I tried out the Plus EBow a little, and a Fernandes Sustainer guitar extensively. The Fernandes system works extremely well; you can totally mimic cranked-amp feedback, even with headphones and no speaker. The Plus EBow works, for plain or harmonic feedback, but is cumbersome and can't be toggled nearly as easily as the Sustainer's toggle switch.
The store salesman told me you cannot order the Sustainer by itself, but I never trust them [to do: call/email/surf Fernandes].
I tested a typical Sustainer-equipped Fernandes guitar. Small chrome toggle switch 1 has 3 positions, for feedback type.
In the harmonic setting(s), the harmonic is typically an octave up, but often it's a different, more interesting harmonic. With a modest amount of preamp distortion, fret the biggest string at fret 1, barely striking it. Then fret 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8... you will hear the same absolute high-pitched frequencies repeating cyclically every 4 frets or so. Different strings have comparable cyclical, unpredictable behavior. This might depend on the pickup selector as well.
The pickups appear to be two humbuckers, nothing in the middle position. I think there is a hidden pickup under the middle of the pickguard. The neck pickup looks unusual. The pickup half closest to the neck has little rectangular metal pole pieces near the string, used to drive the string to create a positive feedback loop. The pickup half farther from the neck appears to be a dummy; there are no pole pieces visible. But I think it must be there for a reason; I think it is the audible neck pickup. There is a 3-way pickup selector.
Another small chrome toggle switch turns the sustainer circuit on or off.
There are two knobs. One is volume, and the other might be tone, *or* might be sustainer intensity (it can be overly intense and over-eager sometimes, whereas with an amp you can turn toward or away from the amp to control the degree of feedback).
Try turning up the gain (including the overall amp volume, if you've got some type of attenuation). The more gain, the more feedback, even at low volumes.
Offficial page for Fernandez Sustainer The Fernandes Sustainer is an electromagnetic system powered by a 9 volt battery that senses and magnetically vibrates the strings of the guitar once you set them into motion. It allows you to sustain single notes or chords with no decay. The sustainer driver generates a magnetic field that vibrates the strings of the guitar once you set them into motion.
According to the official information, the 3 switch settings are:
According to what the used-guitar salesman told me, and what I experienced, the 3 switch settings are::
We must have been mistaken. I will have to compare the Up and Middle positions again and determine whether the middle position has harmonics.
The Fernandes Sustainer System is used by: The Edge / U2, Reeves Gabrels / David Bowie, Steve Vai, Adrian Belew / King Crimson, Robert Fripp / King Crimson, Andreas Kisser / Sepultura, Kenny / Type O Negative, Kerry King / Slayer, Neil Schon / Journey, Johnny Garcia / Trisha Yearwood Band, J / White Zombie, Steve Hackett, Zakk Wylde / Ozzy Osbourne, Zim Zum / ex. Marilyn Manson, Mike Riggs / Rob Zombie, Daniel Ash / Bauhaus, Love and Rockets.
Sustainer-equipped Fernandes guitar models listed in the Guitar & Bass Buyer's Guide. $849-$1399. I saw a nice $850 model for $599 or $699 new at a guitar store. $850-$650 = $200 off; so figure street price is 25% off the list price. Of course you could look for a used model for around half the street price for a new unit, which would be $325. If you find a really inexpensive Sustainer guitar, you could transfer the electronics to another guitar.
All their guitars with a suffix of "Pro" or "Elite" are equipped with the Sustainer. The Sustainer adds $300-$370 compared to the similar models without the Sustainer.
Vertigo Pro - Art-deco/neo-retro shaped alder body, bolt-on maple neck with 22-fret rosewood fingerboard, stop tailpiece, humbuck pikckup, pearloid pickguard, chrome-covered "humbuckers", 3-way pickup selector [there must be 2 humbuckers]. $849. Left-handed: add $100.
Decade Pro - offset, double-cutaway 7/8-size alder body, bolt-on maple neck, 21 fret rosewood fingerboard, standard tremolo, 3 single-coil pickups, pearloid pickguard, $849. Decade Elite - as above, with mahogany body, maple top, black Gotoh hardware, 22 frets, $1399.
Monterey Pro - Single-cutaway alder body, bolt-on maple neck, 22-fret rosewood fingerboard, stop tailpiece, one humbucker, chrome-plated "humbuckers" [there might be two humbuckers and a 3-way switch], black pickguard, $849.
Native Pro - single cutaway alder body, bolt-on maple neck, 22 fret rosewood fingerboard, standard trremolo, pearloid pickguard, 2 humbuckers, $849. Left-handed add $100. Native Elite - as above, with basswood body, maple/gravure top, Gotoh hardware, Floyd Rose-licensed tremolo, $1299.
