The SUSTAINIACâ "Stealth PRO Ô " electromagnetic-type sustainer


A list of ELECTRICAL CONNECTION DIAGRAMS for various 2-pickup guitars is contained near the bottom of this page. Scroll down to the bottom of the page, or click on this link to jump down: ELECTRICAL CONNECTION DIAGRAMS You can click on that which best matches your guitar. First, we will discuss an overview of the most common 2-pickup guitars to help you select the best drawing for your particular guitar type. Links to the particular PDF drawings will be included with each discussion.

Scroll down the page, or use the topic headings to jump down to the various topics. Then, use your browser "BACK" button to return to the TABLE OF CONTENTS.

Gibson-Style Guitars
Chrome Pickup Covers
Tele-Style Guitars
Peavey Wolfgang®
Parker Fly Guitars
Mini Humbucker Used As a Neck Pickup
Coil-tapping and Other Sounds With Humbuckers

  • "Quack Tones"
  • Parallel Humbucker Connection
  • 2-Pickup Guitars With 5-way Selectors

    List of HOOKUP DIAGRAMS for 2-pickup guitars

    OTHER SUSTAINIAC WEBSITE PAGE LINKS The overall site map is at the very bottom of each page, including our email address, phone number, shipping address etc.

    Most 2-pickup guitars have a 3-position pickup selector. This is the standard "Gibson" style toggle switch, where position 1 selects the neck ("front") pickup, position 2 (middle position) selects both pickups, and position 3 selects the bridge ("rear") pickup.

    Many Gibson Les Paul 2HB guitars have four knobs on the instrument: One volume and one tone for each pickup. The pots have long shafts. When you order for a Gibson Les Paul, make sure we know this, so we can supply the long-shaft push-pull controls. When you install the Sustainiac with push-pull controls, you replace two of the guitar controls with Sustainiac controls. The Gibson Les Paul guitars have rather small electronics cavities. We have been able to fit the Stealth PRO circuit board into them without routing, but it is a tight fit. Normally, with a 4-pot guitar we replace the two controls that are closest to the strings for convenience. These are the front (neck) pickup volume and tone. The ON/OFF control replaces the neck pickup volume control. Since the ON/OFF control uses only the switch portion of the control, this control retains its original volume control function. The Harmonic Mode control replaces the neck pickup tone control. The Harmonic Mode control uses both the pot and the switch portion of the control. Therefore, you will lose the neck pickup tone control. What we usually do is to convert the bridge pickup tone control to a master tone control. The drawing below is set up that way.

    You can add two toggle controls (of course, you have to drill two holes), and you will keep the original 4 pots as they are. See the appropriate drawings near the bottom of this page.

    Other 2HB guitars have only two control knobs, master volume and master tone. If you replace both of these with our push-pull controls, you will lose the original control function of one of the knobs. You will end up with a guitar having either no tone control or no volume control. Many people play with the tone control in full treble position all the time. Removing the tone control simply places the guitar in full treble position. This is what most people elect to do.

    Many people who own 2HB guitars with chrome pickup covers want to put a chrome cover over the Sustainiac driver. This seriously compromises the performance of the sustainer. The pulsating magnetic field that the driver radiates actually induces pulsating electrical currents to flow in the cover. These currents then radiate their own pulsating magnetic fields. The result is that the magnetic balance of the driver is compromised. The end result is that when you turn the sustainer gain up for good, robust performance, uncontrolled squealing (oscillation) occurs. The gain has to be turned down so low to stop the oscillation that the sustainer no longer performs as it should.

    We have found that the bridge pickup can usually keep its chrome cover without substantially affecting the sustainer performance.

    Another 3-position switch is the "lever" type switch, such as that used by the Telecaster. Switch positions are the same as the 3-position toggle. Hookup diagrams are included for both switch styles. These guitars usually have two knob controls, volume and tone. As for the previous example, you will lose either the volume or the tone control function when you replace both of these with our push-pull controls, because the Sustainiac Harmonic Mode control uses both the pot and the switch portion of the control..

