How come everybody puts the sustainiac pickup in the neck position and not the bridge?
you could if you wanted to. It's preference like everything else on a guitar. For example Eddie Van Halens hotter pickup is in the neck if memory serves me right. Same with the EMG 85 being hotter than the 81 (google it)

for leads and so forth having a say regular pickup in the bridge position you get certain tones you don't if your humbucker was switched to the neck. There are guys who use two bridge pickups in their guitars but if you were to switch the positions pf each pickup like take them out, de-solder and re-solder them they react differently through the amp to experienced ears. It's a technical answer I can't put into words as it's like 4am when I'm typing this.

I think they do it in the neck as well for comfort. I mean you could flip/rotate a selector and make the necks selector position be the bridge and vice versa so if the sustainic is the bridge position it wouldn't make a difference playing on say a stage. I'd try it out but like any other pickup if you get some cool sounds and like it enough to record and show your friends or strangers on soundcloud or whatever you've done your job.

it would be interesting to see if there's a big difference in the bridge with the right harmonics and all though in the bridge to check it out. Someone who can record professionally and doesn't fear a soldering iron should totally youtube it.
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Jan 14, 2015,
Quote by Tallwood13
you could if you wanted to. It's preference like everything else on a guitar. It's a technical answer I can't put into words as it's like 4am when I'm typing this.

I think they do it in the neck as well for comfort.

Uh. No.

You could swap the sustainer driver to the bridge, but

1) it might not work very well. Understand how a sustainiac (or Fernandes sustainer) works. The output of the bridge pickup is fed to what amounts to an amplifier that turns the sustainiac driver into an electromagnet that's reversing its magnetic field at the same frequency as what it's getting from the bridge pickup. It's easier (requires less energy) to vibrate the strings out at the neck position than it is at the bridge (for the same basic reasons that two of the same pickup will give you a louder-sounding neck pickup than the bridge). In theory you could crank up the amplification of a bridge mounted sustainer driver (and by "amplification" I'm referring to the circuit board that the Sustainer/Sustainiac installs in the guitar) to give you more energy. Practically speaking, however, this usually gives you a squealing mess.

2) Most folks want to use the bridge pickup sounds as their lead sound, so that's the pickup you feed to the sustainer circuit board.

While most sustainer installations use the sustainer driver as a neck pickup when the sustainer isn't actually on, you CAN have a different neck pickup tucked in next to the sustainer driver. On my guitars, the single-coil-size sustainer driver shares a pickup ring with a DiMarzio Fast Track II, which is a very hot single-coil-size humbucker (about 18K) originally designed as a superstrat bridge pickup. It's significantly louder than my bridge pickup (a 9.2k slightly hot-rodded '57), but that's neither here nor there in terms of the sustainer installation. It is, however, a fairly tricky installation process and you can easily end up with the aforementioned squealing mess for different reasons.

Note (below) that I have the sustainer control miniswitches installed behind the Floyd, out of the way and unlikely to be activated accidentally. I've also got a Sustainer Intensity knob installed (in this photo, the gold speed knob at the upper right), which allows me to regulate the reaction of the sustainer.

For those who get all borky about drilling holes in their precious guitars, note too that the standard quad of controls has been modified, with a master volume nearest the bridge/bridge pickup where it can be grabbed for pinky swells. There's only one "tone" (treble rolloff) pot, and the fourth knob (top left) is actually a Chandler Tone-X active sweepable mids boost on a push-pull. The black button toward the back of the guitar in line with the volume and tone is a Buckethead-style killswitch.
Last edited by dspellman at Jan 14, 2015,
Here's some information from Sustainiac (Google Is Your Friend) that answers the question and notes that the Sustainiac boys have, indeed, done some bridge/neck swaps successfully. I would point out that there are probably at least as many 24-fret neck Fernandes Sustainer installations as there are 21-22 fret installations, despite the last sentence, and that the 24-fret neck installations work just fine with no differences.

Q. Why does the driver have to go next to the neck? My neck pickup on my (blank) guitar is my favorite pickup!

"A. There are a couple of good reasons for this. First of all, the driver works best in the neck position. Second, it is the location on the body that is furthest away from the bridge pickup. Here is why this is important: The magnetic type (STEALTH PRO) sustainer has to have an input signal from one of the instrument pickups. The pickup must be as far from the driver as possible. The situation is much like we have with PA systems: If you put the microphone (pickup) too close to the loudspeaker (driver), you get an uncontrolled, obnoxious squeal. The same thing happens with a magnetic sustainer.

Now, that being said, we have done some successful installations (mostly Strats) where the Sustainiac driver replaces the BRIDGE pickup, and receives its input signal from the NECK pickup.

Often, people ask why the middle pickup position can't be used for the driver instead of the neck pickup position, because the neck pickup is the favorite of many players. The main reason that the middle pickup position can't be used is because of Harmonic Mode. The strings are driven "out of phase" with the pickup signal for harmonic mode. Placing the driver in the middle pickup position forces harmonic string vibrations that are very high in frequency, and are "out of range" of the pickup signal because of high frequency phase shift. You need the greatest possible space between driver and pickup to produce good harmonics. For this reason, 21-22 fret guitars produce a better harmonic mode than do 24 fret guitars."
Last edited by dspellman at Jan 14, 2015,