Retrorocket Pro - Offset, double-cutaway alder body, bolt-on maple neck, 22 fret rosewood fingerboard, standard tremolo, hum sing sing pickup configuration. Pearloid pickguard, vol/tone/tone controls; $849. Retrorocket Elite - As above, with basswood body, Gotoh hardware, Wilkinson tremolo, antique neck finish., $1299.
Revolver Pro - Double-cutaway basswood body, bolt-on maple neck, 22-fret rosewood fingerboard, standard tremolo, black Gotoh hardware, 5-way selector, $899. Revolver Elite - as above, with chrome Gotoh hardware, Floyd Rose-licensed tremolo, $1099.
Dragonfly Pro - Double-cautaway basswood body, maple/gravure top, bolt-on maple neck, 24-fret rosewood fingerboard, gold Gotoh hardware, standard tremolo system, 5-way switch, $1199. Dragonfly Elite - as above, with mahogany body and Floyd rose tremolo, $1249.
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DejaNews query: fernandes and sustainer
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Date Scr Subject Newsgroup Author 1. 98/06/17 033 fernandes sustainer question rec.music.makers.guit Dennis Montgome 2. 98/11/08 032 New PlusEBow does harmonics alt.guitar.effects Michael 3. 97/03/29 032 Fernandes Sustainer? rec.music.makers.guit Christopher S. 4. 97/03/27 032 Fernandes sustainer? alt.guitar Scott Davey 5. 98/04/14 031 FS: Fernandes Strat with Cus alt.guitar.amps Dave Paterson 6. 98/04/13 031 FS: Fernandes Strat with Cus alt.guitar.amps Dave Paterson 7. 98/04/06 031 FS: Fernandes Strat With Sus rec.music.makers.mark Dave Paterson 8. 98/03/26 031 FS:Fernandes Strat with Sust alt.guitar Dave Paterson 9. 98/04/10 030 FS: Fernandes Strat with Cus alt.guitar.amps Dave Paterson 10. 98/04/09 030 FS: Fernandes Strat with Cus alt.guitar Dave Paterson 11. 98/04/09 030 FS: Fernandes Strat with Cus alt.guitar.amps Dave Paterson 12. 98/04/08 030 Re: Sustain on a bend.... alt.guitar RAnde53420 13. 98/04/07 030 Re: FS: Fernandes Strat With rec.music.makers.guit Cypher 14. 97/05/22 030 Help: Fernandes SUSTAINER alt.guitar ERIC KOENTJORO 15. 97/03/22 030 Re: fernandes sustainer pick alt.guitar Mgintz 16. 98/08/18 029 Re: Help a guitarist alt.guitar Frank Carr 17. 97/03/30 029 Re: Fernandes Sustainer? rec.music.makers.guit David Blevins 18. 97/03/21 029 fernandes sustainer pickup alt.guitar martin 19. 97/03/05 029 Replacing the pickups on the alt.guitar Adelbert V. Esp 20. 97/01/10 029 Fernandes Sustainer? alt.guitar.amps murali at kalimusi 21. 98/10/29 028 Re: Fripp's fuzz alt.guitar.effects Joey Aguilera 22. 98/07/25 028 Re: Sustaniac/or Fernandez?? alt.guitar CAPTCHRY 23. 98/04/09 028 Re: Sustain on a bend.... alt.guitar John Huff 24. 98/04/09 028 Re: Sustain on a bend.... alt.guitar sadler 25. 97/05/26 028 Re: Help: Fernandes SUSTAINE alt.guitar Jesus H. Christ 26. 97/03/25 028 Re: fernandes sustainer pick alt.guitar Bill Morgan 27. 97/03/23 028 Re: fernandes sustainer pick alt.guitar Jonathan Robert 28. 97/03/11 028 Fernandes Pickup "Sustainer" alt.guitar Alex Grignon 29. 96/10/06 028 HELP: I NEED A SUSTAINER alt.guitar samhill 30. 96/02/02 028 Fernandes Sustainer?? rec.music.makers.guit giri iyengar 31. 98/10/05 027 Re: Billy Corgan alt.guitar Elliot M. 32. 98/09/06 027 Fernandes..... alt.guitar Patrick F. Cole 33. 98/07/15 027 Re: Sustainer, in my Ibanez alt.guitar.amps Brad Ryll 34. 