Saturday, 19 April 2014

More 1960s innovation: the WEM Fifth Man Project IV guitar
Here's another all-but-forgotten guitar innovation from the 1960s. From Watkins Electric Music in London, it's the WEM Fifth Man Project IV guitar which could perhaps be thought of as a pre-cursor to the Fernandes Sustainer. Magnets either side of the top (i.e. body end) of the neck are used to create a magnetic field across the strings resulting in a sustaining drone effect. Check out the below video to get a better understanding of what it does.

The guitar pictured at the top of this blog post is currently listed on eBay UK with a Buy It Now price of £749, but please note that it is in need of restoration, of example one of the neck magnets is missing.

G L Wilson

© 2014, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.


  1. Wow, in the immortal words of FZ, that's like an icepick in your forehead.

    Johnny Guitar Watson would beg you to turn down the treble.

  2. I don't think you could get more of a 60's sound than that. The name and logo are great too rather like a 60's spy movie. I wonder if it would be easy to reproduce the circuitry. any schematics out there?

  3. Fascinating piece or vintage tech!
    The sustainer feature was probably too noisy to be practical, but I thought the sound at the beginning was very usable (you could turn off the 'sting' treble boost). Seems to be a lot of compression in the circuit, certainly ahead of its time!

  4. holy CRAP the thing has a STING button....spirits in the material world, indeed....I want a STING button...

  5. Congrats on finding this! I wonder if Vintage Guitar Magazine has covered this oddball.



Related Posts with Thumbnails