Hey! I'm new here. I read a lot about sustainer (although not all 300 pages on PG), and I got very excited about it. I understand the functionality of it fully. There's a few questions I would like to ask. 1. I would like to have it in my hand. I would hold it close to neck pickup. I was thinking to split the cable form the guitar and one part would go to the sustainer circuit (which would be sticked to my strap), and from it to the driver I would be holding in my hand. Would this be possible? 2. What are the cons of winding around an magnet? Should I wind around the metal bar and put magnets on bottom. In this case, can I give a ceramic bar (it should be oriented S to winding, N away from it, or reverse)? 3. How about puting a piezzo in the same device, to make it like ebow? 4. Would it be cool to make a magnet bar and one steel bar on each side of it, so I could use it by both sides? 5. Where could I get col's schematic? I know this questions get annoying to you, but I can't read 300 pages. It's a really cool project that I would like to have done well. Thank you much for answers.
Hey! 1. I would like to have it in my hand. I would hold it close to neck pickup. I was thinking to split the cable form the guitar and one part would go to the sustainer circuit (which would be sticked to my strap), and from it to the driver I would be holding in my hand. Would this be possible?
Yes and (maybe) no. It sounds reasonable if you are up to the task of securing the wires and circuit and such into a handheld module, however, you will not be able to hold it near the neck pickup, unless you have properly wired the neck pickup out of the loop completely via 4pdt switch. This means disconnecting both ends of the neck pickup, not just floating one end. You cannot have a pickup in close proximity to the driver while it's on.
My personal opinion would be to figure out a way to attach it temporarily rather than hold it as this will be more efficient and less prone to side effects, however I could see the use for a hand held version as well. The hand held version may need more power than the installed version and the driver you create may not be up to the task of handling that extra power, but I still think it falls in the realm of plausible if you have good craftsmanship and prepare to wind multiple coils until you get the art of it down.
2. What are the cons of winding around an magnet? Should I wind around the metal bar and put magnets on bottom. In this case, can I give a ceramic bar (it should be oriented S to winding, N away from it, or reverse)?
In my experience, either will work. I have not tested whether one way is more efficient or not.
I'm not sure I understand the orientation of the magnetic field in the bar you have, however it will need to be pointing toward and away from the strings. Also, it will need to be exactly the right size if you want to use it as a core since you cannot cut a ceramic magnet, at least not with any standard tools and without the risk or altering the field shape/direction/strength. This is why most people tend to wind around a bobbin or core and stick a magnet under it.
4. Would it be cool to make a magnet bar and one steel bar on each side of it, so I could use it by both sides?
No, the thin coil should be very close to one side, the side that will be close to the strings. Again, I don't believe magnet/steel will have significant impact on the functionality, though there is no evidence to say it wouldn't influence it.
5. Where could I get col's schematic? I know this questions get annoying to you, but I can't read 300 pages.
Perhaps pete will have have the schematics? Col's circuit design can be confusing if your not familiar with such designs, possibly even if you are. It has four operating modes to start, but a simple buffer to lm386 will get the job done with two modes and the ability to customize/addon modes.
300 pages is quite a bit and there is tons of redundancy and general 'junk' in there. It could probably be reduced to 20 or so 'useful/informative' pages, but that's only a guess as I haven't read the whole thing either.
Hey! Thank you extremley much for the answer. Then: 1. How thick must the core be? It'll need to be 5mm high (cd case plastic is 1mm thick). 2. About the magnets. I can get these two: neodyum BaFe How much of them should I put in the back? There are also these but they are strong and I'm not sure about the polarity If polarity goes by lenght I could use three of this or this. If polarity goes by width I could use this. That's all I can get. Is this wire ok? And how much wire do I need? 3. I will be holding it in hand. So I will not be able to turn off all pickups. So I'll get noise. So do you suggest bilateral design, humbucking design or piezo so guitar circuity will be completley out?? Thank you very much.
mv1618 contacted me via email overnight, so having written a reply, I will post here for others who may be interested in this proposal as a 'one off'. I've not done this before as questions via emails tend to be private and I get a few, but this might show the kind of reply one might get and in realtion to a particular proposal...
