After a long and arduous detour with the development of the XR series pickups, we’re back on track! Here’s the evolved modular Neo with better crosstalk performance using permalloy shields and active crosstalk cancellation, even lower noise with improved discrete preamp design, and better aesthetics.
I’ve been asked many times: What time frame are we looking at until the release? To be very honest, as of now, it’s quite a struggle to give a definite answer, so I’m opting instead not to give any promises. Optimism aside, and notwithstanding the fact that I have high hopes for this project, the reality is, although we are having fun while doing a splendid job at Research and Development, concocting these cool prototypes, it is turning out to be a rough ride when it comes to Production. We are always “almost there”, but not quite getting there yet! There were a few small but devious creatures lurking in the details!
Having said that, if there’s one thing I can say with reasonable certainty, I’d say the coils are just about perfect now! It was such a bumpy ride. We had to redo the first batch of coils at least twice! Here’s the story behind the coils.
We have a new name! We had a fun time thinking of a new name for the Neo Aura. Thank you all for your suggestions. Naming is difficult! Darren Wilson of Decibel Guitars is correct: pretty much every known word has already been trademarked by someone. Hence, we decided to use simple Letters and Numbers like Yamaha DX7 and Roland VG-99.
So, the new names shall be: Cycfi XR for the monophonic pickups (previously named Neo Aura) and Cycfi XR Plus for the multichannel (polyphonic) pickups (previously named Neo). “XR” means “Extended Response”.
If you who are wondering why we need a new name, see my post What’s in a name?.
From our Spicetone friends! 6APPEAL: Polyphonic Overdrive and Breakout Box for Hexaphonic Guitars. We share a common ideal: Hexaphonic processing is the future! “A whole new sonic ground, letting you play complex jazz, fusion, progressive rock or even fingerstyle guitar with distortion, without nasty intermodular rumble”. The only analog hexaphonic distortion available today. I can’t wait to try this out with the new Neos!
The Resonant Filter allows you to dial in the characteristics of virtually any pickup with two high quality dual-ganged Bourns potentiometers. The Resonant Filter offers independent control of the cutoff-frequency and resonance (Q).
Before we finally get these pickups released into the wild, here’s something to whet your appetite. Notice the oblique orientation of this Quad 8 string. This one is designed for an 8 string multiscale guitar with a 12 degree pickup slant. The modular pickups allow us to skew the angles such that the poles are still perfectly aligned with the strings.
The second set of this H-H combination has an 8 degree slant (picture below). This one boasts a custom coil-tap switch for single/double-width switching for that extra tonal variation (we use high quality mini toggles with gold-plated contacts). The same coil-taps can be utilised for even more elaborate switching and blending such as continuously variable mixing, phase switching and phase blending as well as tweaking the resonant frequency by means of a parallel capacitor (more on these customisation options soon!).
What’s in a name? A lot of course! I just received a cease and desist order from Fishman for the name “Neo Aura”. I realised too late that they are also using the name “Aura” with their audio signal conditioners. For the record, it is not our intention to infringe upon Fishman’s trademarks.
Now I have to play the name game again! Oh well, I guess it’s not too late. I’m glad it came before our release. It’s good to change the name too as it is causing confusion with the original Neo Multichannel Pickup. Pardon me in advance for the confusion.
Name suggestions welcome!
It’s been a while but we’re almost there! I always underestimate the time it takes to bring an idea from concept to prototype and then to actual production. I always thought that manufacturing comes easy as soon as you have a fully working prototype. Wrong! To be very honest, I learned the hard way that there is such an art called Design for Manufacturability. Quoting Wikipedia: (also sometimes known as design for manufacturing or DFM) is the general engineering art of designing products in such a way that they are easy to manufacture. I enjoy designing and working on prototypes. I think they are cool! I try my best to make them as aesthetically pleasing as possible and I love looking at the result! But are they easy to manufacture? Ignoring DFM, as I did in this production run, can be costly. Hah! What do I know, I’m a software engineer. Now I know better!
That said, it’s all worth the wait. Promise!
Hello Y’all. Since our NAMM debut in January 2015, we’ve been very busy going into limited production for the first batch of Cycfi XRs. For those of you who have been eagerly waiting, thank you very much for your patience. Many of you know that we’ve been working on the Cycfi XR project for quite some time now. This project turned out to be be a lot more complicated than we initially expected because it’s not just a pickup but a whole modular infrastructure!
So, allow me to present The Cycfi XR, the technology and the infrastructure behind it. Follow this link to learn more →