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#1
Here's one I'm building presently...









...it should be fun/constructive to discuss Guitar sustainers in general?
#2
All I see is a single coil with Leds..........Were the hell is the schematic? You did say is anyone interested in homemade sustainers and I'm seeing a lack of circut boards and WIn in this thread.
Hearing about a pair of great boobs is like hearing about a really cool bug or lizard as a kid and you just gotta see it.
#3
^ yeah i agree with him, so you integrated a sustainer in a pickup?
Quote by Zugunruhe
for some reason this post makes me suspect theres something horribly wrong with you.

not that thats a bad thing...

...dont kill me.
#4
Is that a sustainer? Don't look like one.
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#5
Quote by Morbidyeti
^ yeah i agree with him, so you integrated a sustainer in a pickup?


Nice friendly welcome fellas...if you look at the photo where you can see the coil's copper wire ...it's 5 times thicker than pickup wire ...it's not a pickup it's a driver.


What would be the point of putting LEDs in a pickup - the guitar signal would click pop & hum like hell everytime the LEDS lit?
Last edited by HankMcSpank at Jul 29, 2009,
#6
Well i'm sure he built a sustainer coil but I see no circut board to tell the batterys elctricity what to do.

Edit: Sorry man but we do see alot of BS around here and I understood that it was a custum driver but I was hoping to see the circutboard you had to tell said driver what to do. Thus is why i asked for a Schematic .
Hearing about a pair of great boobs is like hearing about a really cool bug or lizard as a kid and you just gotta see it.
Last edited by Unherolike at Jul 29, 2009,
#7
It was an opening gambit....ie I asked if anyone wanted to talk about sustainers....NOT if anyone want to see a full AtoZ building a sustainer tutorial, including schematic, parts list in the first posting!!!
Last edited by HankMcSpank at Jul 29, 2009,
#8
This is the GB&C we always want to build what someone lays in front of us.........its a curse.
Hearing about a pair of great boobs is like hearing about a really cool bug or lizard as a kid and you just gotta see it.
#10
No its the correct forum its just hard for us to talk about stuff without actually wanting to build it.
The title kinda threw me for a loop cause it asked me if Anyone interested in DIY/Homemade Guitar Sustainers? Not, "Anyone else interested in Guitar sustainers Dose anyone want to talk about them?". Thats all its kinda the same thing around here when someone says GuitarBuild then it turns out to be a Guitar assembly or kit........it gets me dissappointed.
Hearing about a pair of great boobs is like hearing about a really cool bug or lizard as a kid and you just gotta see it.
#12
Well here's a commercial one (a Floyd Rose), no component values but anyone worth their salt could work around it...

http://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?PHPSESSID=c36d6ac91950b73f8fab793d5e3b2bc8&topic=71637.msg612164#msg612164

I have my own circuit, but it's not in a legible form right now...I'll come back when it's all together, since that seems to be the pre-requisite to starting a thread!

edit: cedric...this is my first 'proper' sustainer project - though previously I've had all manner of coils 'sustianing on the workbench' ....driven by breadboarded circuits. I kind of stopped that aspect to start trying to make a sustainer that looked OK enough to put on my guitar ...about to start up the 'breadboard' to 'PCB' aspect imminently.
Last edited by HankMcSpank at Jul 29, 2009,
#14
I should have given a little more info....

200 turns of 30AWG
Alnico 5 pole pieces (with rare earth magnets on the lower side

Total height is just 8mm (that's a third of an inch in old money)...this version with LEDs is 14mm wide, without LEDs it'd be just 9.5mm wide.

It's intended to surface mount onto the guitar adjacent to the neck pickup(no routing)

No having to give up your own pickups to fit...they stay.
#15
Quote by HankMcSpank
No having to give up your own pickups to fit...they stay.

That part is a damn good idea. Would putting it immediately adjacent (touching) another pickup cause problems?)

