Sustainer Equipped Guitars: Your Experiences - Jemsite
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2017, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
 
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Sustainer Equipped Guitars: Your Experiences

Sustainers have become a point of interest for me recently because I've realized how much better they are than an E-Bow (no disrespect but it's true). The sustainer I am most familiar with is the Sustainiac and whatever type of sustainer is in the Jackson Phil Collen Signature model. I have only seen one Fernandes in my life (it belonged to another guitarist) but must admit I have not been looking for them. I am aware of the Schecter models equipped with Sustainiacs. If the used market were flooded with these Schecters, I would probably go this route, but the used market is not flooded with these guitars, or any sustainer equipped guitars. (I also would prefer not to buy a guitar that derives its name from "demons and hell" either. Personal preference, I guess.) I realize sustainer equipped guitars are not going to be very common relative to non-sustainer equipped guitars but I have heard rumor that sustainers were popular at one time which implies they were installed on more guitars than just Phil Collen's.

What have you heard? Witnessed? Played? Owned? Sold? Educate me, I want to learn!
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2017, 03:28 AM
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Re: Sustainer Equipped Guitars: Your Experiences

The Jackson PC-1 is the only guitar I have played with one installed and it was a great guitar (one of the early koa ones too!) but I still see it as a gimmick.

The only thing I would routinely use it for would be having fun on the intro to Flying in a blue dream, but after that, I just wouldn't have a use for it.

I'm not sure what more there is to say about them, it's a fun thing with what I perceive as very limited uses, maybe some can spell out differences in performance, but would have to ask whether it's a curio of which any type will do, or whether one brand offers more then another.

You can always refinish a headstock if the name of a guitar bothers you too, so I wouldn't let that bother you too much.

Last edited by jono; 07-23-2017 at 03:57 PM.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2017, 11:33 AM
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Re: Sustainer Equipped Guitars: Your Experiences

A better question which Jono alludes to is what you want to do with it. I won't call it a gimmick but rather a highly specific tool (that most guitarists don't need for daily playing). Studio tool is where i'd categorize it, next playing live in large theaters/stadiums or someone who transforms their playing (ala jeff beck fingers and whammy bar) into a totally unique style with the sustainer instead. The fernandes artist page gives some good examples of use (feedback, ambient sound for tv scores, etc.).

Learning more about what it can do is more useful than going thru all the permutations since it originally was used (notably by George Lynch wires to headstock and all). I've followed them since the early 80s and considered installing a few times... never did due to hassle and lack of personal need.

Originally the Sustaniac (Back for the Attack is a listening clinic) was used in a lead guitar context to boost "sustain" for solos. Here a new install for George Lynch with a little audio demo


For example most of Vai's work doesn't require a sustainer but certainly it helps on a song like this especially live where sound can be temperamental and tone is secondary.

To be clear, these were never "popular" or mainstream. When Fernandes bought the rights to use roughly copied Sustainiac brand technology/patents there might have been a negative effect. It caused the whole thing to dry up cause Fernandes was a non-starter for most guitarists (lets be real). They maybe thought they'd have a FloydRose effect on the brand (ala original Kramers). I'd put Schecter in there too. So in this regard it's sorta safe to say Ibanez JS will be the first mainstream guitar brand with a sustainer and it's the real deal sustaniac pro
Electric Guitars JS - JS2480 Joe Satriani | Ibanez guitars
install

I think maybe of the Fernandes version as the "mass marketed version" whereas sustainiac is the real deal, evolves more and does a bit more.

Sustainiac Home Page
Sustainer Artists

Good luck!

Last edited by jemsite; 07-23-2017 at 11:46 AM.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2017, 02:10 PM
 
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Re: Sustainer Equipped Guitars: Your Experiences

I have one in my Schecter. It's like anything else, a very valuable tool, when you need it. A capo is a great tool. Do you always use it? Most likely not.

With a sustainiac, gone are the days of walking around the stage, and marking the stage with tape when you find a location that your guitar gives you a long sustaining note, or feedback. Both are yours (including a mixture of the 2) anywhere, at the flick of a switch. One switch for on/off and the other for plain sustain/feedback sustain/mixture. You can't go wrong.

You can also get the sustain you're looking for at any level. No need to crank the amp to get that feedback. It's a win-win.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2017, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Sustainer Equipped Guitars: Your Experiences

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...someone who transforms their playing (ala jeff beck fingers and whammy bar) into a totally unique style with the sustainer instead.