Thanks. The big 300 page thread was a 'discussion thread' and ranged widely for perhaps 8 years, there are many 'tutorial' threads about though that outline better the basic 'standard' sustainer things that I described... for instance... projectguitar.ibforums.com/index.php?showtopic=24211 There are other 'tutorials' and threads in the reference section of PG there as well as GN2 and other forums. Unfortunately, all threads are exposed to trolls, one in particular and so all forums are 'concerned' about hosting such threads and in the case of GN2 investigate when ever a thread is started into the ISPs to be sure that this person or similar are identified and excluded. Personally, I now tend to avoid contributing due to this problem...as you can see the result has been to lock and even disappear whole threads...hmmm.
I do help where I can via email like this, it can be nice to know you experience/age and location/language and interests and also email makes it far easier to share pictures and such to explain ideas as necessary. As you can imagine, with so many people interested with their own ideas about this technology, very quickly any thread will 'explode' into a whole heap of tangents so this is perhaps a better approach to actually getting the help or advice you need.
As for Col's circuit, that kind of thing is probably directed more towards the person who designed it, Col turns up on GN2 occasionally so contact him here... guitarnuts2.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=viewprofile&user=col I've not built it and don't know anyone who has replicated it, plus col himself has seemed to distance himself from it a bit, we all got a bit jaded in the end. I personally was not after the 'effect' that he was after in that design, so there is that too.
What you are proposing is a very experimental thing and there are significant problems with this proposal and I've done some work in this to perhaps explain why. This is very much the way in which all builders should test the drivers and systems before they even consider installing things to be sure that they have made a working suitable driver and device. However, to do this you need to test it at least around the 12th fret or 'higher' towards the nut because all pickups, even if not selected (they are still connected to ground) will be effected by the magnetic pulse coming out of the driver. It works better 'fitted' in the plane with the pickups and under the strings where the pulse is directed at them, but always there will be this 'transformer' effect with any coils...the pulse can een pass along the metal strings, hence you need 'distance' between any coils and the driver, particularly the source bridge pickup. In a fully installed system of my DIY type, you need to use something like a 4pdt switch to ensure that all pups are disconnected at both ends as well as the power connected and bridge selected.
Now, you are proposing a kind of 'ebow' wired to the gutiars source. This is something that I've done a little on and as mentioned, is the standard procedure for testing prior to installation anyway...but there are significant 'flaws' and risks involved in this concept that need to be considered and which I feel make it a little too much to be at all 'useful'. A better proposal would be to make or buy an Ebow.
For one thing, you would need to hold the device in the right hand...so how are you supposed to pick the guitar?...consider that you would need to be holding it well away from teh pickusp, higher than the 12 th fret. This too means that you would not be able to play notes higher than the 12th fret....so you know...that's a huge restriction. Also, the pulse would be going everywhere from the driver and no doubt would get into the pickups and cause noise if not screams of a huge volume (consider how a transformers two coils intereact). You would also need to hold the driver just shy of touching the strings, you can't just wave it an inch above, again, consider the ebow which rides adjoining strings, thats super close...sustainers need teh same kind of thing and power reduced to work at those tolerances in order to limit the interference with the pups. When you get the driver to do any sustaining, it would have to be 'off' in order to get it from the strap to a suitable position that will not scream and so, perhaps a switch on the device itself and the extra wires would be required. Regardless, a big risk of uncontrolled and very loud screaming sounds and regardless, noise that will be interference and stifle the effect...
