#1
Does anybody know how to build a sustainer? How Difficult is it?
I've been wanting to experiment with one, but I wanted to know if it could be built rather than having to buy the kit.

I like to build things.
Washburn Dime 333, Ibanez RG7620, LTD MH250NT w/ EMG 89x's
Modded Boss Metal Zone, Boss CE-5, DD-3, Intellifex
Jet City JCA2112RC, ADA MP-1 Preamp,
GK 400RB Bass head
Marshall and Ampeg 4x12 cabs
#2
www.projectguitar.com/tut
search around and they have adiy sustainer project on there
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#3
project guitar has a forum on diy sustainers that's 103 pages long. trust me you'll find something usefull on it. but a basic idea for one is to send the signal from the bridge pickup to an amplifying section (fetzer/ruby from runoffgroove.com for best results), then send that signal to a driver (a single coil rewound to 8 ohms).
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manliest string guage? barbed wire.

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#4
Quote by shredmeiser101
project guitar has a forum on diy sustainers that's 103 pages long. trust me you'll find something usefull on it. but a basic idea for one is to send the signal from the bridge pickup to an amplifying section (fetzer/ruby from runoffgroove.com for best results), then send that signal to a driver (a single coil rewound to 8 ohms).


Dude, you weren't kidding! It's up to 104 pages now. Good Stuff though. i think i got the jist of it now. Thanks! I look forward to actually building the circuit & driver.

Edit: If we're not careful that thread could spill over onto this form, but that might actually be a good thing!

Washburn Dime 333, Ibanez RG7620, LTD MH250NT w/ EMG 89x's
Modded Boss Metal Zone, Boss CE-5, DD-3, Intellifex
Jet City JCA2112RC, ADA MP-1 Preamp,
GK 400RB Bass head
Marshall and Ampeg 4x12 cabs
Last edited by axe_2_grind at Sep 2, 2006,
#5
I've done it.

The projectguitar design works pretty well, I'd recommend that for a first attempt (avoiding all the phase compensation circuitry I used).
Quote by jonny 2bags
Hitler probably played a cheap Hondo strat through a solid state 10 watt Ross amp and could'nt pull off a simple pentatonic scale to save his Reich.
#6
yeah, but i wouldn't suggest trying ansil's, which is built using a small piezo speaker. the only person who got it to work decently was ansil himself
Quote by Sir-Shoelace
manliest string guage? barbed wire.

Founder Of the UG Slide Player's Guild, PM me If You're Really Feelin' Dem Blues

THE PIT
"better than your average psychiatrist"
#7
Hey there Ultimate Guitarists...

PSW here from the Project Guitar Sustainer thread...now up to 206 pages and well over 100,000 visits, must be a record...

You will also find my sustainer strat in the gallery...

Thought I'd bump this thread back up, haven't been on here for a bit, appologies to those who have sent messages (I didn't seem to be notified that they were posted for some reason)...still can always find me at PG...

So...what could be happening on a thread of over 200 pages...

A lot of it has been in the helping of people to successfully DIY a sustainer. There has also been a bit of development in improved driver designs, circuitry and assorted theories and experiments...

I recently built a driver making machine that will make a driver coil that can be fitted without modifications to a strat single coil neck pickup. Am in the process of developing a new circuit and the end result should hopefully be a kit that makes the sustainer far more accessible and cheaper for people interested in getting such a device.

You can still DIY it yourself, but this way you would be assured of a quality coil to the correct specs and a circuit that works without the hassle of finding all the parts. Installation is still a pretty big task requiring a bit of rewiring of the guitar itself...hopefully I can simplify this as much as possible.

If the sustainer strat idea works out ok, I will do the same for HB pickups...this would require two coils and be a bit more expensive...and take quite a while to further develop.

The design of my device is significantly different from that which is available commercially and seeks to avoid the complex circuitry these companies employ. The phase compensation is largely addressed in the design itself. What I have found though is that my design would benefit from some special limiting as it tends to drive the strings too hard eventually and cause distortion.

My new driver coils are two thirds smaller than the original on my strat, already many times smaller than the commercial units. They do however require this machine to produce and the use of epoxy to hold them together...not really a DIY proposition...the making and supply of coils for this kind of device will be a necessity I'm afraid...

Anyway...thought I'd keep you all up to date with the latest from the sustainer thread at PG and the way things are progressing at this stage...

Sustain on... pete, psw, 4real
#8
^i didn't know you belonged here as well. glad to see you. i'm looking forward to your new circuit design, it's the reason i've been putting off building one so far.
Quote by Sir-Shoelace
manliest string guage? barbed wire.

