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I've been struggling on this for a while, finally at the Musikmesse in
Frankfurt I bought a Fernandes guitar. I myself built a sustainer, but the
toy from Fernandes is *damn* good (they use a very specialized driver
pickup), so I left on my own. They have also a kit you can install on your
own guitar. Another solution comes from Maniac Music, it's called
Sustainiac. It's almost the same thing of Fernandes. And then, there's 
the E-Bow! (handy, you can make some very strange sounds by kicking it very
close to the pickups).

The Looping Uncle 8^)#

FYI, this is the (long )mail I received from Maniac Music about Sustainiac:

SUSTAINIAC is a registered trademark of Maniac Music, Inc.
8230 Meadowbrook Dr.;  Indianapolis, IN 46240
For more detailed information, send us address, etc.

Strat. is a registered trademark of Fender Musical Instruments


The SUSTAINIAC . GA-5 is a big step forward for sustainers.  This
battery powered in-guitar sustainer provides infinite sustain of
fundamentals and harmonics by sustaining string vibration.  It is
designed specifically for "Strat.-Type" guitars.  The entire sustainer
mounts to Strat.-style pickguards, and is designed to blend with the
well-known appearance of Strat.-type guitars.  (The GA-5 cannot be used
on guitars having no pickguard.  Attempting to remove the components
from the circuit board to mount onto non-pickguard instruments will void
the warranty.)

Unlike previous sustainers, the Sustainiac GA-5  functions with a
standard single coil bridge pickup and a standard single coil neck
pickup.  (Or, it will work fine if either or both bridge and neck
pickups are humbuckers.)  The string driver is located in the middle
pickup position.  This allows the bridge pickup and/or the neck pickup
to be used while the sustainer is active.  Our advances in string-driver
technology make the Sustainiac GA-5  the only sustainer available with
these capabilities.

NOTE:  Many people think that the Sustainiac is a SPECIAL PICKUP that
"provides sustain".  This is false.  The Sustainiac is an entire SUSTAIN
SYSTEM, consisting of several elements.  Installation required,
typically taking about 2 weeks.  Read on:

The following features are provided:

Improved string driver design is compatible with single coil pickups, or
other "Strat." pickup configurations.

The string driver is located in the middle pickup position to allow the
use of single coil neck and bridge pickups when sustainer is active.

String driver is utilized as a middle pickup while the sustainer is not

The GA-5  electronics section replaces the existing three potentiometers
("pots")of strat guitars.  Your knobs are used on the pots.  It mounts
to the back of the pickguard.

Authentic "Strat" tonality is maintained whether the sustainer is on or
off,  for all pickup selections.  (When the sustainer is ON, only bridge
and neck pickups are heard.  However, special on-board equalization
circuitry blends bridge/neck pickup with equalization to achieve good
"2,3,4" switch position sounds!)

Numerous power options available, including rechargeable battery pack
and external power-supply/charger.

Convenient push button switches provide easy operation.  A "BOW" button
can be pressed and sustain is achieved as long as the button is held
down.  When the "SUSTAIN" button is pressed, the GA-5 stays ON.  The
"HARMONICS' button in the "out" position causes normal string vibration.
For the "in" position, the string vibrations break in to 2nd or 3rd
harmonic vibration, for really SCREAMING solos!

Convenient "DRIVE" knob replaces lower Strat-type TONE knob, and
controls string vibration intensity.

Power-on LED indicator is easily viewable from the normal playing

Prices vary, depending on Power Options chosen.   $259 (two 9-v
batteries option); $289 (internal rechargeable battery, overnight
charger CH-1);  $494 (internal rechargeable battery pack, PSC-1 external
power supply/charger, allows playing while charging).  Other Power
Options available, see full brochure.  Installation charge $50-$65,
depending on option selected.

We send you a fully-tested GA-5 installed onto your or our pickguard,
with your or our pickups.

For more detailed information, request our brochure and price list.
Just send us your address, etc.


This is the sustainer that got it all started for us, back in 1987.  It
is still a workhorse of the studio, and has been used to generate
effortless, screaming natural feedback sustain on countless recordings,
TV shows, ads, etc.

A special magnet plate easily attaches to most guitar headstocks, which
holds strongly to an egg-size (but "squarish" shaped) electro-acoustic
transducer.  The transducer easily "pops off" the magnet when not used.
The transducer plugs into one of three jacks on the Sustainiamp (tm)
floorbox.  Your guitar cable plugs into a second jack on the floorbox,
and your amplifier or effects chain into the third jack.  For playing
onstage, the transducer cable (13ft. standard length) can be attached to
the guitar cable to keep it out of the way.  The 13 ft. length is
optimum when using with a 10 ft. guitar cord.  A 23 ft. cable is
available for $10 extra, or custom lengths for $10 extra plus $1 per

When the Sustainiamp (tm)  is turned on by one of the two footpedals, a
50-watt amplifier inside the floorbox amplifies your pickup signal from
the guitar cable, and sends this amplified (and specially processed)
signal back to the transducer.  The transducer then intensely vibrates
the guitar headstock, which causes the strings to vibrate endlessly.
(Kind of like blasting your guitar from a 100 watt Marshall stack from a
distance of one inch!!  Only you don't blast your ears in the process.
Actually, the vibration intensity into the instrument from the
Sustainiac. is actually much greater than you can obtain in front of the
stack.)  The third jack is there to send the unaltered guitar pickup
signal on its way to your amp or other effects.

The Model B Sustainiamp (tm)  has TWO OPERATIONAL MODES:  (1)  You can
just hold down one pedal at a time for "momentary" sustain during
accents.  Depending on which pedal you hit, different string vibration
harmonics are accented.  (2)  By hitting both pedals simultaneously
(which is easy to do with a small foot-tap, because the two large pedals
are located close together), you turn the Sustainiamp ON and OFF for
continuous sustain.  When ON, by next tapping either pedal, you can make
the Sustainiamp stay in either of the two harmonic modes, indicated by a
green or red LED being on.  With these controls, you can hold a
screaming note, and change the string vibration harmonics at will.  A
very unique, powerful effect!

Also, the Model B Sustainiamp (tm) has three knobs for controlling (1)
String vibration intensity; (2) Auto-Sense (automatically choosing
optimum gain level); (3) Harmonic Enhance, for adjusting string
vibration harmonic content.

The SUSTAINIAC. MODEL B sustainer sells for $279, postage paid if within
continental USA and prepaid.  Postage extra for COD and other countries.
For custom transducer cable lengths, see above.  Shipping weight approx.
11 lbs.