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Fernandes Sustainer Bass


Brakka

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Fernandes made this guitar pickup that... well, Here's what they say:

 

How the Fernandes Sustainer Works:

 

The patented Fernandes Sustainer is powered by a 9-volt alkaline battery, and works in conjunction with the Driver in the neck position, the bridge pickup and the Sustainer circuit board. To achieve infinite sustain the Driver projects magnetic pulses which continuously vibrate the strings of the guitar.

 

The Harmonic mode:

When the Harmonic mode is activated the Fernandes Sustainer alters the signal sent to the Driver causing the strings to vibrate the same way stings vibrate when they are hit by the sound waves of an amplifier played at extreme volumes. The result is controlled harmonic feedback without the need for excessive volume.

 

http://www.fernandesguitars.com/images/DrawL.jpghttp://www.fernandesguitars.com/images/DrawM.gifhttp://www.fernandesguitars.com/images/DrawR.jpg

 

Can one of these, or something like it, be used on a bass?

 

Fernandes doesn't have any basses with the Sustainer, but they sell the pickup setup seperately ($250) . Google found a "Fernandes Sustainer" Bass at basspalace.com , but it looks like it has active pickups to me. It says it has a "built-in compressor/sustainer." Not the same thing.

 

The Bass eBow question comes up on all the bass forums- this guitar pickup setup would be too weak for the bass strings, like the eBow. Plus it's spaced for guitar stirings.

 

Anyone hear of anything like this for electric bass? Or maybe a similar modification? Or not-so-similar mods?

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It looks like an interesting idea, and I thought about the E-bow when I saw the picture. I suspect it hasn't been done for bass yet, but we'll see. I fear that the amount of magnetic resonance needed for bass would cause interesting side effects to the rest of the circuitry. Maybe a Lightwave pickup (where magnetic resonance isn't used for sound) could be used with a huge monster resonator for bass?

 

thanks for the interesting info!

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Peter Steele of the goth band "Type O Negative" has something similiar installed on all his basses... I think BP might have done a small article on it a few years back, so maybe you can check the archives... Good luck :D

"Suppose you were an idiot ... And suppose you were a member of Congress

... But I repeat myself."

-Mark Twain

http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/63/condition_1.html (my old band)

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Crapulence! This thread made me dig for 15 minutes to not find my E-Bow. Well - actually my faulty memory made me go digging. I experimented with E-Bow on bass about a year ago but can't recall what my conclusions were. Other than to bury my E-Bow, that is.

 

<-- greenboy ---<<<<   Homey Bunny sez: 'sup, dawg?

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I'll take that ebow. I have my own shovel, just show me where to dig.

 

Jason: Excellent lead! No info on him online at bassplayer, and his name hasn't been mentioned here at LowDown. I found a ton of fan sites out there, and one of them stopped discussing Peter Steel's PlayGirl appearance long enough to mention that

 

...If you insist on talking about the music, I've lifted the following from Scott on the Yahoo board:  "Bass, he uses a Fernandes custom bass which is shaped like a Rickenbacker with an alder body (I think).  It has an FGI humbucker, 24 fret ebony fretboard, and 34" scale.  The bass also has a prototype sustainer unit which is not available to the general public (I called Fernandes and they said it was discontinued). 

 

There's even a picture of him with it at the Fernandes site, somehow I missed it. He's a scary guy, :eek:

but he has nice eyes :eek::eek::o .

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Right now I'm getting around my lack of a Sustainer by programming a patch on my effects unit that goes something like this:

 

TUBE (on 11) -> COMP -> DIST -> OVDR ---->

 

Then I stomp my preamp's footswitch over to the max'd-gain tube side.

 

...Is that all right? #%0

 

<-- greenboy ---<<<<    do not try this at home without a licensed health care specialist

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yeah the fernandes sustainer guitar..I've played one, it works, but any guitar will do that with a good distortion unit and a compressor. I still have the guitar on one of my lottery lists (what I will buy when I win) (although I think it's on the list for what I will buy the second time I win).