An Ebow has an internal pickup and so avoids most of these problems. It works very close and only on one string, so needs less power and so less adverse effects, it has it's own internal pickup and driver system such that they don't create this kind of 'loop' with the guitar itself, though they still can be 'heard' through the pickups that many don't quite appreciate...it's part of the effect of these elgant devices as you move them towards the neck pickup. Also, they tend to work best/only with the neck pickup engaged, much like these sustainers need to use only the bridge pup to provide the necessary distance from source to driver. They are also a lot smaller, only working on one string, so it is easier to contain the pulse and to use less power and so less bad effects.
No...bi-lateral, HB wont help...the noise created is not like a pickup at all, though the driver may seem to be another kind of pickup, it works in reverse. So, not sure you quite 'got that' side of things. Understand that, in order to make the string/s move, a strong magnetic pulse needs to be emitted. A piezio is not a magnetic device and so can't e used to generate a magnetic pulse...so, that is again, something you might need to study to understand or write back about. The kind of 'noise' in pickups is called by RF interference in the atmosphere so teh two coils are cancelling that out and leaving the gutiars signal. In the sustainer, the problems are not from this, but from the intentional pulse that we need to move the strings, if you do 'cancel' this out, then the strings wont move as all, so no effect. There is a catch22 in all of this the more complicated one gets with it and you can quickly disappear down a rabbit hole. This is in part why my designs tend to appear and are very simple, they use things like small size and brute force SC drivers with a lot of 'throw' and so require less power and in turn, create less interference through that equation...there are lots of other benefits too and are easier to make.
Magnets are not 'magic' but they need to be designed for a more 'power' is often a bad thing. Neo mags tend to be most attracted to themselves. All are usally better with a steel or similar ferros core to direct the field and so pulse in teh direction rewuire and to 'capture' the strings and so move them in the field's 'sway'. The ferite ones may well be 'better' as they are softer in field. Remember very few and only very specialised pickups use Neo mags in them, there is a reason why most use alnico or ferrite types. More powerful magnets, does not make a more powerful device either...a strong enough magnet actually dampends a strings vibration...so don't fall for that. Similarly a more 'powerful circuit' is not going to be 'better' because more power increases the amount of pulse coming out and so interference. What you need is an efficient pulse (so good in the range of the guitar and the mass of the various strings), very close to the strings and as low a power as to get the effect.
That wire is likely ok for the standard driver, but the designs and concepts you propose are way outside the standard, so it is impossible to know what would be 'best' for your application. Wire gauges that I suggest are based on my particular designs, move away for the standard designs much, and you need to recalibrate everything to suit. My suggestions are based on known results from a known design. What you are proposing is not and so all bets are off and need to be tested over and over with all kinds of wire. But, given that I don't believe this to be at all a practical proposition and from testing such device applications (every sustainer I've built has been tested 'over the strings' at the initial stage).
Overall, you are proposing a kind of ebow...but in reality it's not practical nor will it work in the manner of an ebow. The ebow however is a very elegant and useful device for what it does, it is not a sustainer and so ties up the right hand and only works on one string at a time...there are quite a few differences, but they are a very elegant device. There are DIY versions about, but really a real ebow costs about as much and works better than one you might make. There are some other interesting sustaining like devices out there too... futuremusic.com/news/testdrive/vibesware_gr-1_review.html
Though I know little about this and there are apparently 'mixed' reviews...again, it is not a 'sustainer' in the sense of the kind of thing that I've worked on, more again like an 'ebow' but does not tie up your playing hands.
My take on the sustainer too, has not been so much about 'sustain' but other things it can do. In a way that a violin bow can be used to make a lot of expressive effects, not just to hold a note forever. It can generate automatic harmonics and 'blooms' and all manner of expressive effects that are not necessary anything to do with infinite sustain. Hence, my personal devices have accentuated a lot of dynamic range rather than cols approach which was to control that and be a lot more 'even' in response.
Unfortunately , the sustainer generally does require modification to a guitar. I've worked extensively on much of this aspect to have minimal impact, even to the extent of developing an 'invisible driver' the 'wafer coil' that fitted inside the neck pickup to form the driver itself...but it does require a lot of advanced wiring and skills to pull it off well and likely a few goes and quite a bit of 'frustration'...as many will attest ;-).
