Sustainiac Stealth Pro kit install can generate quite a lot of questions. Some of the frequently asked questions pop up time after time. Below are a few asked by customers over the years.
1 Can I fit the Sustainiac Stealth Pro in my guitar without any routing?
Maybe. It really all depends on the type of guitar you have. If you have a big enough control cavity and you have opted for the push/pull install option then it may be possible to install all the components and the 9 volt battery into the cavity. This can lead to a very cramped control cavity will lots of wiring, which can lead to electromagnetic crosstalk and a distorted or uncontrollable sustain effect. We can supply you with all the information regarding control board size etc before you order.
2 I really love my guitar. I have it set up just the way I like it, I have complicated wiring and I love how the pickups sound. Can I still have a Sustainiac fitted?
Use another guitar… If your guitar is set up just the way you like it, why would you want to change anything? Buying another guitar isn’t the worst thing that could happen to you! Something with a fairly big control cavity will also cut down on the amount of routing needed for the install.
3 Could I put the Sustainiac driver in the bridge position instead of the neck?
Although designed for neck pickup replacement, the Sustainiac driver can be mounted in the bridge position. However, this does not include Stratocaster style slanted bridge positions. Humbucker bridge positions will work fine.
4 Do I have to have a 9 Volt battery compartment?
You don’t have to, no. But for ease of use it’s a very good option. Even if there is enough room in the control cavity, you would have to unscrew the cover when the battery needed changing. Not a quick or easy job to do on stage! If you have a Stratocaster for example, the only of the option is to fit the battery into the spring cavity. But this depends on how many springs you use. The separate battery compartment is by far the best solution.
5 My guitar has active pickups. Can I just use the same battery?
It’s not recommended. Any other active electronics in your guitar need to be fed by a separate battery. You will also need to replace the jack socket with a 9-pin jack. This type of jack socket will allow you to switch both batteries on and off independently when the jack plug is installed or removed.
6 If 9 Volt is good, 18 Volts must be better, right?
Wrong. The Sustainer Stealth Pro will only run on 9 Volts. Older systems, like the GA_2 ran on 18 Volts, but the current Stealth Pro system is 9 Volts only.
7 How long does the battery last?
Anything from 15 to 40 hours, depending on how much you use the Sustainiac. The driver acts like an active pickup when the Sustainiac is off, so there is still a slight current draw on the battery.
8 What happens when the battery dies?
When the battery gets below about 7.2 Volts the system routes the bridge pickup through the volume control to the jack. The selector switch will stop working and you will have no sustainer effect. You will only have your bridge pickup working, but this will be enough to at least allow you to get to the end of a song when playing live
9 Can I run power from my pedal board?
You can, but it requires fitting a mini jack socket onto your guitar and having a dedicated instrument cable with a 9 volt power lead attached to it. But totally possible to do.
10 What are Aux Boards?
The Aux boards connect to the main circuit board via a pre-wired harness. This helps to reduce and uncontrollable squealing of distortion due to crosstalk.The Aux boards reduce the amount of soldering needed. The toggle switches are only available in chrome. For more information please visit our Controls Overview section.
11 Can I fit a single coil sized humbucker next to the Sustainiac driver instead of the dummy coil?
Yes you can – if you really want to. Although the Sustainiac driver works really well as a neck pickup. A wiring modification needs to be made during the install to disconnect the Sustainiac driver’s pickup mode, but apart from that it’s fairly straight forward. Placing a neck single coil pickup next to the driver will probably give you some crosstalk issues though.
12 Can I keep my HSH auto-split configuration?
Yes you can. Although it will require the 5 way selector switch to be upgraded to a 5 way, 4 pole Superswitch. This may require extra routing or a repositioning on the main Sustainiac control board in order to fit everything into the control cavity.
13 Is the Sustainiac driver coil splittable when in guitar mode?
Yes it is, sort of. The Sustainiac driver has a dB boost and EQ resonant peak adjustment that is controlled by two wires. These can be connected to either a mini toggle switch or a push/pull pot in nearly the same way as a conventional humbucker. In use, you get a very good humbucker to single coil pickup coil splitting effect – and both modes are hum cancelling!
14 What colours do the drivers come in?
The Sustainiac drivers come in black or white for standard Strat single-coil (not Telecaster or Jaguar single coils) and humbucker. They also come in black for 7-string guitars, also in single coil or humbucker. These are traditional humbucker sizes, not soapbar-style humbuckers.
15 Can I fit a tone control to the Sustainiac Driver?
Yes you can. The tone control will only effect the Sustainiac driver in pickup mode, so will have no adverse effect when the Sustainiac system is in operation.
16 Will the Sustainiac work with a Kill Switch, Treble bleed, Piezo Pickup?
In short, yes. The kill switch sits at the end of your signal, just before your jack socket. So it is well away from the Sustainiac system. The treble bleed spans two lugs of your volume pot, so will not interfere with the Sustainiac operation. Piezo pickups will run separately to your magnetic guitar signal, so it will be fine to run the two systems. The only difference would be the use of a 9 pin jack socket to handle the two signals. These diagrams can be supplied on request.
17 Do I need to change my playing style?
Not really, no. to but it another way, using the Sustainiac is an exercise in string muting! With the Sustainiac on, sympathetic vibrations will occur in the other strings, not just the one you are currently playing. The Sustainiac system will grab these vibrating strings and start to sustain the note in whatever mode you are currently in. This can get uncontrollable fast, so a good string muting technique needs to be used to keep thing under control.
18 Can I fit a Sustainiac into my Baritone guitar?
Yes, you can. The system can process the lower frequencies of a baritone guitar without modification. During setup you may need to adjust either the string height, the pickup height or the gain settings to avoid the string vibrating uncontrollably.
For more information, or to purchase a Sustainiac Stealth Pro, please visit our sister site, PCJ Custom Guitars