#1
Hey everyone,

So I'm looking to get myself a higher quality guitar compared to the two I have. I'm looking for a range between 600-1000$. I recently ran across the sustaniac pick up when looking for new guitars and I love it. I've always hated the low sustain of my guitars and would love such a device. I'm torn between getting a sustaniac with a floyd rose or one without a floyd rose. It seems this thing would shine when using a floyd rose, and I love having a floating tremolo but the hassle of owning one is something I'm iffy on.

With that said, would a guitar with a sustaniac be worth it without having a floyd rose on said guitar? I'm sure there are plenty of pickups out there that can provide the same relative thing. I own ESP and Ibanez, I like both. I know Shecter has the sustaniac in some models. I'm looking for a nice crunchy bridge pickup as well. Dimarzio, or Seymour Duncan. I prefer passive as long as it's chunky. I've got EMG 81/85 combo in my Ibanez which are nicer than the crap stock esp pickups I have.

So any suggestions people? I'll be trying out a couple of guitars at guitar center as I visit. I'm not looking to make a decision too soon.
My gear
Ibanez RGA42E (6-string), Ibanez RG7421 (7-string w/Dimarzio Evo 7 and Ionizer), ESP LTD MH-50 w/floyd rose
Flashback Delay, Digitech RP1000
Marshall JCM2000 Dsl 100
Marshall 1960a W/ Eminence Governors and Patriot Red White Blues
#2
Look at Fernandes, one of the few companies that makes sustainer pickups, and who happen to make good guitars as well. If you're in the USA, you might even be able to score one from their online store, which is having a clearance (limited supplies).

http://www.fernandesguitars.com
http://www.fernandesguitarshop.com/

I personally own a Ravelle with a sustainer, but mine is a hardtail.
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 May 5, 2015,
#3
Fernandes offeres a fair amount of guitars with a sustainer option. they don't get much press here but make some pretty decent guitars.
#4
Quote by dannyalcatraz
which is having a clearance (limited supplies).

Am I right in believing that this is pretty much permanently the case? I don't think I've ever gone on there without seeing some banner to that effect...

Anyway, +1 for Fernandes, they make some good stuff. I'm not certain how Floyd and sustainer would combine but I suspect you'd be able to have some fun with it, and if not then it won't kill you to have the Floyd for the large amount of time in which you won't be using the sustainer.
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#5
If you can find one, I'd highly suggest a Jackson DK2S. If memory serves me right, they come stock with Seymour Duncan passives. The only reason I got rid of mine is that I hate the hassle of Floyd Rose bridges.
#6
Quote by K33nbl4d3
Am I right in believing that this is pretty much permanently the case? I don't think I've ever gone on there without seeing some banner to that effect...

It is odd- yes, the sale seems perpetual, but the supplies ARE limited. I had one purchase refunded because they sold out of the one I wanted. And as time has passed, there are obviously fewer and fewer guitars available. Some categories are down to just 2 guitars or so.

Now, what will happen when they finally do run out? Damn if I know.
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!
#7
I recently sold a Fernandes retrorocket with there sustainer pickup in it. It had a wilkinson not a floyd but I thought it added alot having trem and the sustainer pickup.

They make some good guitars I just never really bonded with that one wasn't a big fan of the pickups and while the sustainer was fun I didn't feel I needed it for anything. But that's just my opinion if your intrested it's worth trying one.
#8
Quote by BlackDeath92
If you can find one, I'd highly suggest a Jackson DK2S. If memory serves me right, they come stock with Seymour Duncan passives. The only reason I got rid of mine is that I hate the hassle of Floyd Rose bridges.


Heyo, now that I'll be taking a look at. Thank you sir.

I checked out the website for those guitars and they look great. I hope I can find one to try out. I really want to get hands on with some of these models before I go and buy something. Feel is a big deal to me and I want to explore some smaller necks if possible as well.
My gear
Ibanez RGA42E (6-string), Ibanez RG7421 (7-string w/Dimarzio Evo 7 and Ionizer), ESP LTD MH-50 w/floyd rose
Flashback Delay, Digitech RP1000
Marshall JCM2000 Dsl 100
Marshall 1960a W/ Eminence Governors and Patriot Red White Blues
#9
Personally, I wouldn't bother with a sustainer unless it's combined with a Floyd. The sustainer improves sustain (which a Floyd sucks away) or gives you insane harmonics, and creating/messing with crazy harmonics is where a Floyd shines. Dealing with a Floyd isn't really a massive hassle once it's set up, just stick your string packet under the bridge while you're restringing and you never have to worry about it not being balanced when you tune it up.