Anyway, I will post this email, this time, to the GN2 thread for others who might be interested and elaborate and discuss and explain further privately via email should you wish to continue this conversation. I've forwarded this also to 'darkavenger' who has an interest in this tech and communicates similarly by email from time to time.
For an example of the 'classic' DIY sustainer, my telecaster thread in the gallery at GN2 shows the implementation with low impact mods and a very compact driver as well as the extent of wiring that is required to make this work, as well as the quality of manufacture required as well, it is not an easy project and not for everyone and it does take some advanced skills. Once you leave the 'formula' or the application, all bets are off and so you will find yourself up against things like high strings not responding as well as one might hope...this is not from using the standard design principles but in trying to make 'improvements' before successfully completing the basic ideas or altering the design or application (such as making an HB version, etc). If you don't have this level of skills, making circuits, winding coils, advanced wiring experience and the need to understand the concepts far more than the simple principle of how the device works, it's best to leave till you have gained them otherwise frustration and often failure ensues. That said a very many ahve been built successfully based on the known concepts. It needs to be realised also that every guitar is different, in particular every source/bridge pickup is different and what goes in determines what goes out. Related is that you need to have an exceptionally quiet guitar so that the signal in to the circuit contains no noise. Noise in means noise out in the magnetic pulse and os interfere with the driving of the strings.
Ok, well enough from me for now, feel free to correspond as you wish via email...
Kindest regards, Pete Phillip Island, Australia
Mr D.I.Y. Sustainer ;-) [/IMG]New Project...'jazz strat' ... Seagull project and mini PA amplification
Post by darkavenger on Nov 27, 2012 4:44:19 GMT -5
I think I'd like to add a small bit to this,
First, the core thickness can vary greatly from pete's tele driver which can be surface mounted to the basic modded single coil bobbin.
About the magnets... well, if you would like to use neo magnets, you should use an iron based core(steel) in order to maintain the inductance of the coil. Ceramic cores provide a source of magnatism and maintain the inductance, slimming the design down further if that is the goal. Again, the aim is to not stray from the 'design' too much. Doing so is certainly possible, but as pete says you will need to develop it to find the best balance.
32awg or 0.2mm is the standard, thicker wire tends to have issues driving the high strings. Although 0.22mm does not deviate very much, it is a small step from the design.
I don't think it would be a good idea to attempt the handheld device without turning the neck pickup off, from my experience the 12th fret is a minimum and turning the device from side to side can still cause squeal. The bridge pickup is still active, the middle may be possible but I don't have any experience with it.
No....I think you will find DA that there are much bigger flaws in this proposal which make it a practical impossibility...technically and even if it could work, in performance...
Neo magnets have more problems than that, they are not generally the best kind of thing for this kind of application, as I've pointed out, you don't see them commonly in pickups except for particular purposes (such as in SCn pups where they are used to control the magnetic shape in a stack, not for the cores themselves).
These things are not 'magic' but they hold a lot of power in a very small space and are naturally strongest attracted to their opposite pole...which is physically very close...so has little 'throw' towards the strings which is kind of the 'point' of all this. Similar problems exist with HB like designs where the opposite poles of the magnet is very close by.
0.22 is likely .2mm wire, with .02mm of enamel coating. Regardless, this 'standard' is recomended for a particular 'design' that I detrimined by trial and error to be best in that application. Once you get to playing around with ideas of bi-lateral or other multi cores and applications...who knows what the 'best' might be and so such people need to get a whole range of wires and test them out without alteration to other elements till they detrimine what will work...or stick to the design principles that are known to work.
What is proposed here is nothing like the 'standard design' and while the most basic principles are likely to be understood, the more details that are necessary are not. If you hold the driver in your hand, independant of a proper installation as designed, as anyone who has followed the procedure properly will know because that is exactly what is instructed to test it, that it will be radiating the EM pulse without any control...also I cant see how you will be able to hold it that close to the strings and steady by hand alone (the ebow requires to be guided over a string by the strings to either side, not just waved in teh generaly direction, it's pactically touching, as in a sustainer).