    PERFORMANCE ISSUE WITH TELE-STYLE GUITARS: A standard Telecaster guitar has a single-coil bridge pickup. This pickup is mounted with a rather extreme slant. Kind of like a Stratocaster bridge pickup, only more of a slant. As we describe in our installation manual, a slanted bridge pickup compromises the magnetic balance that our bilateral driver design produces. If you use the magnetic tab that we supply with our kits, some slant on the bridge pickup can be compensated for. But with the Tele, for Strat/Tele, this rather extreme slant prevents complete magnetic balance from being restored. The end result is that with Teles, Harmonic Mode will not be as good as it should be. Therefore, we only recommend that Tele's with a humbucker for a bridge pickup be used with the Sustainiac Stealth PRO.

    We have done a number of these, even after Peavey quit making them. The electrical part of the installation is easy. Just like a 2-pot humbucker, except that these guitars don't have a tone control so you have to add a second hole to the electronics cavity. The hard part is mounting the driver. EVH had the pickups "hard-mounted" to the bottom of the pickup cavities (to prevent unwanted feedback howl when playing with high gain). The pickups are not mounted with springs with height adjustment as with standard humbuckers. So, this has to be overcome when mounting the Sustainiac driver. The driver height-adjustment ears must be re-shaped, and holes drilled in the baseplate to hard-mount to the cavity. Then, the cavity must be routed deeper. Routing must proceed slowly, in small increments, testing the driver height each time until the proper cavity depth is achieved. We charge $150 to do a Wolfgang installation.

    There is a separate page for the Fly, due to its complexity. PARKER FLY INSTALLATION PAGE So far, the Fly ranks number one in installation difficulty and complexity. The Nitefly is pretty much like doing a Strat, though. Go to the Guitars with pickguards page for the Nitefly.

    You can remove the "dummy" cover from the driver. Then, you can mount a mini humbucker to the baseplate to use as the neck pickup when the sustainer is OFF. This is rather difficult to do, as you also have to remove the mounting "ears" from the mini HB which renders them useless for use on other guitars. Furthermore, mini humbuckers don't sound as good as the full-size humbuckers they are designed to emulate. Also, they don't sound as good as the Stealth PRO driver. Plus, the driver can be switched between single-coil and humbucker sounds by the addition of a push-pull or toggle switch (by using the white/violet wires of the 10-pin connector). But, some people insist on this. Optionally, you can use a SC-size Sustainiac driver and mini-hb together with separate mounting screws. NOTE: Do not use a single-coil pickup next to the driver! Three of the strings will have low output due the the interaction of the magnetic fields produced by both driver and pickup.

    ABOUT COIL-TAPPING: Humbuckers have two coils that are arranged in series in a way that each coil produces an equal-but-opposite response to external magnetic "hum" fields (they "cancel"), and equal but same response to string vibrations. It is what makes them have "hum-cancelling" properties. It also makes them have a sound that is less bright than a single-coil pickup. Many people like to disable one of these two coils by using a switch to short to ground at the point where they are connected together. This gives a pickup that is no longer a humbucker, but a single-coil pickup. The Sustainiac will function with a bridge humbucker having a coil-tap switch. BUT REMEMBER: When we ship a circuit board, we ask the customer to specify whether the guitar has a humbucker or a single-coil pickup. We make circuit boards with two different internal equalizations, depending on which pickup type the guitar has. A guitar with a bridge HB, if used with a Stealth PRO having SC equalization, will have a hot NORMAL mode, but a weak HARMONIC mode. If you have a guitar with SC bridge pickup but a Stealth PRO with HB equalization, you will have a weak NORMAL mode, and a HARMONIC mode that will likely squeal (oscillate) because it has too much gain for the SC bridge pickup. Granted, there is now a separate trimpot for HARMONIC mode on all the Rev. 5.4 and above boards, which will partially compensate. But if you use a COIL-TAP SWITCH, one of the pickup positions will be compromised. This usually doesn't cause any big problem, but we like for people to know what to expect.

