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Which sustainer system is better: the Fernandes Sustainer or the Sustainiac?

  • Fernandes Sustainer

    Votes: 9 40.9%
  • Sustainiac

    Votes: 13 59.1%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, i want to get a sustainer system soon and im debating on which one to get. at first i was set on the fernandes system because it was the only one i had heard of and it was used by many people such as Steve Vai. then the sustainiac came into the picture.

i've done research and most people seem to think the sustiainiac is better, but im not totally convinced. the ferndandes system seems much more credible to me.

so once and for all, let us answer the burning question: which is better, the fernandes sustainer or the sustainiac?
 

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Vai and Neal Schon of Journey use the Fernandes system. I like what they do, so that's why I'm going with a Fernandes setup for my guitar.
 

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I got a fernandes once, and my friend got a sustainiac.
Both worked equally as well imo but sustainiac is 100x* more easier to install.
Fernandes looks cooler though lol. I don't know how they differ in terms of sound though as a pickup i never thought of that.
 

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satch uses sustainiac if that helps ;) lol


In all honesty, Ive played on both, both seem to be identical. That being the case, I would let cost and ease of installation make my choice FOR me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
how about tonal quality? i've heard that the sustainiac has much better tone. is this true?
 

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Tonally, I don't think you'll be able to tell a difference between the two. I've got a sustainiac simply because of the ease of installation.
 

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Wow, I'm even more confused!?!? I'm in the final stages of a JEM D.I.Y. It's similar to a floral JEM YET IT'S an aqua Bohemian paisly style cloth. I started around 6 months ago with only an aqua/bluish abalone inlaid Ibanez JEM neck. I've undertaken this endeavor on a shoe string budget which has it's pros & cons . I'm able to scour sites like eBay & others so I can find exactly what I need! And work on the finish by hand. I've come away with about a 3/16ths pure glass looking finish before I've even applied any buffing & swirl mark removal compound! I've acquired aqua abalone topped knarled vol & tone knobs ,blue "gravity storms" original edge Lo Pro term! It's gorgeous ,beautiful!! Well battery getting low. Ahh the plug is working? I have 3 original Edge tremelos left ,now that I know how to get the glass like finish I'll have to start a new one when.this one is kicking arse!! So the $70 I save on the neck pickup I can use for the sustain(iac)? I do see a overwhelming %age of opinions about how much easier the install goes!
On my next one I can save SO MUCH TIME on the finish . Now the JEM necks have doubled in price! In a short period of time! I may have to try for a prestige neck!
Still the main objective is deciding on which sustainer and learning the install. I'll go slowly & make lots of detailed notes on every step of the install! # codes & detailed colored wire layouts with a ruler to scale !! Well wish me luck and any input on which sustainers are more than welcome . eee male vaihalen29 at g mail dot com thanks for ANY input! TTYS!!
 

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I had a Fernandes one to go in my RG, but I ended up selling it and plan to go with the Sustainiac, purely due to the size. The Fernandes board is about the size of a credit card, so it's more invasive unless you have a large cavity to put it in. The Sustainiac is small enough that it can fit in a lot of pre-existing cavities. And if not, won't require as much wood removed.
 

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Just when I've made up my mind! LOL Anyone know the prices of each? That may be the deciding factor .Thanks for everyone's input! Guitarist need to help each other! I was so lucky to have Jimmy Herring as my daily one on one instructor at A.I.M./G.I.T.88-89. A wide eyed teenager ,working my way through with the Atlanta Symphony..
 

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I've also heard the Sustainiac has a harmonizer function and the Fernandez doesn't? I'm Sure Via has an Eventide Harmonizer @ $4,000!!! . Anyone heard if the Harmonizer issue is true?
 

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Both have the ability to shift the sustained note up to a +5TH harmonic after a few seconds. You can switch them so they either add the extra shift to the base note, and retains the original sound, or shifts the note completely up from the base note.

If you go with Fernandes, only the 401 has this feature, however the 101 has the same board so you simply remove the original 2 position on-on DPDT switch and replace it with a 3 position on-on-on. You can also add an intensity pot to the 101 too, which only the 401 ships with. About $10 in parts will save you $100.
 

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I hate to hijack this thread, but I have a question. I am getting a Fernandes guitar with a "Sustainer lite". It only has the sustain mode. Is there away to convert to to the Harmonic Mode as well?
 

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I hate to hijack this thread, but I have a question. I am getting a Fernandes guitar with a "Sustainer lite". It only has the sustain mode. Is there away to convert to to the Harmonic Mode as well?
I don't think so. Unless it's the same board. If it's the same boards then you can buy a switch and probably hook it up but something makes me think theyre not that stupid

You could always just buy a 401 kit and stick it in the place if the old ineS but it's stuoi gonna be the cost of the 401 (or 101 of course)
 

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I have both systems I a couple of different guitars (and have had both in the same guitar at different times). I would pick the fernandess all days of the week.
Main reasons are that it sounds better, both the sustain sound and when used as a normal pickup. More options to play around with wiring too (alter the board).

Defiantly more work to install, but stil easy.

After having had these things for many, many years would I say.
Really think a couple of times extra about what you gone do with it before you install one.
I have help loads of people installing them and maybe 5% of them actually use it (I mean "use it" as "turn it on after the new thing have faded").
It takes a lot of work and time to come up with things to use it for, very, very few people spend that time/effort.

/Magnus
 

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I'd also vote sustainiac, I've had a fernandes with theirs and a Jackson PC1 with the sustainiac. The Jackson sustainiac seemed much better, easier to 'dial in the amount' and had a fatter neck tone. But it could have been that the PC1 was just a much nicer guitar.
 

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Is the sustainiac also acting like a neck pickup as well as a driver when the pickup selector is at the neck position? Or do we left with the Bridge and middle position pickup when installed a sustaniac?
 

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Is the sustainiac also acting like a neck pickup as well as a driver when the pickup selector is at the neck position? Or do we left with the Bridge and middle position pickup when installed a sustaniac?
Yes, it works as a neck pickup when not working as a sustainer.
A very hot, thick, sounding neck pickup.
Not at all bad, but not something I think is funny sounding.
I have placed a normal singlecoil next to it in my guitars and bypassed the driver as neck pickup.

/Magnus
 
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