The SUSTAINIACâ "Stealth PRO Ô " electromagnetic-type sustainer
INSTALLATION INTO GUITARS WITH PICKGUARDS
A list of ELECTRICAL CONNECTION DIAGRAMS for various pickguard guitars is located down near the bottom of this page.
These guitars include mainly Fender Stratocasters® (and copies), and Ibanez® Jems. Ibanez also makes some RG models that are similar to the Jem. The Parker® Nitefly is also in this category.
TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR THE STEALTH PRO INSTALLATION PAGE
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ABOUT PICKGUARDS AND THE STEALTH PRO
FENDER STANDARD STRATOCASTER
Toggles vs. Push-pull controls in Strat and Ibanez Jem
LIST OF PDF INSTALLATION DRAWINGS FOR STRATOCASTER AND JEM/RG GUITARS
ABOUT PICKGUARDS AND THE STEALTH PRO The pickguard is both a blessing and a curse for doing installations. The good part is that it makes it easy to wire. The hard part is that multiple trips in and out of the guitar are usually necessary to get things tweaked up. If you make a mistake and things don't work, it can be very frustrating indeed. Plus, each assembly/disassembly cycle adds stress to the guitar and strings. This is why we charge more to install the Stealth PRO into a pickguard guitar.
However, if you have the Ibanez Jem "MIRROR" guitar, it works fine. The reason for this puzzling contradiction (we think) is that the all-mirror finish has SO MUCH conductive metal that the stray magnetic energy gets effectively dissipated before it reaches the area near the bridge pickup.
FENDER STANDARD STRATOCASTER®
The Stealth PRO was designed so that it would fit into the Strat electronics cavity, with no routing required. This was a prime requirement. The circuit board fits in between the pot controls and the selector switch. The Strat volume control is not altered. The middle tone control is replaced by the Stealth PRO Harmonic Mode control. The bottom tone control is replaced by the Stealth PRO ON/OFF control. The tone control function remains, but it becomes a MASTER tone control. The pickguard wiring goes pretty quickly, 1 to 3 hours depending on skill and experience. We usually take off the neck (after capo-ing the first fret to keep the strings from flying away) to access the pickguard. Much faster than re-stringing.
SEMI-INSTALL OPTION FOR MOST GUITAR TYPES: $75.00-85.00 We do 90% of the work. We supply a completely wired and TESTED set of electronics for your guitar, including Sustainiac circuit board and controls, pickup selector, volume and tone controls. You simply remove all of your existing guitar cavity parts as a "glob", after disconnecting your output jack and pickups. You can then save this "glob" of parts to restore your guitar to its original condition if desired.
Special option for Ibanez JEM
ROLAND-READY STRATS : We occasionally get one of these in the shop. The Sustainiac fits OK. The hard part is the wires for the Roland system. They use the cheapest, most fragile wires we have ever seen inside an electric guitar. These wires aren't stranded, but are solid, and are very thin. So, after they are bent a few times (which will always happen during a Strat installation) they start breaking. We usually download a wiring diagram from Fender's website (or you can make a drawing showing the wire locations), and then we disconnect all of the Roland wires. This allows you to do the installation onto the pickguard with the freedom to move it around as needed. Then, we put everything back together.
OTHER STRAT VERSIONS : The Stratocaster line has been expanded to include many variations on the basic guitar. There are versions with HSS and HSH pickup configurations, "Roland-Ready" versions with the GK-2S hexaphonic synth pickup, versions with their "S-1" push-push switch for coil-tapping etc. We have done useful and successful installations on numerous Strats with these options. The models having bridge humbuckers and bridge/neck humbuckers have built-in coil-tapping functions. Some have the 4-section Superswitch, with 24 contacts (the same switch that we sell for $18). On Strats with this switch, the Stealth PRO circuit board will not fit into the cavity unless the Superswitch is turned around. But then, the switch contacts face the outside of the cavity, and routing will be necessary to make it fit. The only way we can retain the bridge humbucker coil-tap function is to use this Superswitch. An easier installation option is to replace the Superswitch with a CRL selector. Then, you can replace the Strat volume control with a push-pull switch for coil-tapping. If a HSS Strat has their normal 2-section "CRL" switch, the coil-tap function will go away unless you put a Superswitch in there or a push-pull tap switch.
TELECASTER AND COPIES : The Telecaster has a big problem (other than the extreme slant on the bridge single-coil pickup): The control cavity is tiny. It is just big enough to hold the volume and tone controls and the pickup selector. You have to route to install the Sustainiac circuit board and controls. You have two choices: (1) Extend the cavity underneath the pickguard, placing the Sustainiac circuit board so that the 8-pin connector is adjacent to the main cavity. See a typical photo: "Tele installation option #1". This installation option keeps the route hidden, but the hookup is pretty intimidating. You can replace the Tele tone control with a push-pull pot for Sustainiac ON/OFF, and then there is room for our 3-position toggle for Harmonic Mode. (2) A second option makes the cavity enlargement route from the back of the guitar, making the control cavity wider instead of longer. There is room for our Aux-TT board option and also the main Sustainiac board. "Tele installation option #2". "Tele installation option #2 routing detail" You have to make a cover for the new cutout on the back but this is a pretty minor task.