 

You, want sustain on a bass? Just leave your left hand fingers down. My bass will keep playing a note (especially if I am playing loud) for WAY longer then I ever need a note to last.

 

Michael Manring and Steve Lawson are pretty dangerous with their e-bows, stay out of arrow range if you can.

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My fretless will ring forever. Need I say it again? Forever... forever... forever....(into scene of little kids in The Sandlot , whilst they are camping out in a tree house talking about that huge dog nextdoor to the playing field).

 

Holy crap I can't believe I could remember that. Oh, the childhood memories. They keep flooding back in massed quantities.

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In a BP article with Michael Manring he said that on one of the Book Of Flame tracks he used a sustainer bass where the output from each string went through a complex array of EQ and compressors and he manipulated these to accentuate different harmonics and get interesting keyboard pad-esque sounds. That many sure is crazy! Speaking of Michael Manring, does anyone know of sources for his albums in the UK at reasonable prices?

 

Alex

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Originally posted by alexclaber:

In a BP article with Michael Manring he said that on one of the Book Of Flame tracks he used a sustainer bass where the output from each string went through a complex array of EQ and compressors and he manipulated these to accentuate different harmonics and get interesting keyboard pad-esque sounds.

Cool stuff. What I really like "in theory" about the Fernandes thing is that it's not just an effect. The neck pickup is a "driver" (their word) that uses magnetism to keep the string vibrating.

 

I've also been reading more about piezos on electric basses. There are a ton of cool bridges & saddles (I learned about some at Bob Gollihur's place, and I've read many of the recent posts here at LowDown about piezos). The music man piezo bridge looks really cool. Some sort of piezo system built into the bass body could be fun.

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pezmeister,

 

found my EBow. As I recall it took lots of finessing to make it even activate el guitar strings quickly, and they have these ridges on the bottom that are to align it with string spacing on guitar which I'd grind off if I ever end up using it for bass, to get the magnetic field closer. They did make a bass version more recently but I've never seen it.

 

The Sustainer concept is cool because it allows regular picking/plucking while the E-Bow is also usually used to make the string first excite.

 

If I get another Carvin bass it'll have their piezo system, but i was hoping by that time they'd have an electro-acoustic hybrid to do this with (some other thread a few days ago).

 

Actually the facetious patch diagram I outlined here yesterday will get tons of sustain which a bassist will likely never require unless going into Manring territory, and it is a tad noisy and tonally not so pure ; }

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I decided to hold out for the hydraulic version. I hear a company is designing a device that will fit over the bridge, with a tiny "pedal" for each string. The pedal will push hydraulic fluid to an ABS-like pulse machine which will in turn lightly (but quickly) pluck the string. Leaning harder on the pedal will cause a harder strike.

 

;}

 

On another note, Lightwave is starting to produce basses. I havent' checked their site, but the Dudepit (Dudetiques) has photos...

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Brakka,

 

Wow! Last time I messed with the EBow it was on my Fretted Six with nickel roundwounds. This time it was on my Fretless Five with Smith Compressors for strings. Big difference! More ferric content or something...

 

These strings seem to just require a muscular hammer-on for the first note on each string and away you go! The main thing is, the harmonics content seems very rich (you can kind of get bass clarinet-like squarewave, and synthlike sawtooth action, and a cool cello-like vibe going - if the cello were played through a high-bux tube rig. You kind of have to mess with where you hold the EBow along the length of the string (very small changes make big tonal and response diff) and maybe with EQ, to have a better balance toward the fundamental.

 

I originally bought the E-Bow to do el guitar overdubs when a long controlled feedback/sustain was desired at the start or end of a section/phrase (lots more of this on recordings than people suspect). In this case, and with the bass, it's probably not a very good live tool. But for a number or intro or something written especially for it it could be nice.

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I still like the sound of mando-picking, Tom. Let the Balalaikas ring out! So I haven't retired the latest Slinkypicker™ I developed {wonder what a Search on that would turn up? ; }

 

BTW, I don't recall seeing you license the Modified Classic Emoticon™. I guess I'll have to check my incoming sales system.