Clearly I'm not the only voice on this, but I'd say definitely definitely definitely go with a Floyd if you're getting a sustainer. I just got a sustainiac (and a purple X2N!) installed in a Chapman ML1 Hot Rod and it's a lot of fun. If you're looking for a guitar that comes with it stock I'd say Schecter really seems the best way to go, though again there are other options.
#10
In my opinion, I wouldn't go for a sustainiac, sacrificing a different neck pickup, just to get a better amount of natural sustain, which cheap guitars usually don't have. Any well made guitar with good pickups paired with a good amp will have a good natural sustain. I'd only go for the sustainiac if I really intended to make wild use of the infinite sustain, and particularly that harmonic mode.

That said, if you want the sustainiac, go for it. The things kick ass. I love my Schecters, and would highly recommend any of their sustainiac models. There's quite a few of them now. I'd also definitely prefer to have the Floyd with it. The possibilities of whammy play while infinitely sustaining notes are just way too tantalizing. Which is probably why Schecter only makes one guitar with a sustainiac but no Floyd. The Kenny hickey (type o negative) signature model, just because he wanted it that way.
Guitars
Schecter Hellraiser C-1FR, C-1 Classic, Hellraiser Hybrid Solo-II, Special Edition E-1FR-S
Orange Rockerverb 50 212
Basses
Yamaha RBX374 and Washburn MB-6
#11
Schecter has a lot of good stuff with a Sustainiac. Don't bother getting one without a Floyd...it's just pointless.

I love my Avenger so much. The Sustainiac is definitely a silly toy, but my god is it a fun toy.
#12
I have several guitars with sustainers (both Fernandes and sustainiac make them), but none of them came with them originally. Fernandes makes a bunch of guitars with sustainers, Jackson has had several models featuring them.

This one has a Floyd:


Making a decision as to whether or not you want a Floyd on the guitar is completely separate from the sustainer choice. One has nothing to do with the other. A Floyd does not "suck sustain." I would, however suggest that you might like the tone of a Floyd with one of the larger brass sustain blocks.

All of my sustainer guitars are custom done, and there are several reasons for that. One, you want the choice of where your controls will be. Two, you want the choice of which additional controls you might want. Three, you may want a different neck pickup than the sustainer driver.

This guitar has the basic sustainer controls behind the Floyd, out of the way of the other controls. Those are the two miniswitches. Most sustainer guitars have the two switches stuffed into the area among the volume and tone controls because the circuit board for the sustainer is crammed into the control cavity.

There are three pots on the sustainer circuit board that control specific parameters of the sustainer operation. On this guitar, one of those pots, the sustainer Intensity pot, has been run out to one of the pots that would ordinarily control volume or tone.

This guitar also has been set up so that it shares a single-coil size sustainer driver with a DiMarzio Fast Track II in the neck pickup ring. In this case, the sustainer driver is NOT the neck pickup when the sustainer is disengaged; the DiMarzio is.
Last edited by dspellman at May 6, 2015,
#13
I'm definitely intruiged about the harmonic mode of the sustainer. That's a huge reason as to why I'd get one, I see myself using it a ton. I don't do tons of crazy things with a whammy and quite honestly the only reason I went back to my FR guitar is because my Ibanez stopped working. I got it back up and running, just needed a wire soldered back on.

Now if the neck pickup uses the sustainer does that mean you can't really 'choose' a neck pick up? Is it only a sustain device or does it function as a neck pickup with the sound characteristic? I switch to the neck pick up for some lead playing so I want that smoother tone for sure.
My gear
Ibanez RGA42E (6-string), Ibanez RG7421 (7-string w/Dimarzio Evo 7 and Ionizer), ESP LTD MH-50 w/floyd rose
Flashback Delay, Digitech RP1000
Marshall JCM2000 Dsl 100
Marshall 1960a W/ Eminence Governors and Patriot Red White Blues
#14
Quote by Xerosnake90
I'm definitely intruiged about the harmonic mode of the sustainer. That's a huge reason as to why I'd get one, I see myself using it a ton. I don't do tons of crazy things with a whammy and quite honestly the only reason I went back to my FR guitar is because my Ibanez stopped working. I got it back up and running, just needed a wire soldered back on.

Now if the neck pickup uses the sustainer does that mean you can't really 'choose' a neck pick up? Is it only a sustain device or does it function as a neck pickup with the sound characteristic? I switch to the neck pick up for some lead playing so I want that smoother tone for sure.