98/07/12 027 Re: Sustainer, in my Ibanez alt.guitar.amps J.R. Elswick 35. 98/04/11 027 Re: Sustain on a bend.... alt.guitar Romeo 36. 97/08/14 027 Sustainer units rec.music.makers.guit Jon Waite 37. 97/08/14 027 Sustainer units alt.guitar Jon Waite 38. 97/04/23 027 Re: Sustainiac? alt.guitar scfret 39. 97/03/21 027 Re: fernandes sustainer pick alt.guitar Larry Logsdon 40. 97/03/05 027 Re: Replacing the pickups on alt.guitar J.R. Elswick 41. 97/01/11 027 Re: Fernandes Sustainer? alt.guitar.amps Tom HIWATT 42. 96/12/06 027 Fernandes anyone? alt.guitar Greg Jones 43. 96/10/06 027 Re: HELP: I NEED A SUSTAINER alt.guitar J.R. Elswick 44. 97/09/12 026 Re: Guitar w/ MOST SUSTAIN?? alt.guitar Jadehaus 45. 97/08/05 026 Re: Sustaniac rec.music.makers.guit scott 46. 97/07/30 026 Re: Fernandes guitars alt.guitar harmar 47. 97/07/28 026 Re: Fernandes guitars alt.guitar LVX NOVA 48. 97/07/18 026 Re: Guitar w/ MOST SUSTAIN?? alt.guitar.amps Cypher 49. 97/03/25 026 Re: fernandes sustainer pick alt.guitar Rob Caton 50. 97/03/24 026 Re: fernandes sustainer pick alt.guitar Clark 51. 96/11/10 026 Re: Feedback alt.guitar LOTUS MAJOR DOM 52. 96/01/02 026 Re: Fender vs Fernandes? alt.guitar Fate 53. 98/06/26 025 Re: Frippertronics... alt.music.4-track Nick Bennett 54. 97/08/10 025 Re: Michael Brook rec.music.makers.guit Mike Conlen 55. 97/08/07 025 Re: Michael Brook rec.music.makers.guit verkuilen john 56. 97/08/07 025 Re: Michael Brook rec.music.makers.guit Giri 57. 97/02/12 025 Reeves' Gear and stuff alt.guitar \"Uncle\" Al 58. 97/01/20 025 Re: Fernandez guitars alt.guitar Cypher 59. 97/01/20 025 Re: Fernandez guitars alt.guitar Pete 60. 96/12/06 025 Re: Fernandes anyone? alt.guitar Guitar Al 61. 96/11/10 025 Re: Feedback alt.guitar bullet 62. 98/09/07 024 Re: Attention serious ge#3/4 alt.guitar Thorny 63. 98/04/09 024 Re: Sustain on a bend.... alt.guitar ronald.frank 64. 97/10/23 024 Re: Fender "Swamp Ash" Strat rec.music.makers.guit Cypher 65. 97/10/21 024 Re: Fender "Swamp Ash" Strat rec.music.makers.guit TIMOTHY GUEGUEN 66. 97/10/16 024 Re: Fender "Swamp Ash" Strat rec.music.makers.guit Cypher 67. 97/07/22 024 Re: Guitar w/ MOST SUSTAIN?? alt.guitar.amps Paolo Valladoli 68. 97/07/19 024 Re: Guitar w/ MOST SUSTAIN?? alt.guitar.amps claire shindler 69. 97/07/19 024 Re: Guitar w/ MOST SUSTAIN?? alt.guitar.amps Romeo 70. 96/10/04 024 Re: Need info on a Floyd Ros alt.guitar Steve Kellett 71. 96/03/25 024 Re: sustainiac pickup? rec.music.makers.guit Kevin Simonson 72. 97/02/14 023 Re: Reeves' Gear and stuff alt.guitar \"Uncle\" Al 73. 97/02/12 023 Re: Reeves' Gear and stuff alt.guitar Alan Franks 74. 97/01/20 023 Re: Fernandez guitars alt.guitar Guitar Al 75. 96/12/09 023 Re: NEED URGENT HELP on guit alt.guitar Jobet Claudio 76. 96/02/08 023 Re: Fernandes Sustainer?? rec.music.makers.guit Ben Mullett 77. 95/10/31 023 Re: need advice on cheap Tel rec.music.makers.guit cypher 78. 98/02/20 022 FS or TRADE: Unusual Bisexua rec.music.makers.mark michael p mccul 79. 98/09/22 021 Re: Groove Tube = Sovtek#1/2 alt.guitar.amps Whole Lotta Tom 80. 98/09/07 021 Attention serious gearhe#2/2 alt.guitar Sean Carroll/Ka 81. 95/10/19 021 Re: Steve Hackett Sustain rec.music.makers.guit Jim Vence ISSC
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