The Nu modular pickup is ready. It’s been ready for quite some time now. The design and implementation is just about perfect, I would say. The next evolutionary step from its predecessor, the Neo, the sound is superb, the clarity and separation is amazing.
So… for those who have been patiently waiting, if you want them now, send us a message. We can arrange for an initial batch for manufacturing. But here’s the thing… At this point, the initial batch will be for uber-tech-savvy builders only. Be warned that this goes way beyond a standard pickup install. A multi-channel system requires an elaborate setup for processing each channel. I will assume that you know what to do with these pickups. If you are a builder with background in electronics, then this is for you. You know how to incorporate these pickups in your design, including mounting, power, audio routing, wiring the multi-pin connectors, and perhaps building a breakout box. All designs (schematics, PCB layout, software, bill of materials, and CAD drawings) will be provided.
But There’s More…
We are pleased to announce that our second production run of the Cycfi XR series is now available for purchase at cycfi-research.com. We have worked very hard on perfecting their design and manufacturing process while maintaining meticulous attention to detail. Much time has been spent testing the pickups along with the support infrastructure. In the end, we have a product that we are truly proud of; something that we consider a true work of art and an engineering masterpiece. As before, this production run is limited, but we intend to provide a continuous supply as dictated by demand.
I have high regard and affection for anything Japanese. I love the people. I love the food. I love the unique culture, Japanese music, arts and certainly their craftsmanship. I often spend time inspecting and appreciating both ancient and modern woodwork, and especially their wonderful musical instruments (both old and new). We lived in Japan for almost a decade (two of my children were “Made In Japan” when I was working there as a software engineer) and somehow the culture and the people molded me in ways I can only be thankful for.
Here’s a lovely guitar build by Sato Koetsu using three Cycfi XR Dual Active 6 pickups plus electronics. All black wiring with an acrylic pickguard. Sperzel locking-tuners with Schaller barrel-buttons. Warmoth Wenge neck with Ebony fingerboard. Two piece spalted buckeye body, stained white a bit, and oil finished. Wilkinson wvp6 bridge.
Do you have a Cyci XR equipped guitar? C’mon and share some pictures! I’d love to post them here!
After a long hiatus, I think the Nu is just about ready. This is the next evolutionary stage of our flagship multichannel pickup. Originally named the Neo, the Nu sports better crosstalk performance using permalloy shields and active crosstalk cancellation, even lower noise with improved discrete preamp design, adjustable curvature (you want the pickup as close as possible to the strings to minimise cross-talk), and better aesthetics, sharing the same aesthetics as the XRs. Most importantly, they sound just as good as the original.
I am incrementally updating the XR Data Sheet. I’ll post updates here every once in a while. Here’s the schematic of the XR preamplifier. The circuit utilises the Toshiba 2SC3324 low noise NPN transistors with an exceptional noise figure of 0.2dB (typical). The preamp configuration is a common emitter amplifier with both emitter feedback and self-biasing collector feedback. The collector feedback ensures that the transistor is always biased in the active region regardless of variations in Beta. The second stage is a simple emitter follower providing current gain and low output impedance.
(Click to view PDF)
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I have mixed feelings with the Soapbar ring idea. Many like it, but some don’t. Jon Chang suggested transparent rings for that modern look that fits the XR’s unique look. It’s all about aesthetics. That might work, but why don’t we push a bit harder?
I think the 3D rendering above looks good. This one will be difficult to execute, but might be worth a try. Perhaps it can be done using layered acrylic or maybe resin casting. Clear resin casting gives nice results when done right, but it is very difficult to do right and in quantity. No wonder Q-Tuner no longer builds pickups that way.
I’d still keep the open coils. I like the hackable, modular and customisable nature of the XRs. I like the way the XR pickups can be disassembled down to the preamps and coils.
With the current open-coil XR Quad coil 7 and 8 string design (image right), there’s empty space at the sides when placed in a guitar with a soapbar rout, which is quite common in extended range guitars such as the .strandberg* Boden. One solution is to position the two double coils closer together and add a ring, following the footprint of the soapbar, around the assembly (3D rendering above).
What do you think?