Fernandes Sustainer FSK 101 kit problem

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Fernandes Sustainer FSK 101 kit problem

Postby Goddard » Tue Dec 05, 2006 2:52 pm

Hello to you all!

I have a problem with my sustainer system. I tried to contact Fernandes tech support, but they don't asnwer my e-mails.

Recently I have bought a Sustainer FSK-101 kit and retrofitted my 10-year-old Les Paul guitar with the system. The customization was made by an experienced local Luthier, who is familiar with the kit and has added sustainer system to many guitars before, so I don't think that the problem may be caused by the wrong installation. Anyway I checked all the connections and it seems that everything is connected correctly - according to the service notes. I have also checked the trim pots and I have adjusted them according to the service notes. I have also replaced the battery with a new one.

I've read all the information from the attached service notes including troubleshooting, but I haven't found any advice that would address my problem. The problem is that in the standard mode the sustainer system works great, while in the harmonic mode I'm not able to use it on my violin strings (E1, B2, G3). On bass strings (D4, A5, E6) in harmonic mode it works fine, but when I try to use it on the violin strings then there is no effect, the string is not vibrating - it simply fades out as in the "standard" guitar. In the standard mode all 6 strings can be used with the sustainer effect.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Goddard
 
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Postby declan » Tue Dec 05, 2006 10:36 pm

Hi goddard

And welcome to the forum. I have no experience of the sustainer system, only saw one working for the first time last week, hopefully some of the guys on here will be able to help you. Have you asked your luthier friend about it?

Declan
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Postby cmguitar » Wed Dec 06, 2006 1:00 am

Hello, Goddard welcome to the forum.
There is not too many people knowledgeable on sustainers unfortunaly Fernandes customer service is terrible . The best way to get in touch with Fernandes is call them. Hopefully the have a office in Poland or Eastren Europe.

I am sorry I couldn`t help.

Chet
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Postby Goddard » Wed Dec 06, 2006 7:56 am

Yesterday I did get the answer from Fernandes! Their answer:

This sounds like a scale and bridge pickup issue. First of all make sure
pickups are as close to the strings as possible. On Les Pauls and other
guitars with 24 3/4 scale it is recommended to use a high output bridge
pickup, seymour duncan's work specially well. If guitar has a middle pickup,
a low-flux magnet pickup should be used. When using a Dimarzio polarity
should be reversed.

Of course the pickups in my guitar are as close to the strings as possible and there is no middle pickup. I will try to replace the bridge pickup with some other pickup. I have contacted a Polish manufacturer of the pickups (they are great and 100% hand made: http://www.merlinpickups.com) and he will make a humbucker based on T500 for me so I will be able to check if the pickup with hotter output will solve the problem. I will let you know guys!
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Postby Goddard » Thu Dec 14, 2006 6:56 pm

Yeah! It works :D :!: I exchanged the bridge pickup with the T500 style from Merlin and it works great. Great tone, very high output and now Sustainer works perfect, as I wish it should. So if anyone have similar problem, then it may be caused by the bridge pickup... The only small disadvantage is that I can't match the volume of the neck pickup with the volume of the pickup in the bridge position, although I have turned the trim pot all the way up, the neck pickup is still a little bit quieter, but I don't care :lol:

All the best for you all on Xmas and New Year!

OT: If you were interested in my music, then there is a chart on the Polish pro-rock site and my band Hipgnosis tune Mantra just hit the no.1:
http://www.pro-rock.pl/index.php?dekalog=1
By clicking on the Hipgnosis on the chart list you may go to the sub site with the full version of the Mantra track, also available for download. The solo at the end of the track is me playing the Greco-made for Roland G-303 guitar synthesizer controller with the Roland GR300 Guitar Synthesizer (as used by Metheny, Fripp, etc). If you like the tune then you can vote and help us to stay on the 1st position :).
Goddard
 
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Location: Poland

Postby declan » Thu Dec 14, 2006 11:58 pm

Goddard,

Glad you got the problem sorted and an interesting insight into the sustainer system. Thanks for posting your solution.

SO how do the new pickups sound, anything you can compare them to, I never heard of that Pickup manufacturer before.

Declan
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Postby Goddard » Fri Dec 15, 2006 8:22 am

Declan,

I think it is not easy to describe. I will try to record some samples today and post them here, so you will be able to hear by yourself.

Merlin pickups is a one-man firm, lead by Zbigniew Wroblewski (read: Spicknyev Vrooblevsky). The pickups are hand-made according to the old specifications (from the Fender custom shop for example). The pickups are waxed twice to avoid the feedback problems. Humbuckers in the metal casing are waxed for third time as well. He uses AlNiCo5 or AlNiCo2 magnets.

There are some sound samples of the single pickups on his site:
http://merlinpickups.com/single.htm
here: http://merlinpickups.com/dePolis.htm
But they aren't very good.

Goddard
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Postby declan » Fri Dec 15, 2006 9:32 am

Love to hear your samples, what are the prices like Goddard
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Postby Goddard » Fri Dec 15, 2006 5:59 pm

The prices are great too and definitely worth try.

SINGLES:
Classic Strat..............................50 EUR

Classic Set (3xClassic Strat).......130 EUR

Classic HSS Set (2xClassic Strat+Classic Strat Humbucker)........150 EUR

Tele Neck..................................55 EUR

Tele Bridge................................55 EUR

HUMBUCKERS:
Merlin P.A.F. (open)....................66 EUR

Merlin P.A.F. (closed, chrome or gold)....70 EUR

Legend (all models)....................66 EUR

Classic Strat Humbucker.............66 EUR

Hellfire......................................66 EUR
Goddard
 
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Postby Goddard » Sat Dec 16, 2006 8:07 pm

The sound samples (aren't good in musical sense, but I haven't got time at the moment to record something interesting):

mp3, clean (+a little bit of sustainer at the end)

wav, distortion

The rig used for the recording of the samples:
    Les Paul (custom with tremolo) copy with the Merlin T500 Humbucker in bridge position and FSK101 Fernandes sustainer kit in the neck position
    plugged into the DigiTech GSP2101 preamp (clean sound - with a little reverb)
    into the Edirol UA20 audio-midi interface
    into laptop-Nuendo

Hopefully I will have some more time to record better sound samples when I get my new Frenzel's Super Deluxe Plus head next week. You should check Frenzel site if you are looking for the great old-fashioned amp: http://www.frenzeltubeamps.com
Goddard
 
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Re: Fernandes Sustainer FSK 101 kit problem

Postby twangster410 » Tue Jun 29, 2010 9:38 pm

hi guys i had a question about the fernandes sustainer system. is the neck "pickup" an actualy pickup or is it just a sustaining driver and the bridge pickup is active the whole time? because i want a high output humbucker in the bridge but i also want some clean tones to come out of the guitar and was wondering if that was possible with the neck "pickup", if it even is a pickup. and if it is, does have more of a dirty or a clean sound?
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Re: Fernandes Sustainer FSK 101 kit problem

Postby Goddard » Tue Jun 29, 2010 9:49 pm

Neck pickup has two functions: half works as sustainer driver (when it is engaged) and half as the ordinary pickup. It's sound is warm and it is an active type pickup.

Hope that I was of any help... But if you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to ask!
Goddard
 
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Re: Fernandes Sustainer FSK 101 kit problem

Postby Mimasu » Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:22 pm

Hi guys,

There's a lot of interesting sustainer info in the Ravelle Japan Premium Custom S topic:

http://forum.japanaxe.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2022

Leon
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