The SUSTAINIACâ "Stealth PLUS Ô " electromagnetic-type sustainer


You can refer to our OPERATION DIAGRAM for more details (20KB PDF file). Also, at the bottom of this page, we have files on troubleshooting, and other useful hints and tips.

First, here is what happens when the sustainer is OFF: The pickup selector will function normally when the sustainer is OFF. The Sustainiac driver functions as an active neck pickup. There is a gain trimpot on the Stealth PLUS circuit board. With this, you can adjust the neck pickup volume to match your other pickups.

When you turn the sustainer ON, the pickup selector will no longer function. Your bridge pickup will be selected all the time until you turn the sustainer back OFF.

The driver, when functioning as a neck pickup, is hum-cancelling. The pickup sound is equalized on the Stealth PLUS circuit board to have either a sound that is similar to a Strat neck pickup (but hum-cancelling), or a '59 type humbucker sound. When you order a SC-size driver, we send a board with SC equalization. If you order a HB-size driver, we send a board with HB equalization. People often ask if they can get both. The answer is: Yes, but only if you order the SC equalization. To convert the equalization to HB eq., you just connect a 100 ohm resistor from the neck pickup preamp input wire (orange wire, 8-pin connector) to ground. You can do this with a toggle or push-pull switch. The HB eq. version has this resistor already on the circuit board, so you can't "undo" it with a switch. If you want both, order the pickup to have SC equalization.

The Sustainiac Stealth PLUS sustainer takes your bridge pickup signal, amplifies it, and processes it. Your raw bridge pickup signal still proceeds on to your guitar amp without any change. (The signal that is sent to the Sustainiac never goes to your amplifier.) The Sustainiac-processed and amplified signal than goes to the Sustainiac driver. The Stealth PLUS driver replaces your neck pickup (in most cases). The driver responds to the amplified, processed bridge pickup signal by producing magnetic pulses that are in sync with the string vibrations. These magnetic pulses cause the strings to vibrate indefinitely, until you stop them by left/right hand muting. In some cases you can reverse the driver/bridge pickup positions, putting the driver into the bridge pickup slot, and receive its input signal from the neck pickup. But, contact us first on this one for special instructions.

The driver works best in the neck pickup slot. The bridge pickup signal is the best input signal for the sustainer. There are good reasons for this:

We often get comments that people want to put the driver in the middle pickup slot of a 3-pickup guitar, because they like both the neck and middle pickup sounds. Doing this severely compromises the sustainer performance. You have to turn the gain down so much (to stop the uncontrolled oscillation) that you might as well not have a sustainer in the guitar.


You can refer to our WIRE FUNCTION DIAGRAM for a description of all the Stealth PLUS wire functions. (20KB PDF file). This description can be a big help when troubleshooting an installation.


Detailed troubleshooting instructions for Stealth Plus


Magnetic Tab Adjustment (Notes about how to install the magnetic tab that is included with some Stealth PLUS kits, on guitars with slanted bridge pickups)

Stealth PLUS using toggle switches for controls