Fernandes sustainer strat - ...arrived a couple weeks ago - Jemsite
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 08-17-2001, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: DFW, Texas
Posts: 1,568
Fernandes sustainer strat - ...arrived a couple weeks ago

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?
gkelm is offline  
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 08-17-2001, 11:02 PM
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 84
Fernandes sustainer strat

I have a Fernandes Monterey with a sustainer system.

It should sing like hell no matter how much output the pick ups have, some suggestions:
  • One of those knobs should control the intensity of the sustainer, turn it all the way up.
  • There should be a push/pull pot that changes it from sustain to feedback.
  • And lastly, and most importantly, check the battery in the back of the guitar. There should be a red light that you can see through the plastic back-peace. If the battery is low, the sustainer won't work nearly as well, and the pick ups will lose output. If the battery runs out completely, the guitar is dead.

I hope this helped, but you probably already knew all that. I don't know if your guitar works the same way as mine, though.
Vai is God is offline  

bridge pup , neck pup , strat style , strat trem

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