booster' pedal.... The Holy Grail of guitarists everywhere :beamup:
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Re: Sustainer Strat

Postby John Egan » Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:16 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:
Ah the mythical 'Talent Booster' pedal.... The Holy Grail of guitarists everywhere :beamup:

Hi Sam,
My irony detector is flashing!
I have spent a lot of years and effort (mostly unsuccessfully) to play guitar which sounds like guitar. I do it because those are the sounds I like. I'd love to be able to play keyboards and piano decently as well, but I wouldn't want them to sound like a guitar.
Regards, John
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Re: Sustainer Strat

Postby The Coastal Path » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:42 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:
ManFromGlass wrote:Thanks. I was researching this very thing. Also the other products out there that can be placed in the guitar - the Sustainiac Pro, the Keith McMillen one. I heard of a Hamer one but didn't look it up yet. Then I found a post from a guy who said he has a few of them and the only one that does polyphonic sustains is the Moog guitar. All interesting and exciting stuff.

Doesn't the Fernandez sustain chords?

Sadly none of them come with a switch to make a crap guitarist into a medium good guitarist! The lengths I go to not to practice! :roll:

Ah the mythical 'Talent Booster' pedal.... The Holy Grail of guitarists everywhere :beamup:

The Fernandes most certainly does sustain chords... a big part of the technique playing with the sustainer on is stopping strings you don't want to play by selective palm damping.

Re: the sustainiac - my understanding is that this is basically equivalent to the FSK101 kit and made by the same folk who originally designed the Fernandes unit. Some folk will tell you one or the other is better - but having played both I personally couldn't tell any difference.

...and while there might not be such a device that magically boosts talent, I reckon the sustainer comes close to being a contender, especially when paired with a midi pickup for long sustaining synth tones... my Tripleplay even tracks the harmonics.
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Re: Sustainer Strat

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:02 pm

John Egan wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:
Ah the mythical 'Talent Booster' pedal.... The Holy Grail of guitarists everywhere :beamup:

Hi Sam,
My irony detector is flashing!
I have spent a lot of years and effort (mostly unsuccessfully) to play guitar which sounds like guitar. I do it because those are the sounds I like. I'd love to be able to play keyboards and piano decently as well, but I wouldn't want them to sound like a guitar.
Regards, John

And, they never will :thumbup:
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Re: Sustainer Strat

Postby ManFromGlass » Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:06 pm

Perhaps I misread about sustaining chords as that doesn't seem logical. I have the original and 2 mode ebows, and the Sustainer model C I think it's called. That's the one where you clamp a small excitation (my word) unit near the tuners on the neck. Then wires run down to a floor unit. Not ideal for live but still tons of inspiration.

I almost purchased the Vibesware harmonic generator, reviewed here in SOS, but I probably spent that money on something silly like food or paying bills :blush: When I have a bit of extra cash I may buy that or the Sustainer retrofit or perhaps something new will come on the scene. Oh yes there is also that clamp on one with 6 little wheels that is back in production. Choices, choices!
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