 

<-- greenboy ---<<<<    Professor T-Nut

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BTW, I don't recall seeing you license the Modified Classic Emoticon™.
Please notice that the classic-style emoticon I used is different than your trademarked version. Depending on your viewpoint, either yours has more space in it's head, or mine lacks room for a brain....

 

Someday I would welcome the chance to collaborate on a Slinky Sound CD with you. I love music with a zinggg....

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Hmmm, better do your trademark lookup again; I covered the squashy AND elongated versions as well as those embedding forced [prefix and suffix] whitespaces.

 

You are probably just using system space on a remote node, no worries there ; }

 

<-- greenboy ---<<<<   don't worry about patent infringement though. my last SlinkyPicker™ landed me in hot water with RotoRooter incorporated

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I tried to patent my Pinkyslickerfingerstyle digit lube, but KFC sued me. Something about "secret sauce" if I remember... ;)

Glad I could help out Brakka... Peter Steele gets overlooked alot. For a singer/songwriter/bass player/fanatic Beatles fan, he is pretty talented. I remember him saying something about going back to N.Y. Public Works if the next album didn't do well... The thought of picking up garbage for the next 15 years probably promted the X-rated photo shoot :D .

"Suppose you were an idiot ... And suppose you were a member of Congress

... But I repeat myself."

-Mark Twain

http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/63/condition_1.html (my old band)

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Thats why my new patent-pending Crapmaster 2000 , will surely be a sucess!! :D Also pending are my SourNotes Pitch Modulator , and my ever popular independent film company Pessimistic Pantry Productions :D

"Suppose you were an idiot ... And suppose you were a member of Congress

... But I repeat myself."

-Mark Twain

http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/63/condition_1.html (my old band)

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Watch out for the Crapocaster patents though.

 

http://www.bunnybass.com/pictures/amusing/toiletguitar.jpg

 

Fannyder zealously protects the trademark profile of their headstock from infringement. They have a long tradition of profit from guitarists who not only play some bad crap, but attempt to broadcast it out over the air(?)waves after repeatedly reeling it back in.

 

 

I also did a patent search: there was already a SourNotes PINCH Modulator, so you may want to re-think... http://www.naturalhandyman.com/iip/i/thinker.gif...that one.

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You beat me to the Crapmaster 2000!! Dagnabbit!!

 

When I first saw this thread I started looking through my Type O cd's to see if there was something in them, but, alas, I turned up nothing. I thought they produced a Sustainer bass for a couple of years in the mid-90's. Maybe this was wishfull thinking.

 

greenboy, I've got to get one of those Crapocasters!

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Brakka (still out there?),

 

This morning I took the grinder to the bottom channel/tunnel of my E-Bow and progressively took it down until it was only about 1/16" deep. That's right where the molded plastic ends and electromagnets begin...

 

That solves the string-spacing issue and readily excites the strings. Now you can "bow" double stops and it's got the juice to let you use it about anywhere along the length of the string, in many places without even a slight hammer-on from the fretting hand to get things going. Speaks way faster, and of course infinite sustain.

 

At around the 24th fret and nut-ward you can get way more fundamental, sounding lots more like a bow and less like controlled feedback. The tunnel sides lightly resting against two adjacent strings takes care of the majority of the string damping one needs, but the fretting hand must get the rest.

 

Wow, you should hear this thing on the low B string!

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Huh, you said "nut-ward."

 

Cool, now just do one for every string, install them instead of the neck pickup, and somehow connect them to the bridge pickup so that when you play a note, the ebow goes on for that string.

 

Actually, your review of "ebow on bass" is more positive and promising than most I've read. Have fun.

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Well, if I would use it on stage it'd just be to spice up some intro or feature section for a song or two. It's good for different tonalities and fake bowing. For conventional attack material not as convenient as just having a lot of sustain - which I never seem to lack anyway.

 

<-- greenboy ---<<<<    onward and nutward

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