Are the LEDs just for kicks and giggles?
#16
The LEDs serve no purpose whatsoever! (just guitar bling...which you can never have enough of)

Yes, having it adjacent to the neck pickup will cause a major problem if the sustainer is active while the neck pickup is selected (massive squeal), - it'll therefore need a micro switch fitted to the pickup selector switch to disable the sustainer in all positions except when the bridge pickup is selected.
#17
looks good when its finished please post the schem

also if you get it up and running will you make and sell them?
Quote by Deliriumbassist
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#19
Quote by rancidryan
looks good when its finished please post the schem

also if you get it up and running will you make and sell them?


re the schem - likely.

Re selling them - it wasn't my intention (I have a day job in an unrelated industry!)...I just wanted to build my own, to my own requirements (the commercial ones have some limitingrestricting factors in my opinion - plus I fancied the challenge) - truthfully they are so labour intensive, I can't see it being viable! For example... the bobbins you see have been made by me (from sheet acrylyic) - each one of those pole piece holes is measured to be *exactly* in the middle of the string it stradlles ...& at the point chosen to mount the thing)

That said, for those who like boutique stuff or have specific needs (7 strings ...specific requirements/shape/style)...if the price was right, like most, I consider it!

cedric - it's not that much of a limiting factor...your guitar would work as normal ...but you'd only have the option to have sustain with the bridge pickup.

There are some who have made sustainers that can be placed in the middle pickup position ....but at the moment, the one I'm planning won't (there's too mu7ch magnetic spillage into the pickups otherwise)
Last edited by HankMcSpank at Jul 29, 2009,
#22
sorry for the flamefest encountered by your first post, Hank... the pirhanas are hungry today I guess

I'm not one for sustainers but, meh, each his own. I just wanted to come in and say welcome to the forum... the rest of you guys need to learn a little more tact... I you all but c'mon... give the guy a chance.
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#23
Hehe...I guess I was a little taken aback at the hostile response to a first posting - I posted only becuase I thoiught it might be good to latch up with like minded folk - hadn't realised that to make a posting you have to have full 'instuctable' type documentation to post up at the same time!!

re the schematic ...it doesn't (formally) exist yet. I think I mentioned a short while ago I breadboarded up my take on the circuitry needed....it worked well. I've now finished making the driver, so will be dusting down my breadboard again, but essentially, this is the signal flow...


Guitar pickup signal in ->preamp->intermedate amp (with AGC), power amp-> driver.

Nothing too onerous.


Anyway, I'll be back!
#24
I have to say, that looks really awesome. And from the sound of it, it should sound great too. And the first three posters were completey idiotic. I'm sorry on their behalf. And you don't have to post and instructable- in fact people rarely do.
#25
personally i cant stand the idea of leds on a guitar. it seems too tacky to me but thats just my own preference.

regardless it's a great project.
#26
Excellent project, something I've not seen around these parts before. How does she sound?
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#27
Quote by noisefarmer
personally i cant stand the idea of leds on a guitar. it seems too tacky to me but thats just my own preference.

regardless it's a great project.

Actually...I understand that stance - I've only added the LEDs to see how it turns out (& because to my knowledge it's never been done before). I'll not know how I feel about them until I finally get the thing mounted on the guitar & get the LEDs animating properly (sample/hold bargraph type patterns)...but hey, if they don't look classy, there'll be an off switch!

Quote by Kurapica
Excellent project, something I've not seen around these parts before. How does she sound?

This particular driver hasn't been 'fired up yet' (by that I mean mounted on my guitar & a signal driven through it). I have previously breadboarded 'proof of concept' circuit & I designed some digital AGC (using a PIC). With sustainers, the AGC aspect, is the 'secret KFC ingredient'

Re how does it sound - well actually, sustainers themselves produce no sound as such, but it's still a challenge to get them to 'stimulate' the guitar string 'cleanly'. The sustain achieved with the driver coil used back when I breadboarded was as pure as the driven snow (& I've no reason to think this driver will be any different) .....of course, the sustained guitar signal can then be fed through a Mesa to make the sustained note 'evil personified'.