IBANEZ JEM The Jem installation is similar to the Strat. We often fit the Stealth PRO board into the Jem electronics cavity like we do a Strat. This does require a couple of "mini-routes" inside the Jem cavity to make room for the connectors of the circuit board. These are really cavity "bump-out" routes only take a few minutes and are covered up by the pickguard. Newer Jems use the VLX 91 switch (see next section). This switch is larger than standard 5-position lever switches. Because of its size, there isn't room inside of the Jem electronics cavity to fit the Sustainiac board, unless you replace the VLX91 with a CRL or similar 5-position switch. In this case, we route a new cavity underneath the pickguard. This new cavity adjoins the existing cavity, and extends alongside the bridge, middle, and neck pickups. Here is a PDF link that shows what we do. Ibanez JEM INSTALL options Some earlier Jem guitars use an earlier version of the VLX91 switch that is the same size as the CRL switch, and therefore you don't need to route the new cavity. But these older VLX91 switches seem to have been discontinued.
Older Jems do not use this VLX-91 switch. They use an 8-contact, 2-section switch. This switch also has the coil-tappingfunction in positions 2 and 4. But, when you install the Sustainiac you have to delete the coil-tapping function unless you replace the 2-section switch with a 4-section switch like the VLX-91 or the Superswitch. We sell the "Superswitch" for $18. Click here for a PDF drawing of this "Superswitch". This drawing also has the VLX-91 switch on it for comparison.
JEM "MIRROR" GUITAR : As we explain near the top of this page, this guitar works great with the Stealth PRO. And, you don't have to remove the aluminum coating from the pickguard. There is so much conductive metal on the guitar that the magnetically-induced currents are so spread out that by the time they reach the bridge pickup, they are effectively dissipated.
TOGGLES VS. PUSH-PULL IN STRAT AND JEM
The best way to install the Sustainiac Stealth PRO into these guitars is to use our push-pull pot/switch controls. On Strats, this yields an installation that retains the original appearance. On 2-pot Ibanez guitars, you will lose the tone control unless you are willing to drill for a third control (Sustainiac Harmonic Mode control) in between the two original controls. Adding the third control in the middle is the way we now do most of our Ibanez Jem installations.
You can use the optional toggle controls. Two toggles will fit nicely on the Ibanez guitars in between the two knobs. But, in a Strat, you will have trouble getting them squeezed in there in a way that makes them easy to access, without removing the middle control. We have put one toggle between the top and middle knobs, and the other toggle between middle and bottom knob.
FURTHER INSTALLATION NOTES, BATTERY-MOUNTING, ETC: Go the INSTALLATION SECTION for more general info on installing the Sustainiac Stealth PRO sustainer.
Stealth PRO installed in a Strat type guitar
Strat pickguard wiring
LIST OF PDF INSTALLATION DRAWINGS FOR STRATOCASTER AND JEM/RG GUITARS This list is for the most popular installation plans for these guitar types. We have other drawings not contained on this list. If you don't see what you want, send us an email. We have a large library of installation drawings. Once in a while, someone comes up with a request that we don't have. Then, we create a new drawing.
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.
Standard Stratocaster installation. Strat with push-pull controls for Sustainiac.
Stratocaster installation with toggle controls for Sustainiac. The Sustainiac circuit board lies flat inside the control cavity. This arrangement allows the toggles to be placed in optimum positions for easy access.
3-pickup generic with Inline switch (CRL also shown), push-pull controls This is a basic "SHREDDER" guitar configuration
3-pickup generic with Inline switch (CRL also shown), toggle controls This is a basic "SHREDDER" guitar configuration but with toggle controls for the Sustainiac.
Ibanez Jem, RG etc. with Inline switch, toggle controls This is a basic Ibanez Jem setup with toggle controls for the Sustainiac.
Ibanez Jem, RG etc. with Inline switch, push-pull controls This is a basic Ibanez Jem setup with push-pull controls for the Sustainiac.You will lose your tone control for this one unless you drill for another control in between the two existing controls. (Yes, there is room.)
Ibanez Jem with VLX-91 pickup selector, push-pull controls; drawing shows an added 3-knob, which can be ignored if desired (you will lose the guitar tone control). It also shows the VLX-91 selector switch. This configuration coil-taps the bridge pickup in position #2, to blend with the middle pickup for "quack" sound.
Ibanez Jem, with VLX-91 pickup selector, toggle controls; shows adding two toggle controls between volume and tone controls, also shows the VLX-91 selector switch to oil-tap the bridge pickup in position #2, to blend with the middle pickup for "quack" sound.
Ibanez JEM INSTALL options This drawing shows an auxilliary cavity for those installations where the Sustainiac board won't fit into the existing electronics cavity.
Sustainiac is a registered trademark of Maniac Music, Inc.
3937 Cranbrook Drive, Indianapolis Indiana, USA; phone: 317-340-1161 PHONE: 317-340-1161