Here's one of my latest experimental toys from ebay...
It's a Fernandes strat copy with sustainer...and it was fairly cheap. *I've wanted a traditional looking strat, but with something more. *Had been toying with the idea of a Warmoth project, but thought this would be worth a whirl. *Thought I'd post a little review as these get inquiries here occasionally.
The body is what first attracted me...it appears to be solid alder (3 pc?) with a 50s style tobacco burst...good looking finish. *It's fairly light, partly due I'm sure to the extra routing for the sustainer electronics.
The neck is fairly traditional strat style, small frets, shallow v--playable but does not have a high quality feel. *Maybe a Warmoth replacement needed?
The hardware is so, so...the trem functions about like any strat trem (ain't no edge).
The pickups are not very good...lowish output and not impressive tone. *I have a set of Fender CS Fat 50s I may pop into the middle and bridge to see how that helps. *I was pleased to find that the neck pup functions as a magnetic pup when the sustainer is off...it sounds kinda thin, but at least is works.
The sustainer works...as far as I know it's the standard Fernandes unit. *It only functions with the bridge pup...a bit limiting IMHO. *It doesn't pump out the sustain as I expected it would...it works best with lots of gain and more volume...a compressor helps too. *I suspect it only works as well as the bridge pup. *Probably needs a higher output pup in the bridge to make it sing--thinking a SD Lil' 59.
For comparison, I just picked up a cheap/mint/used Fender Mexi strat...which generally feels and sounds like a slightly better guitar (this mexi happens to be one of the better ones I've played). *I think with some upgrades (neck & pups) the Fernandes might be a nice piece, and still come in at just a tad over $400 total.
Anybody else have experience with sustainer guitars?