I'm starting a blog, not much there at the moment except for a little bit more wrt surmounting the hurdles & getting to where I am presently with that driver design...

http://diyguitarsustainers.blogspot.com/
Last edited by HankMcSpank at Jul 30, 2009,
#28
A week ago i was all for building one of these for myself but i stopped because I wasn't really sure on a lot of things. I see that your driver is very similar to the design of a typical pickup except for the thicker gauge wire. I have on old spare pickup with six pole pieces and bar magnet. Could I turn that into my driver? I know I'd have to wind it up with (32 AWG?) wrapping wire but is there anything else I'd need to do? I've read a lot of stuff on Project Guitar and your driver looks easier for me to make with what I've got.

The real problem I see myself with is the preamp. I feel I'm competent to wire it up but acquiring the parts and slapping them on a PCB seems the hard part. Ive heard the Ruby/fetzer does a good job but that really doesn't mean a whole lot to me.

Anwyays, I hope yours works out so I can base mine off of it.
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#29
Quote by HankMcSpank
The LEDs serve no purpose whatsoever! (just guitar bling...which you can never have enough of)

Oh yes you can.

On topic, this sounds really cool. I'd love to see the schem and your wiring diagram on how you installed this. Maybe a few youtube vids as well.
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#30
I use an eBow on my steel guitar frequently. It's a significant enough part of my sound that I had a Sustainiac installed in a lap steel. That thing really sucked when compared to an eBow. Being able to move the eBow around (to and from the pickup, mostly) makes all the difference when it comes to musical expression. I've often wanted a sustaining device that I could fix with a gear cable (bicycle brakes), hooked to a pedal, that would allow me to move the unit along the strings with a range of a few inches.

Make one of those and I'll buy it.
#31
Quote by AgresiveNapkins
A week ago i was all for building one of these for myself but i stopped because I wasn't really sure on a lot of things. I see that your driver is very similar to the design of a typical pickup except for the thicker gauge wire. I have on old spare pickup with six pole pieces and bar magnet. Could I turn that into my driver? I know I'd have to wind it up with (32 AWG?) wrapping wire but is there anything else I'd need to do? I've read a lot of stuff on Project Guitar and your driver looks easier for me to make with what I've got.

The real problem I see myself with is the preamp. I feel I'm competent to wire it up but acquiring the parts and slapping them on a PCB seems the hard part. Ive heard the Ruby/fetzer does a good job but that really doesn't mean a whole lot to me.

Anwyays, I hope yours works out so I can base mine off of it.

About 150-200 turns of something like 30AWG (some swear by AGW32) will get you in the general ballpark (remember to 'pot' it with something like wood glue as you wind). you need to wind it until you have a DC resistance of about 8 ohms. A lot of folks have used the fetzer ruby...& that circuit will get you sustain of sorts, but mainly on the lowest 4 strings (ie G to Low E) ...you'll likely struggle to get good sustain on your top 2. There's a world of difference between getting 'some' sustain & getting dependable even, non distorted sustain ....that where Automatic GAin Control comes into play (AGC) ...start introducing one of those & it gets a whole lot more complicated with a hihgher component count (which is offputting to many).

The driver method I've chosen is more 'troublesome' than other driver designs...the whole premise of sustainers is to throw sufficient electromagnetic field at the string...with such 'focused' pole pieces (as per my design you saw in the first couple of photos), if you bend the string then the circuit really has to crank up the gain quickly (yet controlled) to push some extra magnetic field out now that the string is 'off pole' so to speak.

Some have had success winding a coil around a long thin permanent magnet in the middle (instead of pole pieces & LEDs - rmember the LEDS serve no purpose).

So in short, sustainers are fun, intersting tangent, but if you don't know much about electronics ....your final results (if you design one yourself) are likely to leeave you underwhelmed.
Last edited by HankMcSpank at Aug 1, 2009,
#32
For some reason but I couldn't edit that previous message (my browser just 'hung' when I clicked save changes - tried FIVE times!), so I've had to make a new post.

Update: Last night I had my first go at milling a PCB, to mate with the coil wires & LED legs....this driver will mate up to a 9 way cable (9 way is needeed becuase the LEDS are 'polyphonic' so to speak)- this PCB will also 'clamp' this tail cable which measures just 3.9mm in diameter (1/4").

It was meant to look like this...



(that's isolation routing, hard to see there, but think of a moat around a castle - the copper track is the castle & the moat is the 'cutaway' copper)

but came out like this (yuk!)...