That a piezo element is not recognised to be non-magnetic indicates that the principle and suggestions ahve not been adequately understood.
Regardless, a lot of this can be 'proven' by making a coil as per the suggestion and to see what will happen. Most people do in fact do that and so witness it's uncontrolled nature and how hard it is to hold a magnet just above the metal strings without touching it.
Yes, even moving the device a little to one side or the other will result in the pulse being directed where you don't want it, as you found there DA. However, while the testing process usually seems to be a bit odd, the driver can happilly exist at the 22nd fret or there abouts because the device is under and on the same plane as the pups and any otehr pups are completely removed from the circuit and if built efficiently enough can run on a lot less power and so produce a lot less EMI. People who surfacely or 'theoretically' favor the dual or more coil models...all commercial units bar mine follow this it should be noted...are seeing things from a differnt view than myself and the design i promote for DIY. First, it does not need that to work and will be at least 2x the effort and size. Secondly, this kind of thing requires reversed poles whih will be attraced to themselves and lack the 'throw' that a single coil can produce. As a result, it needs more power which will emmit more emi resulting in...back to the same thing as if you'd made a simpler version. Others might debate these aspects, fair enough, however it's not just laziness on my part and I've made many different types over ten years and more. There is an argument say, if were someone were to attempt to position the drier in teh middle pickup position, but that has not been a very successful venture.
The original OP has jumped ahead in a concept that has been tested to some degree, at least by me, and witnessed by all that have made them and I think it is wise before going ito any proposed 'specs' or magnets or expense to wind this back and look at the overall proposal and stop there!
There is a device which does a whole lot more in a compact and relatively chap and elegant design, that can be housed on a strap and does not require guitar mods or external wires or any of the 'risks' and complications of this impractical proposal...it's called an eBow.
Now the sustainer is a completely different device...but it can't do this....all these things are valid...and certainly superior to this proposal which is fundamentally flawed and destined to be unsuccessful...
Mr D.I.Y. Sustainer ;-) [/IMG]New Project...'jazz strat' ... Seagull project and mini PA amplification
More interestingly, with the new driver, and the lates incarnation of my circuit (a few changes since i posted the schematic) I can get a good even sustain from all strings at all frets (some slightly weaker, and some more likely to bloom to harmonics) with a current draw of around 20 - 22 mA
col 122 (&st=1815) Picture of the 'Dynamic Range Inversion'
col-curtisa p125 (&st=1860) Discussion dynamic range inversion
col 126 (&st=1875) AGC Explaned
col p131 (&st=1950) Schematic Driver circuit with FF comp
col p143 (&st=2130) Schematic of beta-version(?) of Fet sustainer
psw p147 (&st=2190)
See...the sound in my head is not a natural guitar sound, it is one that increases in volume and power...that really accentuates that it is a sustainer, not just a really long sustain. I have gotten a real taste of this with my version, but it lacks the control and consistancy that yours provides, and that effect is good too! What I guess I am trying to get is a very "vocal" type of articulation, using lots of slides and trem articulations, dynamics (swells, etc), odd kind of ethnic sounds, even some fret buzz provides a nice breathy quality...the harmonic provides a kind of falsetto sound... with chords I guess it's more of an organ like pedal tone. These types of effects need a reasonably clean sound.
col p147 (&st=2190)
One thing you might want to consider is to have a system where you can switch between AGC and non-AGC versions. So you can choose depending on the situation. I think that you are going to have huge problems trying to get a non-agc system to work in the middle position - as you increase the drive, the EMI obviously increases as well, and additionaly have more clipping to contend with.
I had another listen through your demo clips, and many of them have extreme settings with fret buzz and loads of sustainer generated fizz and fuzz. I agree that when this is used to advantage it can add to the character of the effect, but it also limits the usefulness and applicability of the system.
