I picked this sucker up at the local pawn broker (can you see a pattern here?).
The electrics were shot, it wasn't in the best condition, but hey that is exactly what I was after.
But it got a whole bunch of awesome poured all over it.
The first thing I did was replace the stock tremolo with a Stepmax tremolo, which allows full vibrato (both up and down) in the same place as a Fender style synchronised tremolo which only allows down and return to pitch.
This system works pretty well, but might not be to everyone's taste. I will say that it's a lot easier to setup than a Floyd Rose style tremolo (I'll stick to my vintage style pivot tremolo thanks!).
After this I added in a Varitone capacitor bank, which allowed for 8 or 12 capacitors to be selected for different EQ curves. Fortunately the pickups that J&D used on this guitar were of the four wire variety and afforded the opportunity to add switched to split the coils and invert the phase of the humbuckers.
I also changed the neck to a reverse headstock Fender style, just for looks. It made tuning the damn thing a little harder though. Even so, it did look pretty sweet.
The coolest mod by far was the Sustainer.
I wrapped 8ohms of wire around one half of the neck pickup and hooked that up to a simple 386 based amplifier which was driven by the bridge pickup. The effect is similar to controlled feedback by standing in front of an amplifier and holding a note.
Sure Fernandes do it better, but I did it for about $12 in parts and a couple of hours labour.
If I've done my math right, it should be able to deliver 108 individual tones plus the sustainer function.
The guitar was sold so that I could get the Guyatone LG127t I posted about a few months back.
I have no idea who bought it, but I hope it's bringing them some far out sounds.
Infinite Sustain Project
DIY Sustainer Tutorial