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Could I use the Ed O'Brien Sustainer Stratocaster to cover With Or Without You?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Jericho-79, Oct 14, 2020.

  1. Jericho-79

    Jericho-79 Strat-Talk Member

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    I'm very surprised no one has ever posted a YouTube video of this being done. With Or Without You by U2 is a very interesting song for ordinary guitarists to play.

    On YouTube, I've seen most guitarists use an EBow when attempting to cover With Or Without You. Other guitarists use Strats that have been professionally outfitted with some sort of sustainer system.

    For live performances of With Or Without You, The Edge himself (I think) uses a custom shop Fender Strat with a Fernandes Sustainer installed.

    [​IMG]

    Then I learned that Radiohead's Ed O'Brien came out with his signature Fender Strat.

    [​IMG]

    His Strat already has a Fernandes Sustainer single-coil configured at the neck position.

    Could I use the Fender EOB Sustainer Strat to play With Or Without You?

    I have yet to get my hands on the EOB Strat itself. I just wanted to get everyone else's opinion first.

    The last thing I want to do is to have my Fender Classic Series 70s Strat modded. Thus, I'm under the impression that maybe the EOB Strat will do the trick.
     
  2. Jericho-79

    Jericho-79 Strat-Talk Member

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    Any help, guys?
     
  3. didger

    didger Senior Stratmaster

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    Yes, that's exactly what you need. I believe the song was originally recorded with something sort of makeshift, like a personal prototype, but I'd have to look that up again. For most of the time since then, he played the song live with Fernandes guitars with their Sustainer system. I've got an old MIJ Retrorocket and it's great. I've performed that song, and of course others, with it. He didn't start using a Strat modded with the Sustainer until he joined the board of Fender. I was surprised his signature Strat didn't have it! But yeah, the Ed O'Brien will do the trick perfectly.
     
  4. didger

    didger Senior Stratmaster

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    And to really nail the song (and all his songs), you know you need Herdim picks, right?
     
  5. Believer7713

    Believer7713 The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein Silver Member

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    Before getting the Fernandez Edge was known for using an E-Bow. 16027107994584194880690038233269.jpg
     
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  6. Jericho-79

    Jericho-79 Strat-Talk Member

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    Thanks for your opinions, guys.

    According to the U2 fansite, both Bono and The Edge use Herdim picks.

    Is the Ed O'Brien Strat very much similar to the Fernandes sustainer guitars, like the Retrorocket models?
     
  7. AnotherStratelite

    AnotherStratelite New Member!

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    The Edge uses the custom strat for With Or Without You as mentioned above and uses the EOB strat for Love Is Bigger Than Anything In It's Way.

    I'm sure he could use just one of those strats for both songs but this is a guy who uses nearly 20 guitars a show so not going to question just two of them!! ;)
     
  8. AnotherStratelite

    AnotherStratelite New Member!

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    and yeah Herdim picks and a modulated delay will do the trick for the delay stuff (maybe comp pedal to fatten it too i know he was using a dyna comp in the early years but possibly only for a few things rather than an always on effect)

    especially for somebody only wanting to dip their toe in playing like The Edge and not sink thousands into a huge rig with AXE units and a SSD3000 pedal etc etc
     
  9. Believer7713

    Believer7713 The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein Silver Member

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    The guy is extremely anal about the tone of a guitar when he plays it live. When he gets a guitar he plays it as is, no mods. If he likes it, he records with it, then that will be the guitar that he plays said song live with every time. He also has a wireless transmitter unit for each guitar of which he and his tech will test numerous capacitors in the plug in order to get as close to the exact tone as if he were playing through his recording rig with a cord. Each guitar/transmitter pack combo has it's own value.
    No doubt he is really good abd there are reasons why. I just don't have that kind of time or ear to do all that.
    Disclaimer: that last statement was not a dig at Edge in any way. I'm not a professional musician but a mechanic and really don't have that kind of time.
     
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  10. didger

    didger Senior Stratmaster

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    Yep, the Retrorockets are a Strat-type guitar, so very similar. He's also played their offset style, Jazzmaster-ish guitar. I don't remember what those are called. But Fender uses the Fernandes sustainer system, so it's the same electronics with the exception of the bridge pickup. You'd have to be really nitpicky to complain about the difference in sound there while using the sustainer.
     
  11. Rockdog55

    Rockdog55 Strat-Talker

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    Or you could use one of these not a Fender though. Banshee Elite.jpg
     
  12. Jericho-79

    Jericho-79 Strat-Talk Member

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    Have you ever tried the Ed O'Brien Strat?

    Just curious.
     
  13. circles

    circles Resident Pinball Enthusiast

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    As an EOB owner, I can say it does what it claims to do. I like how it's integrated into the Strat. Plus they look cool.
     
  14. Bowmap

    Bowmap I nose a thang or two Platinum Supporting Member

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    I had a contest. I want to see if I could hold a note a really long time. My fingers gave out after 15 minutes. My EOB won.
     
  15. Jericho-79

    Jericho-79 Strat-Talk Member

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    So it's a known fact that I could play songs like With Or Without You on an EOB?

    As long as I utilize the right effects, of course.;)
     
  16. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985

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    Of course you can. Why not?
     
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  17. circles

    circles Resident Pinball Enthusiast

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    That's up to your skills I suppose. That's a known fact!
     
  18. Jericho-79

    Jericho-79 Strat-Talk Member

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    Because, as the expert above pointed out, The Edge uses the EOB Strat for Love Is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way, while he uses his own custom shop Fender sustainer strat for With Or Without You.:confused:

    I really don't understand why The Edge can't just stick to the EOB Strat for With Or Without You.
     
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  19. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member

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    I’ve literally been playing electric guitar for over a quarter century and I’m lost in this thread.
     
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  20. didger

    didger Senior Stratmaster

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    The reason he uses different guitars is because he's rich, he's picky about tone, and he can. He COULD just use either guitar with Sustainer for a whole U2 show every night. He could go between one Gibson/humbuckery guitar, one Strat and one Sustainer guitar to get through each night. But he's the Edge so he uses a different guitar that he feels is right for each song. Maybe the different bridge pickup in the EOB (Duncan JB Jr.) vs. his Custom Shop Strat (which I THINK has a rail-type pickup like the stock Fernandes Retrorocket he used for the song for a long time) makes the tone slightly different, so he feels each guitar is the RIGHT one for that one song. He has the luxury to behave that way. But it'd be a tiny difference that I promise no one in the audience for a cover band will complain about.

    And again, he originally recorded the song on a prototype guitar that wasn't reliable, so early on performed it live with an eBow. Then he used a Fernandes Retrorocket for a long time. Then he used a Fernandes offset-style guitar for a while. Then he joined the board of Fender and had a CS Strat made with the Sustainer. It's not like there's just one guitar it can be done on. A Strat-like guitar with the Sustainer system is all you need. There's no need to overthink it beyond that.
     
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