If you were using an AGC setup, you might want to stick a compressor in the chain after the guitar to bring the sustained level up higher - although its pretty good as it is and even mild crunch will level things right up.
Maybe the best approach if you want a really hard sustain, would be to have an AGC to keep it just below the level where you get fret buzz, and power it from an off board 18V supply with an amp a bit more powerful than the LM386.
I guess the main thing though is that the two approaches are quite different. I think once you have tried the AGC system, you will appreciate it for what it is. It is more subtle, and can be used to enhance all your existing chops without overpowering them and requiring a change of technique. If you are intent on spreading the word and getting the whole guitar world into sustainers, I think the AGC approach will have more success.
Personally, I would like to be able to have more extreme settings, but I'm not sure that it will be practical in a 9v battery system - maybe we can get it happening with a class-d driver amp.
col p225 (&st=3360) Schematic, Layout of Fet sustainer (Latest update?)
This is probably the one you were looking for. If you start working on one of col's circuits then start posting the work in progress on the forum you'll never know col might chime in.
Post by perfboardpatcher on Dec 28, 2012 14:44:57 GMT -5
Hi, Is anybody there?
To give you an idea how I do my sustainer experiments
The pictures show my 'test bed' guitar. The plastic case contains the sustainer electronics (preamp, power on/off switch, harm/fund/off switch, power amp). The sustainer driver is one piece together with scratch plate and connector for driver. Black/red connector for phantom power (Stereo guitar cable with 12 Volts). Green/white connector is signal to sustainer. As you can see all parts of the sustainer can be modified independently from each other.
One suggestion how to make a handheld sustainer driver (on the right)
On the left you see a mini transformer. You only need the bobbin. Remove the laminations. In my case it was easy, one lamination at a time with the help of a hobby knife. Remove all copper wire from the bobbin. Insert a rod magnet. I used a strat style alnico rod magnet. The protruding part of the magnet will fit into a hand drill.
For the first and only attempt so far I used a hand drill to wind some 675 turns of 0.15mm wire. I applied wood glue with a brush every 15 drill turns (ratio 1:3.75). The DC resistance of the coil measured 20 ohms. When the hand held driver was connected up to my sustainer amp I got sustain, it worked!
With the knowledge from now I would say you need some 400 turns of 0.15mm or fill up the bobbin with 0.20mm wire and hope for a DC resistance close enough to 8 ohms.
If you don't mind, PP, I just want to compliment you on your suggestions, photos, and general approach to staging and testing. It's organized and exemplifies a good example design -- CUDOS! And thanks for sharing!
If my reply to JohnH sounded a bit blunt then I apologize. It wasn't meant that way, John. It was a word for word translation from Dutch.
You're very welcome! And thanks for explaining! I admit that I misunderstood the tone of what you said to JohnH. The marketing world is full of examples that didn't translate well from one language or culture to another with the best of intentions. Your response had sounded to me as if you weren't interested much in a dialog. But I thought I'd take a chance anyway because I was impressed with the rigor that you bring to your mods. I'm glad the misunderstanding was on my end.
Not wanting to commandeer this thread, I'll share some photos of my most recent mod in a new thread within the next week or two. This existence of this fine site and the generosity of its members confirms to me that I'm not the only one who likes to see photos and get ideas from other's work. Thanks again for explaining!
Back to the thread topic, MV, have you considered the Sustaniac? This is a purchased product and not inexpensive (~$250), but I heard one recently and was quite impressed with it. It sustains indefinitely and is another option if you should decide that you don't have the time to wind your own or you do, but the results don't work as well as you'd like. I've considered this on and off and am still thinking about adding one to my guitar if it saves me lots of time building and debugging. As much as I enjoy modding my guitars, I don't have infinite time (which I wish I did :-) and this is another option you may want to consider.
If you search for it by name, you'll not only get their Website, but should also get a link of Adrian Belew demoing it on his Parker Fly.