Sustainiac Sustainer Pickup Mode?

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by cantplayguitar, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. cantplayguitar

    cantplayguitar Member

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    I haven't found much info out there other than, "it's okay," on how the Sustainiac performs as a neck pickup. Can someone who has one tell me how it is? Is it better than a Dimarzio PAF or Duncan '59? Can it take some gain for lead work? Is it flubby and dull or creamy, chimey, and fluid?

    Also, has anyone used it in the bridge? If so, how'd it sound for metal tones?
     
  2. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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    It's like a less noisy, generic single coil sound. It's just kinda there.
     
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  3. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    Here are 2 examples of its use in a fretless guitar with flatwound strings... Fretless and flatwound strings give that kind of sweet warm tone. There are a few Schecter guitars with this system built in from factory, try to find one to test it yourself.


    This video has lots of changes from sustainer on/off. When OFF it is working with the neck driver as single coil (it can work as an humbucker also, but it's a preamp stunt). When ON, it's the DiMarzio D-Sonic working as sound source.


    This video has no sustainer gymnastics, only pickup sounds, swapping from neck to bridge. Pay attention to the main switch, for it tells you when I'm using what for what sounds. Here I use a mix of clean to saturated overdriven tones with either neck (sustainiac driver) and bridge pickups.
     
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  4. cantplayguitar

    cantplayguitar Member

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    Odibrom, that's super helpful. Thank you!
     
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  5. cantplayguitar

    cantplayguitar Member

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    Thanks for the insight. I'll have to try one out when I can (I only have experience with an old version of the Fernandes Sustainer a while back).

    Off topic: Are you a LA Kings fan by chance?
     
  6. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    It is probably not the setup you are looking for, but it does show how it works. In fretted instruments it will deliver a brighter tone, obviously. I have tried one of those Schecter guitars and it sounded quite nice. This one is a super modified Ibanez RG7321 (Korea made), new paint job, de-fretted, completely boosted and crazy wiring and features (besides the Sustainer, it also has piezos)...
     
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  7. cantplayguitar

    cantplayguitar Member

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    Yeah, it's not exactly what I'm going for but it gives me a better idea of things for sure! I also have a 7321 that I'm wanting to modify - not to the same extent, but I want to make it more my own, so to speak. I've pondered Fishman fluence pickups, a Sustainiac, and a Becos booster with some passive pickups, and perhaps a future bridge change.
     
  8. cantplayguitar

    cantplayguitar Member

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    Anyone ever use a Freqout? If so, how does it compare to the Sustainiac?
     
  9. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    I've had the Frequout for a couple of years now, replacing my old BOSS Feedback/Sustainer.
    While the Frequout is no Fernandes Sustainer or a Sustainiac, it is certainly much nicer and more natural sounding than the BOSS unit.

    Having said that, it does a fine job, but even these pedal versions do not perform in the same physics as a Sustainer or Sustainiac. These pedal units are basically compressors that add gain to regenerate the signal, but the notes that they produce do have a life cycle to them. They will eventually get to a point where the note starts to fizzle or act sort of like a ring modulator. The key is using the settings to facilitate normal amp feedback knowing in advance that it is not truly "infinite". Once you get past that hurdle, find a way to use it in your songs naturally. I have mine 1st in the chain after my wireless receiver going into my HD500X. I use it live here & there and I use it more for recording. I think one of the great features designed into it is the ability to switch the on/off switch to momentary, then you can simply step on it as needed treating it essentially as an expression pedal with no variable resistor and only a switch. This makes it more "controllable" in my opinion.

    I have my gain set at about 12 O'clock, with the Onset at about 5 O'clock and I toggle between having the interval type set at either natural high or natural low, depending on the part. For example; I may have a rhythm guitar part on the left set at hi, and the one of the right set at low, just to make both parts different and more real sounding as each guitar will interact with the amp differently in a true guitar amp/speaker cabinet scenario.

    Using it in this manner, to mimic an amp setup scenario, rather than the Vai method, using it as an effect is the best application for the Frequout, with the added benefit of being able to use the Frequout pedal with any pickup selection where as the Fernandes or Sustainiac is pretty much a bridge pickup only voicing to enable its designed effect.
     
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  10. cantplayguitar

    cantplayguitar Member

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    That's helpful to know @TonyFlyingSquirrel. If I get it, that will definitely help stave off disappointment.
     
  11. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    ... the Ebow and the similar TC Electronic sustainer thing are also options, though a bit bulky to use. Their advantage is that they do not require any guitar modification and deliver more tone options since one can use them with whatever pickup combo selected... if I remember correctly.
     
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  12. cantplayguitar

    cantplayguitar Member

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    Great suggestions. I'll have to see if I can find one to try.
     
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  13. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    @cantplayguitar do notice that these "hand Held Sustainers" will change completely the way you excite the strings. They only work one string at a time. More traditional sustainers can sustain all strings at the same time for short period, then, the heavier strings will dominate.
     
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  14. cantplayguitar

    cantplayguitar Member

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    Yes, I saw that from a few videos. Seems like I'd enjoy that less than sustainer pickup or the Freqout.

    What are some good pups to put in the bridge with a Sustainiac? Any recommendations if I go that route?
     
  15. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    Under high gain applications, it likes the EMG 81 quite a bit, keeps it even across all strings.
     
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  16. Xk6m6m5X

    Xk6m6m5X SS.org Regular

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    I havent had the chance to play it a hole lot but i have the fernandez 401, and i think the neck pickup sounds like , im having mine wired so it ONLY functions ad a sustainer and not a pickup
     

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