The SUSTAINIACâ "Stealth PRO Ô " electromagnetic-type sustainer
INSTALLATION into the Parker FLY®
Installation of the Sustainiac Stealth PRO into the Parker Fly® is not a trivial task. We charge $175 to install into the original Fly. The "original" Parker Fly, made and sold by Ken Parker, uses a special "high-tech" flexible circuit board with flexible extension "arms". These "extension arms" connect to the various control pots and switches. This "uni-board" construction contains all piezo electronics, in addition to magnetic/piezo switching and potentiometer controls. This made the Fly production less labor-intensive. But, it also made "hot-rodding" and other modifiction very difficult. We have done numerous Flys with success. But it involves routing out the back cavity, and modification of the flexible circuit board. The pickup selector is a unique design, and Sustainiac wires must be "tack-soldered" to the appropriate points. It is all quite complicated and tedious. We do not recommend that you try it unless you are quite skilled with electronics and woodwork. The Sustainiac battery goes into the tremolo spring cavity. The good news is that the electronics cavity cover is large, and completely covers up all the routing.
The driver installation is another hassle. The Parker humbucker pickups are special DiMarzio pickups with no standard height adjustment screws. Each pickup is"hard-mounted" into its cavity by using two special long polepieces that screw into "bosses" that are installed into the bottoms of the cavities. The neck pickup cavity bosses must be pulled out, using screws. Then, the neck pickup cavity must be carefully routed deeper to accept the Sustainiac driver. Great care must be taken not to "punch through" the bottom of the guitar, since the body is so thin. The Sustainiac driver must be modified by removing the mounting "ears", then drilled and threaded to accept new screws which are installed from the back of the guitar.
For these reasons, we recommend that you have Maniac Music do your Fly installation.
The new Fly is made by U.S. Music Corp., who bought Parker out. U.S. Music has gotten rid of the flexible circuit board, in favor of conventional point-to-point wiring. The piezo board is now a more standard, small board that doesn't have all of the guitar electronics attached to it. This is good news for installers. But, the piezo battery holder has been moved from the side of the guitar to the electronics cavity, taking up all of the new space that was created by eliminating the large piezo board. The battery case is installed into the cavity cover. It must be removed, which makes a big rectangular hole in the cover. The installation is still quite difficult (same driver mounting problem) and requires putting both batteries inside the electronics cavity. The Fly in most aspects is somewhat of an "engineering marvel". It is the electronics cavity that makes everything so difficult. We charge $150 for installation into the new "point-to-point" Fly.
This Fly PDF file shows basically what must be done in order to fit the Stealth PRO circuit board inside the Fly electronics cavity. This PDF file is for the ORIGINAL Fly, not the new "Point-to-point" Fly. For the "Point-to-point", the circuit board placement is similar. But, it has a more conventional Gibson-style pickup switch, and otherwise the electronic hookup is much like any other installation.
NITEFLY: Basically, the Nitefly is done much like any other guitar with a pickguard. Some routing is required to make room for the Sustainiac circuit board. Other than that, just use common sense to keep the Sustainiac board away from the guitar signal wires/controls. Also, the white/orange wires of the Sustainiac 10-pin connector must be kept away from the circuit board, as is necessary for all installations.