Sustainer/sustainiac swap problems

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by Troop, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. Troop

    Troop SS.org Regular

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    hey so a few months back I paid a tech to swap out the pickups/sustainer systems between a schecter banshee elite 7 (sustainiac) and a fernandes revolver 7 with their proprietary sustainer. Basically, I loved the extended scale and feel of the schecter, but wasn’t enjoying the Sustainiac. The fernandes was not as nice of a guitar, but I got on better with its sustainer - for clean playing and sustaining chords I found it much more appealing. The sustainiac tended to sustain mostly the low strings, despite lots of tweaking...so I paid a reputable tech to put the fernandes electronics in the schecter. He claimed it was really straightforward, but things have not been quite right with the guitar since; I was initially getting a high pitched squeal when engaging the sustainer, as well as super scratchy pots. Both have mostly gone away, but now the harmonic mode is pretty weak, and when I put the neck pickup on alone, the sound is thin and biased largely toward the treble strings; the bass is super weak in neck position and much louder in bridge position.

    I’ve already gone back to the guy, but he just tweaked pickup height, cleaned the pots, and claimed everything was fine. But the guitar sounds lifeless at best. Before I go back to him again, I’m wondering if anyone has a guess as to what’s up, so I can be more informed when trying to convince him there’s a problem. Thanks.
     
  2. JustinRhoads1980

    JustinRhoads1980 Jackson Elitist

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    I think you should go to a different tech. Sounds like this guy isn't doing his job if he is just brushing off your concerns.

    I have no idea how sustainiacs work and how to troubleshoot em so I am not the best guy to ask
     
  3. Troop

    Troop SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, maybe I should cut my losses and find somebody better. Doesn’t really sit well that I paid the guy to screw up the job though.
     
  4. Kornfann1024

    Kornfann1024 SS.org Regular

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    Imo the sustainer blows as a pickup. I assume u have adjusted the intensity pot as well as the trim pots on the circuit board itself?
     
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  5. High Plains Drifter

    High Plains Drifter SS.org Regular

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  6. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    I had a customer's Schecter Hellraiser come across my work bench to have one of the mini switches (on/off) replaced on the circuit board. Was a tedious task getting that switch off of their cleanly, and just as tedious installing the new one. This customer was pretty abusive to the instrument & pretty much beat his controls, never cleaned his hardware or strings. Needless to say, when I returned it to him completed, the guitar was all cleaned up, polished & working properly. The one thing that I noticed on these Stealth installs is how un-necessary the circuit board is in relation to the two switches that are mounted on it. Seems like a small quick connecter to the switches would be more durable and more replaceable while the remaining circuits get incorporated into the stealth circuit board. Why have 2 circuit boards un-necessarily? Especially in light of the fact that 90% of the rest of the wiring diagrams on Sustainiac's website do not have such a setup. I'm guessing that the circuit board mounted 2 switch array is an OEM arrangement for the Schecter installs.
     
  7. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    I think it is also sold on the Sustainiac website and... it justifies the sale of the switches with an added PCB board so their prices can climb up there to double the 2 single switches prices... I think...

    Back on topic, I don't know what could it be. The sustainiac preamp/PCB board is pretty sensible and should be isolated from pickup signals. Their instruction manual states that the wire coming from the pickups should be away from the board and the board itself should be positioned a certain way regarding the guitar neck to bridge axis.
     
  8. Troop

    Troop SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, so this is actually the 7 string version of the fernandes sustainer in the schecter now, not the sustainiac. Which further complicates things - the fernandes board has four pots on it, but I can’t so far find an explanation online of what pot does what. (It’s an old, discontinued system, and the schematics im finding are for their six string sustainers.)

    Also, the thing about the orientation of the sustainiac board is interesting; I wonder if something similar applies to the fernandes board...

    Ugh, the two guitars weren’t perfect before, but they were both functional. I wish I hadn’t made the swap. Got a good deal on the fernandes too -only $400.
     
  9. Troop

    Troop SS.org Regular

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    I’ve got the bass side of my neck pup as high as it’ll go, and it’s still weak. It wasn’t the greatest sounding pickup before, but it at least sounded like a neck pup.
     

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