Hey all

I was wondering if I'd be able to turn one of the pickups in my guitar into a sustainer.

I'd be all sussed for designing the electronics, was just wondering if a regular pickup would be any good at driving the strings.

Any experiences with this? Let me know your stories

Cheers guys
MaKing thE possiBlE...
...totaLlY impossible
I once saw a design for a homemade sustainer were you take the signal from one of the pickups, run that through a small amplifier circuit, and out to a piezoelectric mounted to the bottom of the same pickup. I've been wanting to try it to see if it actually works, but alas, I have not.
I haven't done it, but I've seen a guide on the internet somewhere. IIRC the driver coil works best if its wound to 8k ohms, and I'm pretty sure the guy who did it used a micro amp circuit to drive it (A Ruby amp or something like that)
Google DIY sustainer and you should be able to find it.
hmmm this is interesting...

I don't know that much about pickups, is the 8k impedance or DC resistance?

I was going to build a small opamp amplifier with adjustable gain, and drive the pickup with the output, and have a switch to invert the signal so it could either mute or sustain the strings.

Will phase shift be an issue? I'm assuming there won't be any as I'm not filtering anything by this stage... but of course a pickup is a memory component, so there could be some.
MaKing thE possiBlE...
...totaLlY impossible
Ok... so assuming my pickup is good for this, an amplifier circuit driving a pickup as if it were a speaker should work.

I found this page, and he winds his own pickup with 8ohm resistance. If mine doesn't work I'll do the same.

Any idea how fernadez does the harmonic mode? Is that a phase shift thing? I can think of a few ways which it might be done, but I'm not sure if they're adjusting the phase or the frequency for it.
MaKing thE possiBlE...
...totaLlY impossible
OK, not a pickup solution, but do check out the G-1 Resonator at Vibesware.com

I have one on order and should be receiving it any day. You can keep your original pickups and have sustain like there's no tomorrow.
Quote by logicbdj
OK, not a pickup solution, but do check out the G-1 Resonator at Vibesware.com

I have one on order and should be receiving it any day. You can keep your original pickups and have sustain like there's no tomorrow.

dude how much did you get it for? that thing looks interesting
Speaking of the devil, I just got the GR-1 this morning, but haven't tried it yet (later today I will). Bought it directly off the site for $339 Euro. Not sure if you can get it elsewhere... never investigated that option. I may get the foot controller next, depending on how I like this device.
With a chance to play around with it, and I do own an ebow, you can really compare the two. The GR-1 allows you to play as you normally would, and then you can step into it for sustain, feedback, or added harmonics while playing. Like the ebow, it really is geared more toward slow to moderate tempo music, as to get the most of the unit you can't play super fast stuff (you just don't hear the effect unless you're going for legato type stuff)... but when you hit those notes for sustain (or sustain with feedback), it is really something. I'll be working on a review over the next few weeks, and possibly record something so you can hear the effect (although the manufacturer has examples on his site).
OK... about another hour of fooling around with it, and there is a lot of potential there, particularly for those studio and home musicians not wanting to crank things up to get that serious sustain and feedback. The designer (Markus) sent this to David Gilmour and Jeff Beck, and for good reason... I could really hear these guys making use of it. You can get some serious sound when playing some slow melodic stuff with your vibrato/whammy bar... very Beckish.
It sounds like an awesome piece of kit! Can't wait to listen to your reviews now, would you let me know when you've completed them?

EDIT: Anyone have any idea what sort of gain my amp will need to have to drive the strings?

I've read that most people just tend to run it flat out (square wave?). Should I put a resistor after the pot to stop the gain going to infinity when the pots maxxed out?

All Rs and Cs are the same values at this stage, not sure what size the pot should be.
The output is to my neck pup
The input is from my bridge pup

Is there any way I can arrange this so that I have DC coupling?
Sustainer Schem.PNG
MaKing thE possiBlE...
...totaLlY impossible
Last edited by EnyoAdonai at Jul 6, 2011,