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Why did Vai Change Pickups

1734 Views 14 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Epicus Furor
Why does Vai use the Sustainer on a lot of his Jems now? What do they sound like, I've never played one. I must say I'm in love with my Evo neck pup in my Jem. In fact if I get an RG I'm thinking a Breed in the bridge and a Evo in the neck. It's not bassy ao muddy and I love it's full body glassy tone.
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The sustainer has a particular function that makes it sustain notes, thats why vai uses it this is VERY creative and allows for some really great sounds, as far as the actual sound of the sustainer neck pickup in non-sustainer mode, most people dont really like it, and I am one of those people. To each his own I guess
For things like Whispering a Prayer where he doesn't want to pick so he has more control over the bar and for some other cool effects.

Not the best tone when its in its off mode though.
sniperfrommars1 said:
as far as the actual sound of the sustainer neck pickup in non-sustainer mode, most people dont really like it, and I am one of those people. To each his own I guess
I don't like it either. I just wish companies like Dimarzio would one day come up with their own version of sustainer/neck pickup, hopefully in a much smaller package and installation is as easy as changing pickups...

The sustainer is an amazing invention regardless, and Vai does wonder with it.
Does the Sustainiac sound bad in off mode also?


Does anyone know of a website where I can read the specs of this "sustainiac" pickup? I've heard it mentioned around this site a few times and would like to know more about it.
So the difference between the sustainers is that the sustainiac only works as a sustainer, where as the fernandes works as a pickup also. and fernandes have a humbicking sustainer, but since sustainiac doesn't work as a pickup you can get a humbucker sized model where you can place a minibucker next to it. and fernandes don't make white, sustainiac does. Thanks, some serious guitar modifying thoughs came into my mind.
the sustainiac pup steve uses is the Fernandez Sustainiac pup/driver (not to be mistaken with the sustainiac or sustainiac stealth)
Fernandez Susteiner works as a pup too???
I have a sustainiac in my VWH. I live near Alan (the owner and creator of the Sustaniac) and he installed it for me. The pickup works in "off" mode and there are two settings he can give it, a single coil sound or humbucker. I opted for the humbucker. To be honest, I like the sound a lot. I wish it was a little hotter but it's still usuable. I opted for Alans system because it it more 'natural' sounding to my ears and I also didn't have to cut out tons of wood to get it put in. Just enough for a battery compartment.

It really does sound great...
Essentially it's like installing an EBOW in a guitar. The neck spot is generally where you find the sweet spot for an EBOW as well...
davenit, that sustainiac your talking about is the stealth, opted more for the metal/rock player (as you can switch humbucker mode e.t.c.), i used to have one in my old Jackson sustainiac. They are quite good but don't come close to the fernandez sustainiac steve uses. Sustainiacs are reknowned for their microphoic 'squeels' when in 'off' mode which can be VERY annoying but once you learn how to tame the things, they are a great device.
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