Founder Of the UG Slide Player's Guild, PM me If You're Really Feelin' Dem Blues

THE PIT
"better than your average psychiatrist"
#9
Very occasionally...you can find me as 4real at guitar nuts forum as well, there is a smaller thread there which is kind of an update of the goings on in the big thread (206 pages!!!)

Don't forget the tutorials too...

Meanwhile...my new "production" coil is the best yet (and I have made a few over the years) very strong sustain and fantastic harmonic response on all strings (you need to use 10's with any sustainer to get the high e really moving, .9's wont cut it...sorry folks)...

So, with a basic amplifier circuit it works well as is. What I am seeking to do is to make a bit of improvement to the circuit that will provide a bit of limiting to stop a runaway effect...a side benefit is that once the string is moving hard enough, it will back off the power providing more control and consistency across the neck and save battery life a little...

The trick is to make something small and simple with common components that will do the job. The more components, the more expense, size and likelihood of errors...exotic parts and supply and R&D will be a problem. I think I have a handle on things now, but if it all becomes too much, I have a fall back plan to emulate the successful circuit I am using now.

So...thanks for the interest and feel free to join us on the main thread at PG as I am only a very occasional visitor here... cheers, pete
#10
A bit of a further update...

Have succeeded in a prototype circuit and fitted the driver...all seems to be going well...the next step is control and installation procedures. It is working beautifully in my guitar (Squier strat with HB(JB) in the bridge) and is practically invisible (it is fitted under the cover of the neck pickup...only slightly lower pole pieces give it away)

It has some very unique features not found in other sustainers and should be a big leap forward in this technology...I am feeling pretty proud of it so far. Mind you, I have been working on this pretty steadily for years, so you'd hope it would get somewhere by now...I have also had the help of many contributers who have made all the difference to this project...

This time I have not only made the device but paid particular attention to being able to reproduce the thing...making a unique machine to wind the driver and developing my own circuitry. The circuit by the way is very small, even with conventional components...if produced in SMD components, this thing would be tiny (about an inch square. As it is, the prototype is about the size of a 9 volt battery, but half as thick!

Anyway, since I bumped this up a little I thought I'd keep you ultimate guitarists informed... pete
#11
Quote by 4real
A bit of a further update...

Have succeeded in a prototype circuit and fitted the driver...all seems to be going well...the next step is control and installation procedures. It is working beautifully in my guitar (Squier strat with HB(JB) in the bridge) and is practically invisible (it is fitted under the cover of the neck pickup...only slightly lower pole pieces give it away)

It has some very unique features not found in other sustainers and should be a big leap forward in this technology...I am feeling pretty proud of it so far. Mind you, I have been working on this pretty steadily for years, so you'd hope it would get somewhere by now...I have also had the help of many contributers who have made all the difference to this project...

This time I have not only made the device but paid particular attention to being able to reproduce the thing...making a unique machine to wind the driver and developing my own circuitry. The circuit by the way is very small, even with conventional components...if produced in SMD components, this thing would be tiny (about an inch square. As it is, the prototype is about the size of a 9 volt battery, but half as thick!

Anyway, since I bumped this up a little I thought I'd keep you ultimate guitarists informed... pete


That's some good news, I actually read all the other thread on a quiet day.
Have you thought about moving on to doing it with SMD components? It's not as hard as it looks.
"Everybody, one day will die and be forgotten. Act and behave in a way that will make life interesting and fun. Find a passion, form relationships, don't be afraid to get out there and fuck what everyone else thinks."
#12
Thanks RH...

I have played with DIY SMD with no success, I don't make PCB's but use vero, I use the DIY layout creator (fantastic software BTW and free) and get circuits very small that probably wouldn't be much smaller if done on PCB anyway.

If a standard circuit is achieved though, SMD is a possibility...but I would need to get quite a quantity made, so you'd have to be sure of the thing.

I built another circuit today that went ok...then I found an error in my layout for the previous circuit that worked so well...now I am trying to work out what exactly is making it so good. The task at present is to refine something that is basically pretty good for the task and make it just that little bit better before I commit myself to a design.

The installation and control issues are substantial though, so that will be the third stage. While this device is easy to install, there is no getting around the fact that a sustainer needs extensive rewiring of the guitar and each guitar is different.

The interesting possibility with SMD components is that you would have space for electronic switching which could make all this a lot easier...the way it is now, such switching would be way bigger than the circuit for the sustainer itself!!!

Anyway...thanks for the interest...will get back to it... pete