The SUSTAINIACâ "Stealth PRO Ô " electromagnetic-type sustainer

Sustainiac® Stealth PRO SUSTAINER CONTROLS


TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR THE STEALTH PRO CONTROLS PAGE
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BRIEF OVERVIEW
STANDARD PUSH-PULL CONTROLS

  • PUSH-PULL ON/OFF CONTROL
  • PUSH-PULL HARMONIC MODE CONTROL
    OPTIONAL TOGGLE SWITCH CONTROLS
  • TOGGLE ON/OFF CONTROL
  • TOGGLE HARMONIC MODE CONTROL
  • WHICH ONE IS BEST? push-pull or toggle?
    OTHER CONTROL SWITCH OPTIONS
    SEPARATE SUSTAINER DRIVE CONTROL when using toggle Harm. Mode switch.
    NECK PICKUP BOOST; New PRO feature
    USING THE SUPERSWITCH FOR SUSTAINER CONTROL; One control handles total sustainer control. This also works for the VLX-91 switch.
    USING ONE SUPERSWITCH FOR SUSTAINER CONTROL AND ALSO FOR PICKUP SELECTION (2-PICKUP GUITAR ONLY); One control does it all; also works for VLX-91 switch

    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.

    BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE SUSTAINIACâ CONTROLS
    The Sustainiac Stealth PRO has two controls: ON/OFF and HARMONIC MODE. You can choose between push-pull pot controls, or toggle controls, or one of each. There are other options.

    STANDARD PUSH-PULL CONTROL DETAILS
    These controls have two sections: A pot, and a switch. Click on the kit picture to view these. Low resolution kit pix (8kb); High resolution kit pix (71kb) Rotate the knob to actuate the pot, pull out to actuate the switch.

      ON/OFF CONTROL
      Pull the knob outward to turn the sustainer ON. Push the knob inward to turn it OFF. The ON/OFF control uses only the switch portion of the control, not the pot portion. Therefore, if you replace a tone or volume control, the pot portion of the control still retains the original instrument tone or volume function. When the sustainer switch is pulled ON, the guitar output signal automatically switches over to the bridge pickup, regardless of which pickup is selected by the instrument pickup selector switch. This is necessary for proper operation of the sustainer. The sustainer must get its input signal from the bridge pickup. And, you cannot normally reverse the positions because certain performance aspects of the sustainer will be affected. However, we can work with you on this for certain guitars, such as Strats.The ON/OFF switch has two sections (poles). One half of the switch connects the yellow wire to ground, which turns on the sustainer. The other half of the switch connects the driver from the neck pickup preamp to the sustainer amplifier output.

      HARMONIC MODE CONTROL
      Rotate the knob to full clockwise position for NORMAL mode (switch pushed IN). The strings vibrate normally, but with infinite sustain. You can bend notes, use the whammy bar, etc., and infinite sustain continues. Rotate the knob counter-clockwise for HARMONIC mode. Plucked notes morph into high harmonic vibration mode. Pluck hard, and the harmonic change takes longer. Tap a note or pick softly, and harmonic change is virtually instantaneous. Rotate the knob toward mid-position and sustainer gain decreases. Zero drive/gain is at mid-rotation position.

      Pull out on the knob, and you go into another harmonic mode, which we named MIX mode back in 1987. This mode gives you a softer harmonic mode on the lower strings, and fundamentals on the higher frets of the upper strings. MIX mode is actually a totally separate harmonic mode. It is not a "mix" of NORMAL and HARMONIC modes. It was named MIX mode because you get mostly harmonics but some fundamentals on the upper strings/frets, mostly all harmonics on the lower strings. MIX mode cannot be accomplished with a pot. It must be accomplished using a switch. In MIX mode, the harmonics are less intense and tend to fade in slower than they do in HARMONIC mode. MIX mode is much more like getting feedback from a big, loud amp. (Much more predictable, of course). There are actually two different MIX modes with this control: A first MIX mode when the pot is rotated clockwise, and a second MIX mode when the pot is rotated counterclockwise. Many low and high notes will have the same harmonic vibration mode in the two MIX modes, but some notes in the middle registers will actually vibrate in two different harmonic modes with the two MIX modes. The end result of this is that on some frets you can actually squeeze 4 different harmonic vibration modes out of a single note.

      If you can do without MIX mode, there is a way to use only the SWITCH portion of the control to accomplish both NORMAL and HARMONIC modes. That way, if you MUST have both volume and tone on a 2-pot guitar, you can still do it, but you won't have a MIX mode.

    OPTIONAL TOGGLE CONTROLS (No extra charge for these if you order them instead)
    Some people prefer toggle switch controls over push-pull pot/switch controls. This is because you can access them faster during a solo. You must be willing to put in one or more toggle switches (which requires that you drill a hole in the front of the guitar body for each toggle switch, or replace a control pot). Just specify this on the order form where indicated. With toggle switch controls, you get no built-in DRIVE control. Sustainer drive is always FULL-ON. You can add a 25K pot for DRIVE control. Keeping this in mind, most people use sustainers FULL-ON after they get used to them. If you want the optional 25K DRIVE POT, just ask for it and we will supply one.

      TOGGLE ON/OFF CONTROL
      The ON/OFF function (and wiring) of the toggle switch is identical to the Push-Pull switch. It has two positions: ON and OFF.
      TOGGLE HARMONIC MODE CONTROL
      The Harmonic mode control uses a 3-position toggle switch. Middle position is MIX mode. The two outside positions are NORMAL and HARMOMIC modes. No gain or drive control is present with the toggle switch control unless you want the optional 25K DRIVE pot.

