In a fit of timeliness, this post just came across the normally silent Michael Brook discussion group: ------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 08 Aug 2000 17:27:27 -0400 From: <deleted> Subject: Infinite guitar/Sustainiac Hello, I had an interesting little conversation with the guy form Maniac Music, Alan Hoover. A great great guy. I've had a couple of questions about the new Stealth plus (Sustainer+ pickup). And I asked him if there was an historical link between the sustainiac and the infinite guitar. I thought it can be of some interest to post a part of his answer: "We first made our acoustic type sustainer in 1986 (the Sustainiac Model T, soon followed by the Model B). Then, we heard about the Brook Infinite Guitar when U2 played in Indianapolis in late 1986, as I remember. Edge's guitar tech called us, and allowed us to play a few notes on the instrument after the afternoon sound check. I thought that seemed like a neat way to make sustain, so we designed our own version of such a sustainer after looking at the I.G. The Infinite Guitar used a regular Duncan stack pickup for a driver. Since this is a high impedance device, it requires around 100 volts of drive signal to produce adequate magnetic drive into the strings. This seemed kind of crazy to me, so shortly after that the Sustainiac GA-1 was born. We made a low-impedance driver so that the sustainer would run efficiently on batteries. The driver could be used as a pickup by attaching a transformer or amplifier to its output in order to increase the voltage output. The "G" is for Gary Osborne, my partner in Maniac Music. This was followed soon after by the GA-2. We subsequently filed and were granted several patents on our refinements that allowed the magnetic sustainer to be used as a practical, manufacturable device. We never attempted to patent any of the basic principles, such as a pickup being used in reverse to drive the strings, because we always felt that that credit belonged to Michael Brook. Curiously, Michael (whom I met and talked to at length in 1990) never followed up with his British patent that he filed sometime around the 1985 timeframe. Typically, patent offices reject first applications over technicalities. It is up to the inventor to persist and argue his/her case. Michael gave up and didn't argue his case, so he never got a patent. He told me in conversation that he was very busy, and also really didn't know that you could present an argument and maybe get your patent. Then, Floyd Rose et al got a U.S. patent on a magnetic sustainer driver in 1990. Curiously, they claim never to have heard of the Brook device prior to making their sustainer. I know of no facts to contradict this. We have a patent cross-licensing agreement with them." Well, I hope I didn't break a top secret thing (for MB and for M. Hoover), but it was interesting.