I usually don’t post on new guitars in this slot, but the new Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster is just different enough that it deserves a mention. This is the signature guitar from Radiohead’s Ed O’Brian, but it features the inclusion of a Fernandez Sustainer circuit that gives guitarists the ability to create those long ethereal pads that are easy to do on the synth, but just out of reach for the average guitar player.
Although the EOB Strat can be played like a normal instrument as well as with the sustainer, it does have a a few other unique features. For pickups it utilizes a single-coil-sized Duncan JB Jr. humbucking bridge pickup with a Texas Special single-coil middle pickup for a more traditional Fender sound. The Fernandes Sustainer driver in the neck position takes the player beyond the traditional sonic capabilities by creating near-infinite single or multi-string sustain.
The controls on the guitar look somewhat traditional aside from the extra two switches, but there are some differences. You get a master volume, master tone, intensity control, Active Sustainer® on/off switch, and a unique Fundamental/Harmonic/Blend Switch. The Active Sustainer® driver/pickup is powered by an internal 9-volt battery.
It also features a 9.5″-radius fingerboard, topped with narrow-tall frets, and a beefy, resonant neck with a “Soft V”-shape near the nut, which then rounds into a “C” profile as you ascend the neck. The rest of the hardware is classic Fender vintage-style.
What really makes the EOB Strat different is that to normally it normally requires a bit of routing and gouging to install a Fernandez Sustainer, which can alter the basic sound of the guitar. Fender has figured out how to do this without compromising the basic Strat sound.
The Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster has a retail price of $1,099. You can find out more about it here, and read an article about how the guitar came about here. Hear what it can do in the video below.