So in this regard, it's sorta safe to say Ibanez JS will be the first mainstream guitar brand with a sustainer and it's the real deal sustaniac pro.

I think maybe of the Fernandes version as the "mass marketed version" whereas sustainiac is the real deal, evolves more and does a bit more.
The Jeff Beck example is close to how I would be using the sustainer. One key difference is the various pieces of music have been composed by composers who all have a varying degree of familiarity with the electric guitar. They know what they want, but they do not know how to explain it to the guitarist. If a composer wants "sustain," more often than not they differ to the "E-Bow" because it is one of the few tools both guitarists and composers understand. Sometimes composers do not realize that there are limitations to what a guitarist can play on the guitar while using an E-Bow. It is in these situations that I've realized a sustainer would work much better. The Sustainiac feels like you have an E-Bow on every string and you do not have to hold any of them! It is very liberating! I was interested in what the guitar market has produced over the years in regards to sustainer equipped guitars but it seems the answer is "not much."
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-24-2017, 10:46 AM
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Re: Sustainer Equipped Guitars: Your Experiences

Sounds like you can put a sustainer axe to good use... why not add one to guitar you own or will soon own.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-24-2017, 11:05 AM
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Re: Sustainer Equipped Guitars: Your Experiences

Or use it as an excuse to get one of those tasty Jackson PC-1s
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-24-2017, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Sustainer Equipped Guitars: Your Experiences

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Sounds like you can put a sustainer axe to good use... why not add one to guitar you own or will soon own.
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Or use it as an excuse to get one of those tasty Jackson PC-1s
Yeah, I think you might be right. I looked into installing one in my EBMM JPX-7. It could be the best guitar in which to install a Sustainiac or the worst. It has to do with the available controls on the guitar but I think I will let someone else figure that one out. My 8 string is an 8 string, so that won't work. My 6 string, Ibanez SCR220, should remain unmodified.

If this does happen, I think a used 7 string Prestige or RG7620 would be the way I would choose to go, assuming the control cavity is big enough. If you (cough) jono (cough) would like to donate a Jackson PC-1, that 7th string does not matter as much.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-25-2017, 10:40 AM
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Re: Sustainer Equipped Guitars: Your Experiences

You should read the FAQ (there is a 7-string version of the PRO)
Frequently Asked Questions

Used RG would be a no-brainer for the project
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-25-2017, 05:03 PM
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Re: Sustainer Equipped Guitars: Your Experiences

I've always had alot of fun playing around with them when I've had the chance. Not that I would have a need for one, but they are an interesting new toy. I've never had one long enough to get past the cool new toy phase to get to the live with stage.

The Sustainiac vibrates quite a bit when active adding another perk, if you wear it low enough!
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-28-2017, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Sustainer Equipped Guitars: Your Experiences

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I've always had alot of fun playing around with them when I've had the chance. Not that I would have a need for one, but they are an interesting new toy. I've never had one long enough to get past the cool new toy phase to get to the live with stage.

The Sustainiac vibrates quite a bit when active adding another perk, if you wear it low enough!


Does this mean the JS2480MCR's are in?
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-28-2017, 01:25 AM
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Re: Sustainer Equipped Guitars: Your Experiences

Not yet but they're pretty close. I will test play those a little longer than the usual
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-29-2017, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Sustainer Equipped Guitars: Your Experiences

Just for the sake of conversation, I found this: https://reverb.com/item/5224975-kramer-sustainer

I thought there would be more guitars similar to this on the used market. By "similar" I mean equipped with a Sustainer, not necessarily the military graphic with bomb inlays. Kramer guitars are out of my sphere of knowledge, but I'm sure it is a fine instrument.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-31-2017, 03:38 PM
 
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Re: Sustainer Equipped Guitars: Your Experiences

I had a Fernandes 7 string with a sustainer many years ago. It was kind of cool, but I really wasn't doing the stuff on the 7 that I did with the 6, so I pulled the sustainer and sold it, then eventually traded the guitar too, I just never could get along with the 7th string, and I've tried a few more times since then too, but that's a different story. For what it did though, I thought it was pretty cool, but if you want a neck pickup, well the humbucker Fernenades one sounded like crap as a neck pickup, to me anyway, so I'd take that into consideration.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-02-2017, 09:34 AM
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Re: Sustainer Equipped Guitars: Your Experiences

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Not yet but they're pretty close. I will test play those a little longer than the usual
Good news!
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