(the larger holes at the top are to accommodate 6mm wide rare earth magnets at the base of the pole pieces)

The reasons it looks so ahem 'rough' are three fold...

1. It was my first attempt (& some settings need tweaking).
2. I have the wrong cutting bit.
3 (perhaps most significantly) my cutter only goes up to 5,000RPM , whereas to get a nice clean cut I really need it to turn at nearer 20,000RPM)

So I'll be having another go over the weekend.

Fortunately, even if I can't get it to look 'decent' this is the underside & won't be seen!

Anyway, it'll be nice to get this bit put to bed as I can then get back to the fun stuff ...ie honing the electronics aspect!
Last edited by HankMcSpank at Aug 1, 2009,
#33
Have you tried etching the PCB rather than cutting it? I made my first PCB a few weeks ago for a pedal build and it turned out (almost) perfect.
#34
Quote by littlephil
Have you tried etching the PCB rather than cutting it? I made my first PCB a few weeks ago for a pedal build and it turned out (almost) perfect.


I considered it...but there are about 20 x 0.8mm holes that need lining up very accurately (for the LED legs & very thin coil wire) - plus then the overall 'shape' would still have to cut - & since the CNC machine I made (out of old dot matrix printers & stair handrail!) performs these drilling cutting jobs well, I may as well have it do the isolation routing while it's on.
#35
Don't mean to spam, but you made you own CNC machine? That is really impressive.

On topic, does it work by having some kind of driver that makes the strings themselves vibrate? And then another pickup will sense the string movement as they normally do etc. Or does it sought of loop the sound with the circuit?
#36
Quote by supergerbil
Don't mean to spam, but you made you own CNC machine? That is really impressive.


Thanks....I'm pleased I managed to nail it & how it has turned out (I wouldn't be able to make the driver I posted up without it, as hand tools & me aren't a good mix when it comes to tidy results!)

It took me about 2 months working the odd hour snatched here & there at night once the kids had gone to bed - it looks ugly as sin (because its made from things mainly meant to be thrown away!)...but it's actually *very* accurate...eg if I tell it to make a cut 134mm long it'll be with 0.1mm of that on the overall cut. This was it early on in the build...

http://www.mycncuk.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3330&postcount=11

total cost was about £130 ($200).

i need to take some more photos of the finished build, but it's not exactly something I'm proud of aesthetically!

Quote by supergerbil
Don't mean to spam, but you made you own CNC machine? That is really impressive.

On topic, does it work by having some kind of driver that makes the strings themselves vibrate? And then another pickup will sense the string movement as they normally do etc. Or does it sought of loop the sound with the circuit?

Essentially a sustainer taps off your normal guitar signal (from you standard guitar pickup) & then uses that signal to stimulate the string using electromagnetism (using a 'driver coil' - a pic of which is in my first post) - too much 'drive' and you have all sorts of problems (think 'microphone feedback squeal) , too little & the string doesn't sustain - it's a fine balancing act.
Last edited by HankMcSpank at Aug 1, 2009,
#37
Those LEDs are badass. Perfect size for my strat too I'd definitely buy a pair of those.
#38
Quote by v2a2n2g2
Those LEDs are badass. Perfect size for my strat too I'd definitely buy a pair of those.




If you measure the distance between your two E strings...it'll probably come to 48.5mm (adjacent to the neck pickup)...that the exact disatnce I made them - but that's the beauty of CNC machines...once the basic design is in place things such as distance between pole pieces can be changed without too much ordeal.
#40
It's good to see another home CNC guy here. I had built a small table top cnc mill too. Mine was a little on the heavier side than what yours seems. I was doing mostly aluminum stuff though. My steppers were around 425 oz/in and would break off 1/4" end mills in a hurry. Mine was built from a small vertical mill though, it worked out really nice.

This sustainer is looking sweet though. I've always wanted to have something like this hidden either under the neck or somewhere, where it was unseen but very functional. I like the look of a clean guitar. Pickups are a bad enough eye sore, but I couldn't see these being able to drive a string if they are hidden under the body.
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