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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi.
I'm thinking of fitting a Sustainer system to one of my guitars and I'd like to hear from people who've used either system.Are the Fernandes or the Sustainiac better than each other? I've listened to the sound-files of both and to be honest the 'Sustainiac' sounds better in them,but I don't know if that's just the particular clips on the websites.I was set on the Fernandes system at first because of the Vai connection and because it looked slightly better(i suppose that's just because I'm used to seeing the ones on Steve's guitars though).
It's not for a Jem so it doesn't really matter about the look so much anyway.I just want to get the system that works the best and in the sound-files the Sustainiac just sounded 'stronger',output-wise.
I'd be extremely grateful for any advice and opinions on either system,especially from people who have used a sustainer themselves.All the Best!..................JTM45 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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When I put the veneer top on my RG520, I also installed a Sustainiac Stealth system in it.
The Sustainiac people are great to deal with and have helped me out with custom wiring diagrams specifically for my needs.
It's an incredible system.


By the way, while the wiring diagram is pretty excellently laid out, it does require someone with a little more experience in soldering than a beginner, so take your time and it'll come out well, but it is a lot of work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey 'Jim'.
That looks great! Although i was initially keen on the Fernandes i am definitely more drawn towards the Sustainiac now.They seem to provide far more information on their site than you can find about the Fernandes and the sound-files of the Sustainiac definitely sound better to me.
I was thinking of getting the Stealth version and putting a single-coil sized humbucker next to it so I've got two humbuckers still,which is what the guitar has at the moment.
Did it take you long to install the system and did you run into any problems along the way? I read something on the site about having to 'tune' the driver by sticking a small piece(can't remember exactly what it was)of something on the side of the driver in the right place to stop crosstalk or something.I'll have to look into that a bit more.
I'm no Electronics wizard but I'm sure I'll be able to get the system installed as long as I take my time with it.I built my own Valve Amp so it shouldn't be any more tricky than that(hopefully,lol).
Do you find it very usable in everyday playing or is it something that you only tend to use occassionaly? It sounds like you're impressed with the way it sounds anyway.It's a nice project anyway.
I'd be grateful for any tips or info you have about the system.Thanks again for your reply! All the Best................JTM45 !!!!!!!!!
 

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JTM45 - I would go with the Sustainiac also. I have tried both, and would buy the Sustainiac if I was interested in putting one in something. I have never installed one, so I can't give you any advice on that. Keep us posted on the project.
Josh
 

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I have both systems, and I tend to favour the Sustainiac unit. Something about it just sounds truer and "more real", like the tone is all guitar, not an effect.

I will also chime in on the customer service of the Sustainiac people. Alan (the owner) will answer any and all questions that you have about his products. I have two older (and since discontinued) units, and he was good enough to get me any info I needed without suggesting that I replace them with the new units.

Cheers,
Butch
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Butch.
I got the same impression about the customer service thing. I emailed both Fernandes and the Sustainiac people about a fortnight ago and I had a reply from Sustainiac the next day and they couldn't have been more helpful. I'm still waiting for a reply from Fernandes...
I also got the impression that the guys at Sustainiac would be far more help when it came to me fitting my Sustainiac. There's just no information available on the Fernandea Sustainer.
I also listened to various sound-files of both and the Sustainiac ones, as you said, sounded far more natural yet still sounded 'stronger' if that makes sense. I went to one of the Links from the Sustainiac page (Langcaster Guitars in New Zeland) and the sound-files of the Sustainiac in action there sounded amazing. I think they were intentionally played in a 'Vai' style because that's the kind of music most people associate with the sustainer type sound, but I was very impressed with the sounds!
Hey 'Butch'. I wanted to ask you if you think that a guitar that's fitted with a sustainer system needs a tremolo to get the best out of it? I got the impression that a trem would give you more scope to use the sustainer, but that's only a deduction and it would be nice to know if this is actually the case.
Thanks for your input and all the best!...........................JTM45.
 

