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EM Drive Sustain System


Special Introductory Price of $350 For A Limited Time!

The EM Drive Sustain System allows you to create infinite sustain from notes that are picked normally. Notes are played exactly as you are used to, there is no change in technique or hand position required.

The EM Drive amplifies the signal coming from the steel bridge pickup and routes this energy back to the strings via a drive coil mounted under the strings. When the EM Drive is set up properly the volume pedal control controls the initial note volume exactly as before, but when you depress the pedal to sustain a note in the manner that steel players normally do, the energy from the EM Drive is faded in and keeps the strings vibrating. For a steel player used to volume pedal use, the effect is seamless and its quite easy to find the point where the note will sustain. Typically you will find that as the drive coil signal is starting to control the string vibration, the volume pedal even can be backed off slightly.

The system consists of a Drive Coil, a Power Unit, a 1/8 inch 3.5 mm connector cable, and a power supply.

The EM Drive must be placed after the volume pedal for correct operation and to allow the drive signal to be modulated. The recommended signal chain is steel output – volume pedal – distortion pedals and/or envelope filters – EM Drive power unit - delay and/or reverb pedals – amplifier .

Distortion pedals must be placed before the EM Drive unit or oscillation or other undesirable operation will occur. This is due to the positive feedback used in the EM Drive, which will interact with the high gain used in distortion pedals and cause unstable operation.

The EM Drive can be connected using both the input and thru jacks (as any other pedal would be connected), or it will also work correctly with the Input only connected to the dry output of a delay or reverb pedal. This may be advantageous for pedal board space considerations.

The drive coil must be placed on the fretboard between the 19th and 23rd fret to prevent magnetic interference. If the drive coil is too close to the existing bridge pickup, there will be oscillation or squealing and the response will be difficult to control. This is due to the strong magnetic field required to drive the high tension strings of a pedal steel guitar. There is ample energy available to drive the strings even with the drive coil at the 19th fret, and you may prefer this placement for plenty of room to pick the strings without contacting the drive coil. As you move the drive coil toward the 23rd fret less drive signal will be required and you will be able to see more fret lines for playing high on the neck. There is a tradeoff here between room for picking and which fret lines the drive coil is covering up
Optimal spacing is 3/32 to 1/8 inch clearance between the strings and the drive coil. The drive coil is 3/8 inch thick and the additional thickness of the tape or Velcro must be accounted for in the spacing, so you will need at least 1/2 inch clearance between the fretboard and the strings on your steel to properly install the Drive Coil. Please measure your steel and enter your clearance in the order notes when placing your order. Steeltronics will consult with the purchaser and provide one set of appropriate thickness Velcro for mounting. Additional or replacement Velcro will also be available.

Here are the EM Drive Instructions

EM Drive Instructions

Here are some audio demos of the EM Drive in use:

EM Drive Sustain System Demo

EM Drive Sustain System Demo 2

Live EM Drive Sustain System Demo 1

Live EM Drive Sustain System Demo 2

Steeltronics utilizes on demand 3D printing for key components, therefore normal production time is 4 weeks for most orders.