There are two harmonic modes on the Sustainers. It's a three-position switch. The other one is just on/off. Position #1 (depending on which sustainer you have) is just sustain; it extends the note you're playing until the battery dies. Position #2 transitions the note to the octave harmonic, pretty much what you'd get if you were standing in front of your amp. Position #3 combines the two.

It's not that" the neck pickup uses the sustainer." The Sustainer uses the bridge pickup to provide it with sound information. So when you flip on the sustainer, you're always working off the bridge pickup. The sustainer then uses the sustainer driver in the neck position (the sustainer driver *usually* replaces the neck pickup completely) as an electromagnet to vibrate the strings and keep the note going.

When the sustainer is OFF, you can use the sustainer driver as a neck pickup. That's the standard configuration.

It's theoretically possible to reverse things and put the sustainer driver in the bridge position and use the neck pickup to drive things, but it's a tough install, because you need way more energy going to the sustainer driver in the bridge position to make that work. Best to forget I mentioned that.

It is possible to put another pickup in the neck position and use that *instead* of the sustainer driver as the neck pickup. That's what I've done. Again, a tricky installation, and rewarding. But you will NOT be using the sustainer on that neck pickup.

Best idea is simply to roll off the treble on the bridge pickup if you want that smoother sound.
#15
^Thanks for that explanation, I had actually been wondering that for a while. So there's no way to have a separate pickup in the neck position, like you have, and use the sustainer while getting your sound from that same neck pickup? And also, do you have any experience with just using the sustainer driver as a neck pickup? How does it sound? Even comparable to a good neck pickup from SD or Dimarzio or whatever?
Guitars
Schecter Hellraiser C-1FR, C-1 Classic, Hellraiser Hybrid Solo-II, Special Edition E-1FR-S
Orange Rockerverb 50 212
Basses
Yamaha RBX374 and Washburn MB-6
#16
Quote by the_bi99man
^Thanks for that explanation, I had actually been wondering that for a while. So there's no way to have a separate pickup in the neck position, like you have, and use the sustainer while getting your sound from that same neck pickup? And also, do you have any experience with just using the sustainer driver as a neck pickup? How does it sound? Even comparable to a good neck pickup from SD or Dimarzio or whatever?


You need distance between the sustainer and the pickup that's running it. Otherwise you get a squealing mess. There are actually four options for the sustainer driver; a single coil and a double coil size from Fernandes and a single coil and a double coil from Sustainiac. Surprisingly, any of the four will work with any of the sustainer circuit boards, and each has a different magnet/wind, as I understand it. If you want to get picky with the sustainer driver's "neck pickup" tone, you'll want to talk to Gary Brawer in San Francisco (he's down on 15 Lafayette, just south of Market, but you should google him and then CALL him rather than emailing him. He's not great with email <G>. Gary is the Sustainer Whisperer, I swear.

One thing I've never quizzed him on is whether you can use an ordinary neck pickup as a sustainer driver. I'm guessing there's some reason he doesn't do it that way. That still wouldn't allow you to use the neck pickup in sustain mode, however.

And no, while I *have* tried several guitars that come with sustainers from their factories, I haven't really paid much attention to how the sustainer driver sounds as a neck pickup.
#17
One more side note.

There IS a sustainer out there (from Sustainiac) that's one of their early efforts at producing a sustainer. It was successful, but it's clunky. But there are several things that are cool about it, and it works pretty well for recording, but live it would be a PIA.

It's called the Model C, and here's the rundown: http://www.sustainiac.com/model-c.htm

Currently discontinued, but you can probably hunt down a used one that someone bought, thinking it was a great idea, and then tossed into a bin somewhere.

What happens is that there's a box that mounts on the back of the headstock. The electronics are in a stomp box, and it takes its information from a pickup on the guitar. This could be (wait for it) a bridge pickup, a neck pickup, OR a piezo (I believe) or a sound hole pickup on an acoustic. i don't think it cares.

SO there's a cable that goes to the stomp box, which has powered electronics that activate the box on the back of the headstock (there's obviously a cable from the stomp box to the headstock, which is part of the reason it's clunky, because you have to toss it over a shoulder or have it dangling off the headstock, etc.). The box on the back of the headstock has an electromagnet and some weight in it and that thing buzzes. Bigtime. It buzzes enough and at the right frequencies to sustain the note, even on an acoustic guitar.

This was actually one of the first efforts at a Sustainer (well, the Model C is actually a refinement of the first effort, which was even clunkier). I've tried this one, and at the end of a session of playing with it ON, you can imagine how your fretting hand will feel having absorbed the buzzing for that time <G>.

The only good news is that it's agnostic in terms of what pickup it uses.