Fernandes Sustainer Help

Bobo Fret

Whatchyou lookin' at?
Thanks in advance for your input.

So I have a cheap-o Fernandes sustainer guitar with three pickups. I decided to upgrade the pickups because the stock ones were pretty crap and I had replacements on hand. I swapped out the bridge bucker and middle sing coil with a Bareknuckle Blackhawk and Cobra single respectively.

So everything works fine except the actual sustainer pickup in the neck position. It works fine in sustainer mode, just not when used in magnetic pickup mode. It sounds like a battery-starved or gated fuzz through a ring mod. It worked fine before I swapped out the other pickups, and all the trim pots on the sustainer board are dimed, as they were previously. I tried a new battery, but that's not the problem.

I really have no idea. The neck pickup didn't get messed with through my modding, so I can't fathom what could have happened. Any insight would be supremely appreciated.

Al Varez

No idea, I never used a sustainer system. I did read that they often times just fail, for no apparent reason, and just start producing squealing noises.


Watching this thread because I really wish I knew more about these kits. They're really fun and I also ruined a Sustainiac a couple years ago doing something similar with worse results.


They're finicky systems - have one that was inoperative when I bought it. Best suggestion I have would be to track down a Fernandes wiring diagram and double check everything. I'm not saying you weren't careful with your pickup swap, they're just tricky.


Although I've owned a Fernandes guitar with sustainer and currently own a Sustainiac-equipped guitar, I'm not sure what is causing your issue. Perhaps a wiring issue as mentioned. Have you tried backing down the trim pots on the sustainer board to see if that made a difference, or adjusting the height of the neck pickup? Your best bet would be to call tech support at Fernandes and speak to someone there. I did that once and they were helpful. You might also try to Google something like "Fernandes forums" and ask your question there.

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