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There's no need to have a trem system on the guitar. Traditionally, the manufacturers that have used the Sustainiac (Hamer, Jackson, etc.) have put them on trem-equipped guitars figuing that the target market for the Sustainiac is the same that woukd use a locking trem.

Having said that, Alan (owner of Sustainiac) demos the unit at his own NAMM booth using a Les Paul style guitar.

Cheers,
Butch
 

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Changing out all of the electronics in my RG1570 has made me solder happy and I'm now thinking of putting in a sustainer in my 2550. I've been reading up on it, and I'm leaning more towards sustaniac, but I wanted to know two things:

1. Has anyone successfully installed a Fernandes sustainer kit on an RG that has a pickguard (not sure how different the cavity is compared to a jem?). From what I hear, purchasing a Fernandes sustainer results in the purchase of a router, i've got the guts, but whether the effort is worth it is still undetermined.

2. How long do the batteries last for either the fernandes or sustaniac?

Thanks in advance
 

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For those interested the batteries on the sustaniac last about 20 - 30 hours.

When sustaining a note, about 40-50 milliamperes of current are drawn from a 9-volt battery. For a 9v alkaline battery, the lifetime is 500 milliampere hours. So, you could sustain a continuous note for about 10-12 hours. This makes for about 20-30 hours of normal playing, using the sustainer a lot during that time.

Thanks Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That's quite handy to know! It seems pretty good too, 20-30 hours of playing is a long time for someone who's perhaps playing for an hour or two a day at the most(obviously some people may play for more or less time too). I certainly wouldn't mind changing the battery once a fortnight(if that even).

I've got a guitar with active EMGs in it and I probably play it equally as much as my other guitars and the battery lasts for a seriously long time! I suppose in comparison to something like a Sustainiac the EMGs are using a tiny amont of power really. The Sustainiac has a lot more work to do.

Thanks for the info anyway!
 

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I have been looking into sustainers as well and it looks to me like sustainiac has there @$%^ together and sound much better then the fernandez, also i have heard that vai has had a sustainiac installed in the bad horsie guitar, maybe he is going to move over to them instead of fernandez
 

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So I went to a local music shop to try out a fernandes guitar; I'm debating between getting a Fernandes sustainer or Sustaniac. Didn't really care for the guitar, just wanted to try out the sustainer.
Before I give you my opinion on the Fernades sustainer, I need to fill you in on what environmental circumstances I was exposed to, in order for me to test drive this sustainer.
The only fernandes dealer in my area was in a city about 20 miles from where I live. I've been to a variety of guitar shops, small ones, big ones, trendy ones, whatever. I must say that the shop I visited was very unique. The problem was this shop was stuck in a time warp. If you've seen the movie Napolean Dynamite; think of the thrift shop he goes in to buy that dance instructional tape, that's what this music shop was like, except they sold fernandes guitars...after visiting the fernades website (very flashy) you would expect the shops they're sold in to be of the same caliber...go figure. Let's put it this way, they also sold dvd's(not instructional, but actual dvd's like napolean dynamite for instance) cd's and get this...cassette tapes and not just a couple, hundreds (and the cd's were openly accessible, but the tapes were behind a plexiglass wall with holes cut out so you can inspect the merchandise without the temptation of stealing it). Oh, and all they had in terms of sheet music were songs from the 70's and 80's. The carpets had a faint smell of urine, and everyone in the store, employee's and customers were white...deliverance white (they had that movie too) Anyways, I'm not too sure whether being completely weirded out had any influence on my decision, but I wasn't too thrilled with the fernandes sustainer. I asked the salesperson a few questions but his reply was, "I don't really know a lot about guitars so I can't really help you." The sound was a little weak and very artificial.

I haven't tried the sustaniac, and don't know if I can unless I buy it and install it in my guitar, so if anyone has tried both, I would love to hear your opinions.
I've actually come to the decision that it may be too much effort and uncertainty; I'm thinking I should save my money and buy the new GT-8 instead.
 

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sustainiac, i have a fernandez and my friend has sustainiac, both pretty much work the same but sustainiac is much more easier to install
 
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