DIY Stompboxes > Building your own stompbox

DIY Sustainer findings.


After having a read of the project guitar forum, and the little around here I had a go At my own.
The driver was just .25mm wire wrapped to 8.4 ohms, wrapped around a magnet raided from an unkown pickup.
Potted with PVA, but after it was wound, it buzzes quite a bit when it's used :(
The circuitry is a smokey amp clone from circuit snippets, not bad for two caps and an IC.
I subbed a 100uf to ground, and used the inverting input, the input on the schematic sounded like arse through a speaker.
Using the rear pickup of my telecaster, strung with 10s, the EAD strings sustained nicely everywhere.
GD sustained in some spots, even less sustain in others. The high E string did nothing.
There was also a little fizz from EMI, but not enough to cause any bother.
There was a little treble loss, nothing to bad though.
Running off 9 or 18 volts didn't make much difference.
A while ago I found a nice piezo element from a telephone, when I find where I put it
the sustainer circuitry will be completely isolated from the guitar.
I think most of the trouble came from lousy driver design, it must be wasting so much power.
I did try using my hotcake as a preamp, but there was very little difference.
Next time I'll spend more time on a nicer driver, and with this brain-dead circuitry anyone can have a go.

I have a fenderads 101 sustainer installed on my guitar.
I believe I do it right,but the high E string 009 seems not work,the B string 011 works fine.

I dont have time to change my string now,but I believe change to 010 can help ,maybe 011

if you search the fenderads 401 kits photo from the web,there is one really clear, the steel of the driver in the high E side is close the string a lot than the low e side.
when the driver is working,the neck/middle can be affect, by magnetic fieldso.
the driver connec to pickup or not,you cant use neck/middle pickup.
at that time, only the bridge can work right,whatever isolated or not.

hope this help.

Hey there...

psw from PG here...I missed this over here!

I am glad you tried out the sustainer thing...the driver is the heart of the project and it often takes a couple of goes to get it right. Most people use a fetzer/ruby...the preamp or even a buffer is important to stop the pickup being loaded down. The driver design is also crucial...even though it is potted you must have loose windings if it buzzes. Not only is this inefficient, but it will also be generating it's own signals not related to the strings vibration (but that of the coil). The inefficiency will effect the speed of response too so that it will fail to drive the high strings.

You have obviously made a good start and I hope you have been bitten by the DIY sustainer bug. Feel free to join in on the mega thread, always interesting stuff over there (no need to read any of the 115 pages now). I think you will want to add a simple preamp or buffer to your amp, maybe even refine it a little more (not much) and work on the driver.

The blueprint for the first generation sustainer driver, as I promote and use in my guitar, is very thin (3mm deep) with a thin core (3mm). There are reasons for this design, mostly to do with issues of EMI and speed. The wire size should be 0.2mm if possible, especially if you want to generate the power and response required to drive those high strings. Other sizes were tried, but this works best...

Anyway, I am proud of the thread and all those who have contributed, encouraged and been encouraged to build the device. Hope you keep at it, good work and good luck... pete


--- Quote ---the high E side is close the string a lot than the low e side
--- End quote ---

The pickups have 2 screws ... one on the left and on the right side of the pickup that hold the pickup in place.... you could give some turns to one of the screw that is closer to low E string and make the pickup go lower in height....
Some other pickups have around 6 screws on the pickup that regulate the height of the iron thing that gets to each string ( dont know how this is called :P ) So you could also ( if you have that kind of pickup ) to lower the screw that has to do with low E string...

Best Regards,


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