  • Here is a PDF file that shows you how to use a DPDT switch for the coil tap (toggle or push-pull) that has two built-in Harmonic Mode gain settings, one for humbucker bridge pickup, and one for the coil-tap setting. "COIL TAP" DRAWING

      If you coil-tap one coil each of a pair of humbuckers, you can get a nice "quack" sound like you get on an "in-between" selector position on a Stratocaster® when you blend the rear/middle pickups or the front/middle pair. You can coil-tap two humbucker pickups using one pole of a DPDT (double-pole/double-throw) switch, toggle or push-pull. If you tap two coils with opposite magnetic polarity (but equal electrical polarity), you can end up with the combination being hum-cancelling. Tapping one coil as opposed to the other coil of the pair will produce a slightly different tone due to its location on the string.

      When you make a "quack-tone" connection, you are connecting one coil of each of two humbuckers in PARALLEL. This is different from a SERIES connection. The two coil (+) wires are connected together, as are the two (-) coils. There is another PARALLEL connection: Connect both coils of the SAME humbucker together so that the two (+) and the two (-) coils are connected together. This combination makes kind of a cross between the "quack" tone and the single-coil tone. What's more, it is a hum-cancelling combination.

    Some guitars have switching that "automatically" coil-taps one or more humbucker pickups. One pickup selection scheme for 2-humbucker guitars is the 5-position lever switch. Positions 1 and 5 select neck and bridge pickups respectively. Then, the 3 middle positions provide various combinations while "coil-tapping" both the pickups or using other. These guitars use "coil-tapping" as a way to increase the tonal variety of a guitar. Some Stratocasters, Ibanez guitars, and other brands use 5-position selector switches that coil-tap certain pickups in one or more selector positions. PRS® does series/parallel switching of coils. Some PRS guitars use a 5-position rotary switch to achieve their series/parallel hookup arrangement. When you hook up the Sustainiac, you cannot connect the Sustainiac driver in series with another pickup. For these guitars, we recommend that you use a 5-position, 4-section rotary switch. Then, hook the guitar up in one of the series/parallel arrangements shown in the drawing list below.

    You can hook up a 5-position "Superswitch" (has 4 separate identical sections, each with 6 contacts, 24 contacts total) to do automatic coil-tapping, and also series/parallel hookup of a humbucker pickup. We have hookup diagrams (shown below) that allow you to include coil tapping and also series/parallel hookup.

    NOTE: The Sustainiac driver is NOT "tappable" since its two magnetic poles are side-by-side. To compensate for this, we have made it so that equalization (on the circuit board) allows you to select between a single-coil sound and a humbucker sound. Both of these are HUM-CANCELLING. So, when you blend the driver with a SERIES or PARALLEL connected bridge pickup, all sounds are hum-cancelling.

    LIST OF PDF INSTALLATION DRAWINGS FOR 2-PICKUP GUITARS This list is for the most common guitar models. We have other drawings not contained on this list. If you don't see what you need, send us an email. We have a large library of installation drawings. Once in a while, a customer comes up with something we don't have. Then, we create a new drawing. We often modify our existing drawings to fulfill our customers special requests.

    PDF file of Stealth PRO Installation Manual One paper copy of this manual is included with each kit (a paper printout). The Installation Manual does not include any hookup diagram. Separate PDF drawings can be viewed below for each guitar type. Each kit comes with the proper hookup diagram. If you do not see the appropriate drawing, let us know by email and we will send the drawing you need.

    2-HB guitar, LES PAUL 4-pot guitar, PUSH-PULL controls, (You end up with two volume controls, master tone control, two controls replaced by PUSH-PULL Sustainiac controls); One tone control "goes away", because it is replaced by Sustainiac Harmonic Mode control which uses both the pot and switch sections of the control.

    2-HB, LES PAUL 4-pot guitar, TOGGLE controls Add two toggle switches (2 new holes necessary), and keep all 4 original controls.

    2-pickup guitar, 2-pot guitar, PUSH-PULL controls for Sustainiac, (one volume control, one tone control, both controls replaced by PUSH-PULL Sustainiac controls); Tone control "goes away", because it is replaced by Sustainiac Harmonic Mode control which uses both the pot and switch sections of the control.

    2-pickup guitar, 2-pot guitar, Toggle controls for Sustainiac, (one volume control, one tone control). You must drill holes to mount the toggles. Or, take away both volume and tone controls, replacing them with the toggles.

    2-PU guitar, PUSH-PULL control for Sustainiac ON/OFF, TOGGLE control for Harmonic Mode, Guitar retains volume control and tone control. You must drill a hole to mount the toggle, or take away one of the controls to mount the toggle.

    Tele-style pickup selector, push-pull controls for Sustainiac Drawing shows both the CRL selector switch, and also the "in-line" type selector. You lose the tone control, or drill a new hole to mount the Harmonic Mode control.

    Tele-style pickup selector, toggle controls for Sustainiac Drawing shows the CRL selector switch. Requires that you drill two new holes for the toggle switches.

    2-humbucker guitar, Superswitch as the control for pickups. All positions are HUM-CANCELLING. Drawing shows a Superswitch to select neck pickup, neck plus bridge series (normal) humbucker, neck plus bridge parallel hookup, bridge pickup parallel, bridge pickup series (normal). This is our preferred choice for a two-pickup guitar. Push-pull controls for Sustainiac.

    2-humbucker guitar, Superswitch as the control for pickups. All positions are HUM-CANCELLING. Same as above, except for toggle controls for Sustainiac.

    2-humbucker guitar, Superswitch as the only control for pickups and also Sustainiac Drawing shows a Superswitch to select neck pickup, bridge pickup, Sustainiac Normal, Harmonic, Mix modes.

    2-humbucker guitar, push-pull controls for Sustainiac Drawing shows a VLX-91 switch (electrically identical to the Superswitch ) to coil-tap the bridge pickup and blend it with the neck pickup.

    2-humbucker guitar, push-pull controls for Sustainiac Drawing shows a VLX-91switch (electrically identical to the Superswitch ) to give series and parallel bridge pickup hookups.

    These same links are provided at the bottom of each page.

    SUSTAINIACâ STEALTH PRO Electromagnetic sustain system

  • STEALTH PRO INSTALLATION PAGE Contains drawings and detailed installation info that you need to know to install the PRO into your guitar
  • NEW SEMI-INSTALLATION PAGE We do 90% of the work. You receive a kit that is 90% installed, tested, and ready to "drop in" to your guitar
  • SUSTAINIAC CONTROLS Describes the different control options
  • Organize your order for the STEALTH PRO Helps you to organize the things you need to know before you order

    SUSTAINIACâ MODEL C electroacoustic sustainer No installation required

  • Organize your order for the MODEL C Helps you to organize the things you need to know before you order

    ABOUT FEEDBACK SUSTAIN what it is, why it is good
    FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions, WHO USES SUSTAINIAC, etc.
    JACKSON DK-2S, production guitar with Stealth PRO installed
    GA-1-2, Our original 1988 Sustainiacs, in Hamer and ASI guitars, now OBSOLETE


    SUSTAINIACâ STEALTH PLUS ELECTROMAGNETIC SUSTAINER INSTALLATION INFO Obsolete model. This page contains printable installation drawings, installation manual, etc. for people who have this model, and who might want to transfer it to another guitar, have bought it used, etc.

  • Sustainiacâ products are MADE IN THE USA


    Sustainiacâ is a registered trademark of Maniac Music, Inc.
    3937 Cranbrook Drive, Indianapolis Indiana, 46240 USA; PHONE: 317-340-1161