Shredders Unite: Fernandez Sustainer Retrofit

All right guys and gals, who here has turned their amps up to 11 with massive amounts of gain to mimic good old Eddie V and then run up to their amp while holding that pinch harmonic? Probably more of you than would admit to it. Trying to achieve that sound is easy, if you want to go deaf… Most of us (excluding people with their own theater) have limits on how loud they can play. That’s why Fernandez patented a pickup system that will achieve feedback and sustain at any volume level with the flick of a switch.

That circuitboard has to go somewhere

Our customer came in with his trusty Ibanez RG and the Sustainer Kit. Easy as 123…drop it in and infinite sustain… well, not exactly. Here is what I had to do to make this customer’s dreams of guitar domination a reality.

After plotting out the extra volume knob and where the circuit board went I needed to make a router template and start removing wood. I then made a starting place for my router bit with the drill press, and it was time for wood to fly. So if you can, imagine the sound of noisy router turned on for 30 minutes with wood dust flying through the air. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Well it was for me..

Once I achieved final depth with the router it was time to make a second template for the same route. This time it was for the shelf for the circuit board cover to lay on.

With my routes completed, I drilled three extra holes and installed all the electronics. Made a new back plate for the circuit board and the back was finished.

After a Setup this guitar was something fierce. I had our resident guitar hero Eric Mardis shred on it down stairs for a while, and needless to say, heads turned wondering what the heck was going on.

For those that noticed that this guitar originally came with a Hum-Single-Hum pickup config, I’ll soon make a second post on how I made a single pickup converson ring.

-Matt H.

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