    WHICH ONE IS BEST, PUSH-PULL OR TOGGLE?
    Lots of people ask this. There are advantages to each. With toggles, switching "on the fly" is generally quicker. However, you can't "ride" the built-in gain control that the push-pull Harmonic Mode control has. On the other hand, many people use sustainers full gain after they get used to them. With toggles, you have to either drill new holes in the guitar body to mount the switches, or you have to take out control pots. Most people who order push-pulls do so because you don't have to drill any new holes in the guitar body. Plus, you have the built-in gain control of the pot. On the other hand, most professionals prefer toggle controls because they are faster. One thing to consider: It is most important to have fast access to the ON/OFF switch during a solo. Toggle is best for this. But once you have a note sustaining, you have some "leisure time" to change the harmonic mode of the note, because at this point you are just holding a long note. So, the push-pull can be good here, especially since it has a built-in sustainer drive control.

    OTHER CONTROL SWITCH OPTIONS
    You can use most any DPDT (double-pole, double-throw, these have six contacts) switch for ON/OFF, as long as the ON/OFF switch is a NON-SHORTING switch (also called "BREAK-BEFORE-MAKE"). You can even use a slide switch if you want, as long as it is NON-SHORTING. In other words, with a SHORTING switch, the middle terminal of a SHORTING switch momentarily connects to BOTH outside contacts AT THE SAME TIME in the middle of the switching actuation. We don't want this because the driver is momentarily connected to BOTH the neck pickup preamp and the sustainer amplifier output at the same time. If the neck pickup is selected, you get loud pops as you turn the sustainer on and off. With a NON-SHORTING switch, the middle contact of each section (pole) DISCONNECTS from both outer contacts momentarily during the switching actuation. This eliminates the pop problem.

    OPTIONAL 25K DRIVE POT, when using toggle switch HARMONIC MODE CONTROL
    This is a new feature with the Stealth PRO You can add a separate 25K ohm DRIVE pot with the Stealth PRO, where full counterclockwise rotation produces zero drive. Sustainer gain is not affected, but with low drive setting, sustainer function is slight and gradual, kind of like mild amp feedback. This functions in all harmonic mode settings. If you want this optional function, simply indicate when you order and we will include the pot. Hook up the YELLOW wire of the 8-pin connector to the middle terminal of the 25K pot, and the indicated outside terminal to ground. If you don't want to add this pot, simply cut off the yellow wire short. Full drive will be in effect without the pot.

    OPTIONAL NECK PICKUP BOOST: The new WHITE/VIOLET wires of the Stealth PRO on the 10-pin connector are used to change the neck pickup output level and also the pickup sound. Connect the white wire to ground, and the pickup volume is raised by 6dB. Connect the violet wire to ground and the sound of the neck pickup is "darkened" to give a humbucker sound. You can use any DPDT (6-contact) switch, either toggle or push-pull, to simultaneously connect both the white and violet wires to ground.

    USING A "SUPERSWITCH" FOR SUSTAINIAC CONTROL (one single control):

    If you are making a custom guitar, you might want to consider using a Superswitch for sustainer control. This one 5-position lever-type switch can be wired to completely control the Sustainiac. The guitar will have two selector switches: One for pickup selection, the other for Sustainiac control. Use a Superswitch that you buy from us. The switch has to be modified slightly to insure non-shorting operation during ON/OFF transitions so that no loud POPS occur.

    Superswitch sustainer control operation:

    1. Sustainer off
    2. NORMAL mode
    3. MIX mode
    4. Harmonic mode
    5. Sustainer off

    The easiest positions to reach from the two OFF position are the #2 and #4 positions (NORMAL and HARMONIC modes). These are the most used positions. You can easily "slam" down to position #5 OFF from the #1 OFF, then one step back to the #4 HARMONIC mode. If you find two OFF positions inconvenient, we can possibly come up with a way to put a STOP screw in the switch to make it a 4-position switch.

    We modify these switches to have "break-before-make" (NON-SHORTING) operation when turning the sustainer ON/OFF. (The switch is normally SHORTING (make-before-break) in operation. We also pre-wire the jumpers to make it operational. Therefore this switch sells for $30. You can select it on the ORDER FORM.

    USING A "SUPERSWITCH" FOR SUSTAINIAC CONTROL AND ALSO FOR PICKUP CONTROL:

    This is for a "minimal control" type of setup on a 2-pickup guitar. You replace your existing 5-way selector with the Superswitch (or VLX-91 switch). There is no position to blend the neck/middle pickups since the switch only has 5 positions.

      Superswitch sustainer control operation:

      1. Sustainer off, neck pickup
      2. Sustainer off, bridge pickup
      3. Sustainer ON, NORMAL mode
      4. Sustainer ON, MIX mode
      5. Sustainer ON, Harmonic mode
    Positions 1 and 2 cannot be interchanged. If Sust. = ON is entered from Neck PU selected, then loud pops will occur.
    Click here for a PDF file of the 1-CONTROL SELECTOR PDF file.

    More details about Sustainiac controls, gain, drive, etc. are available on the INSTALLATION page.
    Click here for a PDF file of the Superswitch, and VLX-91 PDF file showing how the Superswitch and similar VLX-91 switches operate.

    LINKS TO THE MAIN PAGES ON THE SITE
    These same links are provided at the bottom of each page.
    HOME 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
  • 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.
    SUSTAINIACâ SOUND SAMPLES
    PERFORMING/PLAYING with the SUSTAINIACâ
    JACKSON DK-2S, production guitar with Stealth PRO installed
    GA-1-2, Our original 1988 Sustainiacs, in Hamer and ASI guitars, now OBSOLETE

    SECURE ORDER FORM

    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

    email: info@sustainiac.com

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