#1
I was curious about getting a Fernandes guitar with sustainer, but I am not really wanting to buy a mediocre build quality guitar with sustainer. I have an Epiphone G400 with some build quality problems, and I have decided I'd rather save up and buy quality in the future -- Gibson, Fender (American made), PRS (American made), etc.

I know, I know, you go play any brand guitar and you might luck into a great build quality guitar from some overseas factory or whatever, you just never know. I mean, I'll probably get an Ibanez one day because I hear great things about their tremolo and have that as my go-to tremolo guitar.

I'm seeing Fernandes guitars around $1000, but then I see used Fernandes clone guitars (Gibson clone, Fender clone, etc.) going pretty cheap... So I'm confused if they are a quality guitar maker or if they are one of those overseas clone guitar makers that tend to have sketchy quality control

I even saw they have something in North Hollywood (near where I live), not sure if it's a store or a factory...I e-mailed them to ask if they actually make guitars there, do tours, whatever, but have not gotten response yet. Maybe some one on here knows?

If I wanted to dip my feet into Fernandes sustainer, any suggestions? I saw Fernandes Ravelle Deluxe with sustainers, but I read that the EMG pick ups really drown that out. I'm not a fan of EMG, I don't play metal, and when I hear them played, it seems they are good for creating metal wall of distortion/fuzz. If Fernandes has sustainer models with less .... metal(?) pick ups, that would probably be more to my liking.

I'm wondering if sustainer plus tremolo would open up some especially interesting options for playing, or if there's any reason it does not make sense to have both tremolo and sustainer on a guitar (?)

All opinions welcome,

Ken
Bernie Sanders for President!
#2
I own a pair of Fernandes Ravelles. One is a Goldtop LE- same specs as the SHIN series- and the other is an Elite. THAT one has a Sustainer in the neck and a Seymour Duncan SH-4JB in the bridge. They're nicely balanced. Mine is a hardtail, but it is also available with a Licensed Floyd Rose.

Fernandes, on the whole, aims its products at guitarists in the hard rock and metal genres. So most of their guitars are going to have relatively slender necks and hotter than average pickups. Exceptions exist- their Retrorocket Strat-clones are relatively mainstream. The Revolver Classic is also less of a metal machine than most of Fernandes' line.

On the whole, my experience with Fernandes has been good. Their mid-to-high end models are generally very well assembled, feel good and play nicely. They were the brand that introduced me to locking tuners, too. I would definitely buy another. In fact, I tried to buy a SHIN Koi, but I didn't act in time. (And I like the Dragonfly as well.)

The sustainer is a great toy, too! But it really isn't going to do much for you if your style is centered around rapid runs of flurrying notes- you have to be patient with it. Unless you hold a note (or chord) for a while, you won't notice its effect.

The cheap used ones you're seeing are probably the result of 2 things:

1) they're entry level models (that aren't all that good)

2) most people have no clue about how good Fernandes guitars really are
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Apr 23, 2014,
#3
The famous strat that Brad Gillis has been playing all these years is a Fernandes. When I saw it a couple of years ago, it was pretty much a piece of junk; he'd played the living hell out of it on tour for years.

Just as there are truly crap Gibson and Fender guitars out there, there are truly great Fernandes guitars -- all there brand names cover a wide range of offerings. dannyalcatraz can point you at the good ones.

I've been playing with a sustainer on LPs and LP-alikes with Floyds for years; sustainers and trems go together very well. Ask Neal Schon; that's his favorite combination.
#4
I have a retrorocket elite the model that comes with a sustainer and 2 hotrail pickups. Its a well made guitar suistains forever even without the sustainer. I was very impressed with the quilt top for something mik and I love the neck on it. The sustainer wilkson trem combo is fun to play with but honestly I wouldn't really use it for anything.
#5
I have one of those vintage Fernandes Fender copies. A tele in tuxedo black. It's a good guitar, I just need to have some work done because of its age. Those vintage-style Japanese tuners are crazy high quality. I tune it maybe once every month